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After a fumble

Posted by Darren Urban on December 11, 2009 – 4:50 pm

The shot was priceless. NBC was in the middle of showing the Vikings’ opening touchdown drive against the Cards last week when cameras caught running back Tim Hightower — who had lost a fumble moments before to give the Vikings possession — looking out on the field, by himself, holding a football tight in the crook of his arm.

What exactly does happen in the moments after a fumble like that? Beanie Wells went through it early in the game against both St. Louis and Tennessee (the Cards kept the drop against the Titans). Then Hightower.

“You can’t ignore him because then he’ll think he’s done something wrong,” coach Ken Whisenhunt said. “You can’t go over and jump on him. Listen, Tim is as conscious as anybody on our team. He understands what’s happened and it’s killing him. You certainly have to be supportive, but you also have to say, ‘You understand we can’t have that.’ ”

Hightower has fumbled four times this season, losing three. Technically, Wells has only been credited with three fumbles this season — losing one — but he was never credited with a clear fumble in Seattle (that the Cards kept) and his dropped pitch plays in St. Louis and Tennessee (lost, kept) aren’t officially given to Beanie either.

Regardless, they are plays that can’t happen. Hightower, as Whisenhunt said, knows this and doesn’t need to hear from people on the subject.

“I like to be left alone,” Hightower said. “I just need to think. You don’t need to overthink but I don’t need a whole bunch of people in my ear telling me I put the ball on the ground. I go to my coach and ask, Did you see, was it a certain way I was carrying?’ I go to Beanie, because as running backs we look for that on a fumble. He may see the tip was down or it was away from you at a certain point. I see what could I have done better. From there, I am moving forward.

“But I will say, I appreciate and have a great deal of respect in the head coach, he came to me and told me they have confidence in me and they were going to come right back to you. That means a lot coming from the head coach. And the offensive line, Anquan, even the defense, that is a sign of this team, guys rallied around me. That makes you  feel appreciated and respected. You feel almost more determined. You know you have to make a play for them.”


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10 Responses to “After a fumble”

  1. By Joseph on Dec 11, 2009 | Reply

    You know, i don’t even think this particular fumble was entirely Tim’s fault, it was also a really great play by the Viking Defense (one of like 3 plays) to push it out from behind. That being said, my heart skipped a beat. i was like….Colts game all over again. But it was great to see our team rally from that and play a huge game so well. Been a Cardinals fan since i was 6 years old and I’m 22 now and I’ve never been more proud to call myself a Cards fan at work!

    ~Joe

    P.S. Great job with the blog Darren, I find myself clicking over to the site ever couple of hours just to see if you posted something new.Awesome!

  2. By Ottis Anderson Fan on Dec 11, 2009 | Reply

    I would not want have wanted to tackle Tim Hightowner last Sunday night.

  3. By Secret on Dec 11, 2009 | Reply

    hey, we won the turnover battle and thats all that matters for the cardinals

  4. By spitfire772 on Dec 11, 2009 | Reply

    I agree with you, Joseph. As upset as I was at another early fumble (I definitely flashed back to the Colts game…) and at Hightower for coughing it up, it was more a great play by the Vikings D than a bad play by Timmy. It was a perfect strip by the defender, even though Timmy was running hard. He MORE than made up for it with his blocking and then that big 31-yard at the end of the game. He was a man on a mission at that point; loved the stiff arm, too.

  5. By shannon robinson on Dec 12, 2009 | Reply

    We’ve had some great running backs who played for the Cards. I’d compare Hightowerto Larry Centers for what he provides the team with his pass catching ability – Centers was immediately dangerous as soon as he received the ball – it was like ‘uh, oh’ where’s he going to take this – and Larry was good at finishing his runs, the greatest third down back when he was playing (over a 100 catches in a season). Timm also runs hard like M. Barber which is fun to have a back again who runs with abandon. Neither of our backs are fumblers.

  6. By JOE M.D. on Dec 12, 2009 | Reply

    LOVE THE FACT THAT OUR HOLE TEAM CAN OVERCOME A EARLY TURNOVER AND PROCEED TO TAKE CONTROL OF THE GAME, THEN SHOW THE NFL HOW THE CARDINALS CAN BEAT ANY TEAM…GO CARDS

  7. By Joe on Dec 12, 2009 | Reply

    shannon-
    Thanks for mentioning Larry Centers. I was a huge fan of his. He gave it everything he had on every play even tho the Cards were a joke of a team back then. Youre right — he was a great third down back. I remember a play he did in the closing seconds of a meaningless game of a terrible losing season and he finished a hard run by hurtling a tackler to get the first down. What a guy!

  8. By TucsonTim on Dec 12, 2009 | Reply

    Darren, now that the dust has settled and I’m sure the game film has been studied, did Wiz have anything to say about 4 trips into the red zone and only one touchdown. The defense really did play an amazing game. When Collinsworth said something like it was one of the best defensive efforts he had ever seen, I thought I was going to fall out of my easy chair. I’ve never heard Collinsworth say one good thing about the cards; in fact he had nerve to say early on: if only the Cards coaches would ask him, he (Collinsworth) could tell them how to get Fitz open more often down the field.

  9. By darrenurban on Dec 12, 2009 | Reply

    TucsonTim —

    No. Actually Whiz was complementary of the red zone offense all week. The Cards seemed to get conservative in those last couple trips to eat clock, so I wouldn’t worry much, especially since the Vikings came into the game with one of the best red-zone defenses in the league. It’s tough to argue with 30 points.

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