Friday before the Texans

Posted by Darren Urban on August 13, 2010 – 9:58 am

Ahh, the preseason. Finally a game to watch, a game from which to make judgments instead of practice after practice.

But how much can be judged? That’s always the big question. Inevitably, we will be told that what we saw as media and fans wasn’t enough to know what’s what – like Matt Leinart’s bad game in Oakland in 2008 that, according to coaches, didn’t torpedo his chances to start.

But it is football. So the top five things I hope to see are:

— Leinart taking control. It’s early and Leinart’s playing time will be limited. Coach Ken Whisenhunt said he’s looking for intangible things as much as tangible, like the way Leinart works the huddle. Makes sense to me. Playing quarterback is about talent, but it’s as much about making guys believe they can follow you to victories. That’s what Leinart had in college (and, I believe, what he had when he first showed up in Arizona).

And yes, I want to see how Derek Anderson performs too, but I think this week, it’s mostly about Matt.

— Toler playing well on an island. In this vanilla-type of game, Greg Toler (and the other cornerbacks) will have a chance at one-on-one coverage. It’s not the easiest baptism, but necessary. Toler needs to make a play or two and take a step forward toward a starting job that, in my opinion, the Cards need him to grab hold.

— Who makes an impact at linebacker. The coaches like what Paris Lenon has done so far. But can rookie Daryl Washington avoid some rookie mistakes? Joey Porter and Clark Haggans are givens. But can Cody Brown look as improved against another team as he has against some of the Cards’ second-stringers? What outside linebackers hoping to make the team – a Stevie Baggs, a Mark Washington, for instance – can do enough to earn further consideration?

— Who can handle the bright lights. Wide receiver Stephen Williams has played well at camp, and quarterback Max Hall has impressed (and at this point, has clearly outplayed John Skelton). But that’s just in practice. When the lights go on, the stakes change. They and a bunch of other younger guys need to prove the play can carry over.

— Deuce versus Reggie versus the whole offensive line. Can Deuce Lutui play well enough to push Reggie Wells out of the starting five? How will Alan Faneca look? Levi Brown at left tackle instead of right? Brandon Keith as starter? The Texans have a pretty decent defensive line, so the starters should get a little bit of a test.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Blog | 41 Comments »

41 Responses to “Friday before the Texans”

  1. By nrdpmp on Aug 13, 2010 | Reply


    Do you know if they will be using the Alternative Black jerseys for this home opener or the game against Redskins? If I missed this posted else where, I apologize.

  2. By Darren Urban on Aug 13, 2010 | Reply

    nrd —

    I have not heard. I am trying to get that info, unless it is a closely guarded secret. My clearance only goes so far up the food chain.

  3. By bobF on Aug 13, 2010 | Reply

    I think it would be a bigger impact to have the black jerseys in the first game. Pass that on, would you Darren – Thanks.

  4. By nrdpmp on Aug 13, 2010 | Reply

    I appreciate the reply. I understand, it’s hush hush business. I appreciate all the work you do for the team and us fans. Keep up the great work!

  5. By Tinted Face Shield on Aug 13, 2010 | Reply

    Totally off topic…… But do you know how long John Lott gives them up Camelback mountain? Or what the record is by Haggans?

  6. By Darren Urban on Aug 13, 2010 | Reply

    Tinted —

    They just need to keep moving on Camelback. I don’t know the record.

  7. By alex on Aug 13, 2010 | Reply

    is there anyway the cardinals will release what days they will be wearing the black alternate jerseys?? Id like to wear my red one on games we wear red to support the team , but would like a heads up when they wear the black ones so i can sport my new black 9-0 dockett jersey considering they only wear em 4 times this year

  8. By Darren Urban on Aug 13, 2010 | Reply

    Alex —

    I am sure there will be a heads up ahead of time, which is why I’m pretty sure they won’t be worn tomorrow.

  9. By Joe daddy on Aug 13, 2010 | Reply

    DId you see that catch by stephen williams on the wide receivers video where he came back to the ball that was somewhat back shouldered? Once fitz helps this kid perfect his route running, hes going to be a big time player.

    He has the same attributes as a young randy moss from marshall…

  10. By alex on Aug 13, 2010 | Reply

    thanks darren, i just would like to make our own black hole in the stadium on our home opener against the raiders, hopefully wearing black will contribute to a few extra INT’s for Campbell, and show Oakland that Real men do wear black LOL! throw that in mr.bidwills ear ..can ya !

  11. By Darren Urban on Aug 13, 2010 | Reply

    Alex —

    I don’t see them doing it against Oakland, who normally wears black. That doesn’t make a lot of sense.

    As for the QBs, I think both have had their moments good and bad. Anderson clearly has a stronger arm, but I still think Matt has done nothing to lose hold of the job.

  12. By alex on Aug 13, 2010 | Reply

    on another note darren, wats your personal thoughts on leinarts play vs. anderson so far up to this point, im hearing anderson is better on the deeper routes and is lookin more comfortable making those throws than matt

  13. By cardattac on Aug 13, 2010 | Reply

    Hey Darren….

    Off topic…. But I was wondering what player are not playing tomorrow do to injury and you said Dockett had a sore groin???

    Oh I thought we only got to see the black jersey 3 times a year. 1 pre season and two regular season games??

    And I was figuring they would ware them on the nationally televised games. Who Knows man??

    GO CARDS!!!!

  14. By Darren Urban on Aug 13, 2010 | Reply

    Cardattac —

    Dockett was the one who said he had a sore groin when he was talking about an anecdote in my story, but that was a few days ago. You are right on the jerseys — one preseason, two regular season.

  15. By JohnnyV on Aug 13, 2010 | Reply


    I know Beanie practiced after being injured earlier in the week, but is he likely to play? I’d really like to catch a glimpse of he and Tim behind our newly constructed O-Line. Also, is it far fetched to think the organization would consider trading 2011 draft picks or depth from the offensive line for help at either ILB or CB? It seems like this year it would make more sense than in years past. Thank

  16. By Darren Urban on Aug 13, 2010 | Reply

    JohnnyV, Darrel,

    I do think Beanie will play. As for a trade, it would depend on who they would trade for. They won’t mortgage the future for just some guy.

  17. By darrel on Aug 13, 2010 | Reply

    Darren whats the word on beanie is he playing satuday

  18. By LadyCard04 on Aug 13, 2010 | Reply

    Darren I think you reported earlier (OTA’s?) that Clark Haggans had the Camelback record. My memory might be fogged but I think that’s what was reported a few months ago.

  19. By Darren Urban on Aug 13, 2010 | Reply

    LadyCard —

    It wasn’t me that reported that, but yes, I think that’s right. I thought I was being asked what the record time was, which I don’t know.

  20. By Chris B on Aug 13, 2010 | Reply

    Tinted- I believe Haggans has the record and it is somewhere close to 23 minutes.

  21. By Eric on Aug 13, 2010 | Reply


    When I saw the new depth chart, I was surprised to see McBride ahead of Toler. Toler actually has playing time in real NFL games, even playoffs. McBride has never played a snap. Do you have any idea how McBride moved ahead? I realize that this depth chart is far from final, but it was a bit of a shock to see.

  22. By Eric on Aug 13, 2010 | Reply


    Nevermind. I read your other blog post and see that McBride has played well and does have NFL game experience. Thanks.

  23. By trigidy22 on Aug 13, 2010 | Reply

    Cards should wear the blacks!! Both times we play the 49ers!!!!!!

  24. By The Fanimal on Aug 13, 2010 | Reply


    I haven’t heard much about Kenny Iwebema this offseason. Do you have any updates? I am curious on his status.

  25. By Darren Urban on Aug 13, 2010 | Reply

    Fanimal —

    Iwebema is working hard. I think he’ll be in the d-line rotation and continue to play a big special teams role.

  26. By CholoJoe on Aug 13, 2010 | Reply

    Ill be happy is Faneca only give us one sack during the one or two series he plays.

  27. By Voice of Reason on Aug 13, 2010 | Reply

    If Iwebema makes the team, I don’t see how Bryan Robinson does also, and I think B-Rob will need to go back to playing end, given how good Gabe Watson and Dan Williams have looked so far.

  28. By Brad ONeill on Aug 13, 2010 | Reply

    I think they should wear black in the super bowl. 🙂

    hey darren i realize you are probably hung over, post brothers wedding and all but its the night before Christmas for us fans and not a writer is stirring what gives???

  29. By Darren Urban on Aug 13, 2010 | Reply

    Brad —

    I didn’t drink any alcohol. I am working on an advance for the game but I probably won’t post until tonight now that our “top slot” on the headlines was taken for now.

  30. By chris freeman on Aug 13, 2010 | Reply

    darren –

    Can u believe that Glenn Coffee retired at the age of 23?

    what do u think that will do to the NFC west ( seeing as Gore is injury prone every season ). u think this might make Singletary pull from the run as much to allow gore to produce all year?

  31. By Darren Urban on Aug 13, 2010 | Reply

    Chris —

    No. From what I understand, Coffee was just a guy. Had he improved maybe he would be better than that but we’ll never know now. It won’t change what they do, unless Gore gets hurt.

  32. By Rich on Aug 13, 2010 | Reply

    whatever happened to our 3rd round draft pick – the receiver returner? don’t hear much about him in camp notes

  33. By Darren Urban on Aug 13, 2010 | Reply

    Rich —

    I have written about Andre Roberts a bunch of times already.

  34. By robward602 on Aug 14, 2010 | Reply

    Tinted Face shield-

    Haggans record is like 26 mins and some seconds

  35. By TBru on Aug 14, 2010 | Reply

    Are you ready for some football !?

    The game against the Saints seems like forever ago. Welcome back Cardinals.Really looking forward to this season.

  36. By Adam on Aug 14, 2010 | Reply


    You mentioned that you’re looking at the battle between Wells and Deuce for the RG spot. It seems like most of the things that I’ve read about Faneca in the preseason has not been great, is there any chance Wells would move back to LG with Deuce at RG an Faneca on the bench? I know the staff likes Faneca’s toughness and leadership, but Whiz has also shown that ultimately its about performance.

  37. By Darren Urban on Aug 14, 2010 | Reply

    Adam —

    I think there is always a chance, but I think it will be a huge upset if Faneca is not starting.

  38. By Brad ONeill on Aug 14, 2010 | Reply

    just because faneca took some lumps in one on ones and got blown up on the infamous play were dockett grabbed matt’s ankle doesnt mean the guy can’t play. Faneca is a special player that makes his line better not only will he be in there but he will be solid.

    as for glenn coffee i just have to say wow. its a shame when someone loses their confidence like that. unless they are a 49er.

  39. By cj on Aug 14, 2010 | Reply

    The best QB I saw was john skelton.5 for 6 84 yard and a TD.

  40. By Darren Urban on Aug 14, 2010 | Reply

    CJ —

    He was also playing against the weakest defensive players.

  1. 1 Trackback(s)

  2. Aug 13, 2010: Tweets that mention Word From the Birds Blog --

Post a Comment

%d bloggers like this: