Thoughts on Monday morning

Posted by Darren Urban on October 5, 2009 – 9:40 am

The players are streaming back this morning and there is another hour-plus practice today with the Cardinals getting back into a groove following the bye. There isn’t a whole lot Cardinal-related going on yet, but otherwise …

— So if you’re with the Buccaneers, there’s got to be a part of you that is hoping with then 2010 schedule comes out in April you see a trip to Glendale in Week Two of the season. Yes, it could mean a loss, but it could mean so much more. Why? Well, the Dolphins played the Cardinals in Week Two of 2008 after losing their opener and were whacked by the Cards, 31-10. The Dolphins went on to win 11 of their final 14 games. This year, the Jaguars lost their opener and then were whacked by the Cards, 31-17, in Week Two. They have followed up with two big victories within their division. So it stands to reason that if you are a Florida team and the Cards run you off the road in Week Two, it’s a harbinger of good things, right? (And yes, Tampa Bay is already set on the Cards’ list of opponents in 2010. The Cards have home games against Tampa, New Orleans, Denver, Oakland and their “matching” NFC East finisher; they have road trips to Atlanta, Carolina, Kansas City, San Diego and the “matching” NFC North team).

— No, no one was expecting the Rams to be very good this season. But to see the 49ers dismantle them yesterday, well, I think the Niners have proven they are for real, especially in context of the NFC West.

— Early byes don’t have to hurt. Last year, six teams had byes after three games. Two were doomed for non-bye reasons: Seattle (injuries) and Detroit (just a mess). The other four did just fine: New England (missed the playoffs but went 11-5) and playoff teams Indianapolis, the Giants and aforementioned Miami.

— Good stuff from Peter King on Pat Tillman looking back into NFL prospects before his death. I knew about the part where he could have gotten out of the Army early and that he could have been on an NFL roster (Seattle, in case you’re wondering, is where former Cardinals defensive backs coach Larry Marmie, who coached Tillman, was and still is, in addition to the Ferguson connection). I agree with Dave McGinnis in the article about Tillman being great on special teams. Even if Tillman had returned to the Cards in 2003 and never joined the Army, he would have likely been beaten out as a starter by Adrian Wilson. But I always thought Tillman would have evolved into a long-term Bill Bates/Steve Tasker/Ron Wolfley/Sean Morey type star of special teams. 

— Finally, props to the man behind Cardinals Underground/Big Red Rage and everything Cardinals radio, Jim Omohundro, for slaying the competition with his bowling game of 242 last week. I told him I’d give him a shout-out.

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4 Responses to “Thoughts on Monday morning”

  1. By tom manoogian on Oct 5, 2009 | Reply

    darren,i always look forward to reading whatever it is ,but the 2010 season is not really a concern of mine on 10/5/09.we should be figuring out what to do this sunday,because if not we will get beaten up against the texans.assuming they looked at last week’s defensive effort,and how the d backs played. look for more from them to do the same.i know in my heart i am not able to play,but i do think if you play off me 15 yards,even at 52,i could make a few plays.if we blitz,do you not think there is a hot route,our d coaches either don’t get it or we are paying WAAAAAY to much money to some of our d players,as they want more money,but can stop no one.we have offensive play makers,let’s go no huddle and get the other d guessing,we can score,we just can’t stop anyone.i don’t know who to blame,the d coaches or d players,but paying this kind of money to franchise a player as ours does not make sense.i am not a negative person,i try to tell it like it is,but is it pendergast fault or davis fault,but if you think we have the d people to win,then please call me,i will work for free to prove that we are always in the wrong defensive alignment for the situation.if you feel you have the right coaches,then better start looking for a lot of d help.i don’t make these comments being a sunday beer drinking loud mouth,just shooting off my mouth.i also am not the savior to the cards,but it is what it is.–GO CARDS

  2. By Rich McK on Oct 5, 2009 | Reply

    Do you think the Cardinals capable of stopping the Texanz with the soft cover we’ve been playing? Also, if not can we score enough against them to outpoint them? It appears we should be able to get more heat on their quarteback. Do you anticipate the coaching staff to have made some major adjustments in the off week?

  3. By darrenurban on Oct 5, 2009 | Reply

    Rich —

    Every game plan evolves differently for each team, so it’s hard to know exactly what the Cards will unveil for the Texans. There is no question that regardless of the coverage scheme, pressuring the quarterback is always important and will remain so. I would hope everyone on the Cards has made adjustments, given the outcome of the last game. As far as the scoring, well, I believe the Cards still have the pieces in place to be a high-scoring team. Now, they have to actually do it, but no one can argue that they are capable. Right now, it’s tough not to see this game as a shootout.

  4. By Ottis Anderson Fan on Oct 5, 2009 | Reply

    I think it’s going to be pretty hard for guys like Wolf to deny that the very physical training camp Coach Singletary put the 49’ers through this year has helped make the 49’ers more aggressive, more disciplined, and more successful so far this year. The Cards however, can’t stop making mental mistakes and are being beat physically on the offensive line (technique failures are only part of the problem). If a more physical offseason would be better for getting the Cards off to a better start is open for debate. What works for one doesn’t always work for the other. Coach Whiz has done an admirable job in his first two years and you can’t argue with the methods when the results include a Super Bowl appearance.

    As we found out last year, it’s not how you start, but how you finish. Peaking at the end of the season is key (as long as you haven’t eliminated yourself from playoff contention by week 8). Time will tell if the 49’s intense offseason backfires on them down the stretch, but right now, they have outperformed every NFC West team, which is why they are in first place. And that’s all that matters – wins and losses – not who has the better team on paper.

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