Friday before the Chargers

Posted by Darren Urban on August 26, 2011 – 2:39 pm

The Cardinals finally get to play a home game. And it’s the third game of the preseason, the one where starters play the most and — mostly — it’s the best way to judge a team. It’s still a preseason game, of course. No gameplanning, nothing set up. The Cards continue to test out new parts of the offense and defense. Still, quarterback Kevin Kolb knows the impact that this game can have. “The biggest thing, this is the one, when you look at the scores, this is the one where you measure everyone up,” Kolb said. “And we want to measure well.”

(I will admit, when Kolb said that the other day, I desperately wanted to say, “So you’re saying the third game of the preseason isn’t bu…?” Well, you know.)

— Halfway through the preseason, and with the end of the time in training camp, the Cards are getting more comfortable with new defensive coordinator Ray Horton’s defense. But again, it’ll be a work in progress.

“We’ve got the grit of it,” safety Kerry Rhodes said. “We know what we are going to run, we can go and play a game. We’ve got the base stuff, and some of the exotic stuff. But we don’t have everything in. We’re just trying to do that, like a cram session. Cram for the test, and hopefully that first test against Carolina, we pass with flying colors.”

— Kolb talked about the “hiccups” in the offense. They probably won’t be ironed out just this week. It would be nice to see Kolb in control of the offense during a touchdown drive or two. He joked that he has been saving them for his first game at University of Phoenix Stadium, even “six or seven of them.” One or two would suffice against the Chargers.

— Curious to see, against a really good passing offense for a second straight week, how the cornerbacks hold up. Rookie Patrick Peterson got a taste of a high-profile receiver last week, getting beat by Greg Jennings for a touchdown. I’m also starting to think under-the-radar A.J. Jefferson is going to be a starter when the season begins, so this is another good test for him.

— Alfonso Smith wanted his shot. With Ryan Williams down, I’d think the Cards will be careful with Beanie Wells. And cuts are going to come quickly over the next week or so. As has been said many times, the Cards will look at all the running backs available after the league-wide cuts. There could be some intriguing names out there, especially after the final cuts following the fourth preseason game. In the meantime, Smith — who shows promise — will get his shot.

— So too will QB Rich Bartel. Story on him on the homepage right here.

— This is another big game for OLB O’Brien Schofield. He played so well last week, but coach Ken Whisenhunt wants consistency. He’s a chance to show that.

— I know it’s just a preseason game, but I am looking forward to this one. Going back to the Red-White practice, where 13,000 people showed up, there has been a resurgence in enthusiasm. Some is natural, with a new season. But injected with the new players arriving, headlined by Kolb, and the hope after the lockout finally ended, there is a new vibe with this team. We’ll see how it plays out in front of the home crowd.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Blog | 52 Comments »

52 Responses to “Friday before the Chargers”

  1. By Chris on Aug 26, 2011 | Reply

    Will Heap be playing this game?

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

    Chris —

    RE: Heap

    He has practiced all week so I expect yes.

  3. By azcards88 on Aug 26, 2011 | Reply

    i hope aj starts, who do u seen starting at cb week 1 based on what you seen so far in preseason darren, one more question what player has stood out to you the most thanks d.

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

    azcards88 —

    RE: CB/standouts

    I think it’ll end up being Toler and Jefferson.

    As for a standout, Fitz. Not even close.

  5. By SteveDCO on Aug 26, 2011 | Reply

    Darren – I’ve only read about how Dockett was unsure of the new defense because the DT became more of a role player but he accepeted his role to help the team.

    My questions would be:
    1. How does nine-0 feel after seeing Calais, Dan and himself make a huge impact in last weeks game?

    2. How are other players reacting to the new more aggresive system? Especially love to hear from Kerry coming from the NYJ defense.

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

    SteveDCO —

    RE: Questions

    1. Haven’t talked to Darnell about that since last week.
    2. They like the aggressive nature. It’s a players’ kind of D.

  7. By Phoenixraven1 on Aug 26, 2011 | Reply

    Can’t wait for Saturday night!

  8. By azcards88 on Aug 26, 2011 | Reply

    how has smith look to you do you think he can back up beanie or if your were gm would you go after a vet i know we dont know the cuts at rb yet what direction would you go darren

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

    azcards88 —

    RE: RB

    I want to see Smith tomorrow. And I’d want to see who is available.

  10. By richard moreno on Aug 26, 2011 | Reply

    This is the game where i want to see Kolb, hang in a good pocket, go through his reads and find the guy. It will show how much of a handle he has on the O and show he knows what his guys are all running. Also see this O-line pass block they look decent in the run game. Im really happy with the D and some of the schemes they showed last game, i just want to see the secondary stand tuff.

  11. By cactus jeff on Aug 26, 2011 | Reply


    Another first round bust. Don’t tell me he needs more time, great players start right away. Good is not good enough for 5th overall pick. Are you kidding me, why didn’t they trade their 1st and 2nd round picks for Kolb? DRC would be starting, unacceptable!

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

    cactus Jeff —

    RE: Peterson

    Yep, Peterson is a bust. What a waste. You’ve nailed it.

  13. By Phoenixraven1 on Aug 26, 2011 | Reply


  14. By No I.D. on Aug 26, 2011 | Reply

    Cactus Jeff-

    Had Peterson been able to partake in OTAs, talk to coaches and study as would normally be the case, he would probably be a lot further along. He’s got an overwhelming amount to cram, and at a particularly difficult position.

  15. By VoiceofReason on Aug 26, 2011 | Reply

    Look, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by AJ Jefferson’s play. I even think he could be a good nickel or dime corner. But let’s get realistic. The starters need to be Peterson and probably Marshall (with Toler in the mix).

    We need to see how Peterson looks playing with, and against, the #1s this week. Marshall too.

  16. By kaleb on Aug 26, 2011 | Reply

    looking for 2 things

    offense: long drives

    defense: more pressure

    can i get that..?

  17. By Don't Take Losses on Aug 26, 2011 | Reply

    We’ll be welcoming the boys back, for sure.

  18. By BIG RED on Aug 26, 2011 | Reply

    Why do we keep fooling our self, when we all know Hall was let go, cause he was not pro material. Not cause he was injured, C’mon man. Tell the truth your not fooling anybody.

  19. By cards>niners on Aug 26, 2011 | Reply

    @ cactus jeff

    . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . ,.-‘”. . . . . . . . . .“~.,
    . . . . . . . .. . . . . .,.-”. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .“-.,
    . . . . .. . . . . . ..,/. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ”:,
    . . . . . . . .. .,?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .\,
    . . . . . . . . . /. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ,}
    . . . . . . . . ./. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ,:`^`.}
    . . . . . . . ./. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ,:”. . . ./
    . . . . . . .?. . . __. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . :`. . . ./
    . . . . . . . /__.(. . .“~-,_. . . . . . . . . . . . . . ,:`. . . .. ./
    . . . . . . /(_. . ”~,_. . . ..“~,_. . . . . . . . . .,:`. . . . _/
    . . . .. .{.._$;_. . .”=,_. . . .“-,_. . . ,.-~-,}, .~”; /. .. .}
    . . .. . .((. . .*~_. . . .”=-._. . .“;,,./`. . /” . . . ./. .. ../
    . . . .. . .\`~,. . ..“~.,. . . . . . . . . ..`. . .}. . . . . . ../
    . . . . . .(. ..`=-,,. . . .`. . . . . . . . . . . ..(. . . ;_,,-”
    . . . . . ../.`~,. . ..`-.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..\. . /\
    . . . . . . \`~.*-,. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..|,./…..\,__
    ,,_. . . . . }.>-._\. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .|. . . . . . ..`=~-,
    . .. `=~-,_\_. . . `\,. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .\
    . . . . . . . . . .`=~-,,.\,. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .\
    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . `:,, . . . . . . . . . . . . . `\. . . . . . ..__
    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .`=-,. . . . . . . . . .,%`>–==“
    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . _\. . . . . ._,-%. . . ..`

  20. By CNelson on Aug 26, 2011 | Reply


    Got a Question that idk if you can answer but,.. What type of helmets do the Cardinals use, found this about helmets-

    Now all that has changed. Researchers at Virginia Tech have produced the first brand-by-brand, model-by-model ranking for the likely concussion resistance of helmets. A star-rating system modeled on crash safety rankings for automobiles, the rankings clearly identify the best and worst helmets. Virginia Tech researchers give high marks to these helmets: the Riddell Speed, Riddell Revolution, Riddell Revolution IQ; the Schutt Ion 4D and Schutt DNA; and the Xenith X1. The Virginia Tech researchers give medium grades to the Schutt Air XP and Schutt Air Advantage. The Virginia Tech rankings warn players not to wear these helmets: the Riddell VSR4 and the Adams A2000.”

    via –

    I would hope we dont use the VSR4 or the A2000

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

    CNelson —

    RE: Helmets

    I would have to ask about that.

  22. By CNelson on Aug 27, 2011 | Reply

    I dont know if they would tell you,
    I would just hope with what i see them wear, it looks alot like the Revolution modles witch would be great. You would think in the name of safty (witch is what the players and apparently the nlf wants) that they would make it manditory for all the players to wear the Absolute Best of safty gear to maximise not only their health, but the game. Then they could adjust the rules baised on bettering the game and work around the safty ger they could be using.
    With all of the technology that we have today, they could be wearing gear that would eliminate alot of injuries.

  23. By Bay Area Bad Boy on Aug 26, 2011 | Reply

    It would be nice to see Kolb puts some points on the scoreboard. Field goals and goal line stops just don’t cut it for me. I’m optimistic but a couple of touchdowns by the first unit would make me feel better.

  24. By AndyStandsUp on Aug 26, 2011 | Reply

    From what I saw in camp and the first two preseason games, I kinda agree with Cactus Jeff on the lack of impact by Peterson.
    It’s only a few sessions into his pro career and I liked his speed, but so far looking for the “wow” factor in his game.
    Darren, thoughts? (And please don’t go for the lack of preparation.)

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

    AndyStands —

    RE: Peterson

    Why can’t lack of prep be part of it?

    Besides, what exactly is everyone looking for after two preseason games? Six interceptions? Name me a top five pick — heck, any pick — that’s lighting it up. Newton? Dareus? Miller? Green? I don’t think so.

    I’m trying to figure out why the kid has to be judged after less than a month. Cactus Jeff called him a bust. A bust. Really?

  26. By Phoenixraven1 on Aug 27, 2011 | Reply

    In part I’d blame some if these local talk show guys Bickley from 910, Ash from 620, and those two knuckle heads in the morning on 1060…that’s where it’s coming from!

  27. By Matthew on Aug 26, 2011 | Reply

    cactus you are quite dumb, he missed all of the offseason, and i have liked what i have seen from him so far

  28. By diehardfan on Aug 26, 2011 | Reply

    re: Darren

    “Yep, Peterson is a bust. What a waste. You’ve nailed it.”

    Classic stuff! That is why I read these blogs!

    Peterson missed all off season work and hasn’t played in a regular season game yet. Rookies typically take time! Were fortunate that we are not forced to start him. If I remember correctly, DRC’s rookie camp was exceptional and everybody was raving about him. I don’t think he started until roughly mid season. The least of my concerns is CB. Lets get a consistent pass rush.

  29. By Kazuro on Aug 27, 2011 | Reply

    Darren, I haven’t heard much about Peterson’s production during camp, in your opinion does he look like he is worthy of being called the best player in the 2010 draft? Also I haven’t heard much about my favorite draft pick Sam Acho, I thought he was a steal in draft. How good does he look as 3-4 LB? Also in your opinion who is the standout LB in our team?

  30. By Darren Urban on Aug 27, 2011 | Reply

    Kazuro —

    RE: Questions

    I think I have answered my thoughts on PP. Acho is coming along, but he is raw. As for a standout LB, well, I think that’s still TBD. I hope they have one.

  31. By richard moreno on Aug 27, 2011 | Reply

    I like A.J Jefferson but to me he only looks good on the outside, i need to see him in the nickel and dime spots more i only see marshal there the majority and i like him there.. Im a sucker for Toler cause i think hes a vet that starts in this league for 6-10 years, and i think peterson should just be put out there

  32. By kaleb on Aug 27, 2011 | Reply

    CB is arguably the most difficult position to make the transition from college to pro in. PP needs time in the system and he will flourish. He is too talented not to.

  33. By Carl on Aug 27, 2011 | Reply

    Man I really wish I could watch the entire games. But until the dbacks season is over I just can’t find any TV time for my favorite football team 🙁

    Im going to miss the first quarter or two tomorrow because of the dbacks
    September 1st I will be able to watch in its entirety but it might not be so interesting for me anyway being preseason game #4
    September 11th the dbacks and cards start times run at almost exactly the same time and thus I will probably miss a good chunk if not all of the football game that day.
    September 18th I can start out watching the cardinals but if the game gets to be to long it might run in to my watching of the dbacks game again.
    September 25th both games run at about the same time again and with it possibly being a huge game for the dbacks that might involve clinching the NL west there is no way I can skip that to watch the cards play the seahawks.

    After this there is nothing interfering but who knows after that because the baseball playoffs could further delay my watching of the cards if the dbacks make a deep run. Dare I say miss the game against the steelers even?

    I could wind up missing the first 6-7 games of the season possibly if the dbacks go deep enough.

    Many of you people might not understand this since most of you are probably just football fans and cards fans only. But im one of those guys who loves all 3 of the relevant teams here (Cards dbacks and suns) so when seasons start overlapping eachother like they are doing now and one team is doing very well… well its hard to NOT want to watch the team I have been watching do well for a whole season such as the dbacks, vs the cards who are just starting their season.

    I can only hope the cards remain relevant in a playoff chase as I tune my eyes away from them for a few weeks or more. The last few seasons the dbacks haven’t been very relevant around the start of football season so my attention was fully devoted to them rather than the dbacks but today is a different story.

  34. By Peter in Canada on Aug 27, 2011 | Reply

    Your response to AndyStands about the the top five hit the nail right on the head. Would we have preferred Cam Newton at this point? I think not. The only question I have and it’s about all the CB’s not just PP is that they seem to be laying off the WR’s quite a bit giving up easy short yardage plays. Your thoughts?

  35. By Louisville Card on Aug 27, 2011 | Reply

    Darren, I agree with you whole heartedly..but there’s always one in the crowd and in this case two…

    PP is going to be great and our draft this year looks pretty amazing every player looks like they are a keeper. The Williams injury hurt but if he comes back and plays anywhere close to what he showed us this year he’s going to be a star.

    Darren now that camp has almost come to a close and you’ve seen everyone play. What would you rate this draft class? Seem’s like one of the best we’ve ever had any thought’s?

  36. By Darren Urban on Aug 27, 2011 | Reply

    Louisville —

    RE: Draft class

    Do I like what I have seen in the draft class? Sure. But until they do something in games that count, it doesn’t matter. No way to judge a draft class until we are a couple of years in. Way, way too early.

  37. By cardsalltheway on Aug 27, 2011 | Reply

    Peterson is playing it right, I wouldn’t want him to run crazy and then get hurt like you know who. Give him time. The question I have…Why is Peterson given this time while our 2nd round RB was expected and/or pushed to run crazy? Why was he running crazily anyway, it’s not like he was going to start

  38. By SteveDCO on Aug 27, 2011 | Reply

    I believe one CB EVER has one defensive rookie of the year. Why? Because it is a hard transition to the NFL.

    Not Revis or Sanders two of the best corners to ever play the game.

    Did I expect to see PP shine a little more playing against the 3s and 4s, yes. But we all have to remeber they had no OTAs so he is still learning the schemes.

    I thought Schofield’s article about how he had to learn the plays so he could start playing fast was tremendous. I believe it holds true for PP as well. And look what happened to Schofield when he could just play, he had a tremendous game.

    As for him not starting yet, do you know which coach we have? When was the last time a rookie started opening day? I’m pretty sure it was during the “We let them off the hook” days and I sure as hell know I don’t want to go back to that!

  39. By sigh on Aug 27, 2011 | Reply

    cactus jeff says, “Don’t tell me he needs more time, great players start right away.” He knows this because of Ndamukong Suh’s rookie performance at the most cerebral of positions. He is also aware that Aaron Rodgers was, and always will be a bust after failing to start in his first THREE seasons.

    Positions are different, people are different. A wildly truncated offseason and two preseason games is a hilariously short amount of time to be making definitive conclusions about one’s NFL potential. cactus jeff has been rightfully facepalmed by cards>niners.

  40. By wscardsfan on Aug 27, 2011 | Reply

    talk about unrealistic expectations! zero offseason, new playbook, and two preseason games and these two jokes posing as Cards fans expect a rookie first-rounder to suddenly master a craft that it takes even the most elite defensive backs a half season to merely absorb??

    On second thought, you’re right. In fact, if Peterson doesn’t receive a yellow sport coat and get inducted into the Hall of Fame before the home opener, I’m abandoning the fan base and becoming a Dallas Cowboys fan!

    Peterson, you’re on notice.

  41. By joe67 on Aug 27, 2011 | Reply

    AndyStands, You are right on.

    Cactus Jeff, what a terrible way to go thru life, being that negative. Give the kid a chance for heavens sake!

  42. By AndyStandsUp on Aug 27, 2011 | Reply

    @Darren, regarding Peterson,

    I replied “kinda” agree with Cactus Jeff in the respect that Peterson, in my limited view, has not reached the expectations of a top 5 draft choice. I was asking for your opinion ’cause you’ve seen him a lot more than I.
    The rookies you mentioned above are projected starters for their teams and Patrick is running second team behind a CB who was undrafted last season. Do the coaches feel he really is second string or is it the reluctance of Whiz playing newbies?
    The draft hype was that he is a physical corner with exceptional return abilities, have you witnessed examples of these?
    Far from a “bust”, but several scouts said he was the “most NFL ready” player coming out of college and I haven’t seen it yet.
    Have you?

  43. By Darren Urban on Aug 27, 2011 | Reply

    AndyStands —

    RE: More Peterson

    I like what I have seen in the return game, although again, the KOR rules could kill that part of his impact. No idea if he was the “most ready.” Kind of foolish to guess; I would bet he is more ready than Newton, but Camis going to play regardless. Situations are different. I do think the Whisenhunt factor plays into it and while I know some fans don’t like it, he’s the coach and that’s how he operates. Didn’t seem to hurt DRC.

    He is physical and he has made some plays that I have seen. But I tend to want a large sample size and we just don’t have that yet. I also just can’t get emotional about it one way or the other. He will be what he is. Hopefully it’s a great player. I don’t know yet though. Neither does he. Or Whiz. Or anyone else yet. It’s guesswork at this point.

  44. By SD_BoLtZ24 on Aug 27, 2011 | Reply


  45. By Phoenixraven1 on Aug 27, 2011 | Reply

    Wtf? Wrong site boss…

  46. By kaleb on Aug 27, 2011 | Reply



  47. By AndyStandsUp on Aug 27, 2011 | Reply

    Thanks, as always, for the response Darren.
    To the other critical posters, I was merely asking the team reporter if he had seen something different than my eyes regarding Peterson’s “lack” of play making for a guy who was drafted in that position because supposedly he can.
    Please don’t label a guy who posts somewhat differentiating views as a hater, ’cause I wouldn’t be on this board on a Saturday morning if I wasn’t a Cards fan.
    I sincerely wish Demon to do well tonight, it’s in my best interest also.

  48. By CardsBeliever on Aug 27, 2011 | Reply

    Regarding Helmets:

    Kolb’s seems to have the same hole pattern as the one Rodgers wears, which all the news agencies were talking up last year as specially designed for reducing concussions.

    ? on Cornerbacks- Has Jefferson been better than Toler? In games and practice video I’ve seen a whole lot of AJ with leaping break ups, and good tackles, and occaisionally getting burnt, wereas Toler has been in the background and has seemed non-existant, is he not getting thrown at as much, or am I just lacking perspective due to being at a distance?

  49. By Darren Urban on Aug 27, 2011 | Reply

    CardsBeliever —

    RE: CBs

    I think Jefferson has “flashed” more, but they like what Toler has done thus far too. He’ll be in the mix.

  50. By Jswizzle on Aug 27, 2011 | Reply

    Why did they change one of the plans?

  51. By Darren Urban on Aug 27, 2011 | Reply

    Jswizzle —

    RE: Protect plans

    Well, in part because tonight’s game was part of the plan and this game, obviously, is going to start soon.

  52. By AndyStandsUp on Aug 27, 2011 | Reply

    I stand corrected, once again.

Post a Comment

%d bloggers like this: