Divisional Playoff Aftermath

Posted by Darren Urban on January 17, 2010 – 12:38 am

Last year at this time (at least, as I am writing) I was also sitting on a plane coming back from a road trip in the second round of the playoffs. Obviously, that had a whole different feel. Saturday certainly didn’t go the way the Cardinals wanted it to go. There really aren’t any true regrets, because it felt like the Saints were going to find a way on their home turf.

I mentioned about a billion times (OK, exaggeration) this past week how, if the Cards could not lose the turnover battle, they had a good chance to win. Saturday, they come up with that amazing 70-yard run to start, and, even after the Saints answered (a little too easily), that next play was a 28-yard gain to a wide-open Jerheme Urban … and then Urban allowed himself to get stripped from behind and the ball was lost.

That was the beginning of the end.

Had Urban hung on, maybe the Cards march down and take a 14-7 lead. But the injuries mounted. Had Antrel Rolle not suffered a concussion, maybe he makes the tackle missed by Rolle backup Hamza Abdullah on the screen to Devery Henderson – which, after the blown tackle, was the play on which DRC wrecked his left knee. Maybe if the game was closer Kurt Warner doesn’t throw the pass picked off by Will Smith and, in the process of chasing the play, gets hurt when he is drilled by Bobby McCray.

Teams need health to win, however. Even the kickers were banged up. Neil Rackers knew it was going to be tough to make that 50-yard field goal at the end of the first half his right groin was hurting so bad. He had no chance on the second-half kickoff either. And punter Ben Graham would’ve had a little better opportunity to at least angle Reggie Bush out of bounds on his 83-yard punt return, except Graham can’t sprint with a bad left groin pull.

No use dwelling, however. As for a few other kibbles and bits from the game …

— The defense played arguably the two best offenses in the NFL the last two weeks and had trouble stopping them. The Packers scored 35 second-half points last game and the Saints had 35 in the first half Saturday. There was more bad tackling but the Cards needed more of everything. “It’s frustrating,” defensive lineman Darnell Dockett said. “You want to win every down and you can’t win every down.” It doesn’t need to be every down, but it has to be more downs that what was happening.

— Who says Tim Hightower can’t break away for a home-run sprint like his 70-yarder (pictured below). How the Beanie/Hightower combo continues to evolve when it comes to playing time may be one of the more interesting  — and crucial – stories of this team heading into 2010.

— It’s always tough to pressure Drew Brees anyway, and the Cards were limited when Rolle and DRC got hurt. Greg Toler was going to play more in lieu of Michael Adams, but Adams was forced in once the injuries cropped up. The Saints took advantage, and that’s why coach Ken Whisenhunt didn’t want to blitz more. It was an ugly catch-22.

— Cornerback Bryant McFadden had his issues and it will be interesting to see if the Cards go try for veteran help or if Toler can wrest the starting job away. Toler is still very raw. And now you have the knee issue of DRC that, if indeed needs major surgery, will keep DRC off the field all offseason at the least.

— Warner took the blame for the bad exchange between he and Beanie Wells to start the Cards’ third possession. The Saints were in a possible safety blitz and Warner is supposed to blow off the handoff and make a quick throw in that case. But at the snap the safety sprinted back into the hot read’s passing window, and Warner tried to pull off the handoff. He just missed.

— Before you ask, I don’t know what Kurt Warner is going to do. I know everyone on the Cards desperately hopes he returns. I don’t know if that will mean enough for him. I’d like to see him play out this one final year of his contract and give this group one more shot.

— The Cards will have their exit physicals tomorrow morning. It’ll be a short night, but after Saturday, I think everyone is ready to put the season to bed and heal up mentally and physically.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Blog | 78 Comments »

78 Responses to “Divisional Playoff Aftermath”

  1. By Lee on Jan 17, 2010 | Reply

    I can not believe that the officiating was as bad in this game as it was in the Superbowl. It sure looks like to me that the League favors every team except the Cardinals. In otherwords, we are the Red headed step-child of the NFL. I am disgusted with the way the NFL allows certain games to be called. And I am equally upset with FOX and the sports casters calling the game today. It was clear that no one gave Arizona a chance,( not even fairly) to win. I’m proud of my team and I hope the Saints get creamed in the next round!

  2. By darrenurban on Jan 17, 2010 | Reply

    Lee —

    Now, don’t go sounding like the Packers fans. I understand frustration, but the Saints’ loss had zero to do with officiating.

  3. By Aaron on Jan 17, 2010 | Reply

    Without Warner, this team is 6-10 next year at best, but that’s a mute point right now. Beanie needs to get 20+ carries a game next year, and I think with a full offseason under his belt he’ll be more than capable of rushing for 1100+ yards next year. And here’s to hoping that Brandon Spikes falls far enough for us to get him in the 1st round.

    I’ve mentioned it in past blogs all year long, but McFadden is HORRIBLE. He can’t make one single decent play when it’s actually needed. Not a pass break-up, not an interception, not a tackle, not once all year. I was a huge advocate of cutting Rolle when he was at corner, but it’s actually possible that McFadden is much worse than Rolle was at corner. If this team doesn’t cut it’s losses by cutting him from the team, our secondary will still be the weak link of our defense next year. And that’s knowing we have an aging defense in some places with Bertrand, Gerald and Chike all getting up there and having question marks about their future with the team.

  4. By Mark McKeown on Jan 17, 2010 | Reply

    I agree with your review.

  5. By Javier Montoya on Jan 17, 2010 | Reply

    Great season. Historic. Best two years I’ve had as a Cards fan. We made the playoffs two years in a row, had back to back winning seasons and NFC West championships. Im proud to be a Cardinals fan and I pray for all their health in mind and body. Next Year. CARDINALS FOOTBALL

  6. By Danny Heksolson on Jan 17, 2010 | Reply

    Everything will be ok dear Cards, thanks for an amazing season and work hard together to reach next year healthier and ready to win the west for the third time in a row, best wishes!! Thanks to you too Darren, for an exceptional year, having this blog was so different!! :p

  7. By Mark on Jan 17, 2010 | Reply

    This game seemed very simular to the colts blow out game earlier in the season. When Urban fumbled I knew the cards were in trouble. The cards obviously have a great offense and a good defensive line but seriously lack in their secondary. I think they need help next year at linebacker with Dansby probably gone and at cornerback because frankly Mcfadden is no better if not worse than Roderick Hood was the year before. The cards at times have a stiff run defense when Gerald Hayes is in their but there need another play maker or two at defensive back. I hope the cards keep Boldin and resign him to a long term contract because he should retire as a cardinal as with Fitz and Adrian Wilson. Thank you Darren Urban for all your commentary and insight. and although this wont get back to any of them ,thank you cardinals for another enjoyable season. cardinal fan from California

  8. By 7ftCard on Jan 17, 2010 | Reply

    Rod Graves, I trust you with how you’ll handle the off season. Kurt you need to do what you need to do, either way I’m going to love you forever for my making my team relevant. The game was not a total loss, we know Toler can take over for McFadden, and we know what needs to be addressed, PASS RUSH!!!! Thanks for the great coverage Darren, look forward to your off season coverage.

  9. By CardinalsFavor on Jan 17, 2010 | Reply

    Good season Cardinals.

    We’ll get them next year.

  10. By RedBird2413 on Jan 17, 2010 | Reply


    I agree with you fully that Warner should come back and give this team one more shot, and if you really think about it, Warners playoff years with the Rams are almost mirroring his playoff years with the Cardinals, but in opposite fashion. In Warners first Superbowl with the Rams they won it by hanging on in the final seconds of the game, then they didn’t make the superbowl the next year, then they lost the superbowl to New England after that. With the Cardinals, he lost his first superbowl in the final seconds of the game, they didn’t make it this season, and so if the opposites trend is true, this next season should be the year for Warner to make it to and win the big one, he definitely should stay one more year!

  11. By Richie Rich on Jan 17, 2010 | Reply

    Thanks again for great job Darren. I think we can all agree that the McFadden signing has been a failure. Toler is already as good or better than BM. He was responsible for three TD’s himself. The blown tackle on Bush when he didn’t wrap and two TD passes when their WR’s made him look foolish. I thought we was better than this but these last 3 or 4 games have exposed him and we HAVE to get better opposite DRC. And our pressure off the edge was non- existent. Chike and B Train just couldn’t get any heat on Brees. Maybe Cody Brown is the answer. But that stood out too. Doucet is gonna be a good one. Finally getting his chance. I can’t believe Kurt would retire when he is still this talented and after a loss like this. Hopefully he won’t. It all starts with Kurt. Thanks again D. Great job.

  12. By shannon robinson on Jan 17, 2010 | Reply

    Thanks for a great season to the entire Cards’ organization. Besides getting snake bit with injuries and The Fumble, it looked like we didn’t have our legs. I don’t think we could recover that fast and match the rest N’Orlans had. I’ll take rest and repair over even determination sometimes. All of this team won’t come back next year so a tip of the Cards’ Wing for the extraordinary heart and passion for the game you gentlemen displayed.

  13. By Mike on Jan 17, 2010 | Reply

    I’m proud of these guys too, very proud. Sad day today for all of us Card fans and organization. We will bounce back stronger next year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I don’t blame the refs. The cards just didn’t play well starting with the defense not being able to hold NO on its first drive, I chalk that up to a short week and exhaustion. Then that beautiful pass to Urban, gots to hold on the ball, got to hold on to the ball. After that is was all down hill for the Saints.
    The Cards are a great team. Keep rooting and hope they do something to build a better defense for next yea. We have got to stop the bleeding there and we will be Superbowl champs, no question.
    Till then, keep the faith baby!!

  14. By Ottis Anderson Fan on Jan 17, 2010 | Reply

    What a great run it was the past two seasons! Whiz and Graves have a very solid foundation in place and now it would appear a matter of targeting trouble spots during the offseason rather than major overhauls in philosophy or personnel.

    What I think has been overlooked a lot during the past two playoff weekends is that the Cardinals played 20 games last season. The Packers and Saints played 16 games last season, and the Saints had a bye-week the first weekend of this year’s playoffs. Although there wasn’t any one reason why the Cardinals played so poorly against the Saints and Packers offense, it’s hard to argue that last year’s 20 game season and short offseason didn’t eventually play a roll during this year’s playoffs.

    Of course, that’s a dilemma the Cards are going to have to address if they plan to make a playoff run each year. I have faith that Whiz and his core group of now seasoned playoff veterans will put the lessons of 2009 to good use in 2010.

    Semper Fi Cardinals!

  15. By Swoogleman/Mike on Jan 17, 2010 | Reply

    Kurt, be safe, get healthy, be strong and courageous.
    We love ya bud!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. By eric on Jan 17, 2010 | Reply

    I love Whisenhunt but he really should have stuck more with the run early in the second quarter! He abandoned the run in favor of the pass and the saint just pinned their ears back and came after warner. At that time the game was not out of hand and i just felt that we would have been better off sticking to the game plan and pound the ball, hence keeping brees and that offense off the field especially since we had a depleted secondary at that point. A shootout at this point was not a smart decision! I didn’t like the saints getting to just absolutely tee off on warner like that. Warner needs a rythmm passing game. Bidwill : SIGN DANSBY, ROLLE, AND BREASTON IN THE OFF SEASON AS THEY ARE VITALE TO OUR FUTURE SUCCESS!!!!!!!!!! We also need to get some pass rushing help in the off season as we give opposing quarterbacks way too much time to throw!! (example: Peyton Manning, David Garrard, Vince Young, Matt Schuab, Drew Stanton, Aaron Rodgers, and Drew Brees, all this year to name a few) Pass rush is a must upgrade in the off season and dont forget, a good pass rush makes your corners look better too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. By Peter in Canada on Jan 17, 2010 | Reply

    Darren: I think you got it totally right but I also think that the closeness and the emotion used up in the game against the Packers may have had something to do with the result also. The Cards have nothing to be ashamed about. They had a better team than the year before, I think but unless you are a great team the planets have to be aligned to get to the Super Bowl.
    I saw Ken and Kurt interviewed on NFL network and they showed tremendous class in praising the Saints and not making excuses for the loss. Unlike a previous blogger I hope the Saints win the Super Bowl so at least we lost to the best. Many thanks for all your columns during the year. It helps one get through a Canadian winter.

  18. By John on Jan 17, 2010 | Reply

    I’m disappointed but not shocked. We saw many things this year good and bad. The titans,panthers,49ers games this year really showed how bad this team can look. This team needs help. The defense needs the ability to check out of plays. They show there cards too often. I love em but maybe young studs with a killer instinct instead of old dogs with a decent growl would do wonders for the defense. In the end I’m proud of the cards though. They accomplished more than anyone even i thought they would. Darren I will miss your blogs.

  19. By Ottis Anderson Fan on Jan 17, 2010 | Reply

    I don’t think the importance of earning a bye week the following a deep playoff run the prior season can be understated. And of course, a bye week can’t be earned after the postseason begins – it is earned during the regular season when every game does indeed count if you want the bye (or at least they count until you have secured the bye).

    Winning a Super Bowl is much about giving yourself the best chance to win it. Having to win only two playoff games (with one guaranteed at home) is a lot less demanding than having to win three. Teams have done that, but they are historically the exception and not the rule.

    I hope the Cardinals make winning a first-round bye the focus of their 2010 regular season. With the success the Cardinals have had getting to the postseason the last two seasons, they need to take the next step of putting themselves in the absolute best position they can to win the Super Bowl. IMO, that means earning a first-round bye. I don’t think you will find a Cardinal coach or player this morning that thinks winning three games to get to the Super Bowl is easier or preferable to having to win three games to get to the Super Bowl.

  20. By Ottis Anderson Fan on Jan 17, 2010 | Reply

    Edit on that last post:

    I don’t think you will find a Cardinal coach or player this morning that thinks winning three games to get to the Super Bowl is easier or preferable to having to win TWO games to get to the Super Bowl.

  21. By darrenurban on Jan 17, 2010 | Reply

    Ottis —

    The players and coaches all made that clear even before they lost a chance at the bye. They clearly wanted it.

  22. By Raleigh on Jan 17, 2010 | Reply

    I am very proud of this team. Obviously we need help on the defensive side of the ball. They must do whatever it takes to keep Dockett for the future and spend money in the free agent market for veteran help at cornerback. If Warner retires the decision on Matt Leinart must be made with the help of adding another veteran quarterback if he falters. Very disappointing loss but they know what they need to address next year. Go Cards and we will be there with the team next year.

  23. By Jason Tucker on Jan 17, 2010 | Reply

    Thank you Cardinals for bringing passion and heart to the desert. WE LOVE OUR CARDINALS, and know that we will be back next year. WHIZ is the best thing to happen to this organization along with Warner. We need to make some changes on D for sure. Hope Dansby can come back, Sign a true Pass Rusher, and get DRC healthy and Help on the Opposite side. Keep Rolle, and Boldin and sure up the Offensive Line. WE WILL BE BACK NEXT YEAR for another run at it and send Warner off with one last RUN at GLORY and Cement his legacy as one of the BEST EVER. GO CARDS, and thanks for the EXCITEMENT ONCE AGAIN.

  24. By James on Jan 17, 2010 | Reply

    Thank you Cardinals for another great season, and thank you Darren for the great coverage. I have been a Cardinal fan all my life and growing up in a house full of cowboy fans I’ve taken my fair share of abuse. The last two years have been great and I’m looking forward to many more great years. It saddens me to see idiotic statements blaming officiating and even the NFL for the Cards loss yesterday. New Orleans is a good team and it was their day. Thanks agian for a great season. GO CARDSSSSSSSS !!!!!!

  25. By Rick on Jan 17, 2010 | Reply

    I was very impressed wiht Greg Toler’s play. He broke up a couple of passes but also got in on a number of tackles, and not just with his shoulder. I think with a solid offseason he can develop into a quality #2 corner.

  26. By Jim on Jan 17, 2010 | Reply

    Whiz can’t build his own legacy by digging through the Steelers’ trash, as made evident by McFadden. Whiz tries to bring the Steeler mentality to the Cardinals by signing washed up Steeler players. He’s a great coach, but he needs to build his own identity.
    What happened to the Defense? It completely imploded after the Wild Card halftime. Brees went untouched and no one could make a tackle.
    Lastly, it was evident from the beginning that the Saints were the more PHYSICAL team. They had energy, were gang tackling, and trying to strip the ball on every play. Just like our games against the 49ers, we lost the game because the other team was more physical. The Saints just seemed to want it more.

  27. By Patrick on Jan 17, 2010 | Reply

    First, Aaron’s assertion that the Cards go 6-10 without Warner next year is just plain stupid…and insulting to Dockett, A-Dub, our fine Offensive line, best in league receiving corp, very good and improving running back tandem et al. But it is especially offensive to our Coaches. In Whiz We Trust.

    Second, the Saints were very good, but we played on 5 1/2 days rest, had to travel and it showed. We had no legs, no reserve when the turnover went against us and the injuries mounted. It’s not an excuse, it is simply the fact.

    Third, B-Train and Chike gave all they had…we just need more help. We had bad luck on Cody and Will, both set back by injuries. We’ll get more help on D in draft. We need DEs, LBs and DBs. We’ll get them.

    Finally, we have heart…a lot of heart…and we will be back for another run, Kurt or no Kurt.

    I salute our warriors and am very proud of their effort and run to the second round of the playoffs. Bravo gentlemen!! C -ya in the Spring. Nice job chronicling it all Urb.

  28. By Aaron on Jan 17, 2010 | Reply

    That’s just rude, everyone is entitled to their opinion.

    But no, it’s not a knock on those players. But Dockett and the rest of our D have proven they are hit or miss this year, they aren’t going to carry this team next year. And what good is having one of the best wideout corps if you don’t have a reliable QB to get the ball to them? Or to relieve the pressure put on the budding running game?

    And don’t get me wrong, I’m loving Whiz as a coach and he has been able to accomplish things no other Cardinals coach has. But some of that also has to do with Michael taking over for his dad and freeing up what both Whiz and Graves can do. But Whiz still has some maturing to do as a coach. He falls back on Steelers left overs too much. His stubborn playcalling at times cam be dangerous. He has a long way to go before you can say he’s earned enough to be able to take any team any year to the playoffs. Do I think he’ll get there and we need to extend him immediately? Yes. But he’s not there yet.

  29. By Matt in Philly on Jan 17, 2010 | Reply

    One thing that came out of this game was McFadden’s weaknesses at cornerback. I had seen it before a hundred times, but it just became so apparent: he chooses to play the receiver the whole way and has no eye for the ball. As a result, he follows plays until the pass is caught, and makes the tackle, whiffing on passes he could have easily batted down. I’m really disappointed with him.

  30. By Pat Donoghue on Jan 17, 2010 | Reply

    I am a diehard fan that will always back the team. I live in texas for 36 years,and my superboul is when the CARDINALS beat the cowboys. I believe that this year we got hurt players at the wrong time. So kurt we can make it back to the superboul with you,but if you wish to step down I understand because we know that your health and FAMILY FIRST!!!!! THAT YOU ARIZONA CARDINALS !!!!!

  31. By Dean Beckman on Jan 17, 2010 | Reply

    Great season Cardinals and thanks for your hard work on the blog, Darren. It’s much appreciated. Here’s one thing I can’t figure out: Why was Rackers allowed on the playoff roster with a bad groin? It was obvious after Nugent was cut that Neil was not 100%. His kickoffs were not the same and he clearly needed more time to heal. I know we can’t blame kicking in a 45-14 game, but what if it had gone down to the wire? Whiz would have had some explaining to do. And I don’t believe for a second the groin was reaggravated during the game. It was evident in the Packers game last week.

    At any rate, it was another fun season which we haven’t been able to say for two years in a row. Great job….I hope we make the necessary changes in the offseason to get back to the NFC Championship game next year.

  32. By darrenurban on Jan 17, 2010 | Reply

    Dean —

    The Cards and Rackers were both convinced, obviously mistakenly, he was healthy.

  33. By Aaron Lone-Eagle on Jan 17, 2010 | Reply

    I am unsure if you recieved my earleir blog, if not,once again I wish to apologize for my outburst. Heat of the moment type of thing. First of all, Congratulations Az Cardinals on a fabulous year. 10-6 record, back to back Division Champions. The only thing better would have been a Ring. I love coach Whiz, but I really believes he may need an Off. Coordinater. I have to agree that Jehreme Urban needs to go. It seems like everytime he gets the ball, he fumbles, I believe that was the momentum changer in this game. I believe we also need work on the secondary. B. McFadden was exposed so badly and was directly responsible for a few touchdowns. That was unacceptable. I believe this team is still very well built to get back into the play-offs, and win a super-bowl. Hopefully Kurt comes back, Boldin is not traded, but instead is extended. Yes it is true that Doucet and Breaston are good recievers, but they are not Q. by any stretch. Darren, question, with the CBA expiring, what does that mean for the salary cap and resigning key players for next year? I am confused on that topic. Thank you for a great season in commentary and keeping everyone in the loop and updated. I will check in daily for all updated news. Try and have a great off-season.

  34. By darrenurban on Jan 17, 2010 | Reply

    Aaron —

    If there is no new CBA by March, there will be no cap. In theory, teams can spend a billion dollars on players. But everything I am hearing through the league — not just with the Cards — is that it will be the opposite, because teams will want to be careful with a looming work stoppage after the 2010 season. There will also be a lot fewer free agents, because an uncapped year changes the rules on who are free agents and the ability of teams to use franchise tags and transition tags to restrict movement.

  35. By Wazzurusty on Jan 17, 2010 | Reply

    Great season, unfortunately the defense was absent when it was most critical. Five things the Cards need to do in the offseason.

    1. Dump McFadden- I’m 52 y.o. and could have done as well in tackling and coverage!
    2. Get a new secondary coach- way too much talent back there to look as pathetic as they did the past two weeks
    3. #1 draft need is an impact outside linebacker
    4. Dump McFadden again!
    5. Get a tight end that can actually be part of the game plan

    Whether Kurt stays or retires, I for one do have faith in Matt Leinart. His rookie year was great, then injuries gave Warner an opportunity he never gave back. This reminds me of Rogers/Favre, he has the talent once he gets the reps.

  36. By John Rennecamp on Jan 17, 2010 | Reply

    Darren, Do you feel like Leinart can play at a level like say a Romo or Garrard or another middle of the road type of QB? I doubt he’ll be an elite guy but after Kurt retires I believe they’ll shift to a power running team like in Pitt. Can Matt thrive in that role because I don’t think he can be a gunslinger like Kurt and the rest.

  37. By darrenurban on Jan 17, 2010 | Reply

    John —

    Honestly, I don’t know what to think of Matt right now. I do think he will be better off when a) Warner is gone and he knows it is his team and b) they skew toward more running and a playbook that serves his strengths more than Kurt. But that doesn’t guarantee he will pan out either.

  38. By Former Steeler Fan on Jan 17, 2010 | Reply

    Was it the Saints Defensive Coordinator who said, after the Packers game, that the Cards & Packers defenses set defense back a hundred years by allowing 96 points?

    He and the Saints defense corrected that impression by limiting the Cards to 14 points. And, I think I read that the Saints had one of the softer defenses in the NFL. Why was it so difficult to score more than 14 points?

    I wish that I could be optimistic about next season’s results, but there are too many pieces of the defense that are weak and old and too many teams that have improved e.g. the 49ers. I think that the Cards will be battling for a Wild Card berth next year. Definitely no 10 win season next year unless something supernatural happens.

    Thanks, Darren, for the timely and in-depth reporting that you provided this season. A suggestion: It was interesting and illuminating when you had the “Ask the Coach” feature a year ago. Maybe you could resurrect that in 2010.

  39. By Alfred on Jan 17, 2010 | Reply

    I believe that the offense has all it’s parts in place! The only thing that bothers me & is obvious is that the defense can’t reach the QB at all. We need new LB’s & a new Defensive Line aside from Dockett! NOW THAT’S A FACT FRIENDS!

  40. By Alfred on Jan 17, 2010 | Reply

    BY THE WAY, McFadden must go! That twirp can cover a kid asking for a blanket!

  41. By Eric G on Jan 17, 2010 | Reply

    Watching the first two games yesterday and halfway through the Vikes game today, the key has been pressure on the QB. The Cards lack in this department. We need an OLB and it’s time to drop Branch and Watson and look elsewhere for a NT. The Cards barely put any pressure on Brees and Rodgers and the Cards got the result they deserved.

  42. By nor cal cards fan on Jan 17, 2010 | Reply

    Darren- I would like to take the time to personally thank you for all of the hard work and effort u put in this season covering the Cards. As a die hard, i truly appreciate you taking the time to correspond with us fans and answer a lot of questions. Your blogs were always very insightful. Thanks again.I look forward to your offseason coverage. I’m sure you will have alot of draft and free agency info.This leads me to my first offseason inquiry. When do you anticipate Mcfadden and Urban being cut? K

  43. By darrenurban on Jan 17, 2010 | Reply

    Nor Cal —

    Urban is a free agent. I wouldn’t count on McFadden being cut necessarily.

  44. By Tracy St. Louis on Jan 17, 2010 | Reply

    Thank You Cardnals For A Great Season!

    The Cardnals have been my teem for over nineteen years, even when they struggled with the early years coming to Phoenix. We have had two really impressive seasons the last couple of years, Kurt Warner has been a influential captain for our team, he has made the difference.
    The ammount of talent on the Cardnals is outstanding and though I am disappointed in the outcome of yesterdays game, I feel encouraged to see what happens next year.

    Bobby McCray really creamed Kurt , I’m hoping it was the excitement of the game and not intentionally. When I saw Kurt fold in half I was horrified ! This play along with Larry’s touchdown right out of the gate!

    Great Season, Thanks for a great season Cards!

    I LOVE THIS GAME…No really Football Rocks The World!

  45. By Joe2 on Jan 17, 2010 | Reply

    Congratulations to the Saints. The best team won on Saturday — no funny bounces, no bad calls — they beat us fair and square. Up until these last couple years, their team has been almost as woeful as the Cards, and their organization and fans seem pretty classy (a real gracious move to bring back Deuce). So I’m now pulling for the Saints to win it all — that way we will have been beat only by the best the last two years.

    Congratulations Cards, and thank you! You guys have the heart of a champion. West champs, 11 wins, great season.

    All things considered it still takes a certain amount of luck for any team to make it to the Super Bowl, and I believe we got derailed by some really unlucky timing on injuries in that Greenbay game. If Q is playing then its not Urban in there making that catch (and fumbling). Between the early by-week in our schedule, the injuries, and having to play a wildcard game, I think our guys were just outa gas.

    If Kurt comes back, and depending on a few key roster moves, this season could end up being in retrospect not a disappointment but a building block.
    The core is still in tact. Third times a charm.

  46. By scott on Jan 17, 2010 | Reply


    what is your take on the importance of gerald hayes. it looks to me like the defense was just totally different with his injury.

  47. By darrenurban on Jan 17, 2010 | Reply

    Scott —

    I think Gerald Hayes is important, but I don’t think it would have made a difference Saturday.

  48. By Mike on Jan 17, 2010 | Reply

    Hey Darren,
    Going into the offseason brings many questions about who will stay and who will leave. Being a very curious fan I’m wondering if there is an area on this site or another that has information about player contracts. I’m not so much interested in money but more length of contracts for some of the players that aren’t up in the air such as Fitz and Wilson.

  49. By darrenurban on Jan 17, 2010 | Reply

    Mike —

    I will be talking to Rod Graves this week and with that story, I always have a list going over each position and when each player’s contract expires.

  50. By SeeingRed on Jan 17, 2010 | Reply

    A heart-breaker indeed..too many injuries piled up, which highlighted our shortcomings. I liked J Urban last year because I thought he improved his game but his inability to protect the ball and lack of consistency makes him expendable in my eyes. His fumble was the turning point. B McFadden..I too was really encouraged when we signed him though I thought Hood was a very solid corner and was sad to see him leave. Hate to say it but I think BMac is Eric Green revisited. He plays the man and not the ball which leads to big catches being made when his back is to the quarterback or many pass interferences..Supposedly we got him for his tackling ability, etc but he missed so many tackles in the playoffs and Hood was a very physical corner already AND a ballhawk. So much needs to be addressed. I agree with Darren about Matt. We wont know until Warner is gone.

  51. By Former Steeler Fan on Jan 17, 2010 | Reply

    What WAS the saying??? (I haven’t seen it lately)

    “We do this together”

    The defense certainly did, getting zinged for 90 big ones in the two playoff games.

    They couldn’t stop the run OR the pass.

  52. By Mattg on Jan 17, 2010 | Reply

    Thank you Cardinals for another great season. I don’t know about Matt he is a good QB. But I don’t think he is good enough to be a staring QB. I was fired up before the game. And when Hightower ran that wonderful touchdown on the first play. I was jumping up and down in my leaving room. Then the nightmare started and the wine was flowing. And all the free agent things will work itself out. But you can’t win football games when the defense. Played so horrible Wells just plowed our defense. I felt like I went back in time and was watching the St.Louis Cardinals. Our offense played good. But when I seen Matt throw a very high pass to Fitzgerald. And he jumped up and caught it. Well it just show’s how much of a key player he is. And how awesome he is and I think the hit on Warner was dirty and not called for. But that is football I think Matt has what it takes to be just as good as Warner but just not now. I am looking forward to another great season. Our Cardinals is a fantastic team Thank you guys for a great season. Go Cardinals yea yea yea yea yea

  53. By John on Jan 17, 2010 | Reply

    Every game has it’s own unique script that plays itself out. The Urban turnover and the inability to pressure Brees early put them at a disadvantage , then getting behind allowed Saints to bother Warner. Injuries and poor tackling (fatigue?), closed the script. The experts will say the Saints are just the better team, I say every swing point went the Saints way yesterday! Keys to next season; Warner, learn from the adversity, consistency (better record for home playoff games), line depth, improved play at corner. One last thing, don’t ever let a team out hit you, period!!

  54. By Eazy E on Jan 17, 2010 | Reply

    Man this sucks! It hurts but the cards had a great season. Back to Back division titles and to lose arguably to the best team in the league aint bad. Having said that we gotta make changes. #1, We need our ringleader back in kurt warner really hope he doesn’t hang it up because i don’t trust leinart i’m sorry i liked the end of the 1st half in no where he led us to a fg attempt(that rackers missed) but when he came back in when the game was well in hand he almost got picked off u gotta shine when you get chances forget about reps you aint gettin them as long as #13 is playing for the cardinals. That’s #1 KURT WARNER!! #2, What to do with Anquan Boldin. He is my favorite player in the league. I believe you give him a long-term deal because he deserves it. He and fitz complement each other perfectly that’s why their the best duo of receivers. We also need to address the te position in free agency or the draft. #3, would be LT. Jeremy Bridges played well in gandy’s absence and he still should be on our line in 2010 starting but the LTs in the draft and free agency this year are nice. #4, De/Olb, we gotta get a premier de/olb because we didnt breathe on brees. Were good on our d-line though. #5, Cb, I really hope Drc is ok but b-mac had a bad game. He still has problems locating the ball and plays the receiver too much. He also missed that tackle to spring reggie bush. We gotta get a veteran cb either by trade or free agency whatever. We really need another #1 type corner opposite DRC. Finally we need a new kicker, Rackers just isnt clutch at all his groin was alright he just shanked the gwinner and that 50 yarder wasn’t long enough I like the kicker in oakland Sebastian Janikowski he’s a free agent but let’s go after him he has a huge leg, great accuracy, and clutch which neil isnt! Go Cards and have a great offseason.

  55. By Scott Hornberger on Jan 17, 2010 | Reply

    Some great comments have been made in these blogs so far…thank you , Darren, for keeping it real in stating that the officials had nothing to do with this game. The Saints – playing at home, playing healthy and well-rested, and playing the way they are capable of – were the reasons for the outcome. Period. Sure, the Cardinals being tired and beaten up coming into the game and the critical injuries early on were also a factor, but…you can’t do anything about that. It’s the playoffs and when you lose, you go home. That said, I really couldn’t be more proud to be Cardinals fan than I am right now. Been a fan for more than 30 years and that has included a lot of 5-11 seasons when the team was a total non-factor. Sure, there is a horrible finality to losing in the play-offs or in a Super Bowl, but I know now that it’s sure better to lose in the postseason than to not get there at all. And that’s the truth! It’s all come such a long way from where it was five short years ago. As for Warner, I can only hope his competitiveness and desire to win another championship – a definite possibility with this team right now – will keep him here for one more lap. He’s got too much left in the tank to walk away now. The intensity he showed during the Green Bay game tells me that the fire is still burning in this guy. One more year, Kurt…please give us – and yourself – one more year!

  56. By CHRISTIAN on Jan 17, 2010 | Reply

    id like to say thank you kurt for being a cardinal. thanks everyone on defense and offense for another good year. we had key injurys on saturday. or else im pretty sure we’d win. but a loss is a loss. we need to cut mcfadden i didnt want him when i heard we signed him from the steelers. anquan needs to be a cardinal we drafted him here he needs to stay. if kurt leaves or doesnt leaves thats fine leinart hopefully can develop. whiz thank you. but we need some cuts on this team ill see you guys next year thanks again.

  57. By FITZGIRL11 on Jan 17, 2010 | Reply

    well it was a good season…Cards won 10 games and made it to the playoffs for the 2nd yr in a row…i’m happy for that…we still got no respect from the league but i could care less…we should be happy…THANK YOU CARDINALS for another great season…i know eventually we’ll get a superbowl….

  58. By Alfred on Jan 17, 2010 | Reply

    Man! I sure am sadden by our season being over. My little 4 year old daughter was also sad cuz the Cardinals aren’t playing no more. Regardless, a good season it was. My daughter will always be a Card fan. Coming out of the Hospital when she was born in a Cardinal outfit to being at the game 3 weeks ago, she loves the Arizona Cardinals!

  59. By TucsonTim on Jan 17, 2010 | Reply


    That is never going to happen going 4-4 at home in the regular season. Hopefully they learned that this year.

    TOLER WAS GREAT. The only bright spot in an ugly disastor. Has he not been playing because somebody didn’t want to admit their 5 million dollar mistake??? Did anyone watch film on McFadden or did Wiz just take him because he was a Steeler? Worrisome, very worrisome. Eric Green do you have a body double? Sorry Eric you actually did turn around and try to play the ball.

    Offensive coordinator, please!!! Wiz go back to being the head coach. How could we be so ready for a repeat with the Packers, on offense that is, and look so totally unprepared for the Saints. You did know that if we beat the Packers we would play them, right? Were you too busy with the hotel and flight arrangements?

    Physical football. Usually a cliché used in ESPN sound bites, but the Saints played us exactly the way the 49’s did on defense. Watch the tapes. Grimm needs to depart to Buffalo and we need someone who can really motivate this O-line to protect our immobile quarterback. We have talent on the O-line, so he has some kind of ego problem, a golf problem , or other more nefarious problem, but no matter he needs to go.

    Is there a running back coach who can coach our backs not to put the ball on the ground? WTF If you put the ball on the ground in Div 1 football like these guys did you wouldn’t play, period.

    We have have 4 super star play maker receivers, so why do we still have Urban? Don’t tell me it’s about Boldin. How many plays during the regular season were Fitz, Boldin, breaston and Doucet on the field at the same time.. Can you immagine what a nightmare that would be for a defensive coordinator????

  60. By Ryan on Jan 17, 2010 | Reply


    First off thanks for your hard work and Cardinals coverage. Second, I think the most important issue that hasn’t been addressed (that I’ve seen) Is the question, why hasn’t the front office entered into contract extension talks with Coach Whisenhunt? He has improved the teams record each year since he was named the coach of the Cardinals and has turned a perennial loser into a winning franchise. Is this just another example of the Bidwill’s frugal ways? Does the potential 2011 lockout have anything to do with this? What is your take on the Cardinals extending Whisenhunt? Since Michael Bidwill took the reigns I have seen an improvement with this team and a dedication to winning, I hope he makes the right decision and extend Coach Whisenhunt’s contract ASAP.

  61. By darrenurban on Jan 18, 2010 | Reply

    Ryan —

    I think the Cards have a ton of decisions to make in the offseason and what to do with Whisenhunt is one of them. I will say that anyone that doesn’t believe the potential work stoppage in 2011 isn’t a factor in everything every team will do this offseason is being naive.

  62. By Joe2 on Jan 17, 2010 | Reply

    Tuscon Tim-

    An empty can makes the most noise.


  63. By nor cal cards fan on Jan 18, 2010 | Reply

    Tuscon TIim- your comments about Toler and Mcfadden were dead on.I’m glad i’m not the only one that can see the painfully obvious. Mcfadden is the most horrible corner i’ve ever seen put on a Cards uniform. They could have got a guy off the street to play corner and never have a flipping clue where the ball was.Hell, i would have done it for free, and they paid a guy 5 million to do it. Toler should have been starting over Mcfadden a long time ago. We heard all year long that Toler was ” too raw” and thats why he wasn’t playing. Raw? Well i think i speak for everybody when i say i’d rather have a corner out there thats raw but at least capable of making a play on the ball, and doesn’t just flat out suck like Mcfadden. It got to the point where it actually became laughable to watch him attempt to play corner. Mcfadden had ZERO picks the Whole season. Toler had one pick and played about 500 less plays than Mcfadden.But allow me to tell you what the really SCARY thing is. I specifically asked Darren when he thought Mcfadden would be cut, and he said don’t count on him being cut necessarily. I had to read it a couple times to make sure my eyes weren’t decieving me. I challenge anybody out there to make a case that Mcfadden should be a Cardinal next year. Worst free agent signing in franchise history.

  64. By MDJOE on Jan 18, 2010 | Reply


  65. By joe67 on Jan 18, 2010 | Reply

    8-8, 9-7, 10-6. Pretty good progression, I think. 11-5, well, who knows, lets hope.
    I think the whoopin’ might be a blessing in disguise. If it had been real close everyone would have thought, “oh man we are right there.” I think it is obvious we have holes. Lots of holes. (Well maybe not lots, but some glaring ones for sure)Our cornerback position can perhaps best be described by letting a man with about a half of leg (Shockey) score a TD on you. That my fellow Card fans was very embarrassing. How can that happen? Best three years since “74, 75, 76. After that we imploded due to a terrible draft (primarily), and an upset coach who needed defense in the worse way, and the first two players chosen were a QB and a RB (neither made it, by the way). So here we are again, in need of a really good draft after three pretty darn good years. I think the orginization is much better now, we finally have a facility and a little money to work with, so I am hoping for the best. Kurt, it is your decision, do what is best for yourself and your family.
    Thanks for a fun year, and thanks to you Darren for all your hard work!

  66. By Jesus on Jan 18, 2010 | Reply

    PAY DOCKETT!!!!!!!!
    Lets go Cards Fans. lets get behind Dockett on this.
    We need Dockett up front. Lets DO This Together.

  67. By azcardsfan22 on Jan 18, 2010 | Reply

    Darren Can you believe this, all these posts about THE ARIZONA CARDINALS, I don’t know how long you have been involved with this team, but I have never seen so much passion for my beloved Cards… I am crying right now

  68. By cards62 on Jan 18, 2010 | Reply

    Thanks Cardinals for the best 2 years in my history of following the team as this is even better than Hart/Metcalf/Otis/Gray years.
    Thanks Darren for you Blogs all season and I look forward to them this offseason and all of next year.
    My opinion we lost because our front lines did not have their legs and we were physically beat on both sides. My favorite game this year was the Viking Game and all of you watched what we did to the VIkings and what the Vikings did to the Cowboys you know we have talent on both lines and can play with other teams lines. Dockett fans do not worry he will be paid.
    Our back 7 is our teams biggest weakness. I enjoyed your comments and agree with most of them. Cornerback is a very rough position as you are out there for all to see and I agree McFadden is not the answer for us at # 2 corner maybe nickle or dime if he takes a major pay cut. I do not think he is our worse corner ever, or the worse on the current roster. Michael Adams tries oh how he tries, but no way should he be on the field. We need to pick up a free agent corner someone like Carlos Rogers and hope Toller can beat them out for # 2, but either way we are in great shape at CB next year and injuries do happen. I do agree with the fan who stated our secondary coach should be fired. It is time for a change as the secondary has been a problem long before these 2 past games. Superbowl anyone!!! I also agree an OLB is needed. I believe our sack total is very respectible for the year, but we just do not seem to hurry the passer enough. We also need an elite pass blocking left tackle to protect Kurt’s blind side. Like the great majority of you I wish we could extend Dansby, Rolle and Boldin, but at what price? Facts are Graves and Whiz have done an excellent job and it is also a fact that the Bidwills have spent the money on players and we are very close to our cap so what do we do? I also like Calvin Pace and Antonio Smith. I forget exactly but I think Smith was a 6th or 7th rounder we drafted who worked his butt off to become a very good end for us. I hated to see Smith leave, but the money Smith and Pace received we could not match and I understood. I want the big three extended but I will not be upset with management if they are not. Every memory I have of Urban is of him screwing up, but the guy does get open a lot. I like Doucet being ahead of him, but I am willing to give him one more chance in 2010 to see if he will hold onto the ball. I am hoping Whiz gives him, Beanie, and Tim new footballs as he dismisses them for the off season with the instructions to carry them all offseason no matter where they travel. I am very excited about our half backs next season and hope we use both of them so that they will be fresh for the post season.

    Thanks again Cardinals and Cards fans and lets hope we do well in free agency and the draft. Concerning the 49ers. Yes they are physical and they are improving, but I think they make us a better team and as long as Kurt comes back next year we win the division for 3 years in a row.

  69. By Larry on Jan 18, 2010 | Reply

    I think this was still a very succesful season for us. we continue to grow under coach whisenhut… we lost in the second round to an incredibly good team.. we were slaughtered, but that was due to injuries everywhere… hey, it caught up to us. last year we haad none.

    i’d like to see us draft patrick robinson out of florida state. that gives us another very good cover corner and allows wilson to come up and help in the run. we kill two birds with one stone. wilson is at his best helping against the run.

    trade leinart and boldin for a couple 2nds and 3rds and draft us colt mccoy if hes still there. the guy is alot like warner. accurate with a quick release. there will still be some very good lb’s and possibly a good TE. also draft a center like john estes in the 3rd or 4th…

    overall. as much as the loss hurt, we were once again not go that far, everyone called last year a fluke. before whisenhut our drafts sucked, our team sucked, everything sucked. since he arrived, we have had very good drafts, and made huge strides as a team and an orginization… lets just let the front office do their thing.

  70. By Steve on Jan 18, 2010 | Reply

    Darren, I 100% agree once Matt knows it is his team and the offense is set up to his abilities his will be a good QB in the NFL.

    I would think they will try to move Boldin this offseason for either a solid TE or a 2nd round pick. We just won’t need the play makers like we have with a more restrained offense. The run game is solid and we will continue to evolve into the the Steelers of the West (but better se we have a better coach)

    Dockett sounds like he doesn’t want to be here. He keeps saying, we know what orginization I’m with when refering to them extending his deal. I’m afraid to say it but I think he will play out his deal and drive straight to Jerry Jones.

    Cody Brown being back which will help as well as Will Davis getting another year under his belt. Toler will compete with McFadden for the starting job and they should both get a lot of work since DRC sounds like he may not be ready until the season starts.

    If Graves can have yet another GREAT draft this team won’t fall to far back if Warner leaves. When you have 6 and 7th rounders makign big impacts to a team as a rookie, it either means you have little talent on the team or have done a great job scouting. I think it is the later.

    Whiz has proven to be a rock of a coach who can change his style to the talent on the team. Most coaches are too hard headed to change.

  71. By Ross on Jan 18, 2010 | Reply


    Excellent recap, as always.

    Any credence to the rumors of Hightower having a broken left thumb? In the Green Bay game, it was clear he was carrying the ball in the wrong hand.

    That 70 yarder was a thing of beauty. The cuts he made showed the burst he has. Beanie didn’t get a chance, which is a shame.

    If he and Beanie can hang on to the rock, I think this becomes their team pretty soon. Power running is the future of the cards.

  72. By darrenurban on Jan 18, 2010 | Reply

    Ross —

    Hightower did have a thumb injury earlier, but he was apparently healed. He was not listed on the injury report the last week or two.

  73. By Scott Hornberger on Jan 18, 2010 | Reply

    It’s great to come to a place where people love the Cardinals so much!!! Living near Philadelphia, I get so tired of hearing about the damn Eagles all day and all night. First, can we give McFadden back to the Steelers??? Of all the talented Steelers’ DB’s, we definitely picked the wrong one to help us out. Ugh. Looking forward to seeing more of Toler next year. But to be fair, McFadden wasn’t the only guy on this defense who was allergic to tackling the past few weeks…how could they have been the same guys who smothered Adrian Peterson a few weeks ago??? This off-season looks like it is going to be eventful to say the least…and not necessarily in a good way. It sure is strange that a team who was infamous for their drafting failures for so long is now drafting so effectively that they have more top-flight players than they can keep! Yeah, that’s a good thing but it hurts when you might have to part with players like Boldin, Dockett, Dansby because of the nature of the business. Q will always be one of my all-time favorite Cardinals but there is no denying his frequent injuries and the emergence of Breaston and Doucet. With all the other needs, it’s hard to imagine them committing to a new contract with Boldin. There’s no denying the emergence of Dockett as an absolute force and I hope they will give him a new deal that will keep him here. But I am kinda’ disappointed at some of his recent comments which reflect a surprising indifference toward the organization. I feel the same about Dansby. But then what ablout Rolle? And the offensive lineman? This off-season is going to take a strong stomach, that’s for sure. Knowing that Warner will be here next year would help cushion the blow of whatever losses there may be, but until we know that…I’m keeping the Tums handy!

  74. By Scott Hornberger on Jan 18, 2010 | Reply

    Hey, I just saw where the Bills are apparently ready to hire Chan Gailey as their new head coach! That means they’re NOT hiring Russ Grimm! And hopefully, that means that Russ will be staying right here where we need him. Given the losses we may be facing this off-season, I’m very glad that this will not be one of them.

  75. By Julia on Jan 18, 2010 | Reply

    Thank you, Darren for your great coverage and thank you to the AZ Cardinals for a great season! I still proudly wear my Cardinals gear and trust Coach Whiz and his staff will pull things together for 2010. We’ve got great young talent and strong veteran leadership– the way DRC, Wells, Stephens-Howlings, Adams, and Toler are coming along are as much a testament to our veterans as to their abilities… We may not have made it to Miami but we are still Division Champs… Go 2010 Cardinals!!! See ya’ at training camp!!!

  76. By Brian on Jan 19, 2010 | Reply

    Just want to say thank you to Darren for a great season of coverage this year. As for the cardinals, GREAT job this year. I love being a Cardinals fan. If Warner retires this year, I say they make him a QB coach. What a great role model for my childeren who love him.

  77. By Aaron on Jan 19, 2010 | Reply

    I don’t think we will ever see Warner in a coaching capacity, just my opinion. For one, his style of play would be hard for most to learn from due to his accuracy and vision. But if Warner retires, he’ll be doing it not because he is no longer elite, because he is, but to spend time with his family. Coaches see their families much less than the players do. They work more hours during the season and have much shorter (nearly non-existant) offseasons.

  78. By Scott Hornberger on Jan 19, 2010 | Reply

    As much as I think Warner could be a great QB coach and mentor, I wonder how it would be for Leinart for Warner to still be around. I know it would be hard for me to watch Leinart struggle with a guy who could still be one of the best QB’s in the league standing right there on the sidelines in street clothes!

Post a Comment

%d bloggers like this: