Friday before the Seahawks

Posted by Darren Urban on October 22, 2010 – 3:51 pm

It was suggested the Cardinals this season were a “mysterious” team. Ken Whisenhunt said that was a “fair assessment.”

“We’re working to try and figure that out,” the coach said. “Changing the quarterback sometimes changes your team and sometimes the way the games have gone have determined who we are. Hopefully we’ll build off what we did against New Orleans and play better football. That’s all we can try to do.”

Well, Max Hall, what do you think? “Yeah, I think we’re still maturing, still growing,” he said. “There is still a lot to figure out, a lot to learn. I think we are headed in the right direction.”

So here we are, about to go to Seattle (the team leaves early afternoon tomorrow) not knowing exactly who the Cards are. The bye is great when you are coming off a victory, but the extra time off always lets the previous game settle a bit. You lose, and by the time the next game arrives you realize things aren’t necessarily as bad as you thought. You win, and the opposite is true – the euphoria is gone, and you adjust to reality.

The reality is that this game against the Seahawks means a lot. It means a lot in Hall’s development as a starter. It means a lot in the Seahawks’ quest (pun intended) to regain a footing as a division power, and a lot in the Cards’ efforts to show Atlanta and San Diego were more fluke than fact.

And we get to do it in the rain …

— Whisenhunt and Hall (and everyone) seem to be confident Hall got better as the game went. You figure they want to avoid early mistakes. You want to anyway, but a) the Seahawks get a big boost when the crowd is behind them and early mistakes help that (Tim Hightower pointed out the fast starts by the Cards the last two years in Seattle pretty much killed the crowd) and b) Hall’s mistakes seem to come early anyway, so if you can dodge the landmines …

— The Seahawks have the second-ranked rush defense and the 30th-ranked pass defense. Not sure that really means anything other than they have played pass-happy Chicago and San Diego already among their five games. The Cards have to run, both because of the weather issues and because of Hall. But bottom line, the Cards have playmakers like Larry Fitzgerald and Steve Breaston, and they get the ball through passing. They can’t – and shouldn’t — be ignored.

— Hall, on the mini-version of Max mania in the Valley: “I don’t make it bigger than it needs to be. It’s fun to get it. It’s fun to be recognized and to say hi to people going to the store, but I still have to keep my head down and work. I have a long way to go.”

— The Cards have benefitted from a gimpy Matt Hasselbeck the last couple of years. He is healthy now. He also has Marshawn Lynch in the backfield. Yet Hasselbeck doesn’t feel totally comfortable, and the Cards have to use that. “I’m trying to get caught up with this first-year offense,” Hasselbeck said. “It’s been a get-to-know-you situation.”

— How much have the Seahawks changed under Pete Carroll? They have made an amazing 219 roster moves from the time Carroll took over in January, including 13 trades involving 16 players and 21 draft picks. I honestly thought it would take them longer to get their act together with so many new people.

— Guys in the spotlight Sunday: Tackles Brandon Keith and Levi Brown (because of the noise issues) and the front seven on defense. The Cards need to make the Seahawks work on offense because, frankly, that unit is still not consistent enough.

— If the Cards can win the special teams battle – and make sure Leon Washington doesn’t hurt them in the return game – it’d be a huge advantage.

— Finally, Hall was asked if he has been working on his sliding. “Work on sliding, you know, yeah … I’ll just leave it at that.” Let’s hope he gets down.  We don’t need to see any more of  Brown’s “scoop-and-score” moves this season.

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Posted in Blog | 30 Comments »

30 Responses to “Friday before the Seahawks”

  1. By Chris S on Oct 22, 2010 | Reply


    How much has Max progressed over the bye week? Do you think he will be the QB of the future for the Cards?

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

    Chris S —

    RE: Hall

    Let’s let him play, oh, six or seven games before we pass judgment.

  3. By TILLMAN#1 on Oct 22, 2010 | Reply

    Max Hall is a BADASS!!!!!!

  4. By cardsfan28 on Oct 22, 2010 | Reply

    Watching Stevie Baggs make play after play on NFL network right now (including an 80 yard fumble return)sure makes me wish he was on our roster. Sure had high hopes for him. Maybe he’s just a CFL star… I dont know.

  5. By TBru on Oct 22, 2010 | Reply

    I think Levi should get a couple caries in the red zone this week

  6. By BigTom on Oct 22, 2010 | Reply

    Let’s go CARDS! I’m a recently transplanted fan from AZ to OR and ALL I hear about up here is the Seahawks. Let’s quiet the noise up here with a big win Sunday. And just for fun, I’m going to the game to be the loudest fan in the stands!

  7. By AndyStandsUp on Oct 22, 2010 | Reply

    I’m curious what has happened to gunslinger Whiz we’ve been accustomed to. Going for it on first down, WR reverses, flea flickers, fake punts and fgs, using the “Pahokee”?
    I know Darren has stated that Coach probably wants to get the basic plays down before trying trickeration, but so far the playcalling has been just plain Vanilla.
    Is he waiting for next Sunday before he tears off the mask and asks, “Trick or Treat?”

  8. By Hawk_Eye on Oct 22, 2010 | Reply

    I guarantee you Max Hall has never experienced anything like an away game at Quest Field. The Seahawk defenders will be licking their chops for some rookie sacks and interceptions. The Seahawks will win! Game Over!

  9. By Landon on Oct 22, 2010 | Reply

    Come on Darren, hall said it was a perfectly executed fumble-rooskie! every fumble we’ve had with him goes for positive yardage you know =P

  10. By AndyStandsUp on Oct 22, 2010 | Reply

    With Election Day coming up soon and with phone solicitators asking which way are you going to vote:(Knowing that you don’t predict scores.)
    How important is this divisional week 7 game?
    Is it pertinent that Hall makes it through the season healthy?
    Is Whisenhunt Democrat, Republican or other?
    What will be the final score?

  11. By Beauchamp on Oct 22, 2010 | Reply

    lets not forget he played oklahoma in cowboys stadium last year and he’s played in some pretty big college venues, not to mention that Hall did get lots of reps at San Diego and inside the dome at Atlanta. I’m sure we’ll have some false starts and Hall will miss some plays, but we’ve gone 7/8 or something of the sort (correct me if thats wrong DARREN). The cardinals will be good we’ve gone 3-2 under whisenhunt and made the playoffs everytime we did so quit worrying people! let the people who get paid money to worry about us losing do that and keep the faith

  12. By jzoully on Oct 22, 2010 | Reply

    Too early for the draft to be talked about, but seriously the cardinals could see a lot of linebackers just like daryl washington in the draft. 1. Mark Herzlich 2. Bruce Carter 3. Dont’a Hightower 4.Greg Jones and 5. Akeem Ayers. All great players. I am really excited because of all the potential stars in a deep linebacker class. Hope you check them out because one of them could end up on the roster next year.

  13. By Tyrelle on Oct 23, 2010 | Reply

    This is a Cardinals site Hawk_Eye so do us a favor and get gone.

  14. By cardsalltheway on Oct 23, 2010 | Reply

    Good, I was hoping for rain! Let me quote you and/or Coach 3 times and comment after each, per your “Study Hall” piece…
    “Max Hall needs to gain experience and develop chemistry with his receivers, and he’ll have to have success without the prototypical size or arm strength for an NFL quarterback.”

    The Cards don’t have to start a QB without the prototypical size or arm strength.

    “One thing the rookie doesn’t have to be worried about is being prepared, because that’s an area in which he will never cheat himself. Hall spends plenty of time in the video room, studying.”

    Don’t most new QB’s spend plenty of time in the video room, how is Hall different than others in this area?

    But there is a learning curve there as well. “As with a lot of the young guys, learning how to study the most advantageous way is a process,” coach Ken Whisenhunt said. “It’s accelerated because there is a difference between a backup and a starter. You like to think there’s not but obviously you are getting more reps so you have a better understanding.

    I’m sure the Cards Coach simply knew that the difference in studying between a backup and starter wouldn’t be a problem for Hall and that Hall would be much better than Skelton in this area correct? Hall is what he is b/c he has the complete support of all coaches/everyone behind him, something you know who never had nor does Skelton.

  15. By TucsonTim on Oct 23, 2010 | Reply

    Interesting that “everyone” thought Max got better as the game progressed. Twice in the 4th Q Max had Fitz open on 3rd down plays and he didn’t even give 11 a look. Fitz is waiving futilely as Max throws incompletions and we had another 3 and out with the game on the line. (curious clock management and play calling by the offensive coordinator) “I made a lot of mistakes”, mea MAXimus culpa, those were 2 big ones. Play calling or rookie mistake, hard to figure why you’re not looking at your franchise player (being covered 1-1) in those critical situations.

    Another very interesting 4th Q play vs the Saints was Beany choosing not to follow Maui’a through a hole big enough to literally drive a VW through and only a CB being blocked by Fitz stood between him and the goal line. Instead, on that 3rd and 2, Beany cut back into a 9 man front for no gain. Perhaps our O’line problems aren’t all due to the O’line. Maybe this is why we see the smaller slower less explosive TH as often as we do.

  16. By cardsalltheway on Oct 23, 2010 | Reply

    “I’m curious what has happened to gunslinger Whiz we’ve been accustomed to.”
    It’s not hard to see, everytime the Cards Coach chooses to use the passing game to open up the running game as opposed to using the running game to open up the passing game.
    I also think you’ve seen enough already with the QB controversies that the Cards Coach chose to initiate. I think the gunslinger is all slung out waiting for his dream to come true.

  17. By montana card man on Oct 23, 2010 | Reply

    Seahawks are a better team this year, but after a couple quick cards t.d.s the fans will forget about the game and go back to starbucks for some more lattes. I lived in that town and there fans are weak.

  18. By cardsalltheway on Oct 23, 2010 | Reply

    Weather Report(this guy is good “A solid driving rain with gusty winds, Hawks got the 12th man, rain could be the 13th”)…

  19. By Peter in Canada on Oct 23, 2010 | Reply

    I agree that the second against the run and 30th against the pass doesn’t mean much. But I do think that if the Seahawks stack againt the run like the Saints did, Hall could have a very successful time finding the wr’s.

  20. By brad oneill on Oct 23, 2010 | Reply

    The sea chickens haven’t given up a hundred yards to a runner yet this year, max hall has yet to throw a touchdown.

    Inorder for the cardinals to win one of those two things is going to have to change. My money is on Max, since our run game has sputtered against much easier competition.

    ps now that we have seen beanie can we return to a balanced mix of tim and beanie?

  21. By Dre on Oct 23, 2010 | Reply


    Re: licking chops

    Yeah, M. Hall is a rookie QB but I’m not convinced Seattle has a true #2 rush defense….I think they are sheep in wolfs clothing. The Cards aren’t going to try to win games with Hall doing everything. Why would we come into this game with a heavy passing game plan when we know they like to blitz their DBs. They will mix it up with the run to help keep defenses from focusing on him.

    I expect the Cards will run the ball and then take advantage of Seattles weak pass coverage. I hear the hawks might have a rookie cornerback holding Fitz or Breaston. How do you think the hawks will hide that. All Hall has to do is be efficient.

    Our defense is good enough to hold Seattle’s offense to a minimum. It is time for the Cards defense to wake up and take the lead…we have all the pieces.

  22. By Sean on Oct 23, 2010 | Reply

    I wish everyone would stop expecting Hall to be perfect. He’s a rookie, look at what Peyton Manning did his rookie season, and now he’s on track to become arguably the best QB in NFL history. Not saying Hall will do the same, but quit nit-picking at all the mistakes, they are going to happen.

    And, to Cardsalltheway, quit complaining about Leinart. We would probably be 1-4 right now if we had him. He had no spirit, no heart, no sign of any emotion when he was playing. Even I felt dull watching offense on the TV because of him, so imagine how they felt in the huddle, seeing it in person. He simply couldn’t motivate the offense.

  23. By tRiGiDy on Oct 23, 2010 | Reply

    Sea-chickens suck! Lets go Redbirds! 1st place 4-2 an Control of the Nfc West! Again!

  24. By Eazy E on Oct 23, 2010 | Reply

    We need to do more wildcat maybe with LSH or Beanie and line Levi up at TE at the goal line maybe he can catch some tds LOL!!!

  25. By Matt on Oct 23, 2010 | Reply

    Delusion…Absolutely delusional. Max Hall is mediocre at best. The Twelfth Man is going to rattle his cage and there will be no recovery. Meanwhile the Seahawks will stuff the run with their 2nd rushing defense, and the newly balanced offense will dominate the field. 28 to 9 Seahwks

  26. By Sean on Oct 23, 2010 | Reply

    HA! The Seachickens get a tiny bit of success and all of the sudden they are the best team. Dont forget you guys havent done too much the past 2 years, I dont see a radical change this year.

  27. By Chuck on Oct 23, 2010 | Reply

    I find it amusing that other teams don’t have Blog sites that have enough posters and traffic to keep their fans occupied.

    Oh well, welcome to Darren’s blog where the Cards fans are pumped, chatting and looking forward to the team’s third straight Division Championship.

  28. By cardsalltheway on Oct 24, 2010 | Reply

    Hey Cards Coach…How long do non-statist Cardinal fans have to put up with or I should say without the prototypical size or arm strength QB of an NFL quarterback???????????????????

  29. By cardsalltheway on Oct 24, 2010 | Reply

    Hey AndyStandsUp…2nd and 9, so what do the Cards(Coach) do when there are 6 db’s and 4 WR’s…Pass play of course which results in another sack. That’s the “gunslinger” you wanted to see.

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