Friday before the Bears

Posted by Darren Urban on November 6, 2009 – 5:14 pm

As we wrap up the week, it’s hard not to think back to the last time the Cardinals and Bears played. The coaching staff is different by now, at least on this end. Many players are different. And what lingers is Denny Green’s famous postgame rant. So I decided to ask safety Matt Ware, who was on that team, about the locker room after the game and whether he saw the rant coming.

“He was upset,” Ware said. “But it was more ‘This is unbelievable.’ As in, ‘How, how exclamation point, question mark, exclamation point that we let that happen.’ ” (Yes, Ware specifically said his punctuation. And as someone at that game, I can confirm it fit the mood).

Ware said Green’s main anger was saved until the next time the team got together to watch the film. The locker room and post-game “was just awkward, man.”

“If you remember, the Chiefs game, we should have won,” Ware said. “The Rams game the second game of the season we should have won. It probably just built up (in Green). Just a little bit.”

The funny part is that, because of where the locker room is, back behind thick walls separating it from the interview room at University of Phoenix Stadium, nobody knew what happened because Green wasn’t nearly as worked up inside or even on the postgame radio interview. Just at the podium (and just, I might add, for that one question. He answered five or six questions before that clearly not happy but calmly).

Ware said the players didn’t really know what Green had done until they started leaving, meeting their families, when it was being shown on the video screen.

 “It seems so long ago,” Ware said. “But the commercial keeps it close.”

And so, on to Bears-Cardinals 2009:

— There are two giant questions this week, obviously. One is how the Cardinals respond after their showing last weekend. The other is whether Anquan Boldin will play. On the latter, we will see but it’s going to be a difficult decision. Boldin looked Friday like he could play. There has been all the talk this week about resting-versus-playing. My gut? If the doctors aren’t sure it can get a lot better – and coach Ken Whisenhunt has talked a couple of times about how unlikely it is Q’s ankle can get hit again – Boldin will be in there. Maybe it would have been different if the Cards had beaten Carolina. But they didn’t.

— As for responding, I do think the Cards are in the best mental shape they’ve ever been in following such a difficult loss. I don’t know if that translates into a win Sunday, but I can totally see it. And trust me, there have been plenty of road trips over the years where I couldn’t.

— We’ll see if Kurt Warner can be the Cards’ first 300-yard passer against the Bears since 1937. Yikes. That’s a stretch. Given the expected weather (mid-50s, clear) he’ll have the right conditions.

— The Bears have a good win against the Steelers and they did win in Seattle. But their run game, in my opinion, isn’t as good as the Cards – and the Cards, as we know, are still progressing in that area. They don’t have the receivers and their offensive line has been spotty. If Warner has time to throw – I know, if, if, if – I think the Cards will score points. And I think the defense will expect to return to its run-stopping ways.

— Special teams will be so important. Devin Hester (on punt returns, assuming his ankle doesn’t keep him out) and Johnny Knox on kickoff returns can do damage. Limit that, and the Cardinals will be in great shape.

— Seriously, before the season, if you would have said the Cardinals would be 5-3 at midseason – looking at the schedule at the time before any games were played – I am guessing you’d think, “Solid.”

That’s about it. No more looking back, whether it’s to the Panthers’ game or to 2006 and the Monday Night nightmare. This is about the future, and a flight to Chicago tomorrow.

OK, and maybe a defensive performance like the Cards turned in the last time they saw the Bears, regardless of the result.


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9 Responses to “Friday before the Bears”

  1. By Jay Martin on Nov 6, 2009 | Reply

    Speaking of defensive performances, we could add another “if” on the other side of the ball with our defense being as good as they were in New York this season.

  2. By Ottis Anderson Fan on Nov 6, 2009 | Reply

    Thanks for posting the behind-the-scenes info on that infamous Monday night. I can honestly say I don’t think that the 2009 edition of the Cards would have given up the lead had they been playing the Bears that night. And that is one big area where this team has dramatically improved – the confidence knowing that they are good enough to beat anyone and that when they are winning they have what it takes to protect the lead.

    For years – rather decades – whenever the Cards would get a lead, you’d just wait for the team to implode like they suddenly realized, “Hey, we’re the Cardinals and we’re supposed to choke like we always do.” Now the problem seems to be an overconfidence that they can beat anyone just by “hitting a button” if they want too. It’s almost as if the course correction set in place by Coach Whiz was taken too far. The old Cards didn’t respond well to success/winning WITHIN the game and now the 2009 Cards don’t respond well AFTER winning a game.

    Ron Wolfley is spot-on when he talks about this team needing to be more self-starting and motivated by success instead of being motivated primarily by doubters and naysayers. I think Wolf was also very correct in calling this attitude a, “sickness” during the preseason (i.e. “Down with the Sickness” or something like that). We’ll have to watch and wait as the season progresses to see if Whiz can find a cure to this maddening sickness.

  3. By Ottis Anderson Fan on Nov 6, 2009 | Reply

    Note to Coach:

    Beanie is gaining 4.2 yards per carry which means he will get a first down every 2.3 carries/downs resulting in a first down. Tim Hightower is averaging 7.6 yards per catch which means he will get a first down every 1.3 carries/downs resulting in a first down. There are four downs in every series.


    As long as the opponents are going to allow you to move the chains with 4-yard runs and 7-yard passes, keep on doing so until they are forced to bring more men to the line of scrimmage to stop it. Maybe that will take some of the pressure off of Larry running deep.

    Also, look into whether or not the Saint’s Marques Colston is getting a safety over the top and if so, figure out why or how they are beating that strategy and try to apply it to Larry. It may have something to do with the fact that their running backs have combined for over 1,000 yards between them in just seven games.

    Now go out there and maul those Monsters of the Midway on Sunday!

    p.s. Enjoy the balmy November 55+ degree temps in Chicago.

  4. By Chris on Nov 6, 2009 | Reply

    The Cards should have won alot fo games that year if I remember right. But they didn’t have a coach to keep them going. Dennis Green was MIA even when he was on the field.

  5. By shannon robinson on Nov 7, 2009 | Reply

    Shock the League and get 150 yards with Beannie Wells. Put Kreider on the field and we’ll look like old Bears’ football. That’s the best way to help Kurt. We might be better run blockers than we’ve seen. Let’s get some sacks, defense, and go after Cutler. This is a Big Play game. I think our special teams will tackle Sunday. Maybe an Early TD.

  6. By ELi on Nov 7, 2009 | Reply


  7. By kevin on Nov 7, 2009 | Reply

    As a die hard bears fan.They have been hard to watch.Started out good but been god ugly the last 2 weeks.I Have larry fitz,and hightower who i play every week in my fantasy league .And this week is no different I hope its a shoot out and my bears hold on..

  8. By TucsonTim on Nov 7, 2009 | Reply

    Say what you want about that infamous Monday night game, coaching offense, defense, whatever; if Ben Graham had been our punter we would have won easily. He’s been one great acquisition for this team.

    When the NFL network called the game for the Bears (thank you for giving us that chip we seem to need so badly), they showed stats that matched these teams up very evenly. If that’s true then it usually comes down to special teams play, and this year I think we’ve got the edge.

    Good luck Cards!

  9. By Edward Rosas on Nov 7, 2009 | Reply

    If Cards are willing to “Infuse” Hightower like M. Faulk once was, he and Warner will find themselves in SuperBowl supported by Bill Davis “D”!

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