A new role for Derek Anderson

Posted by Darren Urban on September 8, 2011 – 9:27 am

A year ago, Derek Anderson was starting at quarterback for the Cardinals heading into the opener at St. Louis. The Cards won that day, 17-13, and Anderson threw the game-winning touchdown pass. Then, as everyone knows, it unraveled from there.

Anderson and the Cardinals will  be in the same building again Sunday in the opener, except this time, Anderson could be the Carolina Panthers’ backup to rookie starter Cam Newton. Because of the lockout, Anderson remained on the Cards’ roster until right before training camp, but that was always just a formality. As soon as teams started making moves, Anderson was released. He caught on with Carolina because his former offensive coordinator in Cleveland, Rob Chudzinski, was now on the Panthers’ staff, and head coach Ron Rivera wanted a veteran presence. He not only worked out, he might’ve surpassed Jimmy Clausen on the depth chart (Rivera isn’t saying) and, Newton said, became a mentor.

“(He’s had a) big impact. Big impact,” Newton said. “His presence alone is good for our meeting room. Especially being in coach Chudzinski’s offense (before) he helps our coaches out. I know he’s been a big help for me and Jimmy in terms of our maturation for this offense. He’s been a good person to talk to about what this offense’s philosophy is. He had a Pro Bowl season in this offense so he knows the ins and outs, but more than that, he’s been a good teammate. He always has an upbeat mentality.”

That mentality was severely tested during Anderson’s lone season in Arizona. His inconsistent play forced him in and out of the lineup, the offense struggled all year, and it all came to a head during a Monday night blowout loss against San Francisco in which TV cameras caught Anderson laughing on the sideline talking to guard Deuce Lutui when the Cards were down big. Asked about it afterward, Anderson lost his cool in the postgame press conference, and that video — more than any game footage — was what got played over and over.

Anderson told the Charlotte Observer Lutui was trying to make Anderson feel better after Anderson had been getting grief from a fan in the University of Phoenix Stadium stands. “Deuce just said, ‘Hey, man, I’ve got your back no matter what happens.’ And I just kind of grinned at it,” Anderson said. “Obviously, I put a lot of time and effort into things and I don’t take anything like that lightly. I wasn’t laughing because we were losing.

“It was the frustration of kind of the whole season and how things had gone. A lot of time and effort had been put into things. I know that everybody on the team probably felt the same way. They were all just as frustrated as I was,” Anderson added. “I was trying to do everything I could every single week to plan something that was going to get us going. We couldn’t get it going. And it was kind of an accumulation of a lot of things.”

Anderson said he didn’t get enough reps in the offseason and training camp last year to feel comfortable in the offense because he was playing behind Matt Leinart the whole time. Not that it mattered. Anderson’s stats last season pretty much mirrored his career numbers. He was exactly what he could have been expected to be — which is why Anderson is now a Panther, and Kevin Kolb became the Cards’ top offseason target.

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27 Responses to “A new role for Derek Anderson”

  1. By Bob Stroup on Sep 8, 2011 | Reply

    Jeez Jimmy you let DA take your #2 spot? I thought he was better than that. No matter, we will crush any or all of Carolina’s QB’s! Bring the heat defense!!!

  2. By AZLOGAN on Sep 8, 2011 | Reply

    Derek Anderson. Worst thing to happen to the Cards in a long long time. Good riddance!

  3. By Danny Heksolson on Sep 8, 2011 | Reply

    What amazes me the most is how this guy got a new contract? Anyway, I wish him well, but is kinda unpleasant having him in our building again! :/ GO CARDS!!!

  4. By MIKE G on Sep 8, 2011 | Reply

    Hey Darren–Interesting that the Panthers picked up Anderson. I think Anderson had a hard time dealing with the pressure of starting in Arizona. Plus I question his maturity and leadership that comes with playing that postion. I also fault the Cardinals coaching staff last year for putting too much on his shoulders and not using the running game like they should of. But this is a new year and last year is history–time to move on. Hopefully Kolb will have a better season leading this team. I think it is important for Kolb to get off to a good start of the season–so he does not press or get frustrated.

  5. By aztinez on Sep 8, 2011 | Reply

    Imagine my Cards loosing against DA now a Panther. Now that would be for the books… LOL not gonna happen ..

  6. By clssylssy on Sep 8, 2011 | Reply

    With some guys it just isn’t a good fit (I think Coach uses that term frequently…lol), but it doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t have something. Obviously, if they got to the NFL and stayed they have something. Plenty of players that we have given the boot have found success with other teams…Neil Rackers comes to mind when he kicked the winning FG for Houston in our house in the last few minutes of the game…ouch! Last year everybody needed a scapegoat since Warner passed on the last year of his contract and retired–don’t think that was planned for. What I find unpleasant is having so-called “fans” who are vindictive and hateful in our building…not the message we want to send to our youth!

  7. By Brian on Sep 8, 2011 | Reply

    I think its funny Newton is praising him as a good teammate considering what Skelton had to say about the QB group last year. Guess falling flat on his face was a humbling experience for DA. With that I wish he was the one starting so our D could tee off on him!

  8. By Danny Heksolson on Sep 8, 2011 | Reply

    @cossyissy: I´m sorry, didnt mean to sound like that, I said I wish him well too, knowing exactly that the poor showing is consequence of several factors as you mentined. And I am not a “so called” fan since I´ve been rooting for this team since 30 years ago! Again, I apologize if my comment sounded like hateful or vindictive, but simply I dont like how Anderson handled it at all, even at the attitude level, thats all! 🙂 Blessings! 🙂

  9. By D on Sep 8, 2011 | Reply

    can’t believe he is still getting jobs from one good year in cleveland….I guess you have to give him credit for that, but Cam and that team will have a long year..

  10. By NJAzCardsFan on Sep 8, 2011 | Reply

    Hopefully, Disaster Always (DA) will do for the Panthers what he did to the Cards last year…… Bring the Panthers a losing season. He is not a winner, nor will he ever be. I hope the Cards blowout the Panthers this weekend…..

  11. By Grimey on Sep 8, 2011 | Reply

    Do you think Derek told cam to take the game serious? Real serious?

  12. By CardsRepInChile on Sep 8, 2011 | Reply

    Bummed about how last year turned out but don’t think that makes him a bad person, he just didn’t play well period. And although he may not have had a studly year, I do think it probably didn’t help that we had the qb carousel going at full tilt and he didn’t get reps with the 1st team until real late. Wanna see the Cards beat the heck out of the panthers, including a big hit on Cam in the first quarter, but don’t wish anything bad on derek personally. GO CARDS!!!!

  13. By cards>niners on Sep 8, 2011 | Reply

    that’s fine

  14. By MikeFlorio on Sep 8, 2011 | Reply

    Please don’t comment or post on other ppls comments, if thats all you want to do go to facebook or something.
    Any word on if Max has gotten any intrest from any other teams?
    Is Jermey Urban still in playing?

  15. By Darren Urban on Sep 8, 2011 | Reply

    MikeFlorio —

    RE: Max/Urban

    Jerheme Urban remains with the Chiefs. As for “Max,” I am not sure if you are asking about Komar or Hall but either way, it doesn’t matter. They aren’t free agents. They are currently on Cards’ IR.

  16. By Chris R on Sep 8, 2011 | Reply

    @MIKE G

    How do you suppose the coaches call for more running plays when we’re playing from behind and need to score to catch up?

  17. By Blair on Sep 8, 2011 | Reply

    Luckily this will be the ONLY game he steps foot in UoP stadium. Im not for any of that “wish ya luck buddy” and “its not all his fault he sucks” crap. GET HIM OUTTA HERE. It would have been a dream come true for him to start, maybe newton will get hurt…

  18. By westsidecardsfan on Sep 8, 2011 | Reply

    DA a mentor? No wonder Cam’s preseason completion pct. hovered around 40%!

    GO CARDINAL RED!!!!!!!!

  19. By Tx Cards fan on Sep 8, 2011 | Reply

    After last year I wouldn’t hire Anderson to bag groceries for me let alone bring him in to even run my practice team offense. There are not enough Reps in the world that could have helped him last year! I would almost say we would have been better off punting on 1st down and trying to let the defense and special teams score than sending him out to throw a TD pass to the other team. I can’t understand why Carolina thinks DA can be the strong calming veteran’s presence they need with a rookie and 2nd year quarterback. Good luck to him though I can’t blame him for taking the check if they’re going to give it to him.

    PS I would like to thank him though for the gut laugh I got from the “I take this serious” interview. That was almost as good of a joke as writing his name on a NFL depth chart is.

  20. By Phoenixraven1 on Sep 8, 2011 | Reply

    New season!!!

  21. By CardCrazy on Sep 8, 2011 | Reply

    I am an Oregonian and HUGE Cardinals fan. I was excited last year to see DA join the Cards, but disappointed in how the year turned out. I hope he does well (not week 1) with the rest of his career. I have met him a few times and he has always been cool to talk to. GO CARDS!!!

  22. By Tbru on Sep 8, 2011 | Reply

    not going to slam the guy, he is already gone. Good luck in Carolina DA

  23. By Ron on Sep 8, 2011 | Reply

    DA signing reminds me of the time we signed Dave Krieg.

  24. By josh on Sep 8, 2011 | Reply

    Hey I told everyone on here before last year started that he just cannot play QB! I’m a Cardinal living in Ohio and I seen first hand many many times how bad D.A is, I still say Leinart would have been soooooooooo much better for us last season! Go Cards!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    P.S wright this down/ Cards win the West, Go to NFC Championship

  25. By TucsonTim on Sep 8, 2011 | Reply

    Clausen trying to give advice to Skelon was the lowest point last year in a really bad year. I so much hope this is a smash mouth beat down. I prey that they have to bring Anderson in to finish the game. Clausen telling Slelton about the speed of the game. Are you kidding me? I hope they are crushed beyond repair.

  26. By brad oneillbrad on Sep 9, 2011 | Reply

    Last year was not DA’s fault. No reps, called throws on 3rd and nothing, subpar line play. yes he locked on, yes he was inaccurate but a coach should adjust the game plan to a players strengths not force him into the mold of what he thinks should be able to happen.

    that said I am totally stoked for this year. Kolb may not be the most accurate passer in the league but i have confidence in his decision making. and he doesnt seem to be lost in the system.

  27. By Scott H on Sep 10, 2011 | Reply

    Derek, you seem like a good guy and I got nothing against you. I don’t really blame you for what you were last year. I blame the Cardinals for over-evaluating you before the season and then sticking with you entirely too long after the season started. That was not your fault. All that said, I’m glad you are somewhere else. Good luck in your future endeavors

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