“Best team in the NFC” coming to Arizona

Posted by Darren Urban on October 25, 2010 – 4:26 pm

The Buccaneers had just beaten the Rams — improbably — Sunday when head coach Raheem Morris proclaimed “We’re the best team in the NFC. Yeah, I said it.” The Bucs are a great story with a 4-2 record, and Morris — who just turned 34 in September — probably was caught up in the heat of the moment (especially since Tampa has had two blowout losses at home and remains a half-game back in its own division). Certainly, the Cardinals wish they were 4-2 and not 3-3.

Then again, it didn’t seem to matter much to the Cardinals. I don’t expect this to be stuck on the bulletin board all week (although it might end up in a pre-game speech somewhere).

“That’s his opinion,” defensive tackle Darnell Dockett said. “He’s the coach of their team and maybe that can boost his team up. We are coming off a loss and I don’t feel we are the best team in the NFC. We are trying to work. We are trying to be the best team in our division so I know I’m not going to say we are the best team in the NFC. Right now we are in second place in our division.”

Running back Jason Wright chuckled when asked if he could ever see coach Ken Whisenhunt making such a pronouncement.

“There is a difference in personality,” Wright said. “Whiz is always trying to make us better, and I think he knows if you give too much credit too early, you aren’t as likely to improve. So he’d probably wouldn’t say that, even if he felt that way.”

Wright added that players “don’t usually hear” such chatter, spending more time concerning themselves with video of the other team rather than their quotes.

Besides, at this point, there may not be a great team in the NFC. I’m sure the Falcons — the aforementioned 5-2 team ahead of the Bucs in the NFC South — would disagree, but the conference certainly has a wide-open feel.

“You really can’t tell who the best team is until February when the Super Bowl comes,” Dockett said. “That’s the best team, who represents the NFC. You just hope your words don’t come back to bite you when you say stuff like that. We’re going to stay humble and that’s our main focus.”

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66 Responses to ““Best team in the NFC” coming to Arizona”

  1. By matt on Oct 25, 2010 | Reply

    Darren, has there been any talk about the offense scoring just 1 td in 3 games? That’s ridiculous.

  2. By Darren Urban on Oct 25, 2010 | Reply

    Matt —

    RE: Offense issues

    No. There has been no mention of the offensive struggles at all. I would’ve thought it would be a bigger topic.

  3. By KyCardsfan on Oct 25, 2010 | Reply

    I literally laughed out loud at your response Darren…I’m sensing sarcasm lol. Btw, you are doing an excellent job covering everything, answering questions(mostly repetitive), and keeping sanity. Any word on WR Williams, I found a website that stated a “small fracture in his back”… Here is the link-

  4. By Darren Urban on Oct 25, 2010 | Reply

    KyCards —

    RE: Stephen Williams

    He may have a small fracture, but my understanding is that he could have played Sunday but didn’t because Whiz didn’t think he could play slot as well as O.J. Jones if needed.

  5. By Big Red on Oct 25, 2010 | Reply

    Welcome to the world according to Raheem Morris. Send him back down to earth CARDINALS, this coming sunday. Make him eat his words. He hasn’t been at the RED SEA.

  6. By Truefan787 on Oct 25, 2010 | Reply


    Any word on the game being a sellout yet?

  7. By Darren Urban on Oct 25, 2010 | Reply

    Truefan —

    RE: Bucs sellout

    Tickets still available.

  8. By matt on Oct 25, 2010 | Reply

    Oh wow bonehead mistake on my part thanks

  9. By ross on Oct 25, 2010 | Reply

    Darren…you are awesome.

  10. By OLDude on Oct 25, 2010 | Reply

    Yes Darnell , I agree we SHOULD be staying humble……we got a lot to be humble about.

  11. By bish- illinois on Oct 25, 2010 | Reply


  12. By Dre on Oct 25, 2010 | Reply

    Hey Jason Wright

    You and Andre made the C’mon Man segment of the ESPN Monday Night Countdown preview game show…what up with that. C’mon special teams stop turning the ball over.

  13. By kauaicardsfan on Oct 25, 2010 | Reply

    Hilarious response Darren, LOL

  14. By Scott H on Oct 25, 2010 | Reply

    Pretty sad when the Buccs are coming to town and you have to wonder if the Cardinals can beat them. Say what you want but the fact is, this ain’t 2008-2009 anymore. And so far in 2010, the Buccs are a better team than the Cardinals are. On paper, the Cardinals SHOULD be better. In reality, they are not. So far.

    I was at the game in Seattle and I got a real good look at just how bad it was. Granted, we beat ourselves with the turnovers but it doesn’t matter. The game still goes in the loss column. What REALLY bothered me was seeing how outwardly frustrated Larry Fitzgerald is. He was so badly overthrown on one pass early in the game that he was showing his frustration before the ball even hit the ground ( nowhere near him, by the way ). He had gotten behind the defense and if the ball was on the money, it’s a TD, no doubt about it. But he is NOT getting the chances he needs to help this team because of poor QB play, and it’s killing him. It’s killing us, too! I’m still excited about Hall but his passes were just God awful on Sunday. I have to wonder how this may be affecting Larry’s thoughts about whether he is going to sign another contract to spend what are going to be his peak years in Arizona if it doesn’t look promising.

    It was good to see the running game come alive a little bit but Timmy and Beanie are going to need SOME help from this passing game to keep defenses from loading up to stop them. Oh, and Hightower still needs to hold on to the damn ball!!! I swear, it’s reached the point where you have to hold your breath every time he carries the ball. And is it just me, or are his fumbles ALWAYS at just the wrong moment in the game??? They ALWAYS seem to kill momentum and give it back to the other team.

  15. By mkarizona94 on Oct 25, 2010 | Reply


    I love all your articles especially since I live in Chicago where you hear NO Cardinals news whatsoever. But I am starting to feel a little irritated with the way you seem to respond to some people.

    I mean the vast majority of the time you answer nicely with the needed answers, but other times like the question Matt posed, you can make some people feel stupid. I personally don’t believe you can answer like that because maybe this is the only article he has read in the past week or two.


    Anyway, my real question is:

    Do you think that the Cards would be looking at a new punt returner, or more of the same? I know Roberts is a rookie, but clearly a player cannot put himself in a position to hurt the whole team (I’m talking more specifically about the way Andre seemingly nonchalantly picked the ball up with one hand). And if a change is made, who do you think is next on the depth chart for returning punts? Breaston?

  16. By Darren Urban on Oct 25, 2010 | Reply

    mkarizona (and Matt, for that matter) —

    RE: My responses

    Here’s my thought on that. If you read my stuff much, you know I like the sarcasm. That’s just me. There is also part of me that feels like, I am busting my butt to put info out there, it’d be nice if people read it. Yes, since I feel like I am so accessible, sometimes people don’t read everything. OK. So they ask me the same things again and again and again, when I have already answered it. Or, in the case of Matt, I had written two stories on the very broad subject he brought up (and they were right there in big headlines on the homepage) and yet they were missed.

    Was I trying to make Matt feel stupid? Hell no. Was I was trying to make him think about checking around the site first? Hell yes. I know a lot of people look only at the blog, but if you do that, you’re not getting all the info. I kind of feel like, if you absorb everything I am putting out there, you will have 99 percent of your questions answered. (And Matt, if you read this, it seems like you took it in the manner I put out there and not personally. For that I say thanks. Apparently, between Twitter and the blog, some people are getting ticked at my methods. I am who I am, though).

  17. By Darren Urban on Oct 25, 2010 | Reply

    mkarizona —

    RE: Your real question

    I think Andre will continue as the punt returner for the time being. I know that’s going to irritate some, but there is a belief he can blossom into a very good player/punt returner. His leash won’t be very long, however, I wouldn’t think.

    If Roberts was removed, they’d probably try to put Steve back there, but my guess is they will sacrifice yards and tell Steve just to fair catch things. But I think right now they’d really like to avoid having their No. 2 receiver who is coming off knee surgery return punts.

    And before anyone asks, LaRod doesn’t return punts. And if someone does ask that (and not as a joke), yes, I am going to be sarcastic as all get out. There. Fair warning.

  18. By Grimey on Oct 25, 2010 | Reply

    I am so glad Coach Whisenhunt is not like coach morris or coach singletary. People need to quit talking about parts of our coaching staff being fired thats silly. we are 3-3! Such bandwagon fans. And wow max hall went from the future qb to worst ever really fast, he is a rookie! Lets give him at least the same amount of starts D.A had before we judge please.

    Hey Darren,
    I think Branch, Rhodes, Toler and Graham are the guys on our team that deserve pro bowl votes(so far), what do you think?

  19. By Darren Urban on Oct 25, 2010 | Reply

    Grimey —

    RE: Pro Bowl

    RIght now, I’d like to see how the season goes. So I abstain for the time being.

  20. By Eric on Oct 25, 2010 | Reply

    Keep up the good work, Darren. Your writing is top- notch and your insight is appreciated. I agree that too many people read the blog and don’t get the whole story on the main page.

  21. By JoeVero on Oct 25, 2010 | Reply

    Darren –

    With an ineffective Joey Porter on the edge and Will Davis injured, any chance we get to see O’Brien Schofield next week?
    PS If you can, tell any player you see I said hi, LOL, never talked to anybody famous except you Darren.

  22. By Darren Urban on Oct 25, 2010 | Reply

    Joe —

    RE: Schofield

    I don’t know if OB is going to be ready. He might take the full three weeks.

  23. By JoeVero on Oct 25, 2010 | Reply

    oh yeah, dont tell Joey I said that! haha

  24. By Chris on Oct 25, 2010 | Reply

    Great information Darren. We who read all the blogs and headlines understand you cover more than anyone could expect. Once again keep up the great work. And for those so called fans who think Whiz should be fired. GET A CLUE! He is the best thing this franchise has seen in a coach since Gene Stallings.

  25. By AndyStandsUp on Oct 25, 2010 | Reply

    Darren, what’s the deal with scoring points for this team? You have arguably the NFL’s best WR with only 2 tds, a run- based OL yet they continue to try to throw the ball and a HOF OL coach and SB head coach that continues to play conservatively. What’s your thoughts?
    And the special team play, especially concerning punt returns. If Komar isn’t available to replace Roberts, what the chances of someone like DRC or LaRuSH fielding the pigskin?

    Too easy.

  26. By georgiebird on Oct 25, 2010 | Reply

    Whiz has done a bad job of teaching the guys to be smart players. As a player, Whiz got by more on brains that on physical ability so his coaching style is a little hard to follow.
    Sort of opposite to the Cardinals is a team like the Patriots-whether they win or lose, the Pats seem to have smart players.
    If players can improve from the neck up, the Cardinals can still be a competitive team.

  27. By Darren Urban on Oct 25, 2010 | Reply

    Georgie —

    RE: Intelligence

    Explain to me, exactly, how you can teach a person to be smarter?

  28. By cardsfan28 on Oct 25, 2010 | Reply

    Darren, can you add a poll to the site so that we can nominate Max Hall as the next person to star in the next Burger King small hands commercial??

  29. By tRiGidY on Oct 25, 2010 | Reply

    Darren u might what too talk to the I.t Guy the site is messed up with that Probowl Ballot on it?? someone Fumbled the ball like Hightower an needs too be cut!!! If thats your job i will let u slide! til tomorrow! maybe it was just a all-a- round bad week??

  30. By joe on Oct 25, 2010 | Reply

    it is what it is, cards need time to develop their team, larry knows this and so does the team. I think cards fans need to sit back and be patient cuz the post warner cards will be better over time, maybe a season or two and the cards will become a 12-4 team. This year maybe 9-7 or 8-8. I waited 18 years for the rescent past two tears with the cardinals and they were great but its more of a new team then i think the majority of the fans had thought this year. I hope the Max Hall talk calms down, give the guy a break and let him go out and do what everyone says he can do just hasnt yet and lets face it he may very well not. I just cant see small QB’s surviving in this game anymore, the size, speed and power is ever increasing (breese is an exception but even he is getting caught this year by the D’s knowing how to play a small QB).

  31. By Phoenixraven1 on Oct 25, 2010 | Reply

    Find the “O”, the players are there they just have to put it together like the “D” has…

  32. By Ricky on Oct 25, 2010 | Reply

    Darren –
    Take your wife out dinner, go have a beer, or just kick back for a moment
    and take a break. I understand your frustrations from being asked the same questions over and over and over. Questions that you have already answered multiple times in the headline articles or on the blog. Don’t want to see these frustrations boil over in you and have you seek another line of work. You have
    hundreds (thousands) of fans out here that love your work and know that you are busting your butt to keep us informesd. Thanks for all you do………

  33. By James on Oct 25, 2010 | Reply


    I feel i have the right as a fan to vent about whats going on Hall is a rookie ok i believe in him BUT whiz maybe he ISN’T READY I WANT TO WIN THE DIVISION AND ANDERSON IS THE ONLY HOPE!! yes i want Anderson to do good so we have a QB for the next couple seasons before Hall is ready thats all thanks Darren


  34. By carssfanx on Oct 25, 2010 | Reply

    I appreciate your work here. is one best team pages in the NFL, And this is the best blog by far. Thanks for the effort. You make us all insiders.

  35. By MIKEFLORIO on Oct 25, 2010 | Reply

    Urb…..Urb… Urb…..Lol nice. Pro bowl ?????? lol hahahahahaha seriously, if anyone deserves a probowl bid its Kerry Rhodes,La-rod stephans Howlings, Washington and maybe Greg Toler. Everyone else has under performed or blantly just sucks. I’m happy for Boldin, Dansby, Rolle, Rackers though; who all are having probowl seasons.

    Whats the time frame for the progression of Skelton??? Do you see him being activated in the near future?? He is got the size, arm strength, for a protypical NFL QB.
    Fox commentary : Hall has small hands, and that affects accuracy, He a small QB.

  36. By Darren Urban on Oct 25, 2010 | Reply

    MikeFlorio —

    RE: Skelton

    There has always been a feeling he needs at least a year, if not two.

  37. By Ottis Anderson Fan on Oct 25, 2010 | Reply

    Had to chuckle when I seen the new splash page on — “vote for your favorite Cardinals in the Pro-Bowl balloting.” As it stands now, no Cards should be going to the Pro Bowl (LSH is having a good year on special teams, but others are having better). Hopefully a guy or two can step up in the last ten games to earn a spot on the team (although It’s the All-Pro team that really means anything).

  38. By Dre on Oct 25, 2010 | Reply

    Scott H

    Re: Fitz

    You know Larry isn’t perfect by any means. He has dropped a few passes and the ball can’t be perfectly thrown all the times. He’s going to have to take it to another level. I remember last year against the Giants he dropped a wide open TD pass…I was pissed because he was on my fantasy team and I lost by a number less then 6. Heck larry was a rookie to at some point.

  39. By brad Oneill on Oct 25, 2010 | Reply

    i just wanna say for every person Darren makes feel stupid there are two or three of us that still feel smart even though we may in fact actually be stupid. Darren keep working on it until you remove all doubt.

  40. By Kahrdz on Oct 25, 2010 | Reply

    Which player do you think has the best opportunity of “breaking out” against the Bucs ?

  41. By Darren Urban on Oct 26, 2010 | Reply

    Kahrdz —

    RE: Breakout

    Hopefully Fitz.

  42. By carssfanx on Oct 25, 2010 | Reply

    I know that Whiz teaches ball security, he has to. But do they devote any time at all in pratice to it.
    I mean these guys refuse to fall on a fumble. Even tackles are scooping up loose balls and trying to score touchdowns (that one actually turned out ok).
    You would hate to think that pro football players would need to be taght like a chlidren to fall on a fumble. But this isn’t some rec league either.
    in six games they is enough video on this team for three seasons on football follies.
    i’m not saying but i’m just saying.
    Protect the ball!

  43. By tRiGidY on Oct 25, 2010 | Reply

    Darren, Skelton on sports science looked Dam good. With that Chainsaw of a arm throwing 370rpm’s an getting the ball out in 1.55 seconds with 90%accuracy Rate.?? An Skelton had a better final 2 years of collage then Payton Manning had at 62% comp % time too Play!! No way we die with DA??? Right? please say No?? or are we getting that number 2 pick in the 2011 draft behind Dallas??

  44. By Darren Urban on Oct 26, 2010 | Reply

    Trigidy —

    RE: Sports Science

    Those segments are cool. And have zero to do with NFL football.

  45. By tRiGidY on Oct 25, 2010 | Reply

    P.s Darren fitz can cover over 3619 cu feet!! Don’t u think we can find someone too get him the Ball???

  46. By Chuck on Oct 25, 2010 | Reply

    I’ve read many times on this site that the Cards have a wealth of talent.
    I’m not convinced of that.
    Take a minute and think of the players who are playing the positions and notice some of the comments on this thread about how NO Cards are deserving of going to the Pro Bowl.

  47. By Mack on Oct 26, 2010 | Reply


    You forgot Ben Graham. His Punting has been steadfast and as we’ve seen, hes been doing alot of it. At this rate i see him breaking Andy lee’s record of 42 Punts inside the 20. Time for him to get the recognition he deserves!!!!

    And Dre, i remember that too, mainly because we had a wildcat going and i think it was Antrel Rolle that threw the pass. Haha.

    Also props to you Darren, you do a great job.

  48. By georgiebird on Oct 26, 2010 | Reply

    One way to improve team smarts is to stress referee involvement whenever the team has any type of practice session.
    The Cardinals employ a great strength coach-how about a coach for the neck-up part of the body?
    There is no attempt here to stifle a player’s enthusiasm, but the Cardinals have never been looked at as a real heady team -I just thought that Whiz’ might be the guy to improve this area.

  49. By Tyrelle on Oct 26, 2010 | Reply

    Well if our offense dont get themselves together then TB may be the best team Sunday. Seattle is not good, but without a QB the Cards will not win this division. Either Max show some consistency or we are in for a rebuilding year. Its simple as that.

  50. By Morris on Oct 26, 2010 | Reply


    Why cant we start john skelton as our QB, i feel like he can get us some touchdowns with his strong arm, and he is our 5th round draft pick and has some potential.

  51. By Peter in Canada on Oct 26, 2010 | Reply

    Dre- I remember that pass he dropped. It was when they ran the wildcat and it was thrown by Rolle. But relax, you would have lost any way because there was a flag on the play.

    Darren- thanks for everything. You do a great job. Your opinions are balanced, fair and insightful and you are not afraid to criticise the team when it is due.

  52. By nor cal cards fan on Oct 26, 2010 | Reply

    Urb- You’re famous?

  53. By Darren Urban on Oct 26, 2010 | Reply

    Nor Cal —

    RE: My status

    Infamous, maybe. Certainly not famous.

  54. By cardsbigredfan on Oct 26, 2010 | Reply


    Could Larod Stephens-Howlings return punts?

  55. By Darren Urban on Oct 26, 2010 | Reply

    Cardsbigred —

    RE: Hyphen PR

    You’re just testing me now …

  56. By Kevin on Oct 26, 2010 | Reply

    People just don’t get that you can’t just throw Skelton out there. 62% completion rate, etc… big deal — who does Fordham play? Very few QB’s make the transition quickly. Sam Bradford was a #1 OA pick, not a guy chosen in the 5th round. Jimmy Clausen showed he isn’t ready in his limited playing time. Colt McCoy has had a solid couple of games, but wasn’t supposed to be playing either — circumstances dictated it. Personally, I’d rather that Whiz had stuck with DA but I understand the move to Hall. People are expecting way too much though — best case scenario for 2010 is, Hall is maybe as good as we hoped DA would be — he’s not going to be a better-than-average QB this year (not sure if he ever could be) and we’d be extremely lucky if he were just average. Worst case scenario, he’s worse than DA was. Frankly, I think the worst case scenario is more likely than the best case, though I’d love to be proven wrong. And of course there’s a range of possibilities in between. The advantage of Hall over DA is that there is at least the possibility of Hall being a QB of the future, so if we’re going to suck at QB this year, maybe it’s better to do so while getting him experience. I think DA has a better shot at preserving the div title for us though.

  57. By Kevin on Oct 26, 2010 | Reply

    By the way, since this topic is about the “best team in the NFC,” I have to say I didn’t realize how bad TB is for being 4-2. I can’t believe the coach’s idiotic comment. They’ve gotten 4 home games already to our 2. Squeaker wins against 3 not very good teams and the other win was against what is probably the worst team in the conference. Like every year, we have some early pretenders (e.g., the onetime 4-1 Bears) but TB clearly is one of the top pretenders. I think we take care of them at home and given the emergence of our D would not be surprised to hold them to around 10 points if we can avoid TO’s that give them the ball in our red zone.

  58. By nor cal cards fan on Oct 26, 2010 | Reply

    Urb- Lol.. infamous, thats a good one.I love the fact u can keep it lighthearted. Do u see OJ continuing to be active over S. Williams, or will he return to the active roster once his back fully heals? Thanks as always..

  59. By Darren Urban on Oct 26, 2010 | Reply

    Nor Cal —

    RE: WRs

    I am guessing once Breaston and Doucet are set, Onrea will be a strong candidate to be released. Then the Cards will have choices to make as far as what WRs are active on game days.

  60. By CZarr on Oct 26, 2010 | Reply


    Do you moderate the Facebook posts as well?

  61. By Darren Urban on Oct 26, 2010 | Reply

    CZarr —

    RE: Facebook

    I am one of many. And there is so much done over there, we can’t keep up with it all.

  62. By CZarr on Oct 26, 2010 | Reply

    Kind of figured. Had a post deleted that you probably would have approved.. lol Ah well.

  63. By Scott H on Oct 26, 2010 | Reply

    Dre –

    C’mon, now…are you seriously going to point out the few and very occasional drops that Larry Fitzgerald has made with the career he has had to this point??? This guy has made a living catching everything ( ALMOST everything ) that comes near him and you’re gonna talk about drops??? Even Kurt Warner and his deadly accuracy needed to be bailed out by Fitz’s incredible hands and ability to adjust to balls in the air when they weren’t where they needed to be. He’d be doing no less for any of our current QB’s if their passes were coming anywhere near him!!! Seriously, did you see the Seattle game??? Even Larry Fitzgerald can’t come up with balls that are ten feet over his damn head. And, I’m sorry, but did you say that he has to take it to another level??? What level is that??? In terms of sheer talent and ability, he is already regarded as one of the two best WR’s in the game today. His career has him on a pace to be one of the best of all time. No, he does not need to take it to another level. What he needed on Sunday was a damn ladder! If THAT’S what you meant by “another level” then I agreee with you. Otherwise, I couldn’t disagree more.

  64. By Barry Bond on Oct 29, 2010 | Reply

    I hope Beanie Wells tears up the Bucs run defense Sunday. However I really like what Tim Hightower does when he gets those 70 and 80 yards touch down runs and he has an average of 5.7 yards per carry is OUTSTANDING. Too bad about the fumbles and I know some of those balls were stripped (stolen) and not just losing the ball but a turn over is a turn over and costly. If Wells has a break away game against Tampa Bay then he has to be the guy. If he dos’nt and he is stopped then I am going to be pist off. We just got to get POINTS on the scoreboard and get these WINS. Go Cards and make me happy Sunday!

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