Friday before the Seahawks

Posted by Darren Urban on November 13, 2009 – 5:15 pm

It’s been a long week, but here we are to the end, with the second half of the season about to begin. It’s been an odd first half too – the Cardinals are 5-3, and yet, there isn’t that joy you’d think would come with such a record or first-place standing.

“Last year we were excited to be 5-3 and this year we are disappointed to be 5-3,” coach Ken Whisenhunt said, “because we have had opportunities to be better than we are.”

That’s true, although the players who were around for the more difficult (*cough*DennyGreen*cough*) years aren’t about to complain. “I was hoping we’d get to this point eventually,” wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald said, with safety Matt Ware adding “I’d rather have it be this way than the other way.”

Me too. No denying that. Can’t imagine being the writer for right now (Hang in there, Nick).

Anyway, the Seahawks are coming in, the Cards are trying to right their issues at home (more on that in a story I’ll post tomorrow) and it’s time to take control of the NFC West.

— I expect a lot of passes Sunday. From the Seahawks because they can’t run the ball – I read one story from Seattle that pointed out their yards-per-rush is the team’s worst since 1984, when their top back was an on-his-last-legs Franco Harris after the other Curt Warner blew out his knee. Matt Hasselbeck threw it 51 times last week. Not that you wish ill will, but since Hasselbeck is already hurting with his old ribs injury and now a sore arm, I will not be shocked with a Seneca Wallace sighting at some point.

— The Cards will run for sure, after 182 rushing yards a week ago. But Larry Fitzgerald seems like he has raised his level of late and I think it’s safe to say (a healthy) Anquan Boldin is, uh, motivated to have a big game.

— Will the roof be open? Whisenhunt called it a game-day decision. The temperature works. The Cards, with the noise trapped inside, always had a lot of success with the roof closed. But I guess, given the road success this season (and the home defeats) you could argue trying the other way. We’ll see.

— With Mike Gandy iffy with his pelvic injury and veteran Jeremy Bridges slated to fill in if needed, I’ve had a lot of fans ask me what the deal is with Herman Johnson and Brandon Keith. Simple – neither is ready on the level of Bridges. Yet. Gandy is going to be a free agent at the end of the season and we could be (probably are?) looking at an Antonio Smith-Calais Campbell thing going on. Whisenhunt said Johnson remains raw and, don’t forget, he played guard in college and the Cards want to use him at tackle. Keith is further along, although he’s been working at guard and Whisenhunt said the Cards envision him as a tackle.

— For all the gnashing of teeth regarding the offense’s perceived ups and downs, Kurt Warner is on pace for 32 touchdown passes – which would eclipse the franchise record of 30, set by Warner last season.

— Safety Antrel Rolle, during a part of practice Friday when he wasn’t needed, took a ball and stood on the south goal line and threw a bomb toward teammate Karlos Dansby – and it landed on the other 25-yard line. There’s no question Rolle has got an arm.

— Fitz, talking about whether Beanie Wells will get that “big” breakout game: “They are splitting carries. If you were to give the ball to Beanie 30 times or Tim (Hightower) 30 times, they would have 100-yard games. But when you are just getting 12 carries, 15 carries and trying to keep guys healthy and keep balance, sometimes it is going to be difficult to have those really big games.”

— It looks like the Cards will be without linebackers Gerald Hayes and Chike Okeafor, both of whom are battling back problems. They showed, with Ali Highsmith, they can get away with not having Hayes like last week. But it will hurt to not have Okeafor as a pass rush option; as I said, I think the Seahawks will throw a lot and the Cards could use a rotation of fresh rushers.

Or maybe Rolle, Adrian Wilson, Bryant McFadden and DRC can just make sure no one catches the ball.


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Posted in Blog | 15 Comments »

15 Responses to “Friday before the Seahawks”

  1. By Connor on Nov 13, 2009 | Reply

    So if Ali Highsmith plugs in for Gerald Hayes at MLB, who will play the outside in the place of Okeafor? Reggie Walker? Thanks for letting me know the player Darren. Go Cardinals!

  2. By darrenurban on Nov 13, 2009 | Reply

    Connor —

    Bertrand Berry will likely start for Chike.

  3. By marcovalle on Nov 13, 2009 | Reply

    antrell throwing a bomb during this weeks game? mm i can see that, the trickery of the desert!!

  4. By darrenurban on Nov 13, 2009 | Reply

    Marcovalle —

    Let’s be clear here: Rolle wasn’t practicing anything at that point. He was on the side, waiting for his next business, throwing the ball like the QBs often play a version of hackeysack with a football when they have downtime.

  5. By Brian on Nov 13, 2009 | Reply

    Hey darren another question for you….Is steve breaston’s knee injury still a factor?…is he still on injury reports?…Cards need him at a 100% and so far that knee injury has been lingering around for the past few weeks any news on that?..thx -Brian

  6. By darrenurban on Nov 13, 2009 | Reply

    Brian —

    Breaston is still on the injury report and he is limited every day. He is listed as probable though. Breaston told me earlier this season he didn’t expect to be 100 percent the rest of the season. But he doesn’t show it on game days.

  7. By shannon robinson on Nov 13, 2009 | Reply

    There’s a lot of Joy for this team. The secondary is coming through – and our LB substitute is the B Train! Ali Highsmith must have a big game & show us some Tigers’ football. Thanks for running Beannie – our run blocking is trying to open big holes, seeing Grimm’s run block movement – Becht is special. Now win for us at home & share the Joy.

  8. By Connor on Nov 13, 2009 | Reply

    Oh yea I forgot about B-Train, thanks again.

  9. By Greg on Nov 13, 2009 | Reply

    I think the roof issue will become less of an influence for the team this season than it has in the past. This team believes they have the talent to compete with anybody in the league if they are prepared both physically and mentally, this is the reason for the all road victories so far. That being said, I want the roof closed at any opportunity during the season or the playoffs so the fans can help the team as much as possible.

  10. By tw3kr on Nov 14, 2009 | Reply

    It’s probably a good thing we’re playing a pass-heavy Seahawks team this week then, with Okeafor being out. With Berry in the line-up, 50 pass attempts plays right to his strengths. And don’t forget Will Davis got his first sack recently. No, nobody’s as consistent as Okeafor, but we could still have some fun out there.

  11. By Adam on Nov 14, 2009 | Reply


    It seems to me that the Cardinals leave their corners on an island with no safety help more than most teams do, with A-dub usually in the box (when not getting burned by TEs). Do you think that is the reason why we see more big plays getting by DRC, and sometimes BMc? I think those guys are both solid (if not on their way to being special in DRC’s case). But they’re put in position to have to be great every play.

  12. By darrenurban on Nov 14, 2009 | Reply


    I don’t think the Cards necessarily leave their DBs on an island more than other teams. I think some of it is a function of the game plan. I do think the Cards have to blitz more often if they want pressure, because they have a harder time doing that with just a four-man rush.

  13. By Brandon on Nov 14, 2009 | Reply

    Remember ealier in the season when Rolle threw that bomb to a wide open Fitz? I guarantee that formation will come back at some point this season again. Either with Rolle throwing it again, or use it to confuse the D, and have Rolle run it or a WR screen or something along those lines. Cards 31 Hawks 16

  14. By fitz 4 mt rushmore on Nov 15, 2009 | Reply

    Darren are the Cards going to keep the roof closed or break trend?

  15. By darrenurban on Nov 15, 2009 | Reply

    Rushmore —

    The roof will be closed today.

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