Sorting through Thursday practice

Posted by Darren Urban on November 18, 2010 – 2:02 pm

The running back situation hasn’t changed much since yesterday. Jason Wright (concussion) and LaRod Stephens-Howling (hamstring) each sat out again. While Beanie Wells was limited, I will be shocked if he doesn’t play this weekend. That’s certainly how coach Ken Whisenhunt is talking. The question is whether the Cards are forced to activate Alfonso Smith from the practice squad if Wright and Hyphen can’t go, or if they risk going with two running backs (one of which has been dealing with a knee issue).

— Along those lines, Whisenhunt said he has not decided who the starting running back will be, nor the kick returner if Stephens-Howling can’t play.

— The other spot of concern is at cornerback, where starter Greg Toler, who was limited yesterday with a left foot injury, sat out altogether Thursday. Whisenhunt said it wasn’t serious  but it’ll be wait-and-see. Safety Kerry Rhodes also was limited today after having his back act up. Rhodes was already on the injury list because of a sore hand.

— DT Darnell Dockett is getting better, Whisenhunt said, but the test to see if his shoulder will hold up won’t come until the weekend. The full injury list, by the way, is here.

— WR Larry Fitzgerald, on going to Kansas City: “I already talked to Todd (Haley) this week and he said he was going to let us win this game, so I don’t know if this one will be too tough. It’s already in the works.”

(Yes, he was joking).

— As an FYI, former third QB Brian St. Pierre, who was without a job until last week when injuries forced the Panthers to sign him, has been named Carolina’s starter this weekend for a home game against Baltimore. Stunningly, St. Pierre will have more NFL starts than Matt Leinart (who remains third-string in Houston) since Kurt Warner retired. If you would have asked me Thanksgiving-time 2009 where the Cards’ three QBs would be at this time 2010, I would have whiffed big on all three.

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51 Responses to “Sorting through Thursday practice”

  1. By Eric on Nov 18, 2010 | Reply

    Is LaRod one of those guys that has to practice friday to be able to play on sunday?

  2. By Darren Urban on Nov 18, 2010 | Reply

    Eric —

    RE: LaRod

    Yes. And frankly, even the guys who don’t have to practice Friday to play Sunday usually have to practice Friday to play Sunday.

  3. By Nikko on Nov 18, 2010 | Reply

    Here’s an idea, let larod, stephan& yes beanie wells sit this week out, there’s no need to throwing them back out there & risk losing them longer, we’ll need them for a payoff run! Activate Alfonso Smith, let him return kicks like larod does & “MAKE HIM THE STARTER”, yes I said that, MAKE ALFONSO SMITH THE STARTER!! I believe This guy took more reps in the preseason than beanie & tim, & in my opinion he seemed much more comfortable/sharper running the ball than beanie & tim did/have so far this season!! HE KNOWS THE PLAYS SO WHY NOT GIVE HIM THE FIRST 10 REPS TO SEE WHAT HAPPENS?? Better yet give him the first 5 & i guarantee he’ll average more yards than beanie & tim have so far this season!!!

  4. By Dre on Nov 18, 2010 | Reply

    Dang you are really shedding some light on what really to place behind closed doors with Matt. Good for Matt that he got out of here when he did wouldn’t you say…I mean we are only 3 and 6, doesn’t leave much room to talk. After seeing what Whisenhunt envisioned for the season I’m really happy Matt didn’t have to deal with the AZ bull anymore. Kurt said it best in his interviews.

    You guys act like the chick who got dumped…

  5. By ross on Nov 18, 2010 | Reply

    Nikko, really?

  6. By Nick Pepe on Nov 18, 2010 | Reply

    Darren – can you give an opinion on how well Alfonso Smith picks up the blitz. That would have an impact I think on how much they use him in the backfield, especially with the change(s) to the offensive line.
    And back to hoops: you’re the head coach, they are both on your team. Down 1 with 6 seconds left, who are you designing the play for? And please don’t say someone else.
    Thank you,
    Nick Pepe

  7. By Darren Urban on Nov 18, 2010 | Reply

    Nick —

    RE: Smith/hoops

    Alfonso is on the practice squad. Unless he is activated to the roster, he won’t have a chance to play.

    Those basketball games were in Feb-April of 2008. A long time ago. Both guys have lost weight since then. I don’t have a current scouting report. If you must insist, I am going with Whiz.

  8. By TAFARI & BIG YOUTH-NOT AN EASY ROAD on Nov 18, 2010 | Reply

    That’s funny Todd Haley tells Larry Fitzgerald that the Chiefs will let the Cardinals
    win the game, and Darnell Dockett tweeted last week that the Cardinals were
    going to win. YEAH fool me once shame on you, fool me 5,6,7,8,9,10 times
    shame on me.

    Not this time buddy not this time.

  9. By ksredbird on Nov 18, 2010 | Reply

    hey Darren, keep up the great work. This might be a little off base but i know that the cheifs O has multiple personel packages. Do you see Billy Davis tryin to match some of those? and if you get a chance tell Wolfley I challenge him to a BBQ eating contest saturday night.

  10. By Darren Urban on Nov 18, 2010 | Reply

    ksred —

    RE: Schemes

    I am sure the Cards are well aware of what the Chiefs are running. Not sure what they will do to go against it.

  11. By chad d. on Nov 18, 2010 | Reply

    @ nikko- that was only preseason, though. when teams don’t show up to win, they show up to find out who fits in and who wins jobs

  12. By Ross on Nov 18, 2010 | Reply

    The key to the game is if the cards can slow down Charles. That guy is gooood.

    And anyone who thinks a dude who can barely make an NFL roster would be better than Beanie or Tim is ridiculous.

    If that was true, he would be on the team and they wouldn’t.

  13. By Ben on Nov 18, 2010 | Reply

    I never thought I would ever say this, but…

    I’m bored…

    Knowing that Whiz will still be calling plays and Billy Davis still has a job makes me tired. Should I expect something different this week????

  14. By Alex on Nov 18, 2010 | Reply

    Congrats to St. Pierre. I really think that if was given the chance he could have developed into a great QB. We shouldn’t have given him up.

  15. By brad oneill on Nov 18, 2010 | Reply

    if its my team i make one of the backup linemen a running back. we aren’t going to run anyway except for the sake of keeping it balanced. let the safeties come in and stuff a 300 pounder a time or two before derek misfires on his throws. then they might be too tired or squished to pick it off.

  16. By kekojones on Nov 18, 2010 | Reply

    Hey, Darren if they activate Alonso Smith.. Who’s the Man Out? Who is going to be waived?

  17. By Darren Urban on Nov 18, 2010 | Reply

    Keko —

    RE: Roster

    Right now, I’m not sure Smith will be activated.

  18. By McNab's future on Nov 18, 2010 | Reply

    Fan’s recommendations
    DRC: manup tackle, tackle
    Toler: Please don’t run around for nothing. Please, cover your reciever. You are getting lost
    Bennie: Please don’t say “I’ m young….young. You are earning milions for whatever you need to do. You need to be a man who is responsible for his action
    Fiz: Please don’t wait to be fed with a spon. Jump, run, wrestle, secure, and grap the football as you used to do. Please don’t shake your head whenever things didn’t go in your way. You grapped lots of footballs upside down. why it is hard to protect the football from a CB in normal positions?

  19. By BostonJD on Nov 18, 2010 | Reply

    Darren – Couple of things,

    on ESPN- Mike and Mike yesterday morning they implied that the Cards were contemplating a 1st and a 3rd for Kevin Kolb. Any thoughts?

    Also, have you heard of any speculation concerning Kyle Orton? I think he has one yr left, but it seems to be they would want to get something for him, and let the Tebow Era begin.

    I know your probably exhausted on QB talk, but I really don;t think McNabb is the answer , when the Skins cut him …


  20. By Darren Urban on Nov 18, 2010 | Reply

    BostonJD —

    RE: Kolb

    There is no way the Cards are already thinking about it because Kolb isn’t on the trade block. I could see them saying the Cards should contemplate it.

    Orton is under contract through 2011. I do not see the Broncos getting rid of him after this season. Not with Tebow unproven.

  21. By brad oneill on Nov 18, 2010 | Reply

    bill parcels just texted me that he always wanted to be a defensive coordinator in az.

    oh wait no, that was my wife telling me i better get some dinner ready.

  22. By Scott H on Nov 18, 2010 | Reply

    If this game is on TV anywhere, I would recommend keeping small children out of the room…because they shouldn’t be witness to the kind of first-rate beat down the Chiefs’ running game is going to put on our sorry-ass defense. There is no way the Cardinals even get close in this one. And while I hope he is OK, I have to be honest in saying that I really don’t think our defense can be much worse without Dockett than it was with him. Something has not been right with that man all year. He has NOT been the player we have come to expect, not even close. I’d hate to think getting his deal has mellowed him out, but…he sure seems to have lost that intensity that he used to have.

  23. By AndyStandsUp on Nov 18, 2010 | Reply

    If Hyphen can’t go, the reasonable choice would be Breaston; but how about AJ Jefferson or even pulling Marshay Green off the practice squad.
    That would require a roster spot, but I liked the kid returning the ball in Flagstaff and Max Hall is just taking up air on the Cards sideline.

  24. By Scott H on Nov 18, 2010 | Reply

    Addendum to previous post – then again, we seem to have several players on defense who are either regressing or not playing up to the level that they are capable of. Once again, this finger points at Bill Davis as far as I’m concerned. There is no way this defense is playing up to its potential.

  25. By James on Nov 18, 2010 | Reply

    Darren, Why is there no talk about looking at Matt Hasselbeck (SP)? He’s at odd’s with the coach(well at least that is being said), Seattle brought in a expensive backup in Whitehurst, and Matt is his last year of his contract. PLus it would kill Seattle to see Matt stay in the Division. All the tlak has been about other QB’s but not word about Matty H.

  26. By Darren Urban on Nov 18, 2010 | Reply

    James —

    RE: Hasselbeck

    If he becomes a free agent, I’m sure he will be mentioned. But let’s see if he becomes a free agent first. And again, free agency might not begin until July or August (or later).

  27. By Eazy E on Nov 18, 2010 | Reply

    They gave a scenario and the cardinals were the example they gave they said say the cardinals finished 9-7, 8-8, 7-9, and have the 16th pick, would they rather draft Locker, Mallett, or trade for kolb. Schefter said the eagles he thinks would want a 1 and a 3 at the least.

  28. By Paul on Nov 18, 2010 | Reply

    Kudos Darren for challenging Wolf on analyzing the teams problems on the podcast. Ron just can’t being himself to criticize players because I believe he didn’t care for that as a player. But the problem is now, I assume he’s being paid to critique the team is he not. Can’t have it both ways.It isn’t a business of “I don’t know” .
    Personally I think the coaching staff has been out coached most the season plus the obvious issue of trying to find a decent QB. Glad the podcast is getting away from the cheer leading.

  29. By SeeingRed on Nov 18, 2010 | Reply

    Nikko…c’mon man..I liked Alphonso too but he aint ready to start on this team…besides we have a heck of a RB in a guy named Tim Hightower.

    Another person I think we could have brought back or kept-Brian SP..I liked him when he was here but he was hurt his last year here- which is why Leinart beat him for the No2 spot. He knows the system etc but I guess that made too much sense.

  30. By Darren Urban on Nov 19, 2010 | Reply

    SeeingRed —

    RE: St. Pierre

    He still has some back issues.

  31. By TucsonTim on Nov 18, 2010 | Reply

    Don’t you think it’s ironic that Haley has an offensive coordinator?

    Ben, it’s Billy ‘avis.

  32. By john on Nov 18, 2010 | Reply

    I have been a cardinals fan since i was around 4 years old. i watched the cardinals bring in thousands of older QB’s in the decline of thier career and with the exception of kurt warner it never worked. rememberBoomer remember 1996 wow. we need a young stud with a laser arm….somebody to play off of larry and steve rather than making them find the play. Orton is a proven QB who would love to play with our WR core, i think he’s a good choice. i also know that bruce gradkowski, is going to be a free agent he is not a laser arm guy but he moves the ball foward i like that. Nothing against DA but he just not a NFL caliber starter….

  33. By Brad on Nov 19, 2010 | Reply

    Hi Darren, what part of the Cardinals game-play are you most disappointed with so far this year?

  34. By Darren Urban on Nov 19, 2010 | Reply

    Brad —

    RE: Play

    Do I have to pick just one?

  35. By Michelle on Nov 19, 2010 | Reply

    @mcnab future….I dont think its fair to say bad things about Fitz or Beanie…..Beanie was injured which can happen to any player. He is young and has alot of drive. Whenever he plays he produces well!! As for Fitz….come on he is constantly double covered and that goes to show he is a great reciever. So dont come on here with (Fan recommendations) thats your recommendations. I think alot of things need to change but its not Beanie or Fitz fault for any of it. For starters we need a OC someone who can sit there and focus on nothing but the Offense and play calling….we dont have that in Whiz. 2. We need a OL that can protect our QB. If you have a great OL then an average QB can become great because he has time to read the field! 3. We need a new DC he has all this talent to play with and cant get anything right. 3. We need a QB I will say lately DA’s numbers havent been that bad, but we need to be able to put more points on the board then we have been! 1 last thing if we could pick up a really good pass rusher I mean a really good one….our D would be almost perfection…but like I said before we need a new DC first!

  36. By iLuvBugel on Nov 19, 2010 | Reply

    It might seem like a ridiculous suggestion but I actually think we should work out Jamarcus Russell and maybe give him a chance. We’re not going anywhere this season so what harm could it do. You never know, a guy with his kind of natural talent still has a chance in this league. If he improves his work ethic and is motivated by a second chance he could become something special. Just a thought. You never know.

    I miss Karlos, Antrel, Betrand, Antonio, Q, and of course Kurt.

  37. By shannonrobinson on Nov 19, 2010 | Reply

    This is a must-win game and those’re always great games to watch. To beat KC at their home is a tall order. As a fan I am glad this team is under so much pressure – I believe they win as underdogs when no one expects the team to show up. I remember how Garrison Hearst was mishandled and so I have lots of patience for Beannie Wells. There’s nothing like the firepower of a great running back behind a tough, mean offensive line. That’s a signature of a Russ Grimm coached line. Our defense has a lot of character and now is the time to rally. The season ticket holders deserve to see our team play the way we are designed to perform.

  38. By cards62 on Nov 19, 2010 | Reply

    Scott H. I agree with you on DD. I kept hearing how he was working out hard with the Shiek and was having a terrific camp and the season comes and he has not done much at all. I do not know how much of this is on DD and how much of this is on our 3 – 4 where no opponents fear our LBs. I was interested in seeing how our front seven played without DD and the answer I received was lousy against a weak Seattle offense so I hopee DD plays against the Chiefs. What do others think?

    Alex – St Pierre a great QB oh Alex thank you for my best NFL laugh of the year. As soon as I heard he was playing I picked up the Ravens defense for Fantasy Football. Alex get ready for a St. Pierre beat down.

    Guys this is what kills me about Lienart. Why did he sign so fast with the Texans ? He knew he could have waited on QBs getting injured and would have a chance to start some this year.

    I would not give a 1st and 3rd for Kolb just be paiient and there will be a few veterans to choose from in the offseason that we will not have to give any picks and they should want to come to the Cardinals for a legit chance to be our starter in 2011. Sorry but I think we are going to have a very high draft pick this year and I want a stud player at any of our positions of need. First would be Luck Stanford QB if we can get him and if not pick up a QB in the second or thrid round.
    Go Cards beat the Chiefs

  39. By D ryans on Nov 19, 2010 | Reply

    Anderson…again! I’m glad its in KC this week so i can just turn it off instead of being stuck at the stadium. AndySitDown.

  40. By Bryan on Nov 19, 2010 | Reply

    Dang…wouldn’t been nice if we kept St.Pierre around….

  41. By Lone-Eagle on Nov 19, 2010 | Reply

    Hey Darren,

    Could you do me a favor and advise the team that I will be 40 on Sunday and all I want for my birthday is a Cards win!!! That would be great, Thanks Darren!!

  42. By Darren Urban on Nov 19, 2010 | Reply

    Lone —

    RE: Message

    I will pass it along.

    Oh, and happy birthday.

  43. By Brad on Nov 19, 2010 | Reply

    Darren, yes, you must pick just one, question is which you are most disappointed with…

  44. By Dre on Nov 19, 2010 | Reply

    Scott H & cards62–

    I disagree with you guys on Dockett. Dockett is a player and how can you question a Cardinal Player who holds the Super Bowl sack record along with the late great Reggie White. And I want to call out all the fans that are attacking A-Dub on his game. A-Dub has been a Cardinal longer then anyone else on the team including coaches. This guy clearly could have jumped ship like the rest of our players over the years but he is here putting in work.

    I understand our defense has some issues and I get frustrated with them, too but one day I noticed they where in the top 5 in my fantasy leagues ( & Yahoo) in points. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing, despite giving up the most points in the league, the top 5 teams are (1) Green Bay (2) Chicago (3) Pittsburgh (4) Tennessee (5) Cardinals.

    So how would you explain that? Fantasy Football is all about making plays and this clearly proofs they are doing that despite giving up the most points in the league…20 sacks, 10 ints, (5 from our safeties) 8 fumble recoveries, 2 block kicks and the most TDs with 4. If they where only able to cut down points given up, they would be one of the best in the league right now….I mean, we all hear how great they are in red zone defense.


    You say you wouldn’t give a 1st and 3rd round draft pick for Kevin Kolb. Think about this, the Cardinals drafted Daryl Washington in the second round and gave up a third round pick to move up 11 spots to get him…so it took a 2nd and 3rd round draft pick to bring in a rookie LB and let us not forget about the 2nd round OLB we cut.

    Kevin Kolb will be the best available QB next year but it all depends on the demand. Arizona and San Francisco are in the most need with Carolina, Minnesota and Seattle looking to upgrade as well but AZ is most desperate. So, I say if he is available which he most like will be, start with a reasonable offer but you make that deal happen. The Cards are built to win now not in 2 to 4 years.

  45. By Scott H on Nov 20, 2010 | Reply

    Dre –
    Fantasy football? Are you serious? You’re gonna look at what this defense has been this year ( or, maybe you haven’t…) and say that they must be good because they are among the top 5 in Fantasy football??? Ya know what? You may be beyond help here…I’m sure the Cardinals had a great week for FANTASY owners during the same week that they collapsed and lost a game in the REAL world to the Vikings after leading by 14 in the last 3 minutes…agian, ARE YOU SERIOUS??? Yeah, I would MUCH rather the Cardinals be better in fantasy football than they are in the real world…that’s so much better! Dude, answer me this – what team has allowed the most point in the NFL as of right now? That would be the Cardinals. How’s that defense looking to ya now???

    And I love DD, but you can’t possibly be watching him this year and NOT be wondering what is going on. Then again, I’m sure he’s having a great FANTASY season, huh?

  46. By Dre on Nov 21, 2010 | Reply

    Scott H–

    I’m not going to waste the time in responding to you in-depth. I suggest you re-read my post and comprehend the words in it. Opportunistic is a term often used to describe defenses such as the Saints last year who by the way lead in fantasy points and won the Super Bowl.

    From above comment…

    [So how would you explain that? Fantasy Football is all about making plays and this clearly proofs they are doing that despite giving up the most points in the league…20 sacks, 10 ints, (5 from our safeties) 8 fumble recoveries, 2 block kicks and the most TDs with 4.{{{{If they where only able to cut down points given up, they would be one of the best in the league right now}}}}….I mean, we all hear how great they are in red zone defense]

    Dude you need a puppy…

    And could teams be focusing on Docket to make sure he is not a factor…I mean that is their job you know. Oh and by taking up double teams, Docket is doing his job per the defense…maybe not to your standards though right. Being double teamed sucks and will frustrate the heck out off a player but that is part of his job.

    So be quite and appreciate what you got before we get a Hayesworth in here.

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