Some playing time for starters in the 4th

Posted by Darren Urban on August 30, 2011 – 10:55 am

Coach Ken Whisenhunt said, in the final presser before the fourth preseason game (and in the final presser  before final cuts) that he wants to get his starters at least some playing time. It could even be more than a “normal” fourth game. But how much is TBD.

“I want them to get a little bit of work just because they haven’t played together much,” Whisenhunt said. “It’ll be more of a feel thing. I don’t think we will have a set number of plays.”

Whiz did say, because of the lockout and the lack of an offseason, he could play different guys “a little bit longer.” He does want to make sure no key guys get hurt. As for the rest of the roster, Whiz turned to a fellow coach for what exactly he was looking for from the rest of the roster.

“I heard something (Patriots) coach (Bill) Belichick said,” Whisenhunt said. “It’s exactly right. That’s ‘More information.’ We have a number of spots players are competing for, and last week, a lot of guys didn’t get a number of reps because we were trying to get the first team reps and give them a shot to make the team.”

Whisenhunt only ruled out safety Adrian Wilson (biceps) from playing, although I don’t expect cornerback Michael Adams (knee) out there either. The other key guys banged up — QB John Skelton (ankle), WR DeMarco Sampson (hamstring), RB Alfonso Smith (hamstring) and tight end Rob Housler (groin) — are wait and see. Smith and Housler got in some work Tuesday, and both of them could definitely use the work, especially Smith, who is trying to prove he can be the third running back.

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27 Responses to “Some playing time for starters in the 4th”

  1. By JamesP on Aug 30, 2011 | Reply

    I want to hear more about Isaiah Williams and Jim Dray playing on the same state championship team in high school. They also happened to graduate with Brian Cushing. Pretty impressive, no?

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

    JamesP —

    RE: IWill/Dray

    If they are around next week, I will get to it.

  3. By Eric on Aug 30, 2011 | Reply

    Darren, with the Bennet signing, do you think we will still be looking at other CB’s, and can you see with the play of Rashad Johnson, them signing another Safety? I’m waiting to see what RB’s come on to the waiver wire, although it was encouraging to see Hyphen run well Saturday. Whats you take on our RB situation with the top three back we have? Do the coaches seem pleased with a Wells, Howling, Smith depth chart?

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

    Eric —

    RE: Possible moves

    I think they will look in all areas. It only makes sense. I could see them going Beanie/Hyphen/Smith, depending on what’s out there. Whomever the third back is, he needs to play special teams. Smith can do that. Can a vet?

  5. By D on Aug 30, 2011 | Reply

    playing with fire…..this team can’t afford any more injuries…

  6. By Phoenixraven1 on Aug 30, 2011 | Reply

    Rooting for Smith!

  7. By Andrew on Aug 30, 2011 | Reply

    Bad move if you ask me. After Beanie getting hurt in the 3rd quarter of last years 4th preseason game, and given the injuries to A-dub, Williams and Toler, I would not risk anymore of my normal starters. I know you want to get them some extra work but I think it’s a risk-reward move that is heavily skewed towards risk. What will a little extra time in a 4th preseason game against a team that doesn’t care goin to accomplish? Keep everyone healthy and out of the game.

  8. By John on Aug 30, 2011 | Reply

    Is it make or break for alfonso smith?

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

    John —

    RE: A Smith

    I don’t know if it is “make or break” but I do think they need to see something.

  10. By J-BIRD on Aug 30, 2011 | Reply

    We seam to have to many guys hurt, that can make an impact on this team. As much as I would love to see the Kolb to Fitz show agian, I think the starters should maybe only get like 2 serries, Kinda like a normal 1st preseason game. I think it is important to look at what depth you have in theis 4th game, especially with all the injuries. It would be really nice to see the Cards go after a guy like Chester Taylor. Wolfley is right, he would be a perfect fit for this team with his ability to block the pass rush, and catch the ball out of the backfield. He is a guy who can also get you those neccessary yards, and grind out the clock at the same time. Hyphen can do that too tho. I like what the cards are doing so far, I just hope it will all work out when it really counts

  11. By Peter in Canada on Aug 30, 2011 | Reply

    Our running back situation is extremely thin. Suppose Wells goes down for even one game. Everybody agrees that LSH can not carry a heavy load and that would mean Smith would be the feature back. I can’t see the powers that be going along with that. Who do you see being made available and be useful to us? Slaton?

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

    Peter in —

    RE: RB

    Here’s the problem. If you sign a guy and Beanie doesn’t get hurt, you are probably wasting a roster spot.

  13. By cards62 on Aug 30, 2011 | Reply

    Andrew – You have a good memory. I too remember thinking what is Beanie doing out there and he was never the same all year. I have predicted a good year for Beanie over 1100 yards rushing.

    I am liking what I am seeing out of Whiz so far this preseason so I thnk he has learned his lesson and the starters will only play 1 to 3 series. I think more than anything Whiz just wants our offense to get some confidence. Kolb went I believe 8 for 11 after he hit the 80 yarder to FItz, before the 80 yarder not so hot so I am thinking he just wants Kolb and the rest of the starters especially our O line to feel good going into the Carolina game. Defensive starters might only play one series.

    I think we do have some tough decisions on roster spots so I think the reserves play 3 quarters or more. I hate injuries too, but Wilson was hurt in practice, Toler was not touched, and Williams was not by any means a violent contact play.

    Nothing like games against an opponent to see what you have. Practice is good, but not the same as games.

    Dear Rod Graves I hope you are well rested these past 3 weeks and will be working hard to find us some gems from other teams when all the cuts go down.
    I still can not believe we traded a running back in his prime Tim Hightower for a DE who will probably retire after playing one season with us. I still can not get over this move, and I have always been more of a Beanie fan, but also like TIm and LSH.

    Go Cards 2011 looks promising

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

    Cards62 —

    RE: Hightower

    At the time, Hightower was probably not going to play ahead of Beanie and they wanted to use Williams. Hightower would have been miserable here had Williams stayed healthy. It was win-win at the time. Hurts the Cards now, yes, but at the time, there was no room at the inn.

  15. By D on Aug 30, 2011 | Reply

    I don’t remember seeing hightower play special teams the last few years and Beanie didn’t either- only the Hyphen…so why would they want a vet rb play on special?

  16. By D on Aug 30, 2011 | Reply

    ooh yes, Jason wright bad…I am sure the fullback has to play on special

  17. By Mark on Aug 30, 2011 | Reply

    Can you ask Whiz tomorrow in his mini press conference where his head was at with playing Dray so much on ST and O during the 3rd game. To give him a chance to play more or was Spach not ready to play much yet or what? Just curious what played into that decision. Thanks D

  18. By J McCown on Aug 30, 2011 | Reply

    don’t think slaton is the anwser, fumble problems just like hightower had if not worse

  19. By Jon L. on Aug 30, 2011 | Reply

    Starters need game reps, especially with the shortened offseason.

  20. By AndyStandsUp on Aug 30, 2011 | Reply

    Darren, do you know when the ADub decision is expected? They wouldn’t hold a roster spot open for him, would they?
    If he goes on PUP, he’ll miss at least the first 6 weeks, but would the Cards make that thought on Saturday’s cut day or wait until just before the start of the season to see if another player interests them?

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

    AndyStands —

    RE: A-Dub questions

    1) You can’t go on PUP once you practice. PUP is for guys who are hurt going into camp. You practice the first day at camp and get hurt, PUP is unavailable.
    2) They will hold a roster spot for him. It’s not like he will miss a month. They expect him to play. Even if it’s not the opener — and I’m not sure he won’t be back — he’ll give it a try in the first few games for sure.
    3) These are the decisions you have to make for a guy who is hurting going into the season. That’s why the IR rules are so difficult — you can’t cheat the roster numbers. Once, IR meant missing four weeks. Too many teams “hid” players that way.

  22. By BIG RED on Aug 30, 2011 | Reply

    Hey Darren, where do you think Stephen Skeleton will end up. Will he make the 53 men roster or the practice squad. He can be groom, for when Heap desides to retire.

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

    Big Red —

    RE: S Skelton

    He can go on the practice squad. Not sure he will. If they keep Dray and Housler, they already have two young tight ends.

  24. By Dave on Aug 30, 2011 | Reply

    That brings up a good question…how many TEs do we keep? From reading this it seems like we keep 4 and Spach is the odd man out. Any chance he has trade value?

    I know Whiz loves the TEs and I look forward to seeing how he uses them.

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

    Dave —

    RE: Trade value for TEs

    There likely is none for the guys who the Cards might cut.

  26. By COMMON SENSE on Aug 30, 2011 | Reply

    SS DeAndre McDaniel is an intriguing prospect and was recently released,
    with A-Dub injured the team could always use youth, depth, and competition
    at the position.

    I truly believe it would be a smart move if the Cardinals got this guy.

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