After Whiz Monday

Posted by Darren Urban on November 2, 2009 – 11:30 am

Coach Ken Whisenhunt just spoke, so a quick update before I head to talk to the players:

— On the injury front, WR Anquan Boldin will be a wait-and-see after reinjuring his right ankle. Whisenhunt did say he will have to seriously consider other options though, which I assume would mean using Early Doucet.

— DE Darnell Dockett hurt his ankle in the game, but played again and I’d guess he won’t miss any time. RB Jason Wright actually dislocated his right thumb — to the point where bone was showing through the skin — but the guy actually got it stiched up and went back in to play. Yikes.

— He said the Cards will try to force the issue a bit more with downfield plays. I’m sure that will make many fans happy, although that doesn’t guarantee they will have success with it. They were going to do it on the very first play Sunday but the Panthers came out in a defense that forced a dump-down pass to Tim Hightower. That’s always a possibility.

— Again Whisenhunt wasn’t down at all on Kurt Warner. He emphasized Warner made multiple good plays yesterday and reiterated how many of the turnovers were on tipped balls. He said that while the Panthers made a nice play on the hit on Jerheme Urban to pop the ball loose, he wanted to see Urban hang on to that ball, noting Steve Breaston made a similar catch-while-hit earlier.

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29 Responses to “After Whiz Monday”

  1. By Chris on Nov 2, 2009 | Reply

    Thank you Darren for your promt updates. I usually do not reply to stories however, since being a Card fan since they moved to the valley,I am impelled to after yesterdays game and your “after whiz” story. I disagree about Warner.He is not the same this year. Urban should have caught that ball but the other pics were forced throws to fitz and breaston. The one to fitz was way off the mark for fitz to make a play as were many this year. Sure peppers made a great play but why do we try to cut block the panther’s best defender and throw to that side? Why didn’t we make that play to the other side? (Wasnt that the longer side of the field too?) Pepper’s is 6’7 and Warner didn’t see him? He barley had to jump if that for his pic6…hmmm. Warner’s reads are off too and it was very evident against the giants. Missing a wide open Boldin in the end zone? Missing breaston blowing by his man down the middle? (That was picked on a poorly thrown ball to fitz) these are just a few examples. Warner has been off since preseason and he played it off as “timing issues”. Whiz has said all along he would play who he thought would give us the best chance to win. Do we still think Warner gives us that? Any chance we see Lienart? Yes are defence was not up to snuff yesterday but made stops when we still had a chance and Warner gave the ball rite back to the panthers. As a devoted fan and ticket invester (when I can make it to games as I live in chicago) I feel waranted to vent a little. Thanks for your continued coverage, Chris

  2. By darrenurban on Nov 2, 2009 | Reply

    Chris from Chicago —

    I doubt Leinart gets extended playing time unless Warner is hurt or the Cards go into a tailspin and the season is lost. As bad as yesterday was, the team just won three straight and remain in first place. There won’t be huge changes when that’s the situation.

  3. By dan phillips on Nov 2, 2009 | Reply

    The problem is first play calling .cardinals need to play a Warner game to win.

    Think arena football …

    Caoach needs t5o stop thinking like he is still a Steelers.I am at a total loss as to why more screen plays are not run with all the blitz coming.

    Also think using Beanie like Rams used marshall faulk.
    While Beanie is not a marshall faulk he to me reminds me of him.

  4. By Mike"Pay Q" on Nov 2, 2009 | Reply

    The next time I see Urban get hit and hang on to the ball would be the first time. His hands are rocks, he fumbles if he catches it. It is time to see what Early can do, he could not fail worse than Urban.

  5. By ryan on Nov 2, 2009 | Reply

    i agree, stevie gets crushed after catches all the time and he still hangs onto the ball. urban is just plain awful. the guy just has no strength.

    glad to hear they will take shots down the field, we all know our receivers aren’t fast enough to outrun anybody, just throw it a little short and let them jump and go get it.

  6. By CardsDNA on Nov 2, 2009 | Reply

    ya I am done with the”put matt in” people. Come on we are still in 1st place in the Div.

    Kurt is the guy, and everyone has a bad game now and then. It is just sucks we had several players deciding sunday was the day to have one.

    Keep the faith! Cards FTW!

  7. By Aaron on Nov 2, 2009 | Reply

    Darren, do you think all of the tipped balls is to a certain degree the fault of the play calling? We have been relying on short passes and dump passes all year, and it seems to me the Panthers did a great job at seeing that in the films and understanding how important getting their hands up in certain gaps would be. The short, low passes have become entirely too predictable for opposing defenses.

  8. By darrenurban on Nov 2, 2009 | Reply

    Aaron —

    No, I don’t think the tipped balls are anything but happenstance, and perhaps so faulty blocking or poor low passes. Defensive linemen are taught to get their hands up whenever they see the QB getting ready to throw.

  9. By Dave on Nov 2, 2009 | Reply

    How can tipped balls just be “happenstance”? A short QB understands he has to loft the ball over the extended hands of a 6’6″ lineman if he expects a chance at a completion. Rich Gannon was a good example of what I’m talking about. Warner keeps on having tipped passes because he thinks linemen won’t put their hand up. He does that just about every game, sort of like getting called for delay of game except worse. While I’m on a tear, that fumble of his caused by Peppers was exactly like seeing a carwreck taking place. You see it coming, you know it’s going to happen and it’s going to be ugly, but you can’t look away. Then…sure enough, you hear the loud crash, breaking glass exploding into the air, airbags going off, people rushing to the scene. What kind of therapist/specialist exactly does this team need to hire to convince Mr.Warner that it’s OK to throw the ball away when he KNOWS the wreck is coming? Obviously Whis or Miller or nobody else is up to that task…..

  10. By William C. on Nov 2, 2009 | Reply

    Man, playing with a dislocated thumb… Yikes, indeed!

  11. By William C. on Nov 2, 2009 | Reply

    You know how Kurt Warner is… He’s Kurt Warner. He’s gonna disobey the coaches. That’s him.

  12. By Matt on Nov 2, 2009 | Reply

    I said it during pre-season, and I’ve said it through every game this year: KURT LOOKS BAD! There was a time (i.e. last year) that giving this guy more than 3 seconds of protection meant that you were guaranteed a completion downfield. Now, we’re lucky to see a pass go more than ten yards, regardless of how much time he has. The most egregious part of his downfall has been his inability to SEE the open receivers, time and time again choosing to dump it off to an often unsuspecting Tim Hightower.

    Think all this concern about Kurt is an overreaction? Here’s a list of guys with a better QB rating: Matt Schaub, Tony Romo, Kyle Orton, Matt Hasselbeck, and JASON stinking CAMPBELL(!). The only guys behind him? The ones that have either lost their jobs, or have had talk of losing them: Jay Cutler, Chad Henne, Trent Edwards,Byron Leftwich, Marc Bulger, Kerry Collins, etc.

    Kurt leads the NFL in interceptions. While he’s 10th in completion percentage, he’s 19th in yards per attempt, behind the likes of Mark Sanchez and Jason Campbell. Perhaps that explains Hightower being second on this team in receptions.

    What does this mean? Is it the player? Is it the coach? Is it the losing Todd Haley? Whatever it is, something is not right. Our defense has carried us throughout the season, but they can’t even help the team if they have to keep going out there every time Kurt turns the ball over. Someone needs to publicly address this QB issue, considering how much money we gave our guy.

  13. By Zack Potter on Nov 2, 2009 | Reply

    Does any body else think Jerheme Urban stinks? Why don’t we suit up Doucet? I bet he is better at catching. Urban has been struggling all year at catching and I think its time he sits. Just curious

  14. By Brian on Nov 2, 2009 | Reply

    It’s incredible that the blame is aimed at Warner. There are 53 players on the team. Yes Warner had a bad game. Dropped passes is huge in this league. Are defense deserves the brunt of the negative reaction this week. How does the number 1 run defense in the NFL get manhandled by the running game. Jake hasn’t had a consistant game all year. Of course we new they were going to run the ball. Our defense looked tired. I would like to know how the team plans on this downplaying against less than good teams. We have the most offensive weapons in the NFL. COME ON.

  15. By Eric on Nov 2, 2009 | Reply


    I am a season ticket holder. I was at this game and I am 100% certain that I saw Fitz and Q wide-open deep, or at least with man coverage and a good distance between them and that DB. On those plays, Kurt always chose to dump off underneath. The reason can be debated, but the constant excuse from Whiz and Kurt that they’re playing a safety over the top is worn out.

    Are they saying that the key to stopping future HOF QB Kurt Warner and Pro Bowl receivers Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald is simply playing cover 2? Is that it? Did no team play cover 2 against the Cardinals last season when they all went to the Pro Bowl and Fitz set a record for most postseason receptions? I find this excuse extremely difficult to believe.

    The only question remaining in my mind is why? Is Kurt’s shoulder bothering him from the early season “stinger” that he suffered? Is his hip surgery affecting him that much? Is the vanilla play-calling getting the best of him? Is he just not seeing the open receivers downfield? It has to be one of these things or some combination, because simple cover 2 against these beasts is not what’s stopping the long ball, I don’t care what Whiz says.

  16. By TucsonTim on Nov 2, 2009 | Reply

    “It seems like every time we try to throw it down the field we’re getting covered,” Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt said. “It’s a guessing game.”

    Daren, did he actually say this!?

    Obviously Whis and Grimm played a little too much golf last year. Just in case the KC gig doesn’t work out, pass this on to Coach. Didn’t look like we did that much “guessing” last year, and I’m pretty sure most of the teams we played had a defensive secondary.

    Todd Haley
    C/O Kansas City Chiefs
    One Arrowhead Drive
    Kansas City, MO 64129

  17. By darrenurban on Nov 2, 2009 | Reply

    Tucson Tim —

    Where do you see that Whisenhunt comment?

  18. By TucsonTim on Nov 2, 2009 | Reply

    Zack, I think he is doing better this year, but even my 12 year old son groans everytime the ball is thrown to Urban.

  19. By TucsonTim on Nov 2, 2009 | Reply

    AZ central by Paola Boivin – Nov. 1, 2009 09:19 PM

  20. By WNYfan on Nov 2, 2009 | Reply

    Being a fan for years and catching the roller coaster that is the cardinals, it kills me to watch them play (despite not getting them up here in NY often). Love it when they do well, hate it when they do poor. I watched Coach Ken’s post game interview and as many had said, did not see a lot of “root cause” analysis on improvements. As someone said, you want to be a champion team you have to put a string of wins together. The thing he said that erked me the most was “we have the same record we did last year at this time” as if that made a loss or the way we played OK. Its not OK. I’m watching the Saints play and when they were up 2 TD’s you still saw their head coach getting up in arms and into missed opportunities and poor playing by players. It seems as if we do not hold our people accountable. Kurt as good as he is, does seem off. The play calling is predictable. It is like a car wreck you can’t stop and watch. Hey, I know we have 4 wins at the top of our division etc…Lets face it this division is not the top of the heap in the NFL, so that’s not saying much. There are a lot of good players on the team, and I give the coach credit for taking them to the super bowl in just 2 years, so I”m not looking for him to get taken out. But we need to lite a fire under their butts that lasts more than ONE game. You continue to hear “same old cards” from everyone and its getting old.

  21. By Matt of Texas on Nov 3, 2009 | Reply

    Look every qb in the NFL has an off game it wasnt all warners fault he can only do so much to hurt. The defense is where all this frustration should be let out on i mean think about it their o line made our d line look like a tier 3 football team it was ridiculous especially our linebackers as well dansby and hayes would get blown up on just about every play in their gap in our blitz packages. Whiz needs to really talk to bill davis about all these overloaded box packages i mean i understand the concept of getting as many guys in their as we can to stop the run but if you blitz the B GAPS almost every time and guess wrong then boom there goes the deangelo williams. Backside bandits as well such as rolle some, wilson and okeafor and dansby those guys have to wrap up when they come untouched to the backfield and can make a play for a loss and not only in this game but alot of our other games as well they dont wrap up and either qb or rb evades the tackle. 8 guys in the box majority of the time wont get it done it leaves open too many gaps, cutback lanes, throwing windows, and leaves the slants routes an inside advantage for the recievers. Dont blame it all on Kurt cause i know this week he will bounce back its just we all know that he always has these flat games then comes back with the fireworks for example remember the Jets and NE game last year same game as last week terrible qbacking by warner and lackluster defense its all good though no worries Q will play and warner will turn it around

  22. By Darthcard on Nov 3, 2009 | Reply

    Coach whiz has givin az something they have never seen. And fans ridicule him? Do some of you fans work for the ny media? The players are at fault. Kurt Warner is hurt no doubt about that or he just resorted to David carr disease(pressured way too much). I love Kurt but down by 10 despite letting up all those runs on D…Kurt lost this game no doubt in my mind. I forgive him and maybe others should too.

  23. By Feather on Nov 3, 2009 | Reply

    I am so tired of people claiming to be a cards fan since they moved to the valley. Relax, you gotta realize that our franchise is still getting used to winning. Ok cardinals faithfull, you act like they have been a playoff team that dominates in the NFC West every year. Remember we were only 9-7 last year and 8-8 the year before but the years before we were 5-11, 4-12, 5-11. So if you are a true cardinals fan you should be used to losing. What separates us now from then is the way be bounce back. Oh and warner, he still got it!!!! Just i know from the pre game warmups if he is going to take shots downfield. In the years past if he has a designed long ball play, in warm ups he stands on the 50 and repeated throws the ball deep. So urban don’t tell me that they were planning on taking shots when warner hasn’t once this year stood out there during the pre game warmups and practiced taking his shots. As for Beanie come on now, yeah he has shown greatness but, he has also lost three fumbles on the limited carries he does get. Keep your heads up cards fans, and if we are all fans like we say we are we have a lot of practice.

  24. By Matt in Philly on Nov 3, 2009 | Reply

    Look, I’ll admit, since getting a taste of victory, my sentiments about the Cards have changed a little. It used to be that games like the last one didn’t bother me. Heck, they were expected. I miss the days where Cards defeat was something to learn from and a victory was something to relish in. Now things are different. Now a victory isn’t enough, and a loss is devastating.

    However, despite my elevated expectations for this team, we need to get a little real here. Whiz is the man. He’s done so much for this team. But, he cannot call plays and manage the game at the same time. He just can’t.

    Somethings missing since Todd Haley left. Did he take all his plays with him? Or was he just the type of guy that Kurt flourishes under? Look at Kurt’s performance in non-Mike Martz/Todd Haley systems. Under Mike Martz, he was great, until injuries messed him up. Then he went five years doing NOTHING with the Rams, Giants, and Cardinals, until Todd Haley showed up.

    Now, Kurt’s coming off a season in which he injured his hip and his elbow and played in 20 games. He has looked downright SHAKY this season. Now we have a game at Chicago, where the wind will be blowing and the air will be chilly. I’m smelling another stinker by Kurt. I don’t want to be a chicken little, but I’m thinking we start getting Leinart ready now (a la Marc Bulger circa 2002).

    “In contrast to his 103.4 career passer rating entering the season, Warner posted a minuscule 67.4 rating in 2002. The following season, Warner was replaced as the Rams’ starting quarterback for good after fumbling six times in the opener against the New York Giants. Warner later revealed that he had previously broken his hand and it had not fully healed, making it more difficult to hold on to the football.”

    Is he hiding something about that hip?

  25. By Jeff Gollin on Nov 3, 2009 | Reply

    I think a lot of our problems are stemming from weak pass blocking from our O-line which is partly covered up by Warner getting rid of the ball quickly most of the time.

    The problem is that more O-line breakdowns than acceptable give Kurt too short a time-window to see the open guy, pull the trigger and deliver the ball accurately. In a sense, we’re “spoiled” because, despite the shortcomings of his blockers, Kurt often makes things look easy. (When he then performs like a “mere mortal”, it looks as though he’s making a lot of mistakes).

    In short, the O-line needs to do better and, until it does, Kurt will have to accept reality, work with what he’s got and not try to do more than he’s capable of, given his surrounding cast. Including not rolling out to his right under pressure. (More often than not this results in a sack or a turnover).

  26. By Chris on Nov 3, 2009 | Reply

    Feather- we should be used. To losing? Hello, we went to the superbowl last year – we should at least beat the teams we are suppose to beat – that’s a fair expectation. Warner’s still got it?My friend have you been watching the same games? He is off this year. You can be used to losing if you want, I will not settle for mediocracy nor should any owner, gm, coach, player, or fan.

    Chris-aka-one of the fans who “claims” to be card fan since they moved to the valley

  27. By SmoothcardGA (Nick M) on Nov 5, 2009 | Reply

    Hey Darren quick question…

    Is it always necessary for us to abandon the run game any time we go down a score? I looked at the Panthers game again and we’d drive right down the field with drives that were I also think that’s what’s wrong with the passing game. We are trying to “force” the deep pass instead of running a balanced offense. Look no further then the Seahawks, Texans, and Giants games. We had deep looks in those game because the Defense had to respect the run as well. But then we go so far away from the run the passes are shorter, there’s less room for YAC, and the completions are lower, not to mention the INTS. I’ve see the run game coming on strong the last 3 or 4 games, why not increase the run game in this offense. Be more then draw with THT and Lead with Beanie, I’ve seen the team get alittle more creative with the run game but it still looks run pass pass pass pass when we try to run… or pass pass pass pass pass… Mix it up! This offense has the players built to put up 30+ points every game yet right now we’re struggling to manage 20. I love coach Whiz and think he can do well being the HC and OC… But its these same mistake this season that we had in 2007… Calling timeouts at the 1 yd line, not getting plays in on time, and lack of in game adjustments. It just seems like mass confusion sometimes. Too much consulting going on… (Of course lack of execution play a part to) but it just seems like the offense doesn’t want to change when they’re figured out.

  28. By darrenurban on Nov 5, 2009 | Reply

    SmoothcardGA —

    Well, I disagree with the last premise, that the Cards are having too many issues getting plays in, etc. It’s nowhere near the level of 2007.

    Now, as far as the running game, I understand the point. Sure, they probably should run a bit more. But again, look at the Panthers game. It’s 14-7 and I think the Cards are generally mixing it up. Then Smith gets the 50-yard pass TD, and on the next play, the Cards try to get it to Beanie on the outside — yes, it was a pass, but it was more like an extended handoff — and instead, Peppers intercepts for the touchdown. And at 28-7, that made running much more tough.

  29. By Darog on Nov 5, 2009 | Reply

    It literally looked like Warner was lobbing the ball most of the time to the other team. He had no conviction this game to throw the ball hard and accurately to his own team mates. If Warner is going to throw that horrible and not be rep-laced, why are we even keeping Leinhart on the sidelines twiddling his thumbs? I don’t care how much Warner makes, if he does that bad, sit his butt down and give Leinart a go – he deserves it and he couldn’t play any worse!!!

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