Wednesday before the Raiders

Posted by Darren Urban on August 10, 2011 – 2:22 pm

Yes, we are, actually, ready for some football.

The lockout ended less than three weeks ago, yet it feels like months. That first few days of camp – and the couple of days before it – were such a whirlwind and now, suddenly, it’s the eve of the Cards’ preseason opener in Oakland.

How this game turns out is anyone’s guess. It’s always a little harder to know before that first exhibition game and now you throw in the chaos of learning everything on the fly. Whatever they do – whatever quarterback Kevin Kolb does, specifically – should be taken with a grain of salt. We’re a long way from anything counting, whether it be Kolb game-planning or defenses game-planning against him. He said he just wants to make sure he learns from whatever mistakes might happen. A fair goal.

There are plenty of players to look forward to seeing. As I have mentioned, the depth chart is going to be fluid, and coach Ken Whisenhunt made clear the last couple of days how much competition is going to be going on.

— It’ll be fascinating to see how a couple of positions filter themselves out. Greg Toler and A.J. Jefferson have been running first-team at cornerback, but – at least early – rookie Patrick Peterson looks pretty good to me. And officially, new signee Richard Marshall is third team. I just don’t see that holding steady.

— Speaking of cornerbacks, how many will the Cards eventually keep? Besides those four, there is Michael Adams to consider. The coaches like him. Here’s the thing, however. I could see five cornerbacks and four safeties, expect now there is the injury of Adrian Wilson to consider. Do you carry an extra safety with Wilson’s situation so dicey? It’s a decision that doesn’t have to be made until after the fourth preseason game, but it will be a choice that has to be made.

— So far, it’s hard not to be excited seeing what inside linebacker Stewart Bradley does in the middle there. Hopefully he can stay healthy. With so much vague with the outside linebacker spots, a trio of Bradley, Daryl Washington and Paris Lenon wouldn’t be bad.

— Quarterbacks beyond Kolb will be scrutinized too. Max Hall is not practice-squad eligible and neither is Rich Bartel. Bartel is ahead of Hall right now. They like him as a potential backup. And it will be interesting to see how John Skelton has progressed.

— Todd Heap is the sexy name at tight end, but they really like Jeff King as a blocker. As said before, the position has had a big upgrade.

— Preseason games are always a good time to look at players’ ability to win one-on-one battles. Watching young pass rushers like O’Brien Schofield try and get pressure – heck, even Joey Porter – will give everyone a better picture of where that part of the team stands.

— Safety Rashad Johnson gets his chance to show off the work he has done coming into his third year. He has always weighed in the 200-to-204-pound range, but he has much more muscle, he said, trimming his body fat from 17 percent to under eight percent.

That’s thanks to a summer at Club A-Dub, working out under Wilson’s tutelage.  “It is ironic I spent the entire summer in Scottsdale working out and doing the same type of workouts he has been doing for eight or nine years,” Johnson said, knowing he is replacing Wilson in the short-term at least. “Of course we want Adrian to be able to come back and play and help us. Whatever my role is, I will be ready, whether it is starter or nickel and dime and special teams.”

That’s enough for now. Time to stop speculating and actually watch a game.

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74 Responses to “Wednesday before the Raiders”

  1. By cardfan6 on Aug 10, 2011 | Reply

    sucks we cant watch the game until saturday at 1a.m.

  2. By We Missed Q on Aug 10, 2011 | Reply

    Isn’t the game on channel 15?

  3. By Darren Urban on Aug 10, 2011 | Reply

    We Missed —

    RE: Game on TV

    Yes. Wasn’t sure if he is not in the Valley.

  4. By Secret on Aug 10, 2011 | Reply


    What are you worried most about the Card’s play going into Oakland based on what you’ve seen in practice?

  5. By Darren Urban on Aug 10, 2011 | Reply

    Secret —

    RE: Worried

    It’s the preseason. I’m not worried about anything yet.

  6. By mrnickscott on Aug 10, 2011 | Reply

    Darren… allow me to say thanks for the daily updates. This is the only blog I have ever actually followed and it is AWESOME!
    … CARDSFAN, what do you mean? The game is aired on local TV here in the valley.

  7. By Keegan on Aug 10, 2011 | Reply

    It’s doing on the DVR that’s for sure

  8. By joe67 on Aug 10, 2011 | Reply

    I’m anxious to see the O-line. I think there is plenty of talent at all positions on offense, but the key is if line can do it. Lotta ?’s there IMO.

  9. By Scott H on Aug 10, 2011 | Reply

    Well, the TE position has seen a huge up-grade ON PAPER…it remains to be seen if the TE position will actually be a significant part of the offense. Yeah, I have to think they are planning on that after drafting TE pretty high and signing two more ( one being Todd Heap ) in FA. But, still…it’s like Doucet being healthy, ya know? I just feel like I cannot believe it until I see it. And I hope I will see it!

  10. By cards62 on Aug 10, 2011 | Reply

    Saturday at 2 AM in the eastern time zone on the NFL Network for me.

    This game is all about individual matchups like Darren said. This is what I will be watching especially the 2 lines and seeing if our young WRs are getting open.

    Glad to see where Darren wrote that Stewart Bradley is looking good.

    I am going to key on big Dan Williams and see how he plays and pray that our line protects Kolb and Skelton and Bartel.

    Go Cards

  11. By John on Aug 10, 2011 | Reply

    This tight end situation is kind of confusing me. If we keep heap and king, who else will stay housler, s.skelton, or spach?

  12. By Darren Urban on Aug 10, 2011 | Reply

    John —

    RE: TE

    That’s what the preseason is for — figuring that out.

  13. By NJAzCardsFan on Aug 10, 2011 | Reply

    Darren- I have heard much about Will Davis. Has he come back from his injury?

  14. By Darren Urban on Aug 10, 2011 | Reply

    NJaz —

    RE: Will Davis

    He is back, but 3rd-string on the depth chart.

  15. By diehardfan on Aug 10, 2011 | Reply

    Thanks for the summary! This was a good recap of where we’re at, and things to look for.

    Any word on Deuce’s weight or D. Williams conditioning/weight?

    Re:cardfan6 will be showing all preseason games. These games can be streamed live. The package is $19.99.

  16. By Darren Urban on Aug 10, 2011 | Reply

    diehard —

    RE: Deuce/Dan Williams

    There probably won’t be “word” on those things. They are plugging away. They will play tomorrow.

  17. By Skiptim on Aug 10, 2011 | Reply

    Darren –

    What can you tell me about Quan Sturdivant? I have literally heard nothing about how he has done so far in camp.

  18. By Darren Urban on Aug 10, 2011 | Reply

    Skiptim —

    RE: Quan

    That’s because I don’t think anything has been written. He’s got a long way to go.

  19. By Chris R on Aug 10, 2011 | Reply

    Everyone —

    Biggest part to take away from Darren’s post.. “(preseason performance) should be taken with a grain of salt”.

    Considering the amount of roster moves this off-season, we should only be looking for optimistic growth. To see some movement from the offense and some key stops by the defense. We need players to show some good play and that they’re picking up the defense well and that the offensive is gelling. After all, its the first game of preseason and they’ve been practicing for what? Two weeks?

  20. By Darren Urban on Aug 10, 2011 | Reply

    Everyone —

    RE: Salt

    It should go the other way too: If someone lights it up, no one should crown them a superstar yet.

  21. By uncharacteristicAZ on Aug 10, 2011 | Reply

    East coast guy so no channel 15 for me will be up to watch 2AM though prepared the wife days ago.

  22. By NYCardinals212 on Aug 10, 2011 | Reply

    I live in New York, so the game is not available on live tv. I have Sunday Ticket, but the pre season is not part of the package. The only other option to watch the game live is Its only $19.99 for all pre season games, online. Sorry for the advertisement Darren. I just want my fellow Arizona expatriates to know their options.

  23. By cactus jeff on Aug 10, 2011 | Reply

    You suspiciously left out last years #1 draft pick, Dan Williams. You are scaring me. I sense a conspiracy, has he been a disappointment in camp?

  24. By Darren Urban on Aug 10, 2011 | Reply

    Cactus —

    RE: Dan Williams

    I think they wish he was in better condition, but I wouldn’t say disappointing. Too early to make that determination. Understand, Dan Williams is going to be playing this year.

  25. By AndyStandsUp on Aug 10, 2011 | Reply

    Darren, you insinuated a few days ago that Horton’s “blitz on first play” promise might happen tomorrow instead of vs. Carolina.
    Now that my favorite, Adrian Wilson is out, whom might that player be, IYO?
    Or might it be multiple players, perhaps even sending the house?

  26. By Darren Urban on Aug 10, 2011 | Reply

    AndyStands —

    RE: First blitz

    Good question. After listening to Whiz talk about how much the defense has to learn, it may be everybody.

  27. By Skiptim on Aug 10, 2011 | Reply

    Darren –

    I know nothing has been written, I just wanted to know how he has been doing. If he has a long way to go, that isn’t surprising, but I’m just interested in hearing something detailed about him.

  28. By Darren Urban on Aug 10, 2011 | Reply

    Skiptim —

    RE: Quan

    I wish I had info. Honestly, haven’t really noticed him. Not a surprise for 6th round pick who didn’t have an offseason of work.

  29. By georgiebird on Aug 10, 2011 | Reply

    The Cardinals have been stubborn in insisting on running a 3-4 defense when the personnel seems more conducive to a 4-3. That being said- unless Dan Williams has a strong year, the Cardinals will have a hard time improving on last year’s 5-11 record-regardless of what Kolb does..

  30. By mike b on Aug 10, 2011 | Reply

    What are the chances of Marshay Green and Jim Dray making the team again? Do you think the cards would keep 4 TE?

  31. By Darren Urban on Aug 10, 2011 | Reply

    Mike B —

    RE: Four TE

    I could see them carrying four but he’d have to beat out Spach. I expect Housler, Heap and King. Green has an outside chance.

  32. By Peter in Canada on Aug 10, 2011 | Reply

    I will definitely record this game because i am going to use the rewind button a lot. I agree with Chris R. I am going to relax not care about the score and just watch individual match ups.

  33. By Andy on Aug 10, 2011 | Reply

    Is the game going to be aired in Tucson?

  34. By Darren Urban on Aug 11, 2011 | Reply

    Andy —

    RE: Tucson

    I believe, with cable, you can still get the Valley’s ABC feed.

  35. By CNelson on Aug 10, 2011 | Reply


    When is the next Cardinals Underground going to be recorded?

  36. By Darren Urban on Aug 11, 2011 | Reply


    RE: Cardinals Underground

    Hopefully this week.

  37. By Jerry on Aug 10, 2011 | Reply

    Darren, as the Quarterback issue, the main talk for camp was Kolb, I didnt see any topics or talk about Skelton and the other QB’s and how they were doing in camp. I am sure they made some progress, what do you think?, as you seen them at camp

  38. By Darren Urban on Aug 11, 2011 | Reply

    Jerry —

    RE: QBs

    I think Skelton would have to struggle to not be No.2. As for the other spot, Hall will will have to beat out Bartel.

  39. By Marcelo on Aug 10, 2011 | Reply

    Darren, can we see in preseason a draft of what is coming for regular games?
    or by this time, regarding the lockout, we are facing only tests??

  40. By Darren Urban on Aug 11, 2011 | Reply

    Marcelo —

    RE: Question

    Not sure what you are looking for.

  41. By Richard S. on Aug 10, 2011 | Reply

    If the Cardinals are out here and have a paper to read, I guess they can see the article where Patrick Willis says he’s going to be used more for blitzing this year. He did have 6 sacks last year.

  42. By SeeingRed on Aug 10, 2011 | Reply

    Is it me or am I seeing a lot of pics and video of Greg Toler in a “almost” position?…meaning the guy he is covering is catching the ball and he is diving, jumping, etc but missing the ball…

  43. By NJAzCardsFan on Aug 10, 2011 | Reply

    I doubt Spach would be cut as he is the backup Long Snapper.

  44. By UKCardsFan on Aug 11, 2011 | Reply

    Does anyone know what time this will be on in the UK?

    Not sure of the time difference.

  45. By ross on Aug 11, 2011 | Reply

    Can’t wait to see Ryan Williams. Sup Darren.

  46. By Darren Urban on Aug 11, 2011 | Reply

    Ross —

    RE: RBs

    Just waiting until Week 2.

  47. By Kofari on Aug 11, 2011 | Reply

    Do u think Greg Toler could be a shut down corner in the NFL.

  48. By Darren Urban on Aug 11, 2011 | Reply

    Kofari —

    RE: Shutdown Toler

    I think he’s got a long way to go to be that. They would take just a solid, physical guy.

  49. By Kofari on Aug 11, 2011 | Reply

    Do u think Patrick Peterson will have a good like DRC did his rookie year

  50. By Kofari on Aug 11, 2011 | Reply

    I Mean A good season like DRC Did

  51. By Darren Urban on Aug 11, 2011 | Reply

    Kofari —

    RE: PP

    I think he has that potential, yes.

  52. By Peter in Canada on Aug 11, 2011 | Reply

    UK Cards – MST is 7 hours behind GMT. Since U.K. is on daylight savings that ups it to 8 hours. The game starts at 7:00 p.m. MST so I calculate you should tune in at 3:00 a.m. I hope that helps.

  53. By Kaleb on Aug 11, 2011 | Reply

    I am about to go on a limb here and ask what are the chance that the cardinals would even look into signing Terrell Owens this offseason?
    Also are we in contract talks with OLB Roth from the browns?

    I think if we could somehow get these two and re-sign larry fitzgerald it could be the most productive offseason in team history. T.O. would b a good guy to have around for a year or two while we season our young WR talent in Roberts, Williams, Sampson. Roth would add a big guy to shut down the edge where porter has struggled and schofield is unproven and washington is still a bit small to really make anyone fear him on the edge.

  54. By Darren Urban on Aug 11, 2011 | Reply

    Kaleb —

    RE: TO/Roth

    Roth signed with Jax. Cards had no interest. No way they look at T.O.

  55. By Kaleb on Aug 11, 2011 | Reply

    Also its pretty awesome to see we have followers from all over the country and world (Canada, New york, UK). Thanks for the support! GO CARDS!

  56. By David on Aug 11, 2011 | Reply

    I don’t care if Kolb throws every pass to the hot dog vendor. FOOTBALL IS BACK, BABY!

  57. By cardinalchris on Aug 11, 2011 | Reply

    I don’t know how many balls will go toward the HDV, but the first one better go to Fitz and have a contract rubberbanded to it.

  58. By brad oneill on Aug 11, 2011 | Reply

    Andy in tucson the game will be on channel 58 kwba CW. at 7pm i think on direct tv it is channel 58

    Scott H- one reason to believe our TE will be better utilized besides the fact that we have considerably upgraded the position is that kolb used brent celek with regularity in Philly. He happens to like a big target at mid range.

    the tight end upgrade is the biggest surprise to me, I have been hoping for one but too get two top quality tight ends in addition to drafting the best pass catching tight end in the draft just makes me giddy.

  59. By Westside Cards Fan on Aug 11, 2011 | Reply

    David –

    LMAO! Hey if the hot dog vendor can catch, maybe we can sign him up to be our #2 WR??

  60. By Richard Moreno on Aug 11, 2011 | Reply

    I think were in for a treat on the offense formations today. See how much under the center they do, compared to years past and and see how intense these lineman do on the run block. Also i wanna see tackling and defenders get off blocks.

  61. By Kaleb on Aug 11, 2011 | Reply

    Well that pretty much cleans up the WR market. I hope we have someone to keep pressure off fitz.

  62. By mike on Aug 11, 2011 | Reply

    Can you please help me out here. Is the Raiders game today going to be broadcasted in Tucson? Cox Cable or anything else. Thank you very much.

  63. By Darren Urban on Aug 11, 2011 | Reply

    Mike —

    RE: Tucson TV

    It’s on the CW.

  64. By MIKE G on Aug 11, 2011 | Reply

    Hey Darren–Hope all is good—Finally some football. If you were to pick 3 guys to watch on the Cardinals tonight. Which 3 players are you most interested in seeing tonight??? Mine are Kolb, Peterson and Beanie!

  65. By Darren Urban on Aug 11, 2011 | Reply

    Mike G —

    RE: 3 players

    Good question. I’ll go Kolb, Bradley, Ryan Williams.

  66. By Dre on Aug 11, 2011 | Reply

    Darren –

    First of all, I think the Cards did a great job this off season.

    I would like to know why didn’t the Cardinal pull the trigger on Braylon Edward since his value was so low. I see they signed Chansi Stuckey, 2007 a 7th rd. draft pick who hasn’t proved much since he’s been the league.

    As of right now Stuckey is one of three WRs listed 4th as the #2 WR. We just signed him to a 2 year, 3.5 million dallor contract, I’m a little confused.

    Couldn’t we have takened the risk at bring in a troubled Braylon Edward if we were stocked at the position. His stats were triple of Stuckey.

  67. By Darren Urban on Aug 11, 2011 | Reply

    Dre —

    RE: Braylon

    I don’t think Edwards really wanted to come. He wanted to be a No. 1 WR where he could pile up stats and hit the FA market again next offseason.

  68. By cards>niners on Aug 11, 2011 | Reply

    fitz contract soon darren? not necessarily facts but opinion

  69. By Darren Urban on Aug 11, 2011 | Reply

    Cards> —

    RE: Fitz

    I think it’ll get done.

  70. By cardsfan007 on Aug 11, 2011 | Reply

    Damn watching Tavaris play right now on MNF, he sucks. Cardinals DB’s gonna have a field day with him this year.

  71. By Scott H on Aug 11, 2011 | Reply

    David –

    Just a thought, but if the hot dog guy shows some good hands, I say we sign him to a contract!

  72. By mike on Aug 11, 2011 | Reply

    Thank you very much Darren!
    Channel 8 on Cox..Tucson.

  73. By Scott H on Aug 12, 2011 | Reply

    brad oneil –

    Yes, I thought of that as well. Then again, Celek is WAAAY better than anyone who has played TE here in recent memory. I’ve been wanting to see the TE become more a part of the offense ( or, should I say a part of the offense AT ALL??? ) for the past several years. If having Kolb here makes it finally happen, then that will just be another reason I’m glad he is here.

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