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Blogs

Signing a punter and other kibbles and bits

Posted by Darren Urban on April 8, 2013 – 11:33 am

A few odds and ends on a Monday morning during the second week of voluntary workouts:

– The Cardinals signed punter Will Batson Monday. Batson also can kick field goals and kick off, so he’ll fill the role of Ricky Schmitt for this offseason and preseason, I’d think — which means he’s a major long shot. Ultimately, Dave Zastudil (who was very good last year) will be the punter and Jay Feely the kicker. This just gives the Cards an extra helper with a 90-man roster. Batson was with the Titans in preseason last year.

– There will be a special edition of the Big Red Rage this Thursday night at 6 p.m. at the regular spot, Majerle’s Sports Grill in Chandler. Exact details are still being firmed up, but it will be live on Arizona Sports 620 and one of the guests will be General Manager Steve Keim.

– The 2013 Cardinals Cheerleaders will be announced on the site Friday. We will have a series of videos posted this week (1 p.m. so don’t miss them) detailing the audition process.

– I find it interesting that Kevin Kolb signs with the Bills after it could be argued that, had he not gotten hurt against the Bills last season, he might still be a Cardinal. (Then again, following that logic, there might not have been a coaching change at all. But I digress.) He’s got big plans for Buffalo.

– It’s like Harvard winning the NCAA tournament.

– Presented without comment: Former Cardinals QB Max Hall has signed with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the CFL.


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Potter inactive, Batiste to start vs 49ers

Posted by Darren Urban on December 30, 2012 – 12:57 pm

Left tackle Nate Potter is inactive today because of his sprained ankle, putting D’Anthony Batiste back in the lineup for the first time since Potter replaced him during the Green Bay game prior to the bye week Nov. 4. That will make for an interesting matchup when he goes against 49ers pass rusher Aldon Smith (19.5 sacks). Fullback Anthony Sherman (knee) is also inactive, meaning tight end Jim Dray will fill in for the fullback duties.

Rookie guard Senio Kelemete is active for the first time this season, too.

Also inactive for the Cards today are:

– QB John Skelton

– WR LaRon Byrd (knee)

– G Mike Gibson (calf)

– WR Early Doucet (concussion)

– DE Ronald Talley (ankle)


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Hoyer active as backup QB; Rashad sits

Posted by Darren Urban on December 23, 2012 – 12:59 pm

Brian Hoyer is active as the backup quarterback today with John Skelton inactive against the Bears. Ryan Lindley starts, but Hoyer will be available if coach Ken Whisenhunt wants to play him. It’s not a surprise, but for Skelton to open the season as starter and now be inactive with Kevin Kolb also out is an amazing journey.

Safety Rashad Johnson (hamstring) will sit out, meaning Adrian Wilson could get extended time beyond his play in the base defense, although James Sanders is available. This, again, could end up being Wilson’s final home game with the Cards depending on what the Cards do with him this offseason.

Others inactive:

– G Senio Kelemete

– OL Mike Gibson (calf)

– TE Kory Sperry

– WR Early Doucet (concussion)

– DE Ronald Talley (ankle)


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Dan Williams sits out, Hoyer inactive

Posted by Darren Urban on December 16, 2012 – 12:43 pm

The Cardinals will still be without nose tackle Dan Williams today against the Lions. David Carter should will get the start in his place. It hurts the run defense, which has struggled anyway, but the Lions do not have a great running game anyway. Tight end Rob Housler is active, so that helps — he is a favorite target of rookie starting QB Ryan Lindley. Speaking of quarterbacks, newcomer Brian Hoyer is, as expected, inactive. John Skelton will back up Lindley.

The other inactives:

– S James Sanders (calf)

– WR Early Doucet (concussion)

– TE Kory Sperry

– DE Ronald Talley (ankle)

– G Senio Kelemete


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Roberts, Campbell active for Cardinals

Posted by Darren Urban on December 9, 2012 – 12:58 pm

The Cardinals will have WR Andre Roberts and DE Calais Campbell active today, which is a good sign. The surprise inactive today is rookie cornerback Jamell Fleming, who has been dealing with a back issue but more importantly has lost snaps over recent weeks falling down the depth chart.

Also inactive:

– QB Kevin Kolb (ribs)

– DE Ronald Talley (ankle)

– WR LaRon Byrd

– G Senio Kelemete

– T Pat McQuistan

– TE Kory Sperry

Defensive tackle Darnell Dockett is active, but given his on-field argument with Kerry Rhodes last weekend and his disagreement with the decision of the coaching staff at the end of the Jets game, he is expected to lose some playing time. With Talley out, the Cards figure they will need Dockett.


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Campbell, Roberts inactive, as is Heap

Posted by Darren Urban on December 2, 2012 – 9:37 am

Defensive end Calais Campbell (calf) and wide receiver Andre Roberts (ankle) both are inactive today. So too is tight end Todd Heap, who has recovered from his knee injury but apparently isn’t in the Cards’ plans unless there is an injury to another tight end. With Roberts out — and he is, not Larry Fitzgerald, leading the team in yards receiving and receiving touchdowns — that means rookie Michael Floyd will get his first start. David Carter will start in Campbell’s place.

The rest of the inactive list isn’t a surprise:

– QB Kevin Kolb (ribs)

– G Senio Kelemete

– T Pat McQuistan

– RB Alfonso Smith


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Campbell still hurting, Heap will sit too

Posted by Darren Urban on November 25, 2012 – 12:56 pm

Injuries will keep defensive end Calais Campbell (calf) and wide receiver Early Doucet (ribs) as inactive today against the Rams, but it would seem that it is a coach’s decision that will keep tight end Todd Heap inactive once again. Heap practiced full all week and was probable for the game, but after missing every game since Week 2 with knee issues, coach Ken Whisenhunt warned that Heap being active on game day would depend on the rest of the 46-man game day roster. With Rob Housler playing a bigger role, Heap just isn’t as crucial at this point.

With Doucet down, rookie Michael Floyd will have to perform, and it means LaRon Byrd is active too.

Besides Heap, Doucet and Campbell, the rest of the inactives:

– QB Kevin Kolb (ribs)

– RB Alfonso Smith (with Beanie back and LaRod Stephens-Howling playing despite sore ribs, Smith must sit)

– G Senio Kelemete

– T Pat McQuistan


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Falcons aftermath

Posted by Darren Urban on November 18, 2012 – 7:32 pm

Larry Fitzgerald is always going to say the right things. But it’d be interesting to crawl into his head right now and find out his true feelings about where the Cardinals and their offense are right now. Maybe he indeed is absorbing it all rationally. Of course, if he was, I’d start to wonder if he was human. When Fitz was trying to find the right way to explain Sunday’s loss despite the Cards making play after play defensively, you had to feel for him. One catch for 11 yards isn’t what you need from your star, your Pro Bowler. Then again, had he been able to pull down that last pass – and, standing just 20 yards or so away, I thought he was going to make it – he’d have been the hero and I believe the Cards would have punched in the game-winning points.

That didn’t happen.

Where from here? You can’t ask for much more from the defense. Daryl Washington may say the defense has to do more, but I’m not sure that’s possible. If the Cards just get one more touchdown – and the Cards had the ball at the Falcons’ 35 or closer four times without being able to make that happen – they win.

– At this point, I don’t know who will be the quarterback against the Rams next week. As I sit here on the charter flight home, you could see a scenario where it could be any one of the three guys on the roster. Next week will be six weeks since Kevin Kolb got hurt. I still don’t see Kolb, who was throwing some but not practicing last week, coming back yet. John Skelton could start. Ryan Lindley could.

– Was I surprised Lindley went in? Yes and no. The Cardinals were up 13-0 and, at least at that point, what they would get from Skelton was probably a known quantity, especially with his teammates. Then again, Skelton missing Fitzgerald in the end zone, that wasn’t the first time that kind of thing had happened. And I do agree with Whiz when he said if people are going to be held accountable, that has to include the quarterback.

Whisenhunt acknowledged he made the decision after Skelton missed Fitz for that TD.

“We had a play that’s open (and) you’ve got to make that throw,” Whisenhunt said.

– Let me head off a couple of questions I will inevitably get. Yes, I think the Cards will chase someone new at quarterback this offseason. No, I don’t know who, and right now, I just see that as a discussion for another day. It’s Kolb/Skelton/Lindley the rest of this season, regardless.

– Here’s another question I want to head off (and I’m not saying you can’t pontificate on this in the comments, just that I don’t plan on answering it again): No, I don’t think Whiz will be fired now. I don’t think there will be any coaching changes in season. After the season, once all the games are played, yes, there will probably be changes going in this direction. No, I don’t think it will be Whisenhunt. As I have said many times, I expect him to be coaching here in 2013.

– Adrian Wilson didn’t have much to say about being what turned out to be benched, kind of. Wilson still played in the base defense, but since the Cards started in nickel, he didn’t start. I’m sure he’s not happy – the man has played in four straight Pro Bowls, then was asked to take a pay cut and now this – but today, after the defense forced six turnovers, it’s hard to argue with the decision-making on that side of the ball. UPDATE: Wilson still played 41 of 73 total defensive snaps — 56 percent.

– Patrick Peterson did come back in the game after hurting his hamstring, but that will be something to watch this week.

– Apparently, according to ESPN’s research, Matt Ryan was the first QB to throw five interceptions in a game without a touchdown and win a game since the Packers’ Bart Starr did it in 1967.

– Fifth-round pick Senio Kelemete, who was inactive today, was the only player in the seven-man draft class not to play today. Didn’t see that coming during the 4-0 start.

– If there was any déjà vu involved while watching today’s game, there was reason. The Cardinals have been crazy playmaking productive on defense in the recent past and somehow lost before – the Monday Night Meltdown game in 2006. Rex Grossman had four picks and two lost fumbles.

Well, I certainly can’t complain, coming off the bye, of a lack of things to talk about this week. There will be plenty on which to chew before the Rams’ game. Signing off for now.


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Carter starts for injured Campbell, Heap sits

Posted by Darren Urban on November 18, 2012 – 9:30 am

No surprise, but defensive end Calais Campbell won’t play today with his bad calf. David Carter will get the start instead, and he’ll get a big chance to show his advances at the new position. It’ll also be another missed game for tight end Todd Heap, who is still dealing with a knee injury.

The other inactives:

– QB Kevin Kolb (ribs)

– WR LaRon Byrd

– LB Jamaal Westerman (meaning undrafted rookie Zack Nash is the only backup outside linebacker behind Sam Acho and Quentin Groves)

– G Senio Kelemete

– T Pat McQuistan

For the Falcons, wide receiver Julio Jones is playing despite missing all week of practice with an ankle sprain. I can’t imagine he’ll be anything but limited today. Starting linebacker Sean Weatherspoon, who also has an ankle sprain, is sitting.


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Heap, Toler remain out, Nelson playing for Packers

Posted by Darren Urban on November 4, 2012 – 9:36 am

The Cardinals’ inactive list is out for today’s game, with tight end Todd Heap still out with his bad knee. On the flip side, Packers receiver Jordy Nelson, who didn’t practice all week because of a bad hamstring, is active today and listed as a starter. The Cardinals are also still without cornerback Greg Toler (hamstring).

Guard Adam Snyder (quad) remains out, no surprise, so Rich Ohrnberger will start at right guard. The rest of the Cardinals’ inactives:

– QB Kevin Kolb (ribs)

– LB Jamaal Westerman

– G Senio Kelemete

– WR LaRon Byrd


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