Breaking down the roster

Posted by Darren Urban on January 4, 2011 – 12:27 pm

That change coach Ken Whisenhunt was talking about? It’ll come. How fast? That’s TBD.

“I wish we could do it all in a day, but it is not a quick fix,” Whisenhunt said. “You have to make sure that you do it within the constraints that are given to you and you do it the best you can.”

In the meantime, that leaves us to speculate and break down. As of now, the coaching staff remains intact and I have heard nothing yet to suggest otherwise. Will there be movement there? Usually, Whisenhunt has come out and said there will be no changes if there will be no changes. He didn’t say that yesterday, so the door is open. If anything does happen, I’d think it’d have to come in the next two or three days. I guess I’d be a little surprised if nothing happened given the outcome of the season, but not shocked.

As for the roster, I’ve broken down it all by player within positions right here. Included is each player’s contract status, and obviously, one of the first things you notice is the many players not under contract for next season — I count 29 all told, several of whom have played significant roles. One of the free agents, Jason Wright, talked yesterday about how talks have been slowed because of the CBA and how the Cards don’t know what the labor landscape will be going forward, making it harder to negotiate contracts right now. It’s not a unique situation, clearly; Panthers ownership came out today saying they are waiting to sign any of their own free agents until a labor deal is done.

The problem is that the labor deal might not be done for a few months. The free agency period might have to be a  very quick (Three weeks? Four weeks?) time frame late in the summer. There is no question until  that CBA is figured out (and when), it is a complicated offseason.

All that said, there are obvious players the Cards will have to look at at some point. Steve Breaston (pictured below), Deuce Lutui, Lyle Sendlein, Alan Branch, for example. And since there are players already under contract that seem to be long shots to return (thinking Anderson, Hayes, Porter off the top of my head), it puts the roster in an even greater state of flux.

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125 Responses to “Breaking down the roster”

  1. By darrel on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply

    Darren I saw u say something about The panthers do have insight about steve smiths future seem like were going to lose breaston I would like bresaton as a slot and punt man, he’s not a number 2 in my eyes we need another wr another 2 rather with doucet likely gone too fitz needs help if he’s going to sign contract

  2. By Rick Goodin on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply

    Ken, You’ve had your worst season. It’s a little like golfing where you leave the hole behind you and move onto the next hole. Next season you have the opportunity to build something great. Your skills have already been proven except a losing season, and that’s now behind you. You’ve got great talent that can be better. Everybody does. I don’t remember any team doing well after assignment to multiple quarterbacks. So the solid foundation has to be built around that position and the personality has to have the where-with-all to building solid relationships with all his team mates. Once that’s established, it all falls into place. Boy that’s easy to say and hard to do. I’m surely not telling you anything you don’t know. I am going to say, as a season ticket holder, I still had plenty of fun this year and will continue to back to see you shape another winning team. You’ve got my support.

  3. By cheesebeef on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply

    The Panthers are proof positive of one thing and one thing only Darren… running a pathetic franchise. All this tal about “oh, we don’t know what the CBA’s gonna look like” shoul be taken into account, but there HAVE BEEN players extended this season on numerous other teams. Heck, Mike Williams, who’s had ONE OK year his entire career and numbers matching Breaston’s year this year just got extended. We sand-bagged last year for fear of what the CBA would look like and it seems like you’re preparing us for another year of excuses from the team. All that tells me is what I already know about this team and it’s FO… it’s passive and reactive and all that leads to horrendous contracts, letting other players get to a point where you can’t afford them and then overpaying aging vets to fill those players spots and ending up with a poop sadndwich we were served this year.

  4. By azfan88 on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply

    darren if we release porter will we face a cap penalty sorry if i spelled it wrong thanks urban

  5. By Darren Urban on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply

    azfan —

    RE: Releases

    Right now, there is no cap for which to be penalized.

  6. By Chris Keal on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply

    “You have to make sure that you do it within the constraints that are given to you and you do it the best you can.”….Reading between the lines, I don’t like the sound of that. In other words, “I’m being handcuffed by the organization in what they are willing to do financially to right the ship so I will do the best I can but don’t get your hopes up.” That’s what I hear when I read that. I hope I am wrong.

  7. By Don't Take Losses on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply

    Curious why team might look for other punter?

  8. By Darren Urban on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply

    Everyone —

    RE: Punter future

    Graham is great at pinning teams, but they feel he doesn’t do enough to change field position on longer punts. Not saying he is gone. But he’s not a lock to return.

  9. By Mark on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply

    I was doing the same list during my lunch break. Should have just waited for you to finsih yours. One thing seems clear, if the CBA keeps FA from starting until late in the summer that will severly disadvantage teams that are rebuilding like the Cardinals. New starters, especially the QB need that time to learn the offesne/defense. Graves will have to work fast and be aggressive. Something he is not known for.

    On a slightly different note. What is your take that Denver would trade Orton for a 2nd round? Would you be interested in Orton for the right price? He is young enough to be a starter for a while. All of his stats were great last year except the win-loss which is the most important. I think he could be had for less and this is just the first act of negotiations. The upside of a trade is that a vet QB could be learning the offense even if there is a lock out via Fitz. Other trade options could be Kolb or Palmer (if Lewis is back then I think Palmer is not on the table). Young may be on the market as well. Which pre-March-4th QB options appeal to you?

  10. By Darren Urban on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply

    Mark —

    RE: QB

    I want to know, in the end, what Orton or Kolb cost. If you trade, it’s because you don’t really like the draft options other than Luck. Because I can’t see spending two of the first two or three picks on a QB (in a trade and then drafting one).

  11. By azfan88 on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply

    darren what was ur best memory of the year

  12. By Darren Urban on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply

    azfan —

    RE: Best memory

    Loved Breaston’s strip in St. Louis. And the Dallas rally.

  13. By DAfan on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply

    Darren, what does ER mean on the document?

  14. By B. Booey on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply

    Wow! Graham may be out? I think he’s one of the top punters in the NFL? What gives?

  15. By Mike Ellingboe on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply


    I liked the player-by-player breakdown you gave, all sounds in line with what you’ve reported and what we saw on the field. One question, is there a reason that Ben Graham may not be back? Potential cost for retaining a punter expected to be too high?

  16. By SteveDCO on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply

    Thanks Darren this is great!

    Going to be an intresting offseason with no CBA in place and so many unknowns on the offensive side of the ball.

    Defense, you can plug in all the starters now and feel okay about the team. CC, DW, DD, CH, DW, PL, OS, GT, DRC, KR, AW. Even depth seems okay.

    I tried to mock up the offense and outside of #11 I couldn’t keep going.

    Unknows at almost every position.

    This means fans will probably get what they want a lot of FAs and draft picks.

  17. By brad oneill on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply

    thanks for the breakdown, I was surprised to see ben graham listed as a position that might be replaced. the guy had a pro bowl year last year and although his punts weren’t bouncing quite as well as they did last year i still thought he did a very good job for us this year.

    i thought toler was our best corner this year and held up well under the onslaught of passes chucked his way early.

    stephen williams and doucet seemed to fall the furthest of any of our receivers. WIlliams looked so good in practice and preseason to have him completely flop was a surprise to me.

    Beanie wells and tim hightower are lucky the team has other issues to address. I haven’t given up on them yet but either will be seen as expendable if we have a high draft pick again next year.

  18. By Wampag on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply

    oh man playoffs starting and no CARDS, got used to a post season weird too because for years there was no post season, I remember beating dallas with Jake the Snake and then losing most of the rooster before facing minnesota and getting blown out.

  19. By David C. on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply

    Do you think the Cardinals would have any interest in Kyle Orton, Brady Quinn or Alex Smith? All three share the qualities Whisenhunt looks for in a quarterback (hard worker, gym rats, high IQ, etc.).

  20. By Darren Urban on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply

    David C —

    RE: More QB

    Again, I see them exploring all options. Quinn probably not. Orton maybe. Not sure on Alex Smith.

  21. By D on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply

    I agree on your assessment. I think Breaston, Branch, Deuce and tender Lyle a 2nd rounder to keep. (unless they know more about Breaston’s knee than reported)
    I guess you bring back Haagans, hopefully a young LB can move him to a reserve role. DRC, Dockett, Beanie and Campbell need better season’s next year. Wilson is now a “in the box safety”, need to coach up his backup….where to find a QB……

  22. By Darren Urban on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply

    D —

    RE: Sendlein

    He will be unrestricted. My mistake.

  23. By Voice of Reason on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply

    Darren — re Ben Graham — why do you think the team is likely to look elsewhere? After living for years with awful punters, seems to me this guy is one we ought to keep…

  24. By Mark on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply

    Darren i don’t see why you say the team might look elsewhere for a punter? Ben Graham has been solid these last few years

  25. By SierraVistaNick on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply


    Just read a report that the Broncos are shopping Orton for a 2nd round pick. While I don’t think he is 2nd round material…I think a 3rd would be good. He is pretty decent QB that manages the game well…I’m sure it’s way too soon, but any talk of going after some one like that?

    May have to wait until draft day…but I think a veteran needs to be on the roster to groom these guys.


  26. By James on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply


    I was reading an article on Whizs exit interview on and Whiz said “Upgrading the quarterback position is among the top priorities ”
    “If that means a veteran, if that means draft, I don’t know right now,” Whisenhunt said. My question to you was; does that mean that none of the quarterbacks on our roster right now will be a starter for us in the comming season? Thanks for yout time and hard work darren,


  27. By Darren Urban on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply

    James —

    RE: Even more QB

    First of all, you get the same info right here:

    Second, it doesn’t mean anything other than the Cards will be looking everywhere. Right now, I’d say the odds are slim the 2011 starting QB is on the roster.

  28. By azred21 on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply

    For the qb situation i hear that denver is looking for a second round pick for orton

    I think arizona should jump on that opportunity

  29. By kekojones on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply


    A suggestion for next year: Is it possible to be able to make comments on your main page stories?

  30. By Darren Urban on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply

    Keko —

    RE: Comments on main stories

    It has been a request to the people who build the site. Not sure how soon it will be available.

  31. By Jamham on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply

    Why you would you not be suprised to see team look at a new punter urb?

  32. By Voice of Reason on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply

    Kyle Orton would be very good in our system. So would UFAs Carson Palmer, Matt Hasselbeck and Marc Bulger. It demands accuracy and the ability to play well against the blitz, and each of those guys have that.

    I wouldn’t touch Brady Quinn or Alex Smith — they are DA-like reaches, and we’ve made that mistake already.

    I am beginning to wonder if the #5 pick is better spent on the best OLB pass rusher in the draft. In the second half last week, we couldn’t sniff the quarterback, and they were playing with two rookie linemen.

  33. By Voice of Reason on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply

    But I’m not giving up a high second round pick for him. I’d offer up the high third, though. Denver would be crazy not to take it.

  34. By Cj on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply

    Do you think that Kyle Orton is worth a second round pick? There is a report saying the Bronco’s would deal him for a second… and do you think that the cardinal’s would pull the trigger and trade for him??? Thank you for answering, I love reading your stories.

  35. By Darren Urban on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply

    CJ —

    RE: Orton

    As I said, second for me is too high. Maybe a third. If you like him.

  36. By David C. on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply

    I’d take a flier on Quinn. He’s still an unknown. Has the makeup of a franchise-caliber QB. Needs to be developed.

  37. By Rich on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply

    What a great position by position breakdown! !!!!! Thanks Darren !

  38. By Scott H on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply

    Darren –

    Off the topic a bit but I wanted to ask – With the Cardinals having such a down year and poor OL play being a big part of that, do you see Russ Grimm getting any offers from anyone to be their head coach? Sure are a lot of teams needing coaches right now…also, do you know if the possibility of Wade Phillips as a def coordinator will even be considered by this team? I heard today that the Texans were interested in him and that interest may be mutual. Phillips is definitely done as a head coach in the NFL ( I think ), so his future is as a D coordinator and he is one of the best in that category. I was hoping the Cards would seriously consider him…any chance that happens? Please don’t tell me Billy Davis is returning next year. Just don’t, I beg you.

  39. By Darren Urban on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply

    Scott H —

    RE: Staff

    Nothing has happened on the staff right now. I do not think Grimm is expected to be in the mix for a head coaching job as of now. Unless someone is out, it makes no sense to worry about a replacement.

  40. By Voice of Reason on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply

    I think John Skelton has the makings of a franchise qb that needs to be developed. Has the tools; just not there yet. So Quinn would make two of those. And no team should have two.

    Every team, however, needs two quarterbacks that are able to play when called upon. So here are my thoughts:

    I like the idea of Kyle Orton and Denver’s #4 for our #3. Or signing Palmer, Bulger or Hasselbeck (listed in order of preference). Then, after the draft, if we don’t see somebody fall, bring in another vet to vie with Skelton for #2 (Tim Rattay, Patrick Ramsey, or Rex Grossman, for example). Key is to let Skelton continue to develop and learn from good qbs who have had some success in the league.

    With the quarterback position addressed, where to go in the draft? I’d say pass rusher (glaring need at OLB to play with Schofeld) or corner, letting Toler play the nickel spot.

  41. By Gary K. on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply

    @David C.
    I believe the QB you just described is already on the Cards’ roster. His name is John Skelton.

  42. By Pheenic Cromartie on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply

    Darren, has Coach Whiz and co. started looking at film already? Or are they sort of taking a vacation (Don’t blame them at all after this season)? When do you think we’ll start seeing cuts and changes, and when do you predict the new CBA will be signed?

  43. By Darren Urban on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply

    Pheenic —

    RE: Coaches

    They are still working right now.

    As for changes, it might be a while, like until the CBA is figured out. When will that be? I don’t know.

  44. By georgiebird on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply

    Nice synopsis of the team roster.
    If you look at your comments, you can clearly see that this is not a team with a lot of talent. Therefore I disagree completely with others who say “we have so much talent”.
    Whiz did a bad job this year but if he has a valid excuse -it’s that the roster has very little talent. If Whiz is responsible for bringing players in (draft/FA) then he’s part of the problem along with Graves. Except for a couple of top-flite HC’s, I doubt any could have won more than 5 games with this team (the only wild-card being the “IF” in Leinart’s departure).
    On another subject- at the beginning of the season I questioned your ability to be objective with your comments given you were paid by the team and interfaced with coaches and players. At the time everyone got on me for being a “party pooper”. As the season went on and the losses mounted, my views became the views of many others. I only mention this in that I don’t make weekly wins and losses influence my opinions on the Cardinals as many others do.
    But under the circumstances, I think you did an excellent job of being a friend to all of us. You have been fair, tolerant and tireless in hearing us out. I enjoy trading views with you and somehow I feel that there are important Cardinal people who are very interested in what is “said” on this site.

  45. By Darren Urban on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply

    Georgie —

    RE: My job

    I know we have gone back and forth before but I appreciate your comments. You clearly care a lot about this team.

  46. By Khardz on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply

    Would be nice to comment on videos as well.

  47. By TXcardsfan on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply


    Great roster break down. Thanks for what you do. Stuck in Cowboy’s country so all the local coverage is much appreciated. What do you think is the chance of the Cards spending the cash on Duce to bring him back?

  48. By Darren Urban on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply

    TXCards —

    RE: Deuce

    I think they want him back. Whether that happens, it’s up in the air.

  49. By sherri on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply

    Thank you Mr. Urban for keeping us fans informed about the team.
    If we can get Orton is it possible we can get a O guru in Josh Mcdaniels?
    I think we get both and let Coach Wiz manage the team. Do you think Wiz and front office go after a young off mind to excel the talent we have?

  50. By Darren Urban on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply

    Sherri —

    RE: McDaniels

    I do not expect that to happen.

  51. By Anthony on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply


    I am very curious about the draft 2011 picks? What the Cards would pick? just let me know lol

    and other question is that people rumor that Larry Fitz is done with the cards for good? i hope not.

  52. By Ernie on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply

    I really think the cards should dump………Anderson,max hall, and bartel. Pick up mcnabb and draft a franchise Qb, there are at least five or six coming out. our main problem was the QB play…….it sucks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! without a leader at QB, there is no team,unity,chemistry.our defense is good but without a offense, the defense is out there to long. roll the dice and get LUCK!!!!!!!!! he’s our savior,The whiz will love him. He’s a very smart QB. Very Cerebral like warner even better. LETS TRADE TO GET THAT 1ST PICK CARDINALS, ITS WORTH IT!!!!!!

  53. By Christo on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply

    Errr another day and Billy Davis is somehow STILL employed?

    What gives Graves? Send a message, you don’t need to sugar coat this. There is absolutely NOTHING on his resume (Not even our D TD’s this year) that warrant him any consideration to return next year.

    Honestly, I am starting to think that our problems lie deeper than . . DC, OC, O Line Coach, QB, OG, OT, CB, oh and lest we forget the inability to draft the right player at the right time.

    We better not need a new GM too!

  54. By Christo on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply

    Re: to Orton.

    Our 2RD does seem high. However if we knew a 2RD pick could give us 5 years of stability at our most pressing position is that not worth it? Orton has improved every year in the League. Even if we only got 2 or 3 to groom Skelton it would seem worthwhile.

    Perhaps we give up our 2RD and get Orton + Champ (Is he under contract)? Maybe Orton + their 5RD?

    As far as cost goes with the Big 3 (Orton, McNabb, and Kolb) Orton may be the best bang for our buck.

  55. By TBru on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply

    Kyle Orton – maybe
    Carson Palmer, – maybe
    Matt Hasselbeck – too old
    Marc Bulger. hell no
    Brady Quinn Oh my god I almost hurt my self laughing
    Alex Smith, I would take his brother Troy, before taking Alex

  56. By cheesebeef on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply


    am I reading you wrong in the comments section, but are you saying that Coaching changes might not be made until the CBA is worked out?


  57. By Darren Urban on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply

    Cheese —

    RE: Coaching changes

    If there are coaching changes, they will happen soon. The CBA has nothing to do with that.

  58. By TBru on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply

    Richardson on record as saying Carolina will not trade the #1

  59. By cardsfanCJ on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply

    if we dont use the first around pick on QB the we need a WR like AJ green i think bring in a vet u could get DE from other rounds or even other team we need offense to keep D of the feild more than jus 18 min but if i dnt kno u kno more than me darren and forgets people that hate u for putting the news out someone has to do it even if some of dnt like what is said but kyle be good for like a 3 or 4 rounder if denver goes for if u respond thank you hope for good season when or lose still will go to the games or watch them play that a real fan

  60. By UC on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply

    “Graham is great at pinning teams, but they feel he doesn’t do enough to change field position on longer punts.”

    Darren, when did “they” say that? Was it reported? I don’t recall reading it anywhere, the first I heard about it was when it started showing up in the local media like it was common knowledge.

  61. By Darren Urban on Jan 5, 2011 | Reply

    UC —

    RE: Graham

    Hasn’t really been a story, per se.

  62. By Blair on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply

    Hahaha no one must have watched the denver game this year. One of the worst defenses in the leauge this year (the cards) made orton look like crap. Still everyone here is wishing for him because of his stats! Look at the win loss of his career and then we can talk. PLEASE NO ORTON

  63. By cheesebeef on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply

    oh… WHEW! I was PRAYING I read that wrong.

  64. By ross on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply

    Darren, great work. As usual.

    Do you think the team will be in rebuilding mode for a few years, or do you think they can turn it back around quickly?

    Thanks (and I didn’t even mention TH —oops)

  65. By Darren Urban on Jan 5, 2011 | Reply

    Ross —

    RE: Rebuilding

    If I knew that, I’d be in more important job and making more money.

    Let me know who the QB is going to be, and I will have a better answer.

  66. By darrel on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply

    Darren what’s cardinals beef with mcnabb all I keep hearing is zero interest in him that’s slap in the face for us fans because,out of all the names coming out he has the best resume better. Than orton better that plamer he’s friends with larry ,throws a good deep ball ,lives in az, leader , played the toughest divsion for 11 years and has won big games and if I’m not wrong that cardinas play nfc east teams next year . Darren why is there such a red flag when its comes to mcnabb and the cardinals . I don’t get it please explain

  67. By Darren Urban on Jan 5, 2011 | Reply

    Darrel —

    RE: McNabb (again)

    Why does it have to be a beef? If they think his best days are well behind him — and they wouldn’t be the only team to think that — I’m not sure why people just don’t understand that.

  68. By darrel on Jan 5, 2011 | Reply

    So I wounder what u said when they signed warner from the giants . I bet u said the samething right? Even if he gives us one or two in a weak divsion that make u contender for playoffs .. even if he’s not as good as 2006 he’s still better that orton and plamer right. Now if I’m the cardinals he has to be considered no matter what just because the resume is too good .. larry will. Have to play gm for the offense this season if they to hope tp retain him

  69. By Don't Take Losses on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply

    Good stuff. Keep it coming Cards fans. We’ll be back. Whiz is pissed and he won’t make same mistakes. In that I trust.

  70. By darrel on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply

    My early guess is matt leinart will be niner next year and they’ll draft. Qb second round .. orton I think will head to seahawksfor there late 2nd pick and. I hate say but matt a niner would be scary team if he turns out .. so we need a qb 1st round. Newton or mallet and sign a vet I hoping mcnabb but the knowing the cardinals they ll pass on talented players like always and settle for mediocrocy …this off seasonl fans will know if they are commited or not .. dontay moch will be availble for them in round 2 or3 pefect fit for a 3/4 defense this guys 4.2 6″1 245 and.speed rush the passer don’t reach for defensive guy in round one. Brian orakpo this so called great player. Did. Nothing this year and the cardinals wanted segio kndle last year this. Guy couldn’t even make It to camp healthy. Both pass rushers Go figure

  71. By Brandon LA on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply


    out of curiosity why are we even hearing the possibility of a work stoppage. From an uneducated fan’s perspective, it seems like more damage is done without football in 2011 than not. All the money fan’s spend stop. billions.

    The threat of the CBA is disenchanting to fans. Everyone, from league reps to players, say’s we’ll see, I don’t know how it’ll turn out. WHO KNOWS ANYTHING?

    Fans don’t care about these contracts and agreements. You think a fan, who buy’s football gear, programming and tickets wants to here about financial disagreements of people who make quadruple what he makes. That fan goes through enough @#$* in his day to day. Now his football is threatened. That’s un-American.

    Sorry. This is upsetting. I could look up the details of the CBA i guess. I just don’t care. It just seems so simple to me. An agreement is expiring… “Let’s fix it” – says Goodell “No excuses” ” We can’t let fan’s go without this great game of football”. I WISH HE would sat that instead of the league telling players to save money. Makes it seem like nobody has control of this looooooming deal. Ugh.

    Love reading your stuff D. Thanks

  72. By darrel on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply

    Anytime u have 5 qbs in one season you haveTo draft One in round 1 .. we could have had basketball team with all. the qbs we had. Only one problem there wouldn’t be good point guard lol

  73. By SteveDCO on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply

    As someone living in Denver, I can comment on Orton.

    1. He was the QB when AZ rolled them. The Bears threw him in as an after thought in the Cutler deal.

    2. Local media here question his heart and his work ethic. Alfred Williams and Mark Schlareth, two guys with good access to the team.

    3. He has no mobility so unless we have a wall of an O-line he will be creamed, just like in Denver.

    4. There is a reason a team with no coach and no starting QB would let Orton go…they don’t think he is the answer. (Tebow is not the answer either)

    He is not worth a 2nd round pick. He is do a little more than 8m next year and would be an UFA after the 2011 season.

    If we can get him for a 3rd rounder maybe…

    On Brady Quinn another Denver guy. He couldn’t beat out DA in Cleveland. He looked lost in preseason. Stop looking at his underwear adds and realize he is done.

    Mark Bulger is not the answer here unless you think Skelton can be the guy a few games into the 2011 season. His QB rating from ’07 on is in the 70s. 27TDs/34Ints

    McNabb lost his starting job to Rex Groesman….enough said. Unless he takes a back up role, he will be out of the NFL in 2011.

    Kevin Kolb, Philly is asking x2 #1s for him. Why? They know Vick can’t last 16 games in the NFL at his age the way he runs the ball. Ofc they will let him go for that price but no team would be dumb enough to pay it.

    Blaine Gabbert will be the QB for AZ in 2011 unless Whiz truely thinks Skelton is the guy. You have to wonder if Skelton has some Mallet in him as he is still calling plays wrong in the huddle.

  74. By darrel on Jan 5, 2011 | Reply

    mcnabb had no talent around him offense or defence .. its funny how you think a rookie in year one is going keep #11 next year. You have no idea what your talking about look at the big picture

  75. By Luke on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply

    Darren, do you think we may be interested in Vince Young now that he has apparently been released?

  76. By Darren Urban on Jan 5, 2011 | Reply

    Luke —

    RE: Young released

    Link? I haven’t seen that.

  77. By azred21 on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply

    We should grab orton for our second rounder and then trade down so we can have a 1st and second still

  78. By AndyStandsUp on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply

    Even though they play different LB spots, I’m thinking Hayes will be kept over Haggans. And call me crazy, but Porter has a chance over Clark, IMO.
    Now the OL is a total mess, can’t see one guy who’s has a definite spot locked down next season.

  79. By Allen In Boise on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply

    Darren, given what Whiz has been saying about shortening the leash on some of the under performing Vets, the first guy that comes to my mind is Levi Brown. Not sure if it makes financial sense, but is Levi Brown cut-able? That is, can we save money by releasing him? It seems that Jeremy Bridges could start in his place and there may be no difference, if not an improvement.

  80. By Darren Urban on Jan 5, 2011 | Reply

    Allen —

    RE: Levi

    With no cap, everyone is “cuttable.” But with so many free agents on the O-line, I don’t know if they’d dump someone already under contract. Also, coaches don’t seem to “hate” him as much as fans do.

  81. By Kent on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply

    Just been thinking Darren, have you heard anything about the Cards coaching staff coaching one of the teams in the Senior Bowl.

    Usually they take the highest placed NFC and AFC drafting teams. New coaching staff’s generally refuse to take on the job because they have a heck of a lot of work to do elsewhere so that could rule out Carolina, leaving us as the 2nd highest drafting team in the NFC?

    Any word on this?

  82. By Darren Urban on Jan 5, 2011 | Reply

    Kent —

    RE: Senior Bowl

    Just speculation that it could happen.

  83. By TucsonTim on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply

    Darren –

    Really, the CBA has nothng to do with coaching changes and paying coaches in the off season when they can’t work with the team. You never cease to amaze me. Are you BFF with M BidWILL

  84. By Darren Urban on Jan 5, 2011 | Reply

    Tucson —

    RE: CBA/your comments

    Tell you what Tim. If you don’t like what I say, stop reading my stuff.

    Not sure what you are whining about now. Maybe I misunderstood the question.

  85. By TucsonTim on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply

    Christo –

    Since our defense was so much better than Houston, AZ #29, Texan’s #30, it’s only logical that we would ponder the DC so much longer.

    Darren, remember in the middle of last season I told you Davis stunk and needed to be replaced. Not 20/20 hind sight. No defense, no DC, no chance, no accountabilty. Davis should have been fired last season. Waiting even a minute beyond the end of the season makes every player decision bogus. If coaches can’t be held accountable, why the F would a player or 2 be held accountable.

    Organization is a joke.

  86. By TucsonTim on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply

    You really don’t think Grimm is in the mix for consideration for a head coach position, you’re insight is remarkable. Do you ever get migraines and finger cramps. Grimm couldn’t get a head coach job in the arena league (today, not before it went defunct)and if they brought back NFL Europe, his only chance would be if the player’s pitched in to remove his sorry … from US soil. He is scarey bad as a coach and it reflects so so so badly that Whis not only kept him, he hired the loser’s son. Well I guess he needed a golf buddy.

    And do you think I’m pissed that I paid $7000+ for my season tickets to observe this total nonsense, you don’t even begin to feel my anger.

  87. By Phoenixraven1 on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply

    It has been a brutal year for the FAN but I’m very excited about following the “changes” to see how this mess gets worked out…

  88. By Chuck 1 on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply

    Regarding coaching staff and player decisions:
    I would be surprised if Whiz “let the following people go” i.e. fired them because they are friends and former AFC Central personnel:
    I don’t expect significant personnel changes. Whiz just doesn’t seem to have the hardness necessary to make tough personnel decisions.
    The explanation will be: “We are very close to returning to the success that we had a couple of years ago”.

  89. By Canadian Red Bird on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply

    Re: Offseason changes

    I agree with the majority of your dedicated listeners who are both passionate and knowledgeable of the game that Billy Davis and Russ Grimm need to be moved. For Whiz to ignore the obvious only creates doubt in the Cardinal faithful. Statistics do not lie. In any successful athletic team,everyone needs to be accountable. The cards should select the best player availabe at #5 or better yet seek out a trading partner to move back in the first round and get multiple picks. Lets take a page out of the Patriots drafting strategy; it seems to have been more than successful for them. As well I wouldn’t be surprised that we actually move Fitzgerald to the Patriots for their two first round picks then draft AJ GREEN with the # 5 pick. I love the way Fitz plays however with his contract coming up in 2012 it might be the best move in the long run for this team.. Oh by the way two years ago, I sent an email to the cards suggesting that they take a hard look at Cam Wake who was busy sacking every quarterback in sight up here in the CFL. Look where he is today. Miami knew what they were doing when they kept him and made Porter expendable. Thanks for your postings. Always find them worth the read

  90. By UC on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply

    “Graham is great at pinning teams, but they feel he doesn’t do enough to change field position on longer punts.”

    Darren, you must have accidentally deleted this question the first time I asked it. Do you recall when and/or where it reported, or in what press conference it was said, that the coaches felt this way about Graham?

  91. By Darren Urban on Jan 5, 2011 | Reply

    UC —

    RE: Deleted question

    I didn’t delete anything. Amazingly, I have a life outside this job and once in a while, it takes a little bit for me to get back to the comments and approve/answer them.

  92. By eazy e on Jan 5, 2011 | Reply

    McNabb all the way over any of these guys. McNabb can give the cardinals 3-5, maybe more years of pro bowl/all-pro QB play. We would instantly be a super bowl contender with McNabb. McNabb McNabb McNabb!!!

  93. By Old Man Riva on Jan 5, 2011 | Reply

    Obviously you don’t simply get rid of players because you had a losing season. We still have some quality talent on this team although management cannot continue to allow certain players to walk via free agency like what happened last year. Losing Rolle and Dansby had to affect the mentality of this team. Warner and Boldin weren’t so bad because the hand writing was on the wall as far as their futures with the team were concerned. Not the case with 2 guys who were Pro Bowlers. Worst nightmare in this off season would be to lose Steve Breston and then I think Larry Fitzgerald would start having second thoughts about sticking with the team since he would have absolutely no help or protection to do his job. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that some solid decisions are made, not a repeat of last year.

  94. By Wampag on Jan 5, 2011 | Reply

    Report: Texans to hire Wade Phillips

    this should have been us

    did they even look his way?

  95. By georgiebird on Jan 5, 2011 | Reply

    Good article today by Bryan Burwell at
    Jist of article-When the Rams were losing, nobody in St Louis gave a damn about the team. Now that the team and fans have gotten a taste of “winning”, Burwell feels the coaches as well as the players should be under the microscope.
    Burwell’s article can be applied to the Cardinals and the taste of winning in ’08 & ’09. It’s what we’ve talked about all year- coaches being held accountable.

  96. By Peter in Canada on Jan 5, 2011 | Reply

    Darren – An excellent breakdown on the roster. Great comments on each player. Yout best ever article.
    I think all the available QB’s carry baggage. That is why they are available. Therefore one must take a calculated risk. If Orton is really due 8 million in 2011 as the Denver resident suggests why bother to trade since he is sure to be released. Unless Denver don’t care about paying steak prices for hamburger.

  97. By UC on Jan 5, 2011 | Reply

    Sorry Darren, since there had been a number of posts since I submitted my question, I assumed that mine had disappeared. My apologies.

    If the team’s opinion about Graham hasn’t per se been a story, then where is the information coming from about the team probably cutting him? Given the other genius moves King Whiz has made lately, that he’s considering cutting a very competent player just because he had a down year doesn’t surprise me. However, what I do find interesting is that, once again, unattributed inside information about the team regarding a topic that is sure to be unpopular amongst the fanbase seems to have materialized out of the ether to the local media.

  98. By SteveDCO on Jan 5, 2011 | Reply

    So Darren – How long do these blogs last? I’m just curious if I will be able to go back and copy and paste some of the haters comments when they jump back on the band wagon?

    Firing coaches becuase they had a bad year is just ridiculous. You think Cleveland regrets firing Belichick?

    Do coaches make poor decisions, of course! How many Hall of Famers have been cut before catching on?

    It is easy to look back on the last 3 years and expect that every year but this is still a rebuilding franchise.

    They finally have a revenue stream that will allow the team to keep it players. I have attended games at Bush Stadium, Sun Devil and UoP and we finally have the right stadium.

    All the haters look at what this franchise was before Whiz/ Graves got here. Anyone who thinks these two men didn’t turn it around is ludicrous.

    They are still building talent and they know that.

    To all the Russ Grimm haters. You think Bill Cowher made him AHC becuase he was awful? You think he was almost head coach in St. Louis because he was awful? You think the Cards gave up there lowest total of sacks since 1978 in Grimm’s 1st year becuase he is awful?

    And he whould of gotten the Steelers job if not for the Rooney rule needing to be lived up to by Rooney II.

    We had a bad year with bad QB play. The O line had a bad year with a lot of new faces coming in. There are still depth issues on the O side of the ball.

    The phrase that was so popular last season…In Whiz we Trust!!.

  99. By Mark on Jan 5, 2011 | Reply

    I agree with Voice of Reason. I think the ideal would be to trade a 3rd for Orton and maybe get a 4th or 5th back. 1st round look at Quinn or trade down a few and pick Kerrigan. Then in the 2nd and 4th I would look for a starting quality ILB and TE. With additional picks I would look at depth at safety, OL, WR, and maybe double dip at OLB. FA priorities: Aside from resigning key current players (Lutui, Sendlein, Branch and maybe Hightower), I would target three positions; 1-Starting TE, 2-Vet Corner, 3-Vet QB

    There are many quality TE potential that would be great starting TEs for the Cards. I would eventually cut both Patrick and Spach. The new TEs would be FA, Dray, and Draft.

    I would also target a vet corner. Doesn’t have to be starter but someone who will come in and bring some maturity and stability to the group. Champ Bailey would be great but I think he will be too pricey and he is clearly still a starter for a few more years. There are many potential corners out there that could be considered.

    Vet QB. Orton, Skelton and then a vet who can play if need be. There are many in FA that fit this bill.

  100. By cards62 on Jan 5, 2011 | Reply

    Darren I agree with Peter in Canada this is one of your best articles and very interesting. I hate that the off season came so early for us, but this is fun time as a fan as we get to play GM or Owner a little and tinker.

    Steve Breaston I sure hope he is back and the strange end of season I hope was just a young QB not knowing how to spread the ball around. Quality guys that produce we need more of not less.

    I am not as down on Levi as others as I have seen him run block with attitude very well and I think Levi and Duece could give us 2 very good guards for the next 3 to 5 years. Yes I know we play Levi at tackle but like Leonard Davis this is a mistake in my opinion,

    Lyle S. I hope he gets away from us. I just have never seen anything out of him that I liked on the field.

    I am worried about A. Wilson

    I like Gerald Hayes and think he has been a good Cardinal for several seasons, but I am guessing his injury is just too difficult to come back. Football is a tough way to make a living.

    I also agree with Peter our Canadian Brother that Kyle O. if due 8 million could easily be released so why trade? I do not know what QBs will become available before next season but I do know several will and some of the names will surprise us, and just like Kurt Warner they will come with risk so lets sign several to reduce our risk. I think if you play QB want to be a starter and have confidence in your abilities you will sign with us. The only problem is we do not have an OC and if I was a free agent QB that would be the only draw back to joining the Cardinals. We have talent on offense and will get more but we are last in the league because we have very poor offensive coaching..

    I watched Ryan Mallet last night against a defense only rushing 4 and playing simple coverages and Ryan did not look any better to me than any other QBs we could get in the 5th round or later so I have change my mind and I would not draft him until late in the draft. He threw some great balls, but also some poor balls and several poor decisions.

    Arkansas did have a TE that looked good as did Wisconsin so I will keep an eye on these 2 for us.

    I did like Andrew Luck in his bowl game against Va. Tech.

    Go Cards Fans

  101. By JAGGED on Jan 5, 2011 | Reply

    We need a TE to help spreed the D.
    Notre Dame junior tight end Kyle Rudolph.
    He had a Hamstring issue. but good hands and hes like 6’6″ easy target for any QB.”Young”.

  102. By darrel on Jan 5, 2011 | Reply

    owen daiels is free agent neixt year and saints might want to trdae shokcey with the emergence of jimmy graham I wilt take either

  103. By OLD CARDS FAN on Jan 5, 2011 | Reply

    Mcnabb is the best choice to bring in until skelton ready in a year or 2 just look at his job he did in philly without a top rb or reciever (except t.o. for 1 year = superbowl) compared to off. talent on the cards. note to the bidwills he might come CHEAP.THE biggest conern for the cards at the draft should be def. line(pass rusher)and off. line and a real tight end(see owen daniels of the texans). davis must go as def. cord. maybe trade 1 of the rb for a extra draft pick and draft mark ingram just a thought. HEY GRAVES SIGN BREASTON !

  104. By Christo on Jan 5, 2011 | Reply

    I just HAVE to know the following.

    How can ANYONE look at the our O Line and Defensive pay and suggest something does not have to change?

    Grimm leads the O Line, either the players are terrible, or their leader is. Run the stats our O Line is TERRIBLE.

    Davis leads the Defense, either the players are terrible, or their leader is. Check the stats our Defense is TERRIBLE.

    I am of the opinion that the players involved in our O Line and Defense are at a minimum average. So how do averages players put up the worst stats in the League, consistently? Year in and year out, that is right it is THEIR LEADERS.

    Let’s get this ship turned around. Even when we were good it was a lightning quick HOF release making the O Line look good, and bailing out the pathetic Defense.

  105. By Luke on Jan 5, 2011 | Reply

    Darren, it could be a possibility if this has some truth to it.

  106. By Scott H on Jan 5, 2011 | Reply

    Geez, now Kyle Orton is the guy??? Hey, ya know what? Give me Orton over McNabb or Derek Anderson any day of the week! If anyone was paying attention at all this year, that guy was playing pretty damn well in Denver for most of the season. With no play-offs in the picture for the Broncos this year, it was inevitable that they were going to turn things over to Tebow to close out the season. Just sayin…I’m no great Kyle Orton fan but we could do worse. And this season, we sure did.

    But I really think Kevin Kolb and / or Vince Young are the guys that offer the most right now. Young seems to have some personality / maturity issues that can’t be ignored, I suppose…but I would still consider him. Hey, Michael Vick might never have had a chance to have the season he had if Kolb didn’t go down injured in Week 1. I think that kid can play, and I think he’s going to be a very good QB for whoever gives him a chance to be the guy. My fear is that the Eagles will want to keep him there because Vick exposes himself to so many hits and is injured so frequently.

    But if nothing else…it makes my ears happy to hear so many people ( intelligent and wise people, indeed! ) starting to realize that McNabb is NOT the answer. Let him continue to under-achieve and take no responsibility for it somewhere else next year. And for all of the McNabb supporters – feel free to follow him wherever he goes.

  107. By Ultimate Cards on Jan 5, 2011 | Reply

    Darrel –

    RE: McNabb (again)

    Why does it have to be a beef? If they think his best days are well behind him — and they wouldn’t be the only team to think that — I’m not sure why people just don’t understand that.

    Why? Because this staff just made us sit through DA, Hall, Skelton, and Bartell. That’s why it is hard to believe. McNabb has had arguably a much better career than Warner and at his age should have more left in the tank.

  108. By Darren Urban on Jan 6, 2011 | Reply

    Ultimate —

    RE: McNabb

    “at his age should have more left in the tank.”

    Should is a crucial word there. And who cares if McNabb has had “arguably a much better career than Warner.” What does that have anything to do with 2011.

  109. By eazy e on Jan 6, 2011 | Reply

    When McNabb wins a super bowl/super bowls for us you idiots that don’t believe in McNabb gotta STFU

  110. By Craig G on Jan 6, 2011 | Reply

    Since there is a possibility of a major shakeup, why not start with the defense? No need to try and develop a QB with the 5th pick, when the division is in reach.
    Keep the 3-4, draft at #5 if available either Peterson or Amukamora and move to FS or Toler (so he can ball hawk). Move Rhodes to SS (his natural), move ADub to outside linebacker to tandem with Schofield, and round out the LB core with Washington and Lenon in the middle.
    In round 2 and 3, find that starting LT and more OL depth (the Rams found a good starter in the second last year), move Brown to OG, retain Sendlein and Letui, pray Keith develops or bring in a FA. Lastly, bring in a FA QB not to start, but to mentor and push Skelton. He wasn’t expected to play this past season, so he has gotten a head start on the learning curve.

    This scenario addresses the pass rush, big plays given up by secondary, and speed and youth to defense and leaves plenty of draft picks and FA $ to sure up the offense and add depth.
    OL is a priority, especially a premier lineman which in turn helps the running game and QB development.


  111. By Darren Urban on Jan 6, 2011 | Reply

    Craig G —

    RE: Defense

    Anything is possible right now.

  112. By Scott H on Jan 6, 2011 | Reply

    Eazy E –

    I guarantee you McNabb ain’t winning any Super Bowls. Not here, not anywhere. He stands a better chance of ending next season right where he ended this one – on someone’s bench.

    PS – YOU’RE calling US idiots??? Ever heard that expression about a pot calling the kettle black?

  113. By OLD CARDS FAN on Jan 6, 2011 | Reply

    what some people are saying about mcnabb are the same thing they were saying about kurt warner after the giants dump him no other team wanted him as their qb.but denny green took that chance and sign kurt for 1 yr i think at vet. min contract.REMEMBER THAT DARREN thats why denny green deserve some of the credit for that sb run he sign kurt,james & drated fitz.when we already had boldin. nobody can be worst than da

  114. By BLOOD RED on Jan 6, 2011 | Reply

    Remember people said Warner couldn’t play anymore.McNabb with a recieving corp like we have can do it!We need to keep Lutui’ he brings a combination of talent that few have.He plays mean while getting in others heads.I love the way he plays and protects his boys.We need more guys with his attitude.I think he will come in in better shape next year from the lesson he got this year.I want Lutui to be a lifetime card!!!!!Come Lutui step up and show the team you want to be here!I don’t want to have to get rid of my 76 jersey!ROCK N ROLL REDBIRDS!!!!P.S Be real nice to be able to keep Breaston(a must)Senlein,Branch and Watson too!

  115. By Eazy E on Jan 6, 2011 | Reply

    Yep Scott H and your the kettle

  116. By Eazy E on Jan 6, 2011 | Reply

    I bet you don’t like VY either despite his 26-13 wins losses record, we need to get both and ensure our QB situation isn’t the worst in the league two years in a row.

  117. By Eazy E on Jan 6, 2011 | Reply

    All the McNabb haters are the kettle lol.

  118. By Eazy E on Jan 6, 2011 | Reply

    I’ve heard that story too many times

  119. By UC on Jan 7, 2011 | Reply

    We should just resign ourselves to McNabb being QB next year. He’s a decent proven QB, which would be a major upgrade for the Cards, and I kind of like him, although he is streaky and prone to choking under pressure. But the one quality he has, the one quality King Whiz prizes above all else and the one quality for which King Whiz will pursue him, is McNabb will never say or do ANYTHING to embarrass the Cardinals organization. We saw how crappy the Redskins treated McNabb this year, and for the most part McNabb said little of substance about it. Since McNabb’s presence will also possibly guarantee Fitzgerald’s re-signing, I would bet money that McNabb will be here next year.

    And Darren, I’m still waiting for an answer about where the info came from about Graham probably being let go.

  120. By Darren Urban on Jan 7, 2011 | Reply

    UC —

    RE: Graham


  121. By Scott H on Jan 7, 2011 | Reply

    Eazy E –

    Wow, it really amazes me that you aren’t a general manager for an NFL team…such brilliance going to waste! McNabb, Young…any other QB’s that have been or are being flat-out dumped by their current teams that we should run out and grab? Young truly does have a lot of talent and he can dazzle at times. But his pending release from the Titans is due to his personality problems, and that scares me. I don’t dislike Young as a player. But it is rare that players change their personalities ( Haynesworth, Moss, PacMan Jones, etc ) and Young just doesn’t look like a guy we want to bank our future on.

  122. By UC on Jan 8, 2011 | Reply

    Darren, what do you mean “Why?”? This is information that is relevant to the team’s fanbase, and has now been reported by at least two sources in the local media while not being attributed to anybody connected to the team. Graham’s a popular player among fans for a good reason, and it’s certainly conceivable that King Whiz would try to mitigate public fallout for cutting him by floating a story about it in advance so that it’s not a shock when it happens. As such, this story’s not passing the smell test any more than did the unattributed story about how King Whiz really wanted to sign Bulger in the offseason, but the Bidwills wouldn’t put up the cash to do so.

    If you’re a journalist, and not just a mouthpiece for the team or for certain people within it, then you shouldn’t have anything to hide and you shouldn’t have a problem relaying the source of this information. Journalists do that very thing all the time. Becoming defensive when you’re asked to simply attribute information you’ve reported on isn’t going to reflect well upon you.

  123. By Darren Urban on Jan 8, 2011 | Reply

    UC —

    RE: Graham

    I’ve answered previously what was thought of Graham and why they were looking to possibly making a change (including bringing in a punter for a tryout earlier this season). I’m sorry you want further details. I gave you what I am going to give you.

    As for how it reflects on me, I am guessing you already have an opinion of me that’s not going to change.

  124. By UC on Jan 9, 2011 | Reply

    Darren, your continued evasiveness will itself have to be the answer, since you apparently have something to hide. My request for you to clarify your source was not unreasonable, or, at least, it wouldn’t have been unreasonable for a real journalist. But now that you’ve assumed the traits of a gossip columnist, I guess that has become your standard instead.

    Regarding your final comment, you’re right, as I’ve said before I DID have an opinion of you prior to this season. However, your writing has slowly-but-surely been changing that opinion. Since you are now content to engage in rumor-mongering about the team, perhaps I should be content in doing the same about you, and start a rumor such as, “Darren Urban has such a cozy relationship with the Cardinals coaching staff that he can no longer objectively report on them.” But that wouldn’t be much of a “rumor”, now, would it?

  125. By Darren Urban on Jan 9, 2011 | Reply

    UC —

    RE; “Rumor-mongering”

    Yep, that’s what I am doing. Spreading rumors.

    I had a different opinion of you too, once upon a time.

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