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Ben Patrick and the roster

Posted by Darren Urban on October 12, 2009 – 9:48 am

The Cardinals are expected to receive at least a short-term roster exemption for tight end Ben Patrick, who is returning from his four-game suspension today. The move is typical for teams in this position, although the team may or may not use the chance to carry the extra player.

Whenever Patrick is activated, someone will need to be released. I’d guess a team coming off a game would want to see its injury situation before making any moves. Fellow TE Stephen Spach did hurt his ankle Sunday; knowing coach Ken Whisenhunt, I don’t expect a definite answer on Spach’s situation today.


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4 Responses to “Ben Patrick and the roster”

  1. By CMCarp on Oct 12, 2009 | Reply

    Darren,

    Just wondering if you can comment on Sando’s blog regarding the Cardinals’ success in the post season last year using just 1 & 2 WR sets vs. this season’s lack of production out of the 3 WR+ sets (at least in terms of big plays down the field)?

    As Sando points out, all of those long passing plays down the field in the playoffs that we’ve all grown to miss this season were out of 1 & 2 WR sets, not the multiple WR sets we seem to be seeing so much of this year (although, I’ll admit, I don’t have a statistical breakdown to back that up).

    As evidenced in the playoffs, you can be successful with your passing game without constantly resorting to the 3+ WR sets. Seems to me that you give yourself much more flexibility in terms of being able to run the ball when you can bring in an extra TE and/or FB for blocking purposes, yet still check out of the run and take a shot down the field when the defense brings an extra safety in the box (like we witnessed in the playoffs). I think the 3 WR sets tempt Warner to check out of the run plays too often. Further, it just doesn’t seem like we can get any sort of a push without the extra blocker or two (TE and/or FB).

    With Ben Patrick coming back, I’d really like to see the Cardinals operate out of more 1 & 2 WR sets with 2 TE’s and/or extra RB/FB and Patrick being one of the main receiving options when Warner checks out of the run.

    I think that part of the reason we haven’t seen the Cardinals take more shots down the field this year is the pass protection breakdowns. But again, when you keep an extra TE/RB/FB in to block, your protection improves and you give Warner and the WRs (Fitz) more time to let the play develop down the field.

    I think fans have been rightly concerned about the change in play calling from Haley to Whisenhunt this year- clearly, the offensive production (or at least the consistency) has regressed from the end of last year. I’m sure there aren’t any easy answers, but maybe overuse of the 3+ WR formations is at least partly to blame.

    Don’t we all remember what finally got the Cardinals rolling in the post season last year? It was Edgerrin James and just a mediocre running threat that really opened things up down the field for Warner, Fitz, Q and Breaston. Perhaps that mediocre threat of a run game was enhanced by more 1 & 2 WR sets and the use of an extra TE and/or FB.

    Would love to hear your thoughts… Also may be a good question to bring up to Whiz.

    Here is Sando’s column:
    http://espn.go.com/blog/nfcwest/post/_/id/6786/cardinals-still-looking-for-that-balance

  2. By darrenurban on Oct 12, 2009 | Reply

    CMCarp —

    I certainly haven’t broken down the sets the Cards have used as much as Sando; he’s pretty intense about that stuff. But I had read that already and I thought he made good points. Sando will be at Whiz’s presser at 11 and he may ask about it. I will try if he doesn’t.

    Part of the problem is the desire to have your best players on the field. Steve Breaston, right now, is probably better than the tight ends. And Warner does like to check into a pass often. He also feels most comfortable in multi-receiver sets.

    I agree the postseason was helped by more balance. But let’s not go overboard. The Cards beat the Panthers not because of balance offensively but because the defense turned Jake Delhomme into a mess. There’s an argument against the Eagles, but the only reason they got back into (and led) the Super Bowl was because of the pass and the no-huddle offense. I’m not sure where the Cards go from here against the run. I was surprised they didn’t run more yesterday as well.

  3. By Trevor on Oct 12, 2009 | Reply

    Bottom line, we have an extremely talented running back who’s not getting the ball…..in run situations mind you. It’s extremely disheartening to see. As of now, picking Beanie Wells was a bonehead move. We should have went elsewhere.

  4. By Tim on Oct 13, 2009 | Reply

    I just like to see the W if its Kurt throwing 400 yard with 20 on the ground great,BUT I would like to see a running game some day,it would be nice but I think we answered the old rule of you cant win without a running game–we did it last year being 29th in that area.

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