Friday before the Panthers

Posted by Darren Urban on September 9, 2011 – 4:56 pm

Ken Whisenhunt admitted, with the regular-season opener just a few days away, the Cardinals can’t be ready for everything. Teams like to address specific situations in training camp and practice, but that’s when there has already been an entire offseason to install offenses and defenses – time that, thanks to the lockout, wasn’t available this year.

“We have so many (other) things we have to work on, to try and carve out time for a situation is difficult,” Whisenhunt said. “I am just hopeful we have covered the situations that will come up and if not, that’s one of the victims of this shortened offseason.”

Does that concern players? Well, to a man they acknowledge everything isn’t exactly as it would be had there been an offseason. For the most part, however, there is confidence heading into this game against the Panthers.

“You know coaches — coaches are coaches,” running back Beanie Wells said with a smile. “They want to get everything in. And that’s a lot. We have put in a lot. There are still a few more things to fine tune. But I think we have done a good job with the things we were able to get together, and being successful when doing it.”

— Speaking of installing the playbook, this is new defensive coordinator Ray Horton’s take on where the defense stands. “We weren’t able to put everything in that we wanted to put in,” he said. “We have enough in to pressure people. It’s not the full package yet, but we will get it in.”

— Quarterback Kevin Kolb has talked about his butterflies before moments before, but he downplayed it to a point this week. He wanted to focus on his start against Green Bay to open the season last year – after he had been named Eagles starter – and using what he learned this week.

“I think the one thing I did (last year) was I over-thought a lot of things, trying to over-think their looks and watching maybe too much film,” Kolb said. “There’s a fine line between still playing the game and being prepared, and I want to make sure I find that line.”

— Whisenhunt remains coy on who his No. 2 quarterback will be. Given how much time John Skelton has missed or been limited with – along with how well Rich Bartel played in the preseason – I’d think it’d be Bartel this week. But Whiz noted that whatever happens this week doesn’t mean it’s all year, and that’s something to keep in mind too. Regardless, isn’t everyone hoping Kolb doesn’t give any reason for the No. 2 to be needed?

— Speaking of the No. 2 QB, Panthers coach Ron Rivera said he will only have two QBs active Sunday. Panthers reporters believe Derek Anderson will get the nod over Jimmy Clausen to back up Cam Newton.

— Looking for something to do pregame? If you like video games, check out the Pros vs. Joes gaming RV (presented by U-Haul) for a chance to match up or with current troops or wounded soldiers. It’ll be out on the Great Lawn (some Cardinals players will take part in Pros vs. Joes next week at the team complex).

— It’ll be up to the off return man to let the kickoff returner – LaRod Stephens-Howling, unless something weird happens – to decide if the kickoff should be returned in this new era of closer kickoffs, Whiz said. It’s based on the arc of the kick and where the coverage team is when the ball comes down. You hope the Hyphen gets a chance. Watching Thursday night and Packer Randall Cobb, the big kick return is still alive and, as always, thrilling.

— Opening day is always exciting. That the 10th anniversary of 9/11 coincides, I mean, the emotions should be pretty intense.

— A few things I am looking forward to seeing: How Patrick Peterson and A.J. Jefferson hold up at cornerback, how Adrian Wilson looks in his return, how much the Cards feed Beanie Wells. Maybe how Newton looks, especially against the firezone blitz that should make every defensive snap exciting for the Cards. And of course, I want to see Kolb.

We’re back to football, everyone.

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Posted in Blog | 31 Comments »

31 Responses to “Friday before the Panthers”

  1. By Honda Doug on Sep 9, 2011 | Reply

    Go out and have a great day men, I am excited for the new season,to get started, lets have us some fun.

  2. By cards>niners on Sep 9, 2011 | Reply

    flying back into AZ from cali for the game, let’s do this.

  3. By CardinalSwagger on Sep 9, 2011 | Reply

    Can’t wait! Let’s go Cards!!! Make this an amazing season.

  4. By CardsFan on Sep 9, 2011 | Reply


    Whats chester taylors deal??? I haven’t heard anything regarding him

  5. By Darren Urban on Sep 9, 2011 | Reply

    CardsFan —

    RE: Taylor

    Learning the offense. Only been to three practices. I wouldn’t expect much right away. He’s insurance if someone gets hurt.

  6. By Rich on Sep 9, 2011 | Reply

    Yeah Baby !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Go Cardinals !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. By Secret on Sep 9, 2011 | Reply

    ahhhh the good old “friday before” blogs!

    Darren, what’s your biggest worry about this team going into week one?

  8. By Darren Urban on Sep 9, 2011 | Reply

    Secret —

    RE: Worry

    In the end, I still want to see if the Cards can create a consistent four-man pass rush when necessary.

  9. By CardsAreWarBirds on Sep 9, 2011 | Reply

    We have the talent to really rock teams, I have high hopes. GO CARDS!

  10. By Colonel Saunders on Sep 9, 2011 | Reply

    Other players I’m looking forward to watching:
    1) Heap
    2) Chester Taylor
    3) Alphonso Smith on special teams
    4) Stewart ‘Smiley guy’ Bradley

    Can’t wait to see Larry and Anquan on the same field in Baltimore. Should be fun!

  11. By Danny Heksolson on Sep 9, 2011 | Reply

    GO DEAR BIRDS!! Fly!!

  12. By Nick Pepe on Sep 9, 2011 | Reply

    Finally, a “Friday before” that matters. It is the most wonderful time of the year.

    Protecting the ball. Not turning it over is the key. Obvious, I know. But there is enough talent on this team, that if the basics are covered, sky is the limit.

    The wait from now until kickoff is almost agonizing!!

    Go Big Red

    Nick Pepe
    Lifetime Member

  13. By MIKE G on Sep 9, 2011 | Reply

    Hey Darren–Cardinals have to win this game. Everything lines up for them.
    New QB and a renewed energy. I just hope Kolb plays well. I just worry about him and his ability to take a hit. Card’s line must keep him clean. Im going Cards 23-14 in the opener.

  14. By Nick Pepe on Sep 9, 2011 | Reply

    I have to quit watching the clock………ok, going to play some golf tomorrow to pass time, dont care what wife has to say. That will pass some time….

    Ok, I will ASK the wife if it is OK to play tomorrow….


  15. By nodavis2000 on Sep 9, 2011 | Reply

    GO CARDS!!!

  16. By James on Sep 9, 2011 | Reply

    I hope we get to see not only the number 2 qb but the entire 2nd string by having a huge lead in the 4th quarter. Go get em Cards.

  17. By cooldaddy79 on Sep 10, 2011 | Reply

    All i really want…. consistency thru this year, play solid smart football,everything else will follow.
    GO Cards!

  18. By Havasu Tom on Sep 10, 2011 | Reply

    Good morning Darren,
    I was looking at the ratings. The Cardinals are 20th. Now I didn’t expect us to be #1, but 20th seemed a little low. Maybe the teams a little unproven. What’s your take on it?

  19. By Darren Urban on Sep 10, 2011 | Reply

    Havasu —

    RE: Rankings

    My take is that, unlike college, rankings mean absolutely nothing in the NFL.

  20. By Jeff Gollin on Sep 10, 2011 | Reply

    In the end, it’s 11 of our athletes and 11 of their athletes on the field at one time fighting over an oddly shaped ball that bounces funny. Talent will only get you so far.Playing hard and playing smart is all you can expect from any team..

    After that, it’s in the hands of the Football Gods.

    Go get ’em Cards!

  21. By B on Sep 10, 2011 | Reply

    But if you have no talent you can play as hard and smart as you want…YOU AIN’T WINNING BLEEP.

  22. By Brandon on Sep 10, 2011 | Reply


    There’s only one thing Im worried about, Charles Johnson. Last year Chris Long the rams best pass rusher really roughed up Derek anderson in week 1. I cant remember if he was against the rt or the LT or who Charles johnson plays against. But do u think our o-line is signifigantly better than last year?

  23. By Darren Urban on Sep 10, 2011 | Reply

    Brandon —

    RE: OLine

    I think it can be better. I think there is no way to say significantly better until we see it play a game or two.

  24. By Roland B on Sep 10, 2011 | Reply

    Any chance we wear our black jerseys tomorrow? That would seem very appropriate.

  25. By Darren Urban on Sep 10, 2011 | Reply

    Roland —

    RE: Black jerseys

    Not for the opener, no.

  26. By clssylssy on Sep 10, 2011 | Reply

    Thank you so much for addressing the rankings issue in the NFL! Ranksings are useless and most fans could do as well or better than the NFL.COM “experts.” All of our QBs are looking pretty good, they all seem to have the same desire to commit to the team and do whatever it takes to win, so I really don’t think who backs of Kolb, or if he even starts, is earthshaking as long as it is the best choice for a win. Certain QBs will be more effective against a given team and while the fans are expecting Kolb, I trust in coach’s wisdom. After watching the Green Bay/Saints game the other night, I hope that fans will remember that this is just game one and only one game after not much time for preparation. I know the Saints are better than they played Thursday and I’ve seen this team in the same situation, and being harshly criticized for “blowing it.” It’s a new year, a new team, let’s get a new attitude! RISE UP RED SEA, GO CARDS! WE DO THIS TOGETHER!

  27. By pipapiko on Sep 10, 2011 | Reply

    Cards are going to lose 28-7!

  28. By Blair on Sep 10, 2011 | Reply


  29. By byak on Sep 11, 2011 | Reply

    Cardinals have lost the past 7 regular season games to the Panthers even with Jimmy Clausen, lol, starting for them last year! It’s time to end this streak! Hope we win!

  30. By shannon robinson on Sep 11, 2011 | Reply

    I’ve sung the praises of Steve Keim and Mr. Graves, but as a last comment on the roster as it stands before the opener, I’ll send out a tip of the Cardinal Wing to TJ McCreight and Quentin Harris. Their work to bring in Korey Lindsey and Crezdon Butler (who can also play safety) were solid signings to shore up our pass defenders. The fact that Rex Hadnot can play Center as well as Guard means we were able to keep Deuce Lutui and D’Anthony Batiste, in addition to four TE’s and four RB’s. Chester Taylor is intriguing and may be another quiet hero this year as Justin Wright was for the Birds. My goal today? “Run Beanie Run!” Cards 20 Panthers 10.

  31. By dre 1368 on Sep 11, 2011 | Reply

    go red birds

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