Friday before the Rams

Posted by Darren Urban on September 10, 2010 – 4:59 pm

The regular season has arrived. And frankly, it’s impossible to know what the next four months holds for this team.

There can be no opponent/road trip better for a team in transition to play/go than the St. Louis Rams. Yet there can be no opponent/road trip worse. This feels like a no-win in some ways; if the Cards dominate, the thought will linger, “Yeah, but who was it against?” If they somehow lose … ugh.

Of course, I’m probably overthinking things. If the Cards play well Sunday, I am sure there will be a collective sigh of relief more than anything. As Adrian Wilson once said in his famously deep voice during an infamous radio interview the morning after the Monday Night Meltdown, “It’s hard to win in the NFL.” (There might have been an expletive thrown in there, but that’s a tale for another day). It is hard to win, and the Rams have some positive vibes with their new quarterback Sam Bradford.

But the Rams also have 14 rookies on their team and frankly, I am probably selling short this Cards’ defense, which is anxious to have a crack at a rookie in his first game. Bradford is a rookie. By the end of the season, who knows, maybe he does become another Matt Ryan in his first year. He’s just starting out though. No better time to get him than right out of the box.

(Ryan may be a bad example. In his first game, he was 9-of-13 for 161 yards and a touchdown. I’m thinking – and the Cards are thinking – more like Matt Stafford’s 16-for-37, 205-yard, three-interception showing.)

That’d make for a fun afternoon, wouldn’t it?

— I know Larry Fitzgerald told Sports 620 KTAR, in defense of himself in the whole Matt Leinart-was-cut scenario, that he hadn’t even taken any snaps with the newbie, Derek Anderson. Technically that’s true in the preseason-game sense of the situation. But as coach Ken Whisenhunt pointed out Friday, the two did work together sometimes in OTAs and in training camp.

“We said we were going to get Derek some reps with the ones just so he could get a feel for those guys,” Whisenhunt said. “Obviously you’d like to have more reps than we have, but I don’t see it as a situation where we haven’t gotten reps. We’ll see how it plays out Sunday.”

I think Fitz will be just fine, as long as Anderson gets the ball near him.

— Speaking of that, Whisenhunt said earlier this week the Cards have worked hard on Anderson’s footwork, which in turn is supposed to aid his accuracy. Whiz said he has seen results. That’s key. Missing out on chances – like the errant throw to a wide-open Early Doucet in the Chicago preseason game – can’t happen too often.

— I can’t see Beanie Wells playing with his bad knee. But Tim Hightower has been itching to have the load on his shoulders and now it will be, although I’d expect a heaping helping of Hyphen with no Beanie. LaRod Stephens-Howling should be a bigger part of the offense this year anyway, and they’ll need him if/when Beanie is sidelined. Looking forward, it’s hard to tell if there should be long-term Beanie concern. Which, if you think about it, is how Whiz likes it (the part about being hard to tell, not that there could be concern about Beanie).

— The wait to see who returns punts will happen game day. We’ll likely know by who is active; I am betting on Max Komar as the fifth receiver, with Andre Roberts inactive for now.

— I expect Calais Campbell to have a big season, and this game would seem to be a good starting point, with Bradford and everything.

— The Cards have to stop Steven Jackson, although they know that. Since Whisenhunt has taken over, Jackson has missed two of the six meetings, had one 100-yard game, and has averaged 63 yards rushing against the Cardinals. Yes, the Cards need more of that.

It always seems harder to “preview” the opening game because it seems, in some ways, that training camp and the preseason has been one long preview. There really doesn’t feel like much to say here, not until a game is played for real and the play of some of the new guys filters out. It will be strange going back to St. Louis without the Kurt Warner subplot (OK, let’s be honest, the game always felt like the subplot to Warner’s return – and then he’d rip up his old team).

It’s time to go, though. Finally. (P.S. Here’s a video to inspire you for the weekend.)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Blog | 52 Comments »

52 Responses to “Friday before the Rams”

  1. By Tyrelle on Sep 10, 2010 | Reply

    So are they ready?

  2. By Darren Urban on Sep 10, 2010 | Reply

    Tyrelle —

    Yes. Ready. Mad as hell and aren’t going to take it anymore.

  3. By MIKEG on Sep 10, 2010 | Reply

    Hey Darren–Nice Blog!!!—I think you are right– Max Komar handles
    punt duties in St. Louis. I think he deserves it–he shows no fear and seems decisive. I heard Wolf compare him to an old Cardinal in Vai Sikahema. If he
    could develop into that type of player–it would be a real shot in the arm for special teams. I think it would take the heat off of Breaston as well and let him concentrate on being the No 2 receiver. Which player on special teams do you think will eventually take the role of Sean Morey???? Hyphen???

  4. By Darren Urban on Sep 10, 2010 | Reply

    MikeG —

    Yes, LaRod is going to fit that role.

  5. By gkat on Sep 10, 2010 | Reply

    I was surprised to see so many of the “experts” picking the rams in this game. Do the Cards read this stuff and if so is that part of the “mad as hell”?

    It got me mad as hell. The rams? Really?

  6. By Darren Urban on Sep 10, 2010 | Reply

    gkat —

    The mad as hell was some sarcasm on my part. Apparently it didn’t translate to computer.

  7. By Chris B on Sep 10, 2010 | Reply

    “YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!”— wait, that doesn’t fit here…

  8. By MattAz on Sep 10, 2010 | Reply

    “I’d expect a heaping helping of Hyphen with no Beanie.”

    Dishing out the alliterative metaphor. Nicely done!

  9. By matt m. on Sep 10, 2010 | Reply

    Hey Darren, can we have prediction from you? I think 20-10 cards

  10. By Darren Urban on Sep 10, 2010 | Reply

    Matt M —

    I don’t do predictions. Sorry.

  11. By fightingbird on Sep 10, 2010 | Reply

    Thanks Darren ,I needed that answer to Tyrelles question. Thats the kind of answers and attitude we like.

  12. By Wash on Sep 10, 2010 | Reply

    Appreciate the good honest assessment, Darren. Several uncertainties – exciting to see how the season pans out. Been a Card’s fan since they were in STL and I was at WashU. This year should definitely be more fun than the many painful years.

  13. By Jesse Robles on Sep 10, 2010 | Reply

    Lets Go Cards!! One Game At A Time, NFC West Champs Baby!!

    How far along is O’Brien Schofield? I know he’s out, but just wondering on his progression. Greatly appreciated and I thank you for all of your hard work.

  14. By Darren Urban on Sep 10, 2010 | Reply

    Jesse —

    As far as OB, he is doing OK in his rehab. I still think it is a long shot he plays this year.

  15. By Brad ONeill on Sep 10, 2010 | Reply

    the only question from this weekend is will the seahawks end all the talk about the 9ers running away with this division or not.

  16. By Jason on Sep 10, 2010 | Reply

    Darren –
    Love the attitude.

  17. By HyphenStandsUp on Sep 10, 2010 | Reply

    But frankly, my sir, do they give a damn?
    Hopefully after the game,Bradford is nicknamed “MeatMe in St Louis” and the home crowd is silenced of the Rams.
    And the Cards, by the time they get to Phoenix, will be 1-0, and raising Arizona hopes for a threepeat.
    When exactly do we play the Titans, I can’t remember.

  18. By Scott H on Sep 10, 2010 | Reply

    Ya know what? Doesn’t matter who the game is against or where or anything else. Let’s just put it in the win column and move on. I remember feeling really “let down” last year after they barely squeaked by the Lions and then won the division later in the day when the Seahawks managed to beat the 49ers. It just seemed…so un-impressive at the time. But it went in the win column and it was just one brick in a much bigger wall. A few weeks later, they dominated the Vikings at home and it was a beautiful thing! No one wins a division in Week One. BUT any one game can be the difference in a season, so…win by two or win by 32, I don’t care. Just get it done against a team you should beat and move on.

  19. By mario8267 on Sep 10, 2010 | Reply

    Nice!!!! I predict DD and Campbell having big games against that Oline!

  20. By joe again on Sep 10, 2010 | Reply

    Beanie has a history with injuries, like being little bit soft when he gets nicked. The play after Beanie got hurt, he didnt even try to block at all to help protect the QB. Of course, I cant know for sure, but I get this feeling that Whiz is driving home a message to Beanie this week, cuz Beanie keeps saying he’s ready to practice but that coach is still holding him out. Its like Whiz is telling him, “If youre going to act like a baby with your nicks, then we’ll act like its a real injury and we’ll sit you.”

  21. By Don't Take Losses on Sep 10, 2010 | Reply

    Sweet. go Cards.

  22. By redseafan85 on Sep 10, 2010 | Reply

    darren- i am willing to bet on daryl washington beating out sam bradford for rookie of the year…what do you think?

  23. By Darren Urban on Sep 10, 2010 | Reply

    redsea —

    I think I want to see Washington do well in games that count before I start thinking he’s arrived.

  24. By Carddan on Sep 10, 2010 | Reply

    Darren, I’m shocked…and love it. If that is their attitude: “Mad as hell and aren’t going to take it anymore.” I think the Rams are in trouble.

  25. By Cathy on Sep 10, 2010 | Reply

    We’re ALL ready for this season to start. To take a phrase from Kurt in the playoffs of ’08 – let’s go shock the world!

  26. By Pheenic Cromartie on Sep 10, 2010 | Reply

    Finally, the regular season! All of those experts who hated on the Cardinals are finally going to be proven wrong!

  27. By TBru on Sep 10, 2010 | Reply

    Is it Sunday yet?

  28. By ben on Sep 10, 2010 | Reply

    west champs nfc champs superbowl champs GO CARDS

  29. By Sam on Sep 10, 2010 | Reply

    “Yes. Ready. Mad as hell and aren’t going to take it anymore.”

    Lulz, aren’t going to take what from who anymore?

  30. By Jared P on Sep 10, 2010 | Reply

    Good evening. I am tired of all the national negativity towards the Cards. Yes we lost some Big names & a AMAZING qb. Why doesnt anyone mention our new additions Porter, Fanecca, Rhodes ext. I feel besides the ? @ qb we are just as good if not better. If Anderson can be better than average their is no reason we cant return to the playoffs. We have 6 players that should be in the pro bowl, Fitz, Fanecca, A Dub, Dockett, Grahm, DRC. Im excited & optimistic we are going to do well. This is my 1st post. I appreciate your time.

  31. By Dustin D on Sep 10, 2010 | Reply

    Back To Football video is awsome. It gets me pumped. I hope this years D has the same intensity as that!

  32. By Lesslie martinez on Sep 10, 2010 | Reply

    I have all the confidences in the world that we will rise again I know we don’t have rings and trophy’s but that is what we are working for our goal is that championship and we championship and we can make it. I believe in my team and we have done it before and let’s do it again but this time let’s do it all the way…Go Cardinal’s

  33. By Kevin on Sep 10, 2010 | Reply

    Hi Darren,
    Will you be posting Coach Whiz’s full press conference video from today (Friday) by chance? I’d love to see what all he talked about, aside from just the RB’s and the kicking game. Thanks!!

  34. By Darren Urban on Sep 11, 2010 | Reply

    Kevin —

    That was everything.

  35. By Darren Urban on Sep 11, 2010 | Reply

    Kevin —

    That is the whole thing.

  36. By BluePitt on Sep 10, 2010 | Reply

    One quick question. Have you seen Wells Run,trot or move in a fast way after the knee? It looked bad on the play after it happend, when he went limp from the knee down for the play.

  37. By Darren Urban on Sep 11, 2010 | Reply

    BluePitt —

    No, but I haven’t been watching him much.

  38. By CHIRPCHIRP44 on Sep 11, 2010 | Reply

    LET’S GET IT BOYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  39. By Donnie on Sep 11, 2010 | Reply

    we will smash rams and i don`t care if Darren steps in as QB,,does`nt matter..i predict Bradford Pain and confusion..welcome the the big house Bradie

  40. By Jeff Gollin on Sep 11, 2010 | Reply

    Past Cardinal teams have typically been driven by pyschology (sometimes they’d show up flat or jittery/fortunately, more often, they’d show up alive.

    Based on commentary (both from close observers and the players themselves) I’m hoping this year’s Cardinals will be smarter and more workmanlike and emotionally less “up & down” from game to game.

    In a perfect world, we should expect the Cards to play at the same high standards of professionalism regardless of who we play and when we play them.

  41. By Bow on Sep 11, 2010 | Reply

    This team has all the weapons necessary to go as far as they want to. I don’t understand all the wimpy, tenative “I hope they do ok” attitudes. All I want to ask Darren is Do you think we will slaughter the Rams or just stomp on them alot?

  42. By Brian R. on Sep 11, 2010 | Reply

    I wanna see our defense get tackles and completely murder the quarterback with every hit. Our secondary needs to step up this year and put on some nice coverage.

  43. By Secret on Sep 11, 2010 | Reply

    The season is here. Time to shock the world again.

  44. By Andre on Sep 11, 2010 | Reply

    Heck yeah Bow. I expect to see our team step on some necks and tear their heads off. The Rams are a rising team(no where to go for them but up, right?). Not against this team.

  45. By darrel on Sep 11, 2010 | Reply

    Can it just be Sunday already Lest go cards

  46. By firemagoo on Sep 11, 2010 | Reply

    Darren any surprises for the 45 man roster and is Ben Patrick starting?

  47. By Darren Urban on Sep 12, 2010 | Reply

    Firemagoo —

    I don’t think there are any surprises if someone has been paying attention. For instance, I expect Komar to play and Roberts inactive, but that’s been fairly easy to see coming. Don’t know at TE. Wouldn’t be shocked to see Spach.

  48. By Haggis Bob on Sep 12, 2010 | Reply

    Let’s get ready to ruuuuuuummmmmble!

  49. By TBru on Sep 12, 2010 | Reply

    Thank goodness it’s Sunday
    Go Cards!

  50. By tRiGiDy22 on Sep 12, 2010 | Reply

    Lets go Bigred!!!! Big Big year this year!!!! This year its all about the D

  51. By tRiGiDy22 on Sep 12, 2010 | Reply

    D.Washington Rookie of the Year!!!!! M O N S T E R

  1. 1 Trackback(s)

  2. Sep 12, 2010: Word From the Birds Blog

Post a Comment

%d bloggers like this: