The Cardinals used their fifth different starting offensive line this past weekend, and that doesn’t include missing Levi Brown since the preseason. And things, right now, have been a little better. Part of that is some improvement by the rookie tackles.
“We’ve gotten the ball out,” coach Ken Whisenhunt said. “We’ve done a better job with that, but we’ve changed our protections up. Like we’ve said all along during this stretch, we’ve been trying to find out what we can do and what we can do better.”
The Cardinals have made more of an effort to give their tackles more help, which has made a difference. Since rookie Nate Potter went into the lineup full-time at left tackle, the Cards have given up a little more than two sacks a game — which isn’t ideal, but still much better than the average of 6.5 or so the Cards gave up during the five-game stretch before that.
“We had a chance (Sunday) on the one sack where we had a huge play down the field and we couldn’t get the ball off,” Whisenhunt said. “We made a mistake because we were supposed to help out on that block and we didn’t get that done, so we are still by no means even close to being perfect, but we’re varying our protections and doing different things, and our players are doing a good job with that.”
This doesn’t mean the Cardinals won’t work on their offensive line in the offseason. That would seem to be a foregone conclusion. But considering how much the unit was struggling earlier in the year, there has been a change worth noting.
Tags: Ken Whisenhunt, Nate Potter, offensive line
Posted in Blog | 55 Comments »
We’ve covered this before, but seriously, the interceptions keep piling up for the Cardinals. They now lead the NFL with 22 interceptions, one more than the team that comes in to visit University of Phoenix Stadium this weekend, the Chicago Bears. (The Cards, with 32 total takeaways, are fourth in the league in that department, with Chicago’s 37 topping the list.) Remember this team had only 10 interceptions all of last season.
And in all honesty, the Cardinals could have more this year. There was the one Adrian Wilson couldn’t quite hold on to against the Dolphins this year (although that would have been a spectacular effort and it certainly wouldn’t be considered a drop), and I can think of at least three that I remember in the hands of William Gay that he couldn’t quite snare. That’s just off the top of my head. Patrick Peterson gets the headlines with his seven, and deservedly so. But Kerry Rhodes has four, Gay, Rashad Johnson and Greg Toler two each.
“I wish we could lead the league in a number of different categories,” coach Ken Whisenhunt said Monday. “Maybe that would help us be a little bit better record-wise.”
They even punctuated this weekend’s trio with 186 return yards, the fifth-most interception return yards for an NFL team since 1970 and 66 more yards than the Cards had totaled on their first 19 picks of the season. The interceptions are a big reason the Cardinals are tops in the NFL when it comes to passer rating-against (68.0) and third in the NFL in completion percentage-against with 54.5.
“When you have 22, obviously it’s not going to be one guy or otherwise he’d be defensive MVP,” Whisenhunt said. “You’ve got a number of different guys that are making those kinds of plays.
“You think about the interceptions Patrick has had, some of those acrobatic ones down the field and even (Sunday’s) was another one like that. Our guys believe in what they are doing and they’re playing hard, and it’s nice to see them making some plays.”
Tags: Adrian Wilson, Greg Toler, Ken Whisenhunt, Kerry Rhodes, Patrick Peterson, Rashad Johnson, William Gay
Posted in Blog | 8 Comments »
Sunday, the Cardinals have a chance to fully wipe away last weekend’s loss in Seattle. But that’s all it was, a loss, and given the tragic events in Connecticut today, it’s difficult to get worked up over it as any more than that. The Lions come to town also as a 4-9 team, and this is one – if the Cardinals are going to get one – to get. Ryan Lindley will be back at QB, and if he can play more like the guy in the first 30 minutes of his lone start at University of Phoenix Stadium and not the last 30 minutes, the Cards should have a chance. I definitely don’t see the defense melting down again.
– It’s amazing, and I know it’s because of the quarterback situation, but there has been very little discussion about the Cards’ offensive line in recent weeks. The unit is far from perfect, but rookie tackles Bobby Massie and Nate Potter have been doing well enough. Coach Ken Whisenhunt wouldn’t disclose who the new starting center will be Sunday – “I think we need every little element of surprise that we can get. We can certainly use it,” Whisenunt said – but we’ll see if that group can hold up.
– As for needing a new center, “there’s continuity with the quarterback and the snaps and that’s something you can’t always simulate or get in practice,” Whisenhunt said. “We’ve struggled with that a little bit the last couple of games with adjusting to (now injured) Rich (Ohrnberger). Then just when he starts to get comfortable and you feel good about that, he goes out.”
– The Lions have a good defensive line, although with DT Nick Fairley doubtful and unlikely to play, the Cardinals catch the break. They still have ends Cliff Avril and nearing-the-end Kyle Vanden Bosch, the one-time Cardinal. They have defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, who can be dominant at times. It will be a good test for the Cards’ line.
– On the flip side, the Lions’ secondary isn’t stellar. If Larry Fitzgerald is going to be anything more than a leader for this team and actually contribute to the offense on the field, Lindley hopefully can make that happen this week.
– Speaking of Fitz, I’m not sure acting is in his future.
– He turned 91 today, so former Cardinals star back Charley Trippi can’t help on the field, but he will be at UoP Sunday so the team can celebrate his career and his place in the Ring of Honor. If you don’t know about Trippi, check out Josh Weinfuss’ great story.
– FYI, the security screening locations will be opening early (10:45 a.m.) for both the Detroit and Chicago games, with portable food and beverage stands open on the plaza for those that get there early. Actual stadium access for non-premium seat holders remains the same (90 minutes before kickoff).
– There is a toy drive at the game. Bring unwrapped toys and donations to any stadium entrance to help needy children at this time of year.
– Speaking of good stories, all the state high school championship football teams will be honored Sunday, including Queen Creek High School. If you haven’t heard, the Queen Creek team befriended a very special girl this season, and she too will be at the festivities. Check out the story – although it might get a little dusty wherever you are.
– Because people want to know, here is an early list of offensive free agents-to-be. Chew on that if you’d like.
– Finally, I just want to send thoughts and prayers to those affected in the Connecticut shootings. It’s been tough making sense of writing about football today given what happened, especially when I think of my own kids and my wife – who is a teacher – and worrying about what could happen to them.
Just remember there are bigger things when we sit here and talk about football losses or bad play or whether someone should be fired. I’m not saying you can’t say that. This is a site about the Cardinals and that’s what we all talk about. I’m just asking to be civil when talking about it, when addressing others, when criticizing players, coaches or management. We are all just people — fans, me, guys on the team — trying to get along here. The vitriol isn’t necessary to get the point across. If it’s frustrating you that much, imagine what some back East are going through this weekend.
That’s it. I’m climbing off the soapbox. On to Sunday.
Tags: Bobby Massie, Charley Trippi, Ken Whisenhunt, Kyle Vanden Bosch, Larry Fitzgerald, Lions, Nate Potter, Ndamukong Suh, Nick Fairley, Seahawks
Posted in Blog | 20 Comments »
Team president Michael Bidwill addressed the situation with the Cardinals and talked briefly about making any personnel changes — the biggest of which, of course, would concern head coach Ken Whisenhunt. Obviously no change is coming today and it certainly doesn’t sound like one would come before end of the season. Bidwill’s comments in full:
“Obviously it’s very disappointing the way it has gone and yesterday’s loss was extremely disappointing,” Bidwill said. “It is unacceptable. It’s one of those things, people inside this building, outside this building, our fans, we are living and dying with each of these losses and it’s extremely hard to watch. I know we can do better.
“I know there is a lot of emotion around yesterday but I don’t intend to make any decision based on emotion. I have been evaluating things all along and expect to continue to do that, and want to have a complete set of facts as I evaluate what went wrong, what went right. And as things move forward I want to make sure we do what is in the best interest of the team and that means getting ready for each game, week in and week out. That means getting ready for the Detroit Lions. That’s what I want everyone to stay focused on, top to bottom.”
Q: Complete set of facts, does that mean Whisenhunt will complete the season as coach?
Bidwill: “I plan to make sure the best thing we can do is focus on week in and week out and not make a decision based on the heat of the moment.”
Q: Once things simmer down …
Bidwill: “I think not making a rushed decision is the right way to go. Having a chance to evaluate away from the week in, week out preparation, what went right, what went wrong.”
Q: Is this a combination of coaching, injuries, mis-evaluation of the quarterbacks?
Bidwill: “When you have lost nine in a row there is aplenty of responsibility to spread around. Obviously injuries have been a factor but even with that, we expected a much different season than what we have got right now.”
Q: Will finances be a factor in your decision?
Bidwill: “Winning football games and staying focused on what wins football games is what we will be staying focused on.”
Q: Will you evaluate this season regardless of what happens the rest of the way?
A: “Yes. I think you look at it, and that’s part of the reason why you step away, so you can look at a complete set of the facts, what went right and what went wrong.”
Tags: Ken Whisenhunt, Michael Bidwill
Posted in Blog | 95 Comments »
The theme coming out of coach Ken Whisenhunt’s press conference today was that Whisenhunt wasn’t talking change. That doesn’t necessarily mean there won’t be any, I suppose, but there were no announcements or anything close to that Monday.
Whisenhunt, calmly answering all the questions you would expect, said again he wasn’t worried about his job. (At this point, I don’t expect anything in that regard before the end of the season, if it happens.) He said he talks every day with team president Michael Bidwill, but he didn’t say they have talked about his future.
As for his coaching staff, Whisenhunt wasn’t going to start analyzing their jobs publicly or speak on their future. He wouldn’t say he’d be making changes, but he wouldn’t say he wouldn’t either. “Out of respect to our players and coaches, they are all working hard,” Whisenhunt said. “It is easy to say, ‘Do this’ or ‘Do that.’ The number of hours these guys put in, it is unfair to them (to talk about it). … I don’t think that’s appropriate to talk about here.”
– Whether QB Kevin Kolb could be shut down the rest of the season would be “in part a medical decision.” Whiz said he knows what he has in Kolb and he has won. “The biggest thing you have to have … you know you will miss some games but you can’t miss a tremendous amount.”
– The Cardinals “have to look at all options” at quarterback this offseason, but given where we are right now, specifics were coming. Someone brought up Vince Young’s tweet that Young wanted a chance. Whiz declined to comment on that.
– Whisenhunt said center Rich Ohrnberger played with a knee injury yesterday and compared the situation to Lyle Sendlein playing with a knee injury a few weeks ago. We know what happened to Sendlein. Not sure what happens to Ohrnberger — Whiz said more info should come later — but that doesn’t sound like a good sign. If Ohrnberger is banged up, the Cards are down to rookie Scott Wedige at center, and he just signed when Sendlein went down.
Tags: Ken Whisenhunt, Kevin Kolb, Michael Bidwill, Rich Ohrnberger
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Coach Ken Whisenhunt said he has not yet made a decision on who his starting quarterback will be in Seattle. He wants to watch the video with his coaches and go from there. Kevin Kolb is an unknown still as he comes back from injury. Asked if he planned on having Kolb return at some point, Whisenhunt said “I sure hope so.” Here is a portion of Whiz’s Q and A with reporters about the quarterback position and how Ryan Lindley played yesterday.
Q: You mentioned yesterday part of the problem was that receivers weren’t making the right reads. Is that a function of practice time with Lindley, or is that something that would be in place regardless of the quarterback?
A: “We didn’t play very well yesterday in the receiving part of it. That means getting off press coverage, running good routes, being in the right spots in routes. Sometimes, when you play a team that pressures like they do, you have to be able to sight adjust or make the correct adjustments to your routes and we didn’t do a very good job with that. We didn’t help Ryan out very much with that.”
Q: With that game, five first downs, oh-for-15 on third downs, yet you cited the best chance to win the game was not change the quarterback. The fan base is pretty upset with that decision.
A: “I understand that. But like I said, we didn’t help Ryan out very much yesterday. There were a lot of areas we had problems. We are looking for the right combination to be effective offensively. We talked about it on the sideline, we talked about what was going on during the game. It was a combination of a number of different things besides the quarterback.”
Q: By your own criteria, a couple of weeks ago, you were going to hold everyone to strict standards and if they weren’t doing their job, you could make a change. So (Lindley) is doing his job?
A: “Like I said, I don’t think anyone did their job well enough yesterday offensively. The quarterback is the focal point of that. But that’s part of what we have to go through today and evaluate that.”
Q: Do you know where you go at quarterback going forward?
A: “We’ve got to look at it with the players today, understand why we had the breakdowns that we did, and then we will decide from that point.”
Q: Is there a realistic chance Kevin Kolb can play this week?
A: “The only way we will know is when he can do it in practice. He has made progress. But until he can get out there and see he can make those throws, then we will know.”
Q: Are you sticking with Ryan?
A: “I said we will watch the tape today and look at with the players where we had the breakdowns. There are a lot of things you don’t know from the perspective of what everyone is looking at why we were not successful.”
Q: Did you lose confidence in John Skelton?
A: “I wouldn’t say I lost confidence in John’s ability.”
Q: To follow up, you said it crossed your mind to play him …
A: “We talked about it in the course of the game. But when you play a team that gives you a multitude of different looks and how it is being communicated, at the point where you have to make that (QB) change, you have to understand, is it because the guy in there is not playing well? Because you are going to lose a lot of what you have gone through in the first parts of the game as far as understanding the protections and where the sights are and where the checks are.”
Q: To follow that up then, you mentioned (after the game) Ryan was doing a good job with the schematics. Does that mean John wasn’t doing a good job?
A: “I never said that.”
Q: Did John not understand?
A: “We were talking (after the game) about Ryan. The decision we made about John, we’ve already talked about. We don’t need to go back and revisit that.”
Tags: John Skelton, Ken Whisenhunt, Ryan Lindley
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I don’t think it’s out of line to think the most interesting question of the week will be who the Cardinals start at quarterback in Seattle next weekend. (Yes, I am aware of the understatement there.) Seattle has never been a particularly easy place to play for any Cardinals QB – I remember some rough games for Kurt Warner – and the last two years, Max Hall and Kevin Kolb have had trouble putting up points.
So after Sunday, when rookie Ryan Lindley had so much difficulty in production, will coach Ken Whisenhunt go back to him again? There’s no way to know if Kolb will be ready this week, but if he isn’t, Lindley is in the middle of six quarters of play he isn’t going to file among his NFL memories.
Whiz noted there were some poor routes/adjustments by receivers – one time, it seemed Michael Floyd just slowed up on a deep pattern, and the ball ended up well over his head – but Lindley knew he struggled. To have 10 three-and-outs as an offense (one ended on an interception), plus a four-and-out when the Cards couldn’t pick up a first on fourth down, was just devastating. When you lose a game by a single point, it’s that much more magnified.
“We just have to play better,” Lindley said. “I have to play better.”
– There is no need to belabor the point. I know there were plenty asking if/when Whiz was going to put in John Skelton. Was I surprised a change wasn’t made? I guess I was. Whisenhunt said he stuck with Lindley because he understood the scheme and what needed to be done. That’s got to translate into the game play, though.
I’m sure the comments below will be dominated by this subject.
– What a day for Kerry Rhodes. He promised on the Big Red Rage “I’m going to make plays, don’t worry about that one” when asked about his return to New York. It was Rhodes’ first chance to go against the Jets and coach Rex Ryan, who ripped Rhodes pretty good after Rhodes was traded away. Had the Cards won,’ Rhodes’ two interceptions and forced fumble would have been the perfect narrative. Losing takes the luster off, for sure, but you have to think Rhodes made his point while continuing to have a good season. Officially, Rhodes had six tackles and three passes defensed too.
– The interception by Patrick Peterson was a heck of an athletic play. It looked like he was definitely beaten, yet he not only made up the ground but grabbed the pick.
– Crazy how Jets kicker Nick Folk hit both the left upright and right upright on a pair of missed field goals. The Jets weren’t exactly an offensive juggernaut out there. Some of that was the Cards’ defense, but some of that is the Jets’ issues too.
– Running back Beanie Wells had only 22 yards on 15 carries. There weren’t a lot of holes for him to hit for sure, but watching him run he just doesn’t look totally right with the knee, which did limit him in practice last week. I know that when his two straight runs on third- and fourth-and-1 early in the game that the Cards couldn’t convert hurt. The Jets have a good defense, but an absence of a run game shows up when the QB struggles. Then again, the Jets could tee off on the run because they weren’t concerned about Lindley beating them.
– Punter Dave Zastudil tied his career-high with 10 punts which makes sense in context.
– It was a weird game because the Jets’ crowd wasn’t happy with their team much of the game and let them know it. To have Greg McElroy come in to play quarterback and get the kind of cheer he did just shows how much the fan base doesn’t have faith in Mark Sanchez. McElroy didn’t do anything special. But he was the lone QB with a TD drive.
– Dan Williams was just talking about taking advantage of more playing time if he got the chance, and Sunday, he got the chance with the Jets playing a lot of run-first offense. The nose tackle responded with a team-high 10 tackles.
I wish I had a lot more to touch on but I do not. The QB thing is going to overshadow everything I’m sure.
Tags: Beanie Wells, Dan Williams, Dave Zastudil, Greg McElroy, Jets, John Skelton, Ken Whisenhunt, Kerry Rhodes, Mark Sanchez, Michael Floyd, Nick Folk, Patrick Peterson, Ryan Lindley
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Dan Williams likes to joke with defensive line coach Ron Aiken from time to time, letting Aiken know “I am always ready to rush the passer if they need me.” The big nose tackle isn’t going to get that chance often, not playing in obvious passing situations. The folks at profootballfocus.com noted the big nose tackle has been playing well and that it’s unfortunate he doesn’t get to play more because of the current state of the game.
Williams shrugs his shoulders. “I don’t know if I am a generation too late,” Williams said. “That’s what they brought me in here to do, to stop the run. When teams go to the extra receivers, they bring the extra DB in.”
That’s when Williams comes out. He sees himself as capable if needed in those spots. He sees nose tackles like New England’s Vince Wilfork and Green Bay’s B.J. Raji in such situations and believes he is as talented. He’s a long way from the weight-issue storyline that dominated his career – “Just for the record, I only missed weight one time and I think it was blown out of proportion,” he said – and, as noted, his play has been solid.
“If they try to throw the ball when we are in base, I am going to try to take advantage of that,” Williams said.
The Cardinals haven’t stopped the run as effectively as they have liked this season, but some of that has to do with the pass-defense-first packages they have used. This week, against the struggling Jets, the run would seem to be New York’s weapon of choice. Williams will be needed.
As for some other New York-is-next topics:
– Defensive coordinator Ray Horton was plain in his desire to get after Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez. “We sacked (Aaron Rodgers) on the first play, and I think he had one of his worst statistical games,” Horton said. “We hit Matt Ryan on the first third down and he didn’t have a very good game. It’s something we do anyway … when you hit the quarterback early, it gets in their mind a little bit.”
– It’s no surprise the Jets are struggling, but offensive line coach Dave DeGuglielmo was not happy during a rare press conference this week, including making the point he was being forced to use Vlad Ducasse every third series at left guard instead of the preferred Matt Slauson. (Ducasse, you may remember, has been a bust of a second-round pick best known for the man blocking O’Brien Schofield in the Senior Bowl practice in which Schofield blew out his knee.)
Horton noticed. “I saw their offensive line coach complaining a little bit about who makes the decision on who plays,” Horton said. “We hope there is a little confusion, disarray, uncertainty there we can take advantage of.”
– Rookie quarterback Ryan Lindley was matter-of-fact talking about his four-interception starting debut last week. He wasn’t about to declare it a disaster.
“This is a results-driven game,” Lindley said. “We lost the game, I gave up 14 points myself. So it wasn’t a good game. But there were things I can look at, move forward from, and gain confidence from to take into this week.”
Lindley can make up a lot of ground if he can respond well, on the road, against the aggressive Jets. Whether he can actually pull that off, with a new starting center in Rich Ohrnberger on top of it, remains a big question mark.
– The last time the Cardinals took on a Rex Ryan defense, coach Ken Whisenhunt unveiled the no-huddle offense. That was in Baltimore in 2007, when the Cards got way behind and starting QB Matt Leinart looked very bad. Kurt Warner came in and lit up the Ravens, who were still able to pull off a win at the end.
This is an entirely different situation, starting with the reality that Kurt Warner isn’t walking through that door. As for the chance the Cards could use the no-huddle, Whisenhunt didn’t exactly sound optimistic.
“Is it something you could do? Yes,” Whisenhunt said. “Is it something you can do with a rookie quarterback? Depends on the rookie. He’s done it, worked on it in practice. It could be part of the gameplan.”
– Tight end Todd Heap wasn’t active last week, Whiz said, because he didn’t get enough reps in practice and “you have to get ready to play and that’s part of it.” Heap did practice full all last week, however, just like this week. If I had to guess, I’d think Heap plays this week, but you never know. He was officially moved down the depth chart this week. Jeff King was already ahead of him, but Rob Housler now is too.
– Some TV shows this weekend. On this week’s “Season In Focus” Saturday morning at 7 a.m. on ABC-15, cornerback Michael Adams is featured on the “Wired” segment, and there is a “Zoom” episode on running back LaRod Stephens-Howling – including The Hyphen listening to his emotional draft-day phone interview for the first time. On “Flight Plan” Saturday night at midnight on Ch. 12 NBC, Whisenhunt breaks down some video of Lindley’s first start and he and Ron Wolfley preview the Jets game.
– Horton was asked if cornerback Patrick Peterson had reached the level of Jets corners Darrelle Revis (who is out for the season) and Antonio Cromartie.
“Patrick is past one of them already,” Horton said, referring to Cromartie. “He is approaching Revis with everything he does on and off the field.”
– Rams defensive end Chris Long was fined $15,750 for hitting Lindley in the head during last weekend’s game. Rams linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar was not fined for his hit on Cardinals receiver LaRon Byrd.
– Punter Dave Zastudil has 27 punts inside the 20 this season. Only Kansas City’s Dustin Colquitt (31) has more.
– One more sack by Daryl Washington and he ties the team record of 10 by a linebacker, set first by Ken Harvey. Maybe he finds Sanchez twice on Sunday.
Tags: Chris Long, Dan Williams, Daryl Washington, Dave Zastudil, Jets, Ken Whisenhunt, Patrick Peterson, Ray Horton, Ryan Lindley, Todd Heap
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Larry Fitzgerald was open.
He was open a few times against the Rams, down the field early when rookie Ryan Lindley missed him down the left sideline. He was open when Lindley woefully underthrew a pass near the Cardinals’ sideline that was intercepted. He was open down the field on another interception and again on a play that could have gotten big yards but didn’t because a line mistake led to a sack.
Fitzgerald made three receptions for 31 yards on the Cards’ first drive but couldn’t get a catch after that. It’s been a brutal stretch of late for Fitz in terms of production, and when Fitzgerald is open and can’t get the ball, the frustration is there fore everyone involved.
“It’s hard, because you don’t know how much goes in to trying to work to get these situations, and then when you do get them and they come up and you have it there and we don’t execute on it …,” coach Ken Whisenhunt said, leaving the end of the thought to the obvious.
“You have a chance to make a layup, you work hard to get it, and the ball bounces out,” Whisenhunt added. “You’re frustrated that you didn’t get it done, something that you think is, I won’t say simple, but something you put a lot of work into doing and you expect to do it. There are a lot of those things that happen that people don’t see.”
Whisenhunt’s example was the sack, in which Lindley had to slide to his left because of a blocking mistake, costing him a clean look at the open Fitzgerald down the field. “You look at that play, and it’s something that you work to set up and Larry’s behind everybody and that’s where Ryan is going to go with it but we have a breakdown. That’s been happening too much to us.”
Fitzgerald isn’t going to say anything. He talked after the game about not pointing fingers and refusing — even after Lindley took the blame on missing Fitzgerald on a couple of passes — to throw Lindley under the bus. Even generally, when asked about the frustration about getting open but being unable to get the ball, Fitz wouldn’t bite.
“It’s football,” he said. “Things happen. Assignments are missed. When I’m perfect, I can start calling people out on their flaws and mistakes. But I’m not. We have to do a better job offensively executing when we have our opportunities.”
Fitz isn’t perfect. Fitz, according to Stats Pass, has three drops this season. Obviously he couldn’t come up with that one at the end of the Atlanta game, although the Stats people didn’t consider that a drop; they give him one each in each of the two Rams’ games, and one against the 49ers.
Still, what resonates as a Fitzgerald memory up until this point this season is an opening and then a pass too far over his head or too far out of bounds for him to make the play. Mike Sando broke down the targets to Fitz from the Cards’ three QBs; while Kevin Kolb couldn’t get it to Fitz all the time (61.5 percent completions of Fitz targets), the duo of Lindley and John Skelton have missed Fitzgerald on 34 of 57 targets. Lindley in his brief time has throws Fitz’s way 17 times but completed just four passes (with three interceptions.) Lindley had his misses against the Rams and Skelton — who had a few throws to Fitz out of bounds down the sideline over the weeks — had the now infamous miss of the open Fitz in the end zone.
Thus far, Fitz has just 55 catches for 627 yards, a pace for 80 receptions (which would equal last year) but just 912 yards, 499 yards less than last season. If he wants to complain — and goodness knows those of us asking the questions have given him multiple chances to do so — he has shown remarkable restraint in not.
“Larry’s been great,” Whisenhunt said. “He works hard every day. He wants to be successful and it hurts him when he’s not. We are all frustrated, but it hasn’t affected Larry from the standpoint of how he has dealt with his teammates, how he works in practice, the positive things he talks with the quarterbacks.
“Listen, he wants the ball. He comes over and talks about things during the game. (But) he is a true professional.”
Tags: John Skelton, Ken Whisenhunt, Larry Fitzgerald, Ryan Lindley
Posted in Blog | 93 Comments »
Kevin Kolb made progress in practice last week but still was having soreness. His availability for this weekend’s game in New York against the Jets is very much in doubt with an entire week of practice to go. With that in mind, coach Ken Whisenhunt said today Ryan Lindley will get a second straight start in the New York game.
Now, we’ll have to see, if Kolb keeps progressing, if that could change. Whiz never came out and said Kolb would start if healthy. He just said he didn’t know where Kolb would be health-wise.
“For this week, yes, we stay with Ryan,” Whisenhunt said. “You can’t have the interceptions. But in the first half, I thought he did a really nice job.”
As for Kolb, “He still had soreness, and you have to weigh that against taking a hit in the pocket,” Whisenhunt said. “That’s going to happen in this league even when you get throws off. It has to be a safety concern there as well.”
– Whiz said he expects defensive end Calais Campbell to play against the Jets. And in response to a question about tight end Todd Heap being a “healthy scratch” on Sunday, Whiz said “I think Todd is just about to the point where he can play now (after a knee injury). It’s been disappointing we haven’t been able to get him back but we’ll see how he does in practice this week.”
Tags: Calais Campbell, Ken Whisenhunt, Kevin Kolb, Ryan Lindley, Todd Heap
Posted in Blog | 85 Comments »