Beanie and the five-minute mark

Posted by Darren Urban on September 19, 2011 – 4:50 pm

The sequence in question — really only one play, when you break it down — is innocently buried in the play-by-play of Sunday’s 22-21 loss in Washington:

Arizona Cardinals at 5:17
1-10-ARZ 20 (5:17) C.Wells right guard to ARZ 23 for 3 yards (R.McIntosh).
2-7-ARZ 23 (4:35) (Shotgun) K.Kolb pass incomplete short right to E.Doucet.
Penalty on ARZ-T.Heap, Illegal Motion, declined.
3-7-ARZ 23 (4:32) (Shotgun) K.Kolb pass incomplete short right to E.Doucet (R.Kerrigan).
4-7-ARZ 23 (4:28) D.Zastudil punts 41 yards to WAS 36, Center-M.Leach, downed by ARZ. WAS-D.Gomes was injured during the play.


Many (as in people commenting on my Twitter feed and on the blog) seem to wonder why, on that second down play, Beanie Wells was not given the ball. The clock would have kept moving, some said. Beanie was running well, said others. In the end, the sport of second-guessing play calls may rank up there with reasons people like to watch the games. Here are my thoughts on that sequence — the choices make sense to me.

If the Cardinals had still been ahead, 21-13, and had been able to prevent that painful fourth-down touchdown pass moments before, I get running Beanie a few times. But even after the Cards knocked down the two-point conversion, they were only up by two points. With five minutes left, the playbook still has to be wide-open — you can’t just grind the clock and punt. Not when a field goal beats you. Could a Beanie second-down run made it third-and-2? Sure. It could have also been stoned (and the Redskins were looking run-first at that point) and you’d be faced with third-and-7 anyway.

One thing I will say: It seemed like the second-down shotgun look would have been helpful to a Beanie quick draw; Wells gained 45 of his yards on three rushing attempts when quarterback Kevin Kolb started in shotgun on the play.

Milking the clock makes no sense to me. If you don’t get the first down and drain the clock, all it would have meant was that the Redskins kick the game-winning field goal as time expires rather than the Cards getting a final drive chance with 1:46 left — and that pass to Chansi Stuckey made things look at first so promising, until he was stripped.

As for Wells’ only having three carries in the first half before getting 11 in the second half, Whisenhunt said “we didn’t have a lot of opportunities in the first half.” (The Cards did only have 18 20 first-half plays). “In the second half, we got into a package where we were having success. It was giving them problems and Beanie ran the ball very well.”

“You’d like to start out a little better than we did but we didn’t,” Whisenhunt added. “That’s something we are going to continue to work on.”

Wells looked frustrated after the game, but that could have been more about the gut-punch loss. The Cards only had three fourth-quarter possessions, and one lasted one play, the 73-yard bomb to Fitz. Then came the above possession, and then the final Stuckey fumble possession.

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57 Responses to “Beanie and the five-minute mark”

  1. By Gocardds on Sep 19, 2011 | Reply

    There is still lots of problems with the game calling in the ofense. Who is calling, the ofense cordinator or the head coach, Darren?

  2. By Darren Urban on Sep 20, 2011 | Reply

    Gocards —

    RE: Playcalling

    It is the OC.

  3. By MIKE G on Sep 19, 2011 | Reply

    Hey Darren–I think the Cardinals play calling was fine . They just needed to execute. That was the issue. Like you said –you always can second guess when the plays don’t work. Defense had 2 oppurtunities in the fourth quarter to hold and they didn’t get it done!

  4. By esteban veloz on Sep 19, 2011 | Reply

    If we have an offensive coah, that we never heard of, why is coach whiz still calling all of the plays? Coach needs to let the off coach do his job. Coach whiz sucks on off coaching.

  5. By AZCoyotes on Sep 19, 2011 | Reply

    “we didn’t have a lot of opportunities in the first half.”

    I don’t want to question Coach Whiz here but I think anytime a series starts with 1st and 10 there are oppurtunites to run the ball. It’s not like we get the offense on the field with 3rd and 12.

    It’s also time to start holding players accountable for stupid penalties.

  6. By AndyStandsUp on Sep 19, 2011 | Reply

    I agree with the sequence of not going “prevent” with that much time remaining.
    What I don’t agree with is no matter how limited the first half plays are, calling for a running play on only 1/6 of them (and this is a QB league and you have Fitz, I realize), tends to create tendencies.
    Darren, how many times has a Cards RB had over 27 touches in a game (not over exerting for a back) in the Whiz era?
    And I think you know why I chose 27. 🙂

  7. By Darren Urban on Sep 20, 2011 | Reply

    AndyStands —

    RE: 27 touches

    I’d have to look that up. But it’s going to be skewed because there was so much time spent splitting time between Hightower and Beanie.

  8. By RED BIRD 66 on Sep 19, 2011 | Reply

    I don’t think that the last possession is that big of issue when the defense can’t stop a pop warner team. Maybe the real problem is that Horton needs to realize that we aren’t his old team. Also needs to remember that our CB are both 1st year starters and Wilson is worthless in coverage. It was ridiculous watching them send all the blitzes and only 1 sack and maybe 3 pressures total. Didn’t he just say that he was over aggresive against the Panthers and he did it again. Are week going to make Seahawks look like a great offense next week. We are going to have to average 35 pts this year to win with this defense. Hopefully something gets done this week to have a better scheme against the seahawks or it will really be depressing.

  9. By Brandon in CO on Sep 19, 2011 | Reply

    Good points made here, but I think there’s something to say about riding momentum, and Beanie had a lot of it at that point in the game. Only 2 games into the season, though, and it is looking like another weak year for the NFC West, so that’s “encouraging” (and kind of sad…I hear enough about the NFC West’s strength from my friends).

    Expecting a great all-around game vs. Seattle! What a perfect opportunity for everything to start coming together.

  10. By Gabriel hernandez on Sep 19, 2011 | Reply

    Thats horsecrap whiz. Who cares if we only had 18 plays in the first half you only decided to run it 3 times. Beenie is on top of his game right now and you refuse to give him opportunities. Cardinals fans will you please speak up about this? Beenie has not gotten to twenty carries in a game yet this year and in my mind its the reason for a lot of our offensive woes. Darren you run it on second and seven not to milk the clock but because beenie was our best offensive option at the time. Good things happen when you run the ball with a late lead. Bad things happen when you throw it with a late lead. (Tampa Bay game last year) I’m getting sick of whiz

  11. By Darren Urban on Sep 20, 2011 | Reply

    Gabriel —

    RE: Running late with lead

    I won’t argue that you can say they should have run there. But to say “good things happen” etc., is far too simplistic. If the Redskins are playing you to run, bad things can still happen.

    By the way, I am assuming your reference to Tampa was DA’s terrible INT late in the game. At that point, the Bucs were ahead, not the Cardinals.

  12. By Brad on Sep 19, 2011 | Reply

    My question on that drive was why when they were having so much success out of the shotgun for both run and pass plays, why did they go back to a TE set, they line up in shotgun from 1st down and the D (who was very thin a CB) would have been guessing on a run or a pass, Redskins D would have loved to see that TE set after being torched in shotgun.

    If we halve the penalties, we win, if Kolb throws away that pass and settles for a Fieldgoal instead of forcing a behind-thrown pass to Roberts in traffic, then we win. Bottom line is that they had a chance to win at the end, it was very close, and that’s promising, mistakes will always happen at this time of year specially with the lockout, so all-in-all we are looking pretty good. Hopefully we can smash the Seahawks next week!

  13. By Brad on Sep 19, 2011 | Reply

    We’ve been told that one of the reasons Zastudil was chosen over Graham is because they were looking for someone to handle the long-distance punts better, when Cards were backed up Zastudil punted straight down the centre with no hang-time, big return at the end of it, we were very lucky it didn’t go for 6, it’s only early in season so i’m hoping Zastudil gets better, we can’t afford that against Seahawks and their return team….

  14. By Bay Area Bad Boy on Sep 19, 2011 | Reply

    C’mon Darren,
    All coaches know you hve to be able to run the football. Or at least attempt to run. It almost sound like you are making excuses for the staff. I understand your point and if Stuckey doesn’t get stripped, then we still have a chance. I get that too. But sometimes there are points in the game where its your will versus theirs. and that was it. Beanie is a big back. Hard nosed. No one knows what would have happened either way. But sometimes you need to punch the other team in the mouth. Are we not able to do that? And that statement about we didn’t have a lot of opportunities. wow. Execution creates opportunity. Its basic football 101. We had the opportunity to show the rest of the league that we can get the tough yards and we could pound with the best of them. We chose the other route. It didn’t pan out. Since I’m not in practice or on the sideline, I can’t even imagine what the coaches were thinking. But I don’t believe in sending the offensive line the message, I would rather see you pass block while Kevin and the recievers work out their chemistry. When you can say I belive in you and make this happen for us right here and right now. I know. easier said then done. But that’s just my opinion. But with all that said, I still like the fact that we still had a chance to win the game with the defense still not solid yet. Compared to last year, we still look 100 times better. Now like coach says, we just need to tight a few things up.

  15. By Richard S. on Sep 19, 2011 | Reply

    Could we like trade Oct 30-31 weekend opponents with the San Diego Charger’s so we’d get the Chiefs and they’d get Baltimore by maybe throwing in a draft pick?

  16. By georgiebird on Sep 19, 2011 | Reply

    I agree with you that running or passing in that situation is a classic second guess.
    However, Beanie is a #1 draft choice playing in his 3rd season. It’s time the Cardinals start riding his coat-tails. Yes, he could have got stoned in which case everyone would have yelled for the pass. But he could have taken over the game at that point and Beanie would have truly “arrived”.
    Maybe Whiz is not sold on Beanie with his high running style, the backfield hesitation and the chance of fumbling.
    Beanie was getting in the flow- a lot can be said for running the ball and possibly keeping the defense as far from the field as possible. And maybe finding out what Beanie Wells is all about.

  17. By Stevie on Sep 19, 2011 | Reply

    Darren, thanks for explaining that sequence, or at least why it might have happened. I was one of those who wondered why they didn’t use Beanie more, especially when they needed to burn the clock. Unfortunately, though, the play calls suggest that the Coach might not have had confidence in his Offense as well as that the Redskins were expecting a run. Whichever, I appreciate another perspective and one that does make sense.

    One thing I have not heard much about, is that the Defense’s let down in the 4th quarter could easily have been about them tiring after spending so much time on the field both in the 1st and 4th quarters. It is incumbent on the Offense to make those 3rd downs, so the Defense can get some rest. They didn’t do a great job of making good on the plays the D gave them with the interceptions and blocked field goal.

    But overall, I am optimistic about the team improving as the season goes on. I hope that improvement is evident next week in Seattle.

  18. By roland on Sep 19, 2011 | Reply

    Three out of eighteen plays is not enough runs for wells. Come on coach you have to try more runs to open up the pass. GO CARDS

  19. By Rodgerscromartie17 on Sep 19, 2011 | Reply

    We are going to get eaten alive on the pass game this year if somethin doesnt change

  20. By dan on Sep 19, 2011 | Reply

    Our defense sucks and Beanie runs to close to the sideline too much. Again. our defense sucks, specifically our defensive line. I think Dockett is out of position. Our defense doesnt suit him.

  21. By UC on Sep 20, 2011 | Reply

    The NFL website shows that, not including punts, the Cardinals ran 21 offensive plays in the first half, not 18 as you state in your post. But the Cardinals still only ran THREE!!! rushing plays in the first half, so the reality of the pathetic playcalling is even worse than you attempt to portray here. Furthermore, in addition to passing the ball on 86%!!!!!! of their first-half plays, EVERY RUSHING PLAY IN THE FIRST HALF WAS ON FIRST DOWN!!!!!!!!!!!

    It would take an awfully stupid coaching staff (such as, apparently, the Cardinals’) to not figure out that if a team is throwing the ball on 86% of their plays, that the opposing defense could begin reasonably anticipating that any random play was going to be a pass. I mean, really, this is basic logic, not lame excuses about “package(s)” and “opportunities”.

    And I know King Kenny isn’t above trotting out a pathetic excuse like “statistics don’t matter” when he does something tremendously stupid, such as, say, cutting the best quarterback on the roster right before the start of the regular season. Nevertheless, let’s look at some stats from this season that already are very telling.

    Kolb’s passer rating – 110.3, 5th in the NFL
    Wells – 5.7 yards per carry, 6th among RBs averaging at least 10 carries a game
    Defense – 11th fewest points allowed

    These are all good numbers. So why have the Cardinals barely won one game, and lost another? This is why:

    Rushing attempts – 40/Plays from scrimmage – 102 = RUSHING ONLY 39% OF THE TIME
    Average time of possession – 24:22, 31st in the league, BEATING THE LAST PLACE COLTS BY ONE SECOND

    I know King Kenny wants to focus on the failings of the defense, as do those who aren’t smart enough to see through his BS. Yes, the defense has problems, but how the hell are they supposed to NOT increase their chance of mistakes when they’re stranded out on the field? And how is the offense supposed to string drives together, when the dufus head coach won’t run the @#!@$%# ball? The Cardinals offense is already 16th in yards per game, and tied for 13th in points per game, imagine what they could do with some competent play calling.

    This crap has gone on long enough to prove that Kenny just doesn’t get it, all he’s got is a seemingly endless stream of excuses. This stupidity has existed so long that, at this point, the main constants throughout this have been ownership and the coaching staff. I hope Michael realizes this before Kolb gets killed.

  22. By Kent on Sep 20, 2011 | Reply

    Lets not make excuses here Darren. It was TERRIBLE, playcalling. Beanie is averaging 6.5 YPC at that stage. I don’t care if the Skins are looking run first.

    7 of his carries Sunday gained 5 or more yards, not one of them was stopped for no gain or a loss, and all but one gained at least 2 yards. You go into a 3rd and 5 and you can still run the ball for a first down, 3rd and 7 not so much.

    In situations you want to run a bit of clock the best thing to be able to do is run or pass the football, the Cardinals hamstring themselves with terrible playcalling. You create third and short you open up the playbook, you keep the defense off balance and you make it easier to create the first down. At the worst if you pass the ball you need to make sure you complete it (Think screen, swing type play to your back)

    No excuses at all for a staff that really should know better.

  23. By bluepitt on Sep 20, 2011 | Reply

    BS>>> BS>>> BLABLA!!!!! Wells needed the ball 10- 15 times in the 1st half! That is the botom line!!!! This game would have been put away if that hapened!
    Klob is no Warner and he cant hide the O-Line’s crappy play like Warner did. He cant hide the play calling problems like Warner did, that is for sure! If Whiz or who ever, keeps on passing more than 60% of the time we wont win but 6 games this year! I called 5 in week 2 last year and was on the $! The days of Warner are over! RUN THE BALL and let Klob settle in! I hope we dont see 500+ pas plays to 300- Run plays like last year!!! We did rank 6th in the NFL last yer in YPC! But whiz went pass happy! Just like sunday! And Darren, a swing pass to wells is a safe play as well! not 3 or 4 wide! and dont get cute with all the motion crap when trying to put a game away!!!! That is PopWarner 101 crap!!!

  24. By shannon robinson on Sep 20, 2011 | Reply

    There’s a lot of us who came out of the NFC East rivalries. Otis Armstrong comes to mind as a team personality who couldn’t be denied. Stump Mitchell had that same swagger and could turn on a dime and give you a nickel change or run over you – he didn’t care which. So don’t try to understand why there’s a lot of us who miss watching the Cardinal run behind a Dan Dierdorf guard who knocks you down, steps on you, then’ll be the one who’s gut punching. We’re wanting to see that again – we want to see Beanie run the ball in that situation not to run the clock out but to run over the opposition – it’s in our blood as a franchise – ask our relentless blogger, Mr. Otis Armstrong – he still speaks for us. It’s why lot’s of us admire Deuce Lutui and expect more from Levi – we’re not talking about play calling or percentages – we just remember how it felt to be who we were and still are. There’s nothing like that feeling in Cardinal football and we all have had that taste with Beanie. Running the rock in those last twenty yards would have done more for our Cardinal soul than you can imagine. Take the collar off – let go the mean streak – don’t tell us the odds, run the ball down the Redskins’ throat. Ask Mr. Bill, he still remembers!

  25. By lg on Sep 20, 2011 | Reply

    they did good to me better than last week im talking about the corners 2 ints but we let them get more rushing yards some how but that aint what killed us that last fumble did that we would have won if that did not happen but i always said at the end of a game put the ball in the best player hands thats real talk

  26. By johnnybluenose on Sep 20, 2011 | Reply

    hi darren, hope all is well. it would have been nice to start the season 2-0, more than nice actually, but the good news is that the 49ers also lost on sunday so we are tied for first place in our division. it’s early but i think we should win our division. our defense needs to be better but we all know that we have some young players and we’ve had some injuries so it’s about what i expected. what will help our defense is our offense staying on the field for long periods of time. that’s what i want to see, big plays and third down conversions. on another note, i have not heard anyone question or criticize the cowboys’ medical staff for allowing romo back in the game with broken ribs and possibly a collapsed lung. the cowboys should be fined big time for putting romo at risk the way they did. i really think this is something the commissioner and the players association should look into. and kudos to the eagles’ organization for not allowing vick to play after he was injured

  27. By John S on Sep 20, 2011 | Reply

    I usually like what you write but it seems your just defending the calls here because you work for the team. Its just a simple fact Beanie was carrying the ball well enough and should have been used here, why take the chance of an interception or fumble on an after reception tackle as what happened? Ive said it so many times but the coaches philosophy of this current team seems to always be that if we make a few bad offensive plays a punt is ok lets just give the exhausted defense a chance to hold. Its just not going to work for this team, never has and never will. Every game you can sense this attitude towards the end of the game and its horrible.

  28. By Fred on Sep 20, 2011 | Reply

    we didn’t get all that many opportunities on offence .why because the defence could not make stops on third down .and on fourth and longer allowed the redskins to score a touchdown that was a game changer you hold on 4TH DOWN ,YOU WIN

  29. By Rogerick Deniis on Sep 20, 2011 | Reply

    yes we definitely need stronger play calling. it wouldn’t be much of an issue if kolb was more comfortable with the playbook. would be nice to see him change the play to a run at the line…but until he becomes more familiar with the complete play book, we definitely need competent play calling. i’m with most fans. it seems like just when the cards a doing something well, they abandon it…and we’re like wth?? what are u doing?? it was working so feed the hog!! it’s almost like they cards wanna do things the hard way, and gotta make the game more difficult.

  30. By Rodgerscromartie17 on Sep 20, 2011 | Reply

    I think the biggest problem here is not the offense or the play calling all that can be changed between calling a pass or a run whats killing us is the fact that we have have a rookie corner who still needs to be introduced to the NFL, and another corner who has never seen playing time, theres no question that we need a VETERAN starting with Peterson, Jefferson is def not the answer right now, too many penaltys and blown coverage, the CB wasnt handles the way it should of been, but thats what u get for trading away DRC

  31. By Rodgerscromartie17 on Sep 20, 2011 | Reply

    There is a fine line between NFL starting caliber players and players with potential, thats whats hurting us, jefferson may be impressing coaches, but why should that earn him a starting roll over Marshall or Adams? EXP always beats “potential” Matt Lienart had potential, look where that got him.

  32. By drummer-1 on Sep 20, 2011 | Reply

    Hey darren,

    I think Whiz is a very good coach, no matter what he does these fans willl complain, if he run the rock and no results it’s why are we running the ball..I say ask him to sit Ftiz and Roberts this week and no pass plays whats so ever maybe these whinner will shut up.

  33. By Tx Cards fan on Sep 20, 2011 | Reply


    Thanks for the write up. It’s just me and keep in mind I’m a no body at the end of the day but I run the ball on that 2nd down if it’s me calling the plays. I also would even the run vs. pass play percentage out a little bit (40 / 60 at least). Once again I’m just excited the Cardinals look like they have a pretty good run game this year. It will be great if they can run for between 100 and 150 yards a game and burn some clock and give the defense a break.

  34. By Darren Urban on Sep 20, 2011 | Reply

    Tx cards —

    RE: Opinion

    Again, you were not the only one suggesting such things. As long as people are rational in their arguments (and you were/are), it’s all good.

  35. By cards62 on Sep 20, 2011 | Reply


    People are making a lot of very good points including you. I have no problem with Cardinals being aggressive on offense at that point in the game as clock and points are both big. Last year was a nightmare for us, but I just remember one series where we did not even pass the ball once and Beanie and TIm carried the ball for a TD. Running the ball is not necessarily saying hey I am not trying to score. I believe our OL is a much better run blocking unit than pass blocking.

    Brad ask a brilliant question for the coaching staff. We found success in the shotgun both running and passing and Washington was down defensive backs to injuries so why not stay in that formation? I have no problem with Heap or King being on the field just spread TE out as a WR and get a better blocker.

    Go Cards beat Seahawks

  36. By josh on Sep 20, 2011 | Reply

    he is gonna have a good season

  37. By Peter in Canada on Sep 20, 2011 | Reply

    The only comparison between this year and last year is that in both cases we are/were 1-1. The QB play is light years above last year. The defence has been giving up too many yards but the Pack gave up just as many yards to Carolina as we did. The run defence was a bit disappointing against Washington. I agree that we should be trying to achieve a better balance between the run and the pass because unlike last year the opposition are not playing a run stopping defence and daring DA/Skelton/Hall to beat them with a throw. I am still optimistic that we can win the division.

  38. By Tx Cards fan on Sep 20, 2011 | Reply

    I think if the running game is used a lot more, with successes it opens up so many things for the team. If pass rushers must play run first and linebackers and safeties have to respect the PA and play run first the passing game would be deadly. Just think if a team’s front 7 can’t stop Wells and they have to walk a safety up in the box. You now have Fitz not double covered and Heap/King on a safety or linebacker. Not to mention if the scoring drives are long and clock eating it will help the defense and limit the plays the other team’s offence gets. I think if we stop assuming teams will stop the run and make them stop the run it will take presser off the O line(that struggles to pass protect) and the defense. On 40 rush attempts (29th in the league in attempts) the Cardinals are averaging 4.8 yards per carry for 192 yards. Almost 5 yards a carry, why isn’t Wells getting 18 to 25 carries a game until they stop the run. The Cardinals are dead last in total plays with 102 in the league. Running the ball more will help give the offense more play and shorten the game for the other team. This would help the 4th quarter melt downs greatly. The run game is a weapon not just something you use when you’re playing not to lose the game.

    Running game offseason moves:
    2nd Rd RB drafted
    3rd Rd TE drafted
    5th Rd FB drafted
    run blocking OG signed
    Center / OG re-signed
    2 TE’s signed

    Passing game offseason moves:
    QB traded for
    3 TE’s added (to me this is more a run game addition but they do run routes)
    Stuckey signed
    WR drafted in 7th RD

    Based off of these moves I thought the team would focus on running the ball. It would seem to me if they wanted to pass more than run they would have drafted / signed at least one pass blocking Tackle and a solid #2 or slot receiver. Once again the best part of the week is second guessing the play calling gone wrong on Sunday.

  39. By georgiebird on Sep 20, 2011 | Reply

    Regardless of what anyone tells you, the Cardinals never pushed around their NFC rivals back in the day. The Cards won some close games along the way but never by manhandling Giants, Redskins etc. It was mostly Hart to Gray, Lomax to Green and Jim Bakken field goals. While Dierdorf was a fantastic pass blocker, he was only an average, at best, run blocker.
    Problem with the Cardinals is they’ve always been soft on defense.
    Play the young guys like OB, Carter, Acho, R.Johnson and let them give it a shot and hopefully, get better week to week. And Bradley is a better game player than practice guy- I think he’s a smart player and we need that.
    I saw the Rams schedule-it’s difficult. If the Cards can ever win the tie breaker against the Rams or 49ers, they will have an excellent shot. Maybe by mid-year, the new guys will start to perform-there’s time in this division.
    Productivity from the last 4 drafts has been dreadful- lets give these new guys a shot.

  40. By cardinalswooo on Sep 20, 2011 | Reply


    I hope you get told enough how much we appreciate the way that you moderate your blogs, if there’s anyone better out there I haven’t seen them!

    Our scoring and total yardage defenses are ranked 11th and 29th in the league respectively. The Green Bay Packers’ defense is 24th and 30th and the Patriots are 18th and 31st. What makes them 2-0 (against tougher competition) and us 1-1?

    Our offense ranks above average in the NFL in all categories EXCEPT time of possession and offensive first downs gained, we rank close to last in each. NE and GB are middle of the pack ToP and close to first in first downs.

    Part of the responsibility of the time of possession goes to the offense for not running the ball and part to the defense for not getting off the field (penalties in DC a major culprit). We need to improve our number of first downs. I think everyone is very excited that we are an explosive offense again, but our offense needs to wear the other defense down, instead of letting it happen to us.

    Both of those coaches line up to pass it more than average, but they have the capability to protect their QB and run screens. We can’t do either.

    With a porous pass protection, and no Vick taking snaps, the Cardinals take a much higher risk of sacks and turnovers on those plays than the Pats and Pack. The Cardinals offense needs to be more conservative, and we are in the position to do so with an emerging RB that neither of those teams have.

    Coach Whiz needs to establish this team’s identity on offense and we can hope that our defense will have a better opportunity to prove that it can be the bend/not break but play making unit that we’ve been expecting for years.

  41. By Ben on Sep 20, 2011 | Reply

    I almost feel like you wrote this article partly because of me. I was on twitter upset about the playcalling and wrote on your blog about it too.

    Whiz just doesn’t run the ball. RUN THE BALL!!!!

    After reading through all of these posts it looks like most die hard fans (Which is what we are since we post on blogs) are as frustrated as I am with the playcalling.

    Last year we threw more than anyone and all we heard was the excuse…well they knew we were going to run…or…in that situation a pass was a better call….or sometimes you have to take what they give you.

    I agree with a poster earlier that commented on the always running on first down. Whiz is the master of Run.Pass.Pass.Punt. During the offseason I was attempting to see how many times that was the sequence that we used. It was staggering how many times we did that. Wish I could find the numbers to post here.

    Try this, RUN RUN RUN RUN RUN RUN RUN TD!!!!

    Anyone remember the one time we did that???? Last year first game of the season against the Rams. Looked great smelled great tasted great. Never to be seen again.

    Like I said in another post. I guess I just have to get used to the fact that Ken Whisenhunt is allergic to running the ball.

  42. By Bo on Sep 20, 2011 | Reply

    Rationalize it any way you want to, anyone who has ever played the game knows; when you have the lead in the 4th, you run the ball. Obviously the Skins weren’t playing all run because they stopped two pass attempts in a row. You act like Beanie could not have gotten 7 more yards and a first down.

  43. By Darren Urban on Sep 20, 2011 | Reply

    Bo —

    RE: Beanie run

    And you act like it’s a foregone conclusion he would have.

  44. By ross on Sep 20, 2011 | Reply

    Relax everybody. Whis just wanted to let THT get the win.

  45. By Sackman on Sep 20, 2011 | Reply

    We need to go back to the 4-3 defense. This is the only way we are going to get pressure and sack the quarterback. It will benefit or defensive lineman especially Dansby. We don’t have a solid pass rusher and or linebacker position needs help. I do believe we could easily put 4 solid defensive lineman out there. I figure since everyone out there is putting there 2 cents worth in, I might as well get my money’s worth too!!! Seriously, I don’t care what we do, just WIN!!!! Go Cards!!!!!

  46. By TucsonTim on Sep 20, 2011 | Reply

    We started the 3rd quarter behind, ran 9 plays, 5 rushing and 4 passing. Thanks to a sack and an interception we didn’t put points on the board, but we did hold the ball for 5:34. I’m sure the defense appreciated the rest.

    Then despite Porter allowing a 40 yard completion on their first play we hold them and force a punt. Defense is on the field for barely more than a minute.

    We start at the 10 and run 4 times and pass 5. We go 90 yards and take 4:31 off the clock. AND we score!

    Despite 2 bad defensive penalties we hold again!!! When it really counted, when we could have put this game away. We come out and run one time on first down for 11 yards, then throw 3 passes including the intentional grounding, don’t get to the original line of scrimmage and hold the ball for 1:33. Game over.

    At this point the defense had played so much they were totally gassed. I don’t know how you can explain going for it on 4th down when Washington had sucked all day in the red zone. Obviously, they saw something to give them the confidence to run that play. Bottom line, we lost it when Whiz got pass happy again and turned away from a running game that was working in the second half.

    Yes, thanks to a great play by Kolb, we did get a quick score to Larry, probably because they thought we were going to continue to run and grind the clock with a balanced attack. You see running does more than run time off the clock. Especially, when your big guy is getting 9, 11, 25 yards per run. I don’t know what type of blitz package they ran, I can’t bring myself to watch the game again. Running really does enhance the passing game. Really.

    “With five minutes left, the playbook still has to be wide-open — you can’t just grind the clock and punt.” SERIOUSLY? Grind the clock and punt??? How about grind the clock, keep your exhausted defense off the field and SCORE!

  47. By TucsonTim on Sep 20, 2011 | Reply

    Darren, Re: Bo-

    It is a foregone conclusion that we had not lost a single yard running the ball. On the other hand, thanks to Russ Grimm’s pathetic o-line, we had been sacked, called for intentional grounding (loss of down, in case you forgot), and thrown an interception.

    You should should just side step the terrible game plan and play calling, because even a pop warner coach would have done better.

  48. By UC on Sep 21, 2011 | Reply


    “Last year we threw more than anyone and all we heard was the excuse…well they knew we were going to run…or…in that situation a pass was a better call….or sometimes you have to take what they give you. ”

    In addition to, “Well…uh…we got down by so much early that we had to keep passing to try and catch up.”

    I wonder if Kenny’s endless excuses might have factored into the Rooneys’ decision to not make him the Steelers head coach.

  49. By UC on Sep 21, 2011 | Reply

    And yes, I missed the penalty in the first half which negated a play. Which means that of the 20 first-half plays, only 85% of them were pass plays, not 86% like I originally stated. Hope we can keep catching each other’s errors.

  50. By Nick Pepe on Sep 21, 2011 | Reply

    What are you doing here? I thought you were done and following Todd Haleys blueprint that you raved about last month. And I dont remember running 3 and 4 wide out sets in Pop Warner. It was mostly 22 blast. Up the middle, up the middle, toss left….Obviously Pop Warner evolved since I played.

    I can’t believe people are calling for our coaches and GM’s heads. Appreciate what you have, be careful what you wish for. We have plenty of talent here. And it is only a matter of time until everything clicks. With no off-season, and limited pre-season, all teams are ironing out kinks

    @Shannon- I think you mean Ottis Anderson! and to the rest of you bringing up the old school Cards…..dont forget about Terry Metcalf !!!

    Nick Pepe

  51. By Louisville Cards on Sep 21, 2011 | Reply

    Hi Darren,

    Nice post as always. What I don’t understand is all the sky is falling Whiz sucks posts on here. It’s the second game of the season and we didn’t have an off season for the defense to be installed or kolb to get reps. Sure they look bad in spots now but give them some time to get used to the new schemes and for some getting used to playing in the NFL by week 8 rolling. If they still are playing bad then I can understand the negativity.

    On a side note Darren, with Haley on the hot seat in KC, if he is available next season do you see the cards trying to get him back.

  52. By Darren Urban on Sep 21, 2011 | Reply

    Louisville —

    RE: Haley

    If Haley would ever to be looking for work, I think he liked it enough here to want to come back. But I’m not sure what he would do. Obviously, OC is taken.

  53. By Louisville Cards on Sep 21, 2011 | Reply

    Darren I know you have to be PC since you work for the team but do you really think if Haley was looking for a job that he wouldn’t be the OC next season. Nothing against Miller he seems to be doing an ok job but when you can upgrade your team with a coach that we’ve had great sucess with why you wouldn’t jump all over it. I know this is all hypothetical but if you read the tea leaves I would say Haley is OC by the Superbowl if we aren’t in it.

  54. By Darren Urban on Sep 21, 2011 | Reply

    Louisville —

    RE: Coach change

    I would never say never in terms of Haley, but Miller has worked his way up the ladder. Unless the offense falls on its face, it’d be tough for Whisenhunt to make a move like that.

  55. By Darren Urban on Sep 21, 2011 | Reply

    Louisville —

    RE: Coach change

    I would never say never in terms of Haley, but Miller has worked his way up the ladder. Unless the offense falls on its face, it’d be tough for Whisenhunt to make a move like that.

  56. By Ben on Sep 21, 2011 | Reply

    Well it looks like the consensus on this blog thinks we should have been runnign the ball. But what does it matter in the end. Whiz will never try to run in the 4th so were just beating a dead horse. GO CARDS!!!!

  57. By Cert 33 on Sep 26, 2011 | Reply

    Those comparing Kolb to Warner are way out of line. Kolb isn’t even in the same universe as the future Hall of famer. However Kolb is good enough, and with work, shows the potential to be the next Jake Plummer. His style and build are very similar. Like I stated in the earlier post, we are only a single special teams play (punt return) away from being 0-3. All to teams that will probably finish last in their respective divisions. The talent is there. The coaching staff is the problem. The Carolina and Seattle games should have been Cardinal blowouts. The schedule is only going to get tougher Everyone is still giving Whiz a pass for what Warner, Bolden, Fitz, and Breaston, etc… did in ’08 and ’09. Well, they are all gone except Fitz and we are looking like a 6-10 team again. Jeff Fisher won consistently over a ten year period with a constantly changing roster and he is still available.

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