Whiz makes it light this week

Posted by Darren Urban on October 11, 2010 – 11:51 am

Coach Ken Whisenhunt just held his day-after presser. Among the highlights:

— The Cardinals were promised by Whiz that they’d have a light week if they won Sunday. Then they did, so the only formal practice of the week will be Wednesday. Whiz is expecting to bring in the young players (he didn’t define exactly who that was) Thursday for some video work and maybe a little on-field stuff, but nothing like a regular practice. He does want to clean up the youthful mistakes and do some prep work for Seattle.

— The only injury of concern, he said, was linebacker Reggie Walker, who hurt his hamstring. Walker is getting further evaluation. Wide receiver Stephen Williams had an MRI and his back — hurt when he landed hard on a defender’s foot after leaping high in the air — should be OK.

— WRs Steve Breaston and Early Doucet will work on the side Wednesday. The Cards will see if they are ready to do work Monday, when the team reconvenes for work next week. Whiz will see where LB Gerald Hayes fits next week too when he is able to practice again off the PUP list (O’Brien Schofield is probably a couple weeks away, he said, even though Schofield can come back Monday himself). Whiz said he likes the idea of fitting Hayes into a linebacker rotation, especially to give some rest to workhorse Paris Lenon.

— Alan Branch continues to take some playing time from Calais Campbell, although Whisenhunt said he likes not only how Branch was playing but also how Campbell bounced back from a poor game in San Diego.

— Whiz commented on Jed York’s proclamation. I updated it right here.

— Whiz, on the 20 carries for Beanie Wells and the four for Tim Hightower: “It wasn’t anything I had planned on. It just kind of came out that way in the course of the game. It was something you looked at after the game and said, ‘Oh, OK, I didn’t even realize that.”

— Hightower, by the way, was the player who went the wrong way on the goal line play in which Max Hall tried to score, was crushed, and fumbled the ball to Levi Brown for the touchdown. Hall was going to go that way, but had to improvise.

— The Cardinals are only the second team in NFL history to score 30 points without a TD either rushing or passing. The Bears did it against the Packers in 1993.

— Hall is the second rookie QB in franchise history to win his first start. Georgo Izo did it in 1960, although Izo left early with a knee injury and the Cards trailing Dallas, 3-2. Izo completed 1-of-6 passes that day.

— I will be holding a live chat tomorrow at 11 a.m. Arizona time (2 p.m. EST), so keep that in mind.

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64 Responses to “Whiz makes it light this week”

  1. By Sean on Oct 11, 2010 | Reply

    This seems to follow the pattern already set…Work hard one week, take the next week off! At least this time I’ll be expecting a blowout…Thanks Whiz for the heads up!!

  2. By Secret on Oct 11, 2010 | Reply

    Darren, how will the linebacker substitutions work when hayes and schofield come back?

  3. By Darren Urban on Oct 11, 2010 | Reply

    Secret —

    RE: LBs

    Way too early to tell. Let’s get them back on the active roster first.

  4. By Cardcountry on Oct 11, 2010 | Reply

    Overall I am happy with the game. I wish we could have run the ball a little better then we did, but I’m sure Whiz will be working on that over the next two weeks. I am happy with the overall O line play. 4 sacks definately better then 10.You definitely did not see guys charging through the line like in previous games. The D line did well putting some prssure on Drew. We could have had a few more sacks that were missed, but that happens. The secondary was definitely on their game excluding the 35 yard TD pass from Drew that Michael Adams got beat on. Although Michael had an exeptional game besides that one play. Our special teams was phenominal all around. Have to love the Hyphen and what he does for this team. Yes there was mistakes, but a lot fewer then normal. Only 3 penalties! That was great. Oh and for Max- good job, yeah there were some fumbles and another possible pick that could have went in the Saint’s favor, but they didn’t. Good overall start for Max. I am excited to see what this kid has going into the future. Like I said this guy is accurate, confident, poised, and did a great job at keeping his eyes down the field in high pressure situations. I am truly impressed. Good job Whiz as always, next in line Seattle. Go Cards. Oh, and to the O and 9ers owner– SHUT YOUR TRAP Mr. 0-5. Quit talking about how good you are and what you are “going” to do and show it loud mouth! See you in a few weeks!

  5. By jzoully on Oct 11, 2010 | Reply

    A very exciting win, I have a very prompting question for you. When will “Big” Dan Williams start? I want to see him on the field more to plug up the wholes, he could free up some linebackers. PS Dang Billy Davis really responded when everyone told him that he wasn’t doing his job. Go BILLY DAVIS!

  6. By Darren Urban on Oct 11, 2010 | Reply

    jzoully —

    RE: Dan Williams start

    Don’t see anything soon.

  7. By dynosoar on Oct 11, 2010 | Reply

    Derek Anderson pass completion percentage:
    STL = 53.7%, ATL = 54.8%, OAK = 46.2%, SD = 50.0% and NO (only 2 passes) = 50.0%.
    Max Hall:
    SD = 57.2% and NO = 63.0%.

    I like the the quarterback that Clark Haggans calls “Maximus. The team just plays better when he’s on the field. Tey did in preseason, they’re doig it now.

    Cardinals won, Cowboys lost, it was a good football day.

  8. By Prashant on Oct 11, 2010 | Reply

    I think that is a great call by the coach. We need to take stock of the situation, recover from our injuries and mentally prepare ourselves for the long season ahead.

    I am sure Max is one of the “young players” and he might study film in preparation for Seattle, and get extra practice with Komar, Roberts and Williams, just in case Breaston and Early are not 100% after the bye.

  9. By Flier on Oct 11, 2010 | Reply

    Maybe Whiz needs to pay more attention when during the course of a game your have a back carry the ball for 20 time and only get 35 yards.

  10. By schmatty21 on Oct 11, 2010 | Reply

    How much do you think Beanie complaining to the media about playing time played into him getting so many carries? He’s never had so many more carrys then Hightower and Whiz said he didn’t even realize that Wells had so many carrys idk if I believe that

  11. By Darren Urban on Oct 11, 2010 | Reply

    Schmatty —

    RE: Beanie carries

    I doubt him complaining had that affect. Now, in the course of the ensuing discussion between the two, maybe Beanie convinced him otherwise. Although, as Flier points out, 35 yards on those 20 carries is not going to get you a lot of 20-carry days.

  12. By D ryans on Oct 11, 2010 | Reply

    The bye week should be used for resting our players. The defense has taken a lot of snaps already this year and if you think back to last year and the early bye our team did not have much left in the tank after the Green Bay game. These men are human not machines. Everyone needs a break at some point to be able to finish strong.

  13. By JR on Oct 11, 2010 | Reply

    What I liked best about Max Hall was the game always seemed under control – like it was being well managed. That was encouraging.

    Also, Darren, since I complained abut the entry procedures after the last home game, it’s only fair to report it went much better yesterday. I enter at entry point 3, and while there weren’t any more entry points than usual, it appeared that staff were really trying to make it work better and quicker. In particular, at entry point three there was a man with a light blue shirt who was working the crowd, organizing the lines, etc. That was a big help. So, if you had anything to do with that, thanks, and also pass the comment on to management if you feel appropriate.

  14. By John on Oct 11, 2010 | Reply

    The coach did the obvious call on letting Beanie play more, which hopefully he continues to do, and letting them rest and heal up this week. I think what happens in 2 weeks against Seattle will determine if they win the division or not. Will be a huge huge game for their season.

  15. By Michael on Oct 11, 2010 | Reply

    Thanks for the Hightower update.

  16. By ross on Oct 11, 2010 | Reply

    Darren, I would imagine tim going the wrong way is why he wasn’t really involved the rest of the day. Is that pretty uncharacteristic for him?

  17. By Darren Urban on Oct 11, 2010 | Reply

    Ross —

    RE: Wrong way

    Whiz gave no indication of that. In fact, he was asked on the play if it was the back who went the wrong way, and he said yes — it’s not like he brought it up. And we had to look up which back was in on the play.

  18. By redrage34 on Oct 11, 2010 | Reply

    i cant understand why only four touches for hightower. he has always been rock solid for the cards. a complete back. he does not get enough respect from the team or fans.

  19. By ross on Oct 11, 2010 | Reply

    Darren, thanks as always.

  20. By will on Oct 11, 2010 | Reply

    i would love to read a piece on toler. hes has looked much better than expected so far and is playing physical and smart. I think he was the one who called to audible on that 3rd down in the red zone where mike adams stopped the rb on a flat in the backfield before the missed fg. Seems like he has become the player we thought he would.

  21. By darrel on Oct 11, 2010 | Reply

    Hey darren. Speed rusher atwan barnes was just cut by the ravens. Will. The cards show interest

  22. By Darren Urban on Oct 11, 2010 | Reply

    Darrel —

    RE: Barnes

    Doubt it with two LBs (Hayes and Schofield) close to coming back.

  23. By MikeG on Oct 11, 2010 | Reply

    Hey Darren, Nice win by the Cards! The defense responded well and won the turnover battle-which they had to do. They seemed like the more desperate team and I’m sure there was a little revenge involved after losing to this team in the playoffs last year. This puts them in a good frame of mind heading into the bye week and gives Breaston and Doucet a chance to get healthy. Which play in yesterdays game would you consider the biggest game changing play??? I’m going with the Rhodes fumble return. How about you??

  24. By Darren Urban on Oct 11, 2010 | Reply

    MikeG —

    RE: Biggest play

    The Rhodes play — which was created by Dockett — was the one that gave the Cards a two-score lead.

  25. By akcard on Oct 11, 2010 | Reply

    Great Win. Whiz needs to keep the pedal to the metal on this off week instead of having it light. We still need a lot of work. We scored 30 points without any coming by passing or running. The season is just beginning.

  26. By bobF on Oct 11, 2010 | Reply

    Darren –

    Slightly off subject: Is it too much effort to have subtitles or captions when reporters are asking questions in the press conference? Most of the time I can’t hear them and by the time the interviewee is almost done answering the question, I have just figured out what the question was.

  27. By Darren Urban on Oct 11, 2010 | Reply

    BobF —

    RE: Press conference questions

    Unfortunately, they haven’t found a way to capture the sound consistently, and adding subtitles/captions to the video is logistically unrealistic. I will pass on the concerns, however.

  28. By DeVeau on Oct 11, 2010 | Reply


    Regarding Andre Roberts, I have to give him props for finding his hands. I believe he caught everything thrown his way. Keep up the hard work.

    Kind regards,


  29. By MikeG on Oct 11, 2010 | Reply

    Hey Darren — Certain proof that Whisenhunt is a real good coach is the fact that he has not lost two games in a row– in awhile. He is able to adjust and make the neccessary changes on a weekly basis. Plus his teams respond to him. He is a real even keeled guy– never too emotional. He is never too high or low. When did he lose 2 games in a row last?? Probably the 2008 season!! That certainly is something that people overlook!!

  30. By ross on Oct 11, 2010 | Reply

    Darren, what would you like to see happen with the cards backfield? You know these guys better than a lot of us fans. What would be the best mix (or not) for the cards?

  31. By Darren Urban on Oct 11, 2010 | Reply

    Ross —

    RE: Backfield

    I’m not the coach, so really, it doesn’t matter. I can see an argument to ride Beanie, and I can see splitting it 50-50/60-40-ish like it has been. I do know that they have to average more than two yards a carry to have any chance offensively.

  32. By NotSOfast on Oct 11, 2010 | Reply

    I must say that was a Great Team WIN!! Good job Cards way to man up!!

    I will eat humble pie because I did not think Max had “that” in him. Although he did not have the greatest stats, he played a great game and was able to extend drives and I feel the team was able to follow him and his toughness!
    The Defense played good and that is what we need from them.
    I think the coaches need to MAN UP in the bye week. I thought that they did a pretty bad job with the clock management and the play calls through out the game, especially in the end of the 4 Qrt .
    Maybe I am a little too critical and as they get more of a feel for this team with Max and the helm they will do a lot better.

  33. By Ez on Oct 11, 2010 | Reply

    hey darren, as i watched the game sunday i realized that the reason we were playing well was with the successful kick returning that gave us great field position,in my mind it was a domino-effect but i feel sad that LaRod is one of the unsung heroes of that game(He did scare the Saints not to kick to him after his second big return)

    what are you feelings on this?

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

    Ez —

    RE: Hyphen

    LaRod got lost in the tidal wave of storylines (and the fact the Saints wouldn’t kick to him after his two giant returns) but I think he’s felt the love this season, after what he almost did against Atlanta and then what he did vs. Oakland and New Orleans.

  35. By darrel on Oct 11, 2010 | Reply

    Darren…….Thanks for severing us fans with Great info your money is well earned keep up the good work

  36. By ross on Oct 11, 2010 | Reply

    When you talk to hightower, let him know he deserves more than beanie’s crumbs.

  37. By Logan cooper on Oct 11, 2010 | Reply

    A lot of people see the 1.7 ypc and think that is the worst thing ever and say thats why we dont run it.
    That number is bad, but running it as much as we did had a huge impact on why we were able to pass the ball better than we have in previous games.
    The saints had to put more men in the box to stop this and it was huge on play action plays.
    The running will get better and I am so relieved we won. GO CARDS!!

    The D won us the game….but until they put they put a string of good games together, I will still be nervous about them.

  38. By Ann M. Adam on Oct 11, 2010 | Reply

    Thank you so much Darren.
    Since there is no place to comment on a column, I shall do so here. The article “Defense Speaks It’s Mind” was excellent. I feel it is important to show how the defense works together as a unit and to recognize their efforts and hard work. Of course you should always call them on the carpet if need be. (LOL)

  39. By Chuck on Oct 11, 2010 | Reply

    I agree with bobf.
    Although I want to, I don’t watch the pre or post game (or any others) videos because of the inaudible audios.

  40. By chad d. on Oct 11, 2010 | Reply

    great game, for sure. rhodes was a great pick up and is doing really well along side adub, who also had a pretty decent game. dockett got more involved than i’ve seen all season. lenon is a beast And i’m thankful we’ve got him in there. If this d could give up less yardage, they’d be one of the leagues elite. the talent is definitley there, they just need to stop the run game. washington is going to be a beast in the NFL. great team win.

  41. By adam on Oct 11, 2010 | Reply


    What are your impressions of Joey Porter’s play so far? Have you heard how he’s graded out each game? Personally he hasn’t had the impact that I was hoping for, then again, besides last week, most of the front seven hasn’t had the impact I expected.

  42. By Darren Urban on Oct 11, 2010 | Reply

    Adam —

    RE: Porter

    I don’t know how he has graded. Whiz has mentioned him once or twice. I think your last comment is probably the best way to describe it.

  43. By don on Oct 11, 2010 | Reply

    Big fan of Gerald Hayes give him a few weeks for him to get back to 100% and sure up this defense. Brian has a ton of potential can’t wait to see what this kid can do if he’s healthy. Our defense still doesn’t look nearly like it should, still seems like we’re getting man handled up front. Only difference is we got some turnovers. We have to get pressure on hasselback and run the ball a lot two weeks from now; that crowd noise is going to make things tough on max hall.

  44. By Havasu Tom on Oct 11, 2010 | Reply

    Wow Darren, what a game.
    As I was trying to temper my excitement over Max, I found myself getting so excited during the second half. Max gave the team hope, and the other 52 ran with it. How awsome was that. Max has a lot to learn, but I think he can do it. A 62.9% completion rate was the best this season. Now we need to put it in the zone.
    I’m excited again, thanks CARDINALS!!!!

  45. By AndyStandsUp on Oct 11, 2010 | Reply

    When Hayes does come back, and I’m assuming will start alongside Lenon, whom will call the defensive plays?

  46. By Darren Urban on Oct 11, 2010 | Reply

    AndyStands —

    RE: Hayes

    I wouldn’t assume anything yet. I think playcalling would be TBD.

  47. By joe on Oct 11, 2010 | Reply

    These backs need to be held accountable, if you ask me its the backs that are looking bad in over all play, im not talking about some good big runs your bound to grab some of those, im talking about the mechanics at that position and the lack of. Even Whisenhunt didnt even notice our backs sunday, but i bet he sure did monday.

  48. By Jeff Gollin on Oct 12, 2010 | Reply

    Proposed recipe for winning –

    1. Defense consistently plays to standard set in NO game.

    2. Hall continues to learn and improve (Note – the amount of game-tape of “Hall as an NFL signal caller” he can learn from has literally doubled since Sat.).

    Finally, I hope Wiz and his players don’t rise to the bait and respond to the Niners’ blab. Just quietly go about their business and let the Niners continue to implode. (There’s nothing any of us can say any more powerful than 0 & 6, 7 or 8).

  49. By card62 on Oct 12, 2010 | Reply

    Darren can you let us know how often Max is ikn this week working with the coaches? I will be shocked if he is not in every day.

    I have no problem with the light week. The players are professional and all of them realize they make a lot of money so if I know my game needs work I am going to work on parts of my game with my position coach this week. Players are not children and this helps coaches know which ones are keepers or not.

    Defense and special teams won the game. LSH, Feely, and our coverage teams. We do not win without Ben punting the ball to the one. I think biggest play was Levi Brown recovery for a TD if Saints recover they might have been able to return the ball for a TD as no one was behind the ball. We know we have received some breaks this year so lets hope our offense plays better.

    I agree with the fan that said we could have did better with the clock at the end of the game. Thanks Steve

  50. By Darren Urban on Oct 12, 2010 | Reply

    card62 —

    RE: Max

    To be honest, I’m not privy to his schedule. I am sure he is putting in his time.

  51. By RogerH on Oct 12, 2010 | Reply


    Re: Inaudible questions during pressers.

    This issue comes up frequently during business conferences with large audiences. It is handled by having the speaker repeat or summarize the question before answering. This cures the problem and is a very common practice.

  52. By Darren Urban on Oct 12, 2010 | Reply

    RogerH —

    RE: Pressers

    Yeah, I don’t see Whiz or players doing that.

    The difference is that, at a conference, it is important for everyone in the audience to know what is going on. Remember, these are press conferences, and frankly, everyone in the press sitting in the room knows what is being asked. The fact fans get to watch the video later is a bonus.

    Again, we will look into it, but I can’t make any promises.

  53. By jason on Oct 12, 2010 | Reply

    max hall reminds me of jake plummer hall is a tough cometive football player and the defense finally played like i knew they would this season is max hall a feel good story like kurt warner only time will tell

  54. By MikeG on Oct 12, 2010 | Reply

    Hey Darren, Regarding the special teams! How much influence did you think Calais Campbell had on those 2 big missed field goals by the opposition this year?
    Janikowski and Carney might of been aware of Campbell’s size and may have over-compensated on those two kicks???? Certainly nice to have a tall lineman out there???

  55. By Darren Urban on Oct 12, 2010 | Reply

    MikeG —

    RE: Campbell FGs

    Not sure if he made a huge difference, but you never know.

  56. By MikeG on Oct 12, 2010 | Reply

    Hey Darren–What do you think Max Hall’s biggest obstacle will be playing on the road for the first time in Seattle???
    Crowd Noise and communication??
    I know the Niner’s had a big problem with that in the opener. And —do you see Breaston and Doucet available for that game???

  57. By Darren Urban on Oct 12, 2010 | Reply

    MikeG —

    RE: Hall issues/injuries

    TBA on Breaston and Doucet. I need to see where they are a week from today. As for Hall, crowd noise is going to be an issue not only for Hall but the O-line.

  58. By RogerH on Oct 12, 2010 | Reply


    If there is a reason why repeating questions cannot be done, fine. I don’t mean to be critical because you do such a good job reporting on the Cards. But the fans are not a bonus they are the customers and the reason for the game. I know Whiz really appreciates the fans and knows how important they are.

  59. By Darren Urban on Oct 12, 2010 | Reply

    RogerH —

    RE: presser

    Agreed on the role the fans take on. But the point of the press conferences are to talk to the press. I’m not saying the fans are a bonus. I am saying fans having access to press conferences is a bonus. Posting these videos is a relatively recent situation. They were never built for public consumption.

  60. By Michelle on Oct 12, 2010 | Reply

    I am so proud of our CARDS!! They played hard and went out with something to prove. I noticed all the Negative talk from the announcers and saying we didnt stand a chance against the SB champs…who has the last laugh now. We dominated that game!! Lets keep it up Cards!!! This is your division!!! Lets Go get em!! GREAT JOB HALL!!

  61. By Big Red on Oct 12, 2010 | Reply

    Hey, Dynosoar I’m with you I can’t stand those so call Americas team Cowgirls. #1 cowpoke hater. Go! CARDINALS!!!!!!!!!!!!

  62. By TBru on Oct 12, 2010 | Reply

    First Beanie couldn’t get any caries, now Timmy can’t. going into the season I envisioned a a two headed monster back there where no one was quite sure what direction they would go. Have they been on the field at the same time at all this season? Is Wiz trying to recreate an Edge fresh legs for the post season situation? I know they want to keep things simplified for Max, but I would like to see a few creative coaching moves thrown in. One of the things I always liked about wiz was his creativity or was that more of a Haley/Warner thing. I think we have a great RB tandem . We used to be the most prolific passing team in the league, well we aren’t any more. We have Fitz and a lot of question marks right now. With our depleted receiving corps I would love to see Hightower get some short pass action, and Beanie smashing the line I am not seeing Maui’a getting used enough in blocking either. I don’t think I have ever seen a football team so hesitant to use the ground game.

  63. By Scott H on Oct 12, 2010 | Reply

    Hate to say it but I’m so used to the team being WITHOUT Doucet that I don’t get my hopes up anymore. BUT it will be GREAT to get Steve-O back after the bye if he’s ready. Seems like a great time for this team to start to roll and Breaston’s return can only help. Despite the D’s great performance against the Saints, it was preceded by four games that ranged anywhere from barely average to lousy. I don’t see this team winning a lot of games on the strength of their D, so I want to see the offense getting it in gear. Specifically, I want to see this o-line start taking over the line of scrimmage and plowing the way for Wells. I know he was banged up early on, but as far as Beanie Wells goes, it feels like the season hasn’t even started yet! Well, the time has come. We were going to need the running game to carry the load no matter who the QB was gonna be. Now that that QB is a rookie, we need the running game to step to the front and prevent games being put on Hall to win.

    PS – I’ll be thrilled to see Doucet back, too, but it never seems to last very long.

  64. By darwin on Oct 17, 2010 | Reply

    I think Anderson would have done alot better if the off. line would have done a better job. I realize that Derek had alot of dropped balls but i really don’t think that can be all his fault

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