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Cards bring back Maui’a

Posted by Darren Urban on September 14, 2010 – 11:50 am

The Cardinals made a roster move Tuesday, bringing back — yet again — fullback Reagan Maui’a and releasing fullback Jerome Johnson, who lasted all of a week. I’m not 100 percent sure they think Maui’a will be the answer but obviously they like him better than Johnson. The Cards didn’t start with a fullback alignment in the first game — using two tight ends instead — but Johnson did get a normal amount of fullback work in this offense (one pass thrown to him was errant and didn’t connect).


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The roster and other thoughts

Posted by Darren Urban on September 7, 2010 – 4:01 pm

Veteran linebacker Clark Haggans came off the field Monday exhausted. It was pretty hot and humid, and given the dearth of linebackers — the Cards that day had just three outside ‘backers, since newcomer Cyril Obiozor had yet to arrive  and practice squaders Pago Togafau and Curtis Gatewood weren’t there yet either — the 33-year-old Haggans was basically taking every rep. No one on the team is in better shape than Haggans, but he still joked that “I was looking for rookies to take my place and he’s out there next to me,” referring to Daryl Washington.

By the time the team was running gassers at the end of the workout, “I was seeing heat monkeys,” Haggans said.

That’ll change by Wednesday’s practice (which, because of the temperatures breaking a bit, will be back at the Cards’ Tempe facility, as will Thursday’s, instead of a planned visit to ASU’s Dickey Dome). Obiozor, Gatewood and Togafau are in place to take some snaps. Still, now that the Cards have a roster in place — at least for week one — it is an interesting breakdown.

The Cards are clearly still looking to find the right combination in the secondary, which is why they have kept six cornerbacks right now. A.J. Jefferson (pictured below) has upside — I doubt he’ll be active on game days at first — and they aren’t sure yet what they have in Brandon McDonald, the newcomer from Cleveland. I am also guessing there will be a lot of nickel and dime looks, like strong safety Adrian Wilson playing in/near the box. That’s one way to not worry about needing too many linebackers.

Still, the Cards only have seven LBs on the active roster and one — Obiozor — has to show he fits.

— Interested to see what the Cards do with their seven defensive linemen, although since a guy like Gabe Watson actually play more special teams than most nose tackles, they may just make all seven active on game days.

— WR Andre Roberts is still listed as the No. 1 punt returner, but he is going to have to show something coming back from his shoulder injury (he said Tuesday he is healed) to have that job out of the gate. Is Max Komar active in the first game? Do the Cards stick Steve Breaston back there until Roberts is ready?

I was wrong. Washington is starting by opening day. I was right. Tim Hightower is starting opening day.

— I don’t know much about fullback Jerome Johnson, but they feel comfortable enough that he is the only FB on the roster. Wonder how that will work, or if the Cards use more two-tight end stuff in St. Louis.

— Notice Jorrick Calvin actually made the Eagles’ roster. I don’t think he was going to make it here. Now that Marshay Green is back on the practice squad (in case you missed it, Green and Togafau rounded out the eight-man reserve group), the Cards still have the young untested group in the secondary as they search for one or two to develop.

— Four undrafted guys — QB Max Hall, WR Stephen Williams, Komar and Jefferson — made the roster. Green made the practice squad. Not a bad undrafted haul, even if only a couple pan out (and it’s hard to believe Williams, at least, isn’t well on his way).


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Filling out the practice squad (and ice cream)

Posted by Darren Urban on September 6, 2010 – 3:05 pm

The Cardinals have put together a practice squad. Three newcomers are joining G Tom Pestock, T Herman Johnson and WR Isaiah Williams. RB Ian Johnson, cut by the Vikings, is best known for being the Boise State hero in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl who ended up proposing to his now-wife at University of Phoenix Stadium after the game. The Cards are also adding WR Tim Brown — no, not that one — who was cut by the Giants (and who played for receivers coach John McNulty when both were at Rutgers) and LB Curtis Gatewood, cut by the Redskins. Gatewood has bounced around with the Lions, Chiefs, Eagles and Steelers as well as an inside ‘backer. The Cardinals still have two spots to fill, although that is expected to happen sooner rather than later.

Oh, and it’s now official the Cards brought in the three waiver claim players: FB Jerome Johnson, LB Cyril Obiozor and CB Brandon McDonald.

P.S. Adrian Wilson and his foundation are hosting an ice cream social on tomorrow (Tuesday) from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Cold Stone Creamery headquarters in Scottsdale. (9311 E. Via De Ventura). Stop by and help A-Dub help the less fortunate. For more info: http://www.adrianwilsonfoundation.org/


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Nothing official, but Cards making moves

Posted by Darren Urban on September 5, 2010 – 7:58 pm

The Cardinals haven’t been releasing any info officially today, but as the NFL churns after final cuts, the Cards have apparently done a couple of things, like cut CB Marshay Green, LB Pago Togafau and FB Reagan Maui’a and claim three players who were released: former Giants FB/LB Jerome Johnson, former Browns CB Brandon McDonald, and former Packers LB Cyril Obiozor.

Excellent work, Sando.

It looks like Johnson was a college linebacker who the Rams (last year) and the Giants converted to fullback. It will be interesting to see if that’s where the Cards want to go with veteran free agent fullback Tony Richardson (cut by Jets) out there and also fullback Owen Schmitt (cut by Seahawks). I could see them thinking about putting a claim in on Schmitt. McDonald had eight interceptions the past three seasons — which included 27 starts — and is the veteran cornerback the Cards were long expected to grab about this time. Obiozor was an undrafted guy last year who went from college defensive end to 3-4 linebacker on the Green Bay practice squad. He is a work in progress.

I am surprised about Green, if for no other reason, I thought he was ahead of fellow undrafted CB A.J. Jefferson, who remains on the team. Of course, Green is sub-5-foot-10 and Jefferson is 6-foot, and you always wonder if that impacts. I could see Green coming back to the practice squad.


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