A little of this, a little of that

Posted by Darren Urban on June 2, 2011 – 11:35 am

How much it ultimately means is anyone’s guess, but the under-the-radar meeting between owners and the NFLPA’s De Smith has to be a good sign, right? There is a hearing scheduled for tomorrow about the lockout once again, but it’s June and as long as there is talking, well, that’s better than the alternative.

— Hard to argue that Fitz is the fourth-best offensive player in the NFL (non-QB) when Chris Johnson, Adrian Peterson and Andre Johnson are ahead of him. Interestingly, three of the four have no idea on this date who their quarterback will be for 2011. That always will impact how any running back or wide receiver will do (although lately, it’s not like Chris Johnson has had greatness in the backfield to lean upon).

— Interesting breakdown on “Run Stop Rates” for 2011 by position. Essentially, it measures the plays a defender made on a run and how effective that stop was (The post itself explains the whole thing). Alan Branch had a 90 percent stop rate, third in the NFL among defensive linemen and in the end, one reason why he finally emerged as a player the Cards likely want to keep around after so much disappointment.

The other two Cards on the list came at defensive back, and neither are big surprises. Strong safety Adrian Wilson was fifth (62 percent) as far as best run-stop rate as a defensive back — he’s always been solid against the run — and free safety Kerry Rhodes was sixth (26 percent) among the worst DBs. Then again, the entire “worst” list is virtually all free safeties, and those guys are usually further down the field before getting a crack at a ballcarrier. UPDATE: Not sure how I missed CB Greg Toler, who also made the list at 59 percent. He’s another guy who isn’t afraid to be physical, which should serve him well under new DC Ray Horton.

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23 Responses to “A little of this, a little of that”

  1. By tom on Jun 2, 2011 | Reply

    yea i think fitz is better than andre… fitz has 15 more tds in one less year and is on track to have same yards and catches. hes younger and not injury prone and his postseason credentials are ridiculous! he outdid jerry rice so until i see andre start to do those thiings hes not better. sure hes a better athlete and a freak of nature but fitz is the most polished in my opinion and the stats prove it. 15 more tds in one less year is very significant in my mind. the game is about winning and scoring points! ill take a wr with 90 catches 1200 yards and 10-12 tds over a wr with 100 catches 1400 yards and 6-8 tds any day… just my opinion though.

  2. By Erick on Jun 2, 2011 | Reply

    Toler also made the list for DB’s before Polamalu

  3. By CZarr on Jun 2, 2011 | Reply

    I love Football Outsiders. I hadn’t seen that post yet, thanks Darren.

  4. By AndyStandsUp on Jun 2, 2011 | Reply

    The only reason Branch had a decent season was because it’s his contract year.

    Didn’t see DRC on either list –
    Oh, that’s right, he rather stock his Dora backpack with markers and coloring books than meet Steven Jackson head on.

    I realize this is usually the slow part of the season, but this is getting very tiresome.

  5. By Peter in Canada on Jun 2, 2011 | Reply

    Tom – I think how a guy does in the playoffs is very important because it usually features the best defences. Fitz was awesome in the run to the Super Bowl and had a 2 TD game against the Packers the following year marred only by a fumble.

  6. By Jon L. on Jun 2, 2011 | Reply

    Fitz is a true talent and the Cardinals need to do what they can to keep him on their team.

  7. By Brad W on Jun 2, 2011 | Reply

    Darren, was this year gone Branch’s contract year?

  8. By Darren Urban on Jun 2, 2011 | Reply

    Brad W —

    RE: Branch

    Yes, his contract has expired.

  9. By Haggis Bob on Jun 2, 2011 | Reply

    I saw that about the ‘secret’ meeting last night, and there was a side that ‘nothing was accomplished’. Something happened or at least was discussed and they just don’t want to tip their hand. Reports came from the airport that so-and-so’s personal jets were in town together and they just pieced it together from there.

  10. By bobcat44 on Jun 2, 2011 | Reply


    what do you think the likelyhood of the cards bringing back both Alan Branch and Gabe Watson will be when this labor situation ends? IMO it would make a lot of sense they both came on stronger than they have in pervious years and they ad so much depth to the D-Line.

  11. By Darren Urban on Jun 2, 2011 | Reply

    Bobcat —

    RE: Branch/Watson

    I don’t know if both return.

  12. By bluepitt on Jun 2, 2011 | Reply

    hahahaha just chill a bit Q gave FITZ the opertunity do do most all the good things in his stats. now that FITZ has no Q we will see. Andre had no number 1 or 2 WR it was just him defending the double all by his self and still got beter #’s than FITZ over the last 3 years!!!!! If you think Fitz got doubled while Q was here you better look again! Q is 20 more times better after the catch than fitz!

  13. By Jeff Gollin on Jun 3, 2011 | Reply

    Darren – I love reading about stats people seldom see. (For the first time last year, catches as a percent of times thrown-at” were made part of the Playbook after each game). “Is there a single source of other (free) player stats like this; including run-stops, pass blocking grades , run blocking grades etc.? Would it be something this website could publish in the Stats section?

  14. By Darren Urban on Jun 3, 2011 | Reply

    Jeff —

    RE: Stats

    I will continue to link to such places but again, some of these are simply guys breaking down film themselves, film I would assume is TV copies, so you never know exactly how “official” they are. But sites like and are fascinating.

  15. By Chris Freeman on Jun 3, 2011 | Reply

    Toler will thrive in the three spot

  16. By Chris Freeman on Jun 3, 2011 | Reply

    i hold my statement that i feel toler outplayed drc last year, which was a huge concern for me, and the only reason peterson got drafted is to put a fire under DRC for a couple years then get moved to Safety.

    What u say Darren,

    With Petersons size and tackle ability you think horton will want to transition him into the SS spot in the next four years? ( like rolle )

  17. By Darren Urban on Jun 3, 2011 | Reply

    Chris —

    RE: Peterson

    Clearly, the possibility that Peterson eventually becomes a safety is out there. Whether it happens or not, well, that’s TBD. Certainly Peterson believes he is a cornerback.

  18. By brad oneill on Jun 3, 2011 | Reply

    Chris- you don’t take a guy with the 5th pick to motivate someone. The reasonn peterson was taken is because he makes our team better. He is expected to be better than drc eventually if not right out of the gate.

    Any man in drc’s posituon should have a fire lit under them. Toler outplayed him last year and they brought in a stud this year. Personally I think drc will rise to the challenge but if not the team is in a good position to move on.

  19. By recage on Jun 3, 2011 | Reply

    Boldin was hurt a lot so don’t give him credit for what Fits has done. Fitz is way beeter than any WR in the NFL on and off the field.

  20. By clssylssy on Jun 4, 2011 | Reply

    Obviously, you have never seen Fitz up close and in action. To say that he was “allowed” to shine due to the support of Q is so lame it is beyond words. Fitz and Q worked in tandem both equally great. Losing Q was a major loss for the Cards and probably nobody appreciates that more than Fitz, not because Q made him look good, but rather they were a true dynamic duo. Our loss was the Ravens gain…but that is ancient history. Time to move on.

  21. By Scott H on Jun 5, 2011 | Reply

    BluePitt –

    RE: Boldin and Fitz

    We often agree on things and it’s not that I patently disagree with you here, but I submit that during the years that they were here together, Fitz often SHINED during games that Boldin missed due to injury. And he did so fairly consistently. Remember the playoff game in Carolina? Pretty big stage, no Boldin, and Fitz could not be stopped. Yes, Fitz and Boldin benefitted from being the other’s teammate. But Fitz was going to be a star regardless. His “drop-off” last year ( although still a pretty good season ) was due MUCH more to Warner’s departure than Boldin’s. That”s a fact.

  22. By scott023 on Jun 5, 2011 | Reply

    Bluepitt, Boldin was a great ad to the cards. However, he cried at the end more than he was a help. The truth is, ad a qb to the cards and sit back and smile. You will see fritz shine. He also has more class in his little finger than boldin had in his whole body. See boldin was for boldin,fritz was and is for the whole team. He is a true leader and yet so humble. The cards needs this man at all costs. When boldin was injured, there was fritz looking out for him. Boldin is a very good player, just not in the same class as fritz for a stack of reasons.

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