To pad or not to pad, that is the question

Posted by Darren Urban on October 11, 2011 – 2:10 pm

With the Cardinals just a couple of days removed from playing in Minnesota, coach Ken Whisenhunt said he wasn’t going to put them in pads for Tuesday’s practice. He was asked if he thought about a heavy-hitting practice, to send a message to his struggling team.

“You only have 53 guys, so it’s not like training camp where you have 80, or 90 this year,” Whisenhunt said. “About (Wednesday) I am still thinking about that. It’s kind of a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don’t scenario, because if you have an injury in your bye week you feel awful about it. I will look at the tape today and see what we got out of it and make the decision at that point.”

There is no injury report on the bye week, but a number of players rested lingering issues, not surprising with two weeks before the next game. That also limits the pool of available players.

While Whisenhunt knows his time with players is CBA-limited this week, this is also the chance at a fresh start to the season.

“You are diligent in correcting the things you have been doing wrong. That’s what (Monday) was about, and today was about, and tomorrow will be about,” Whisenhunt siad. “And then you take a break. You come back and have to let it go. You have to look forward. We know what kind of hole we have dug for ourselves. We will work hard to get out of it.”

— Safety Kerry Rhodes is expected to have surgery Thursday to repair his broken left foot. He will be out around a month in all probability.

— The Cards worked out a pair of safeties as replacement for Rhodes, at least for now (Rashad Johnson is taking his place as starter). Former Eagle Sean Considine and former 49ers Curtis Taylor were the players reportedly brought in, although whomever is signed would be in a reserve role.

— Johnson already got a lot of work as starting safety in the preseason when he filled in for the injured Adrian Wilson. Now he gets another shot moving from strong to free. “It’s not any different,” Johnson said. “We work hard every day, and in this business the unfortunate part is guys get hurt. That’s when other guys get opportunities to show they are valuable as well. I just want to take the opportunity and make the most of it. In the preseason, I think I did well and the coaches were satisfied, so I feel like they are confident in me now as well.”

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35 Responses to “To pad or not to pad, that is the question”

  1. By suspence716 on Oct 11, 2011 | Reply

    In his first five starts last season, Derek Anderson made seven turnovers (five interceptions, two fumbles). In his first five starts this season, Kolb has made nine (six interceptions and three fumbles), including a pair of picks and a fumble Sunday in Minneapolis.

    Anyone still think we are better at the QB position than last year?

  2. By B on Oct 11, 2011 | Reply

    Hell Whis…why not just give then the day off?I think they worked hard enough for it…..errr….wait never mind.They had last Sunday

  3. By Tx Cards fan on Oct 11, 2011 | Reply

    I would pad it and try and get the intensity up going in to Pittsburg which will be a physical game for sure. But it’s tough to balance the bumps and bruises. However the team is 1-4 not 4-1 it’s crunch time so I say put on the pads and get the competition going.

  4. By jocards on Oct 11, 2011 | Reply

    A fresh start to the season. Too bad the rest of the NFL won’t see it that way, when the team gets back on the field they will still be 1-4. Not a good situation by any means.

    Now to suspence716; yes I fully believe the team is better at the QB position than last year. DA was, is and for the most part always has been terrible. He won’t get any better either. Kolb has started out badly but he will get better. Is he a franchise QB? I don’t know but I know Derek Anderson isn’t.

  5. By Bob Diesel on Oct 11, 2011 | Reply

    Derek Anderson did that with a full offseason. Stats are for fantasy football, when brought up in an argument concerning an actual football game, it could be misleading. Greg Toler had a better season than DRC last year, why weren’t the Eagles trying to get him?

  6. By Scott H on Oct 11, 2011 | Reply

    B –

    Nice one. Whiz ought to have the pads on, too. He’s been just as bad at his job as the players have been at theirs.

    Suspence716 –

    While certain numbers thus far may not show that Kolb is an improvement over last year, I believe that they will before the season is over. It remains to be seen. But with that said, I ask you – Do you think we are better ANYWHERE than we were last year??? Good luck with that one. Because we are still awful across the board, I’m not inclined to hold Kevin Kolb ( who had less than a month from the time he stepped foot on the practice field for the first time and the first regular season game ) responsible for this.

    And even if you can identify one aspect of this team that has improved over last year, so what??? Has it mattered??? This team is horrible at all positions and in all three phases. Kolb plays one position on offense. Is he supposed to be making tackles, intercepting passes, and returning punts as well??? Gimme a break. If this team were solid but just obviously being held back by poor QB play, I’d be right there with you. But we are SOOOOOOO friggin’ far from that, it’s pathetic.

  7. By kauaicardsfan on Oct 11, 2011 | Reply

    Hi Darren,
    I know the CBA allows them only certain days to practice but can the players come in voluntarily? Maybe go over film or put in the extra time on their own or with other players who would benefit with the extra time to get the play book right or get the hang of the new defensive system?
    Just curious?

  8. By Darren Urban on Oct 11, 2011 | Reply

    Kauai —

    RE: Players’ time

    I would guess they could come in and watch film on their own, but I am thinking it probably can’t be with coaches, otherwise there could be pressure brought to bear for people to do it.

  9. By CardsWatch on Oct 11, 2011 | Reply

    DA only lost one fumble in his first 5 starts. DA had 823 yards passing to KK’s 1,281 although DA only had 14 attempts in his fourth start. DA had 4 TD’s, 5 INT’s and 15 sacks. KK has had 5 TD’s, 6 INT’s and 16 sacks. Except for passing yards, I’d say they are about even.

  10. By Tx Cards fan on Oct 11, 2011 | Reply


    DRC had a pro bowl and a lot of hype. Toler was a project in their eyes. As for the stats teams take stats from a guy on a 5-11 team with a grain of salt. Although I truly believe Toler will end up being the better player because of attitude and how physical he is. To me it was a blessing to unload DRC he was not physical enough and was coming into a contract year and would not be worth what he would want paid so he would have walked anyways to get a QB for him was a win on our part. The 2nd round pick to me was the only loss. Just my two cents.

  11. By Marco on Oct 11, 2011 | Reply

    To the person who compared Derek Anderson’s turnover to statistics to Kevin Kolb’s through 5 weeks:

    1. Compare the offensive stats. The Cardinals are collectively at the middle of the pack when it comes to offensive categories. Last year, Anderson couldn’t move the ball worth anything. This year, we have made significant strides. The problem is just capitalizing on those drives and having more consistency.

    2. Look at the tape. Last year was miserable to watch. This year, besides the game in Minnesota, the entire team was close to winning. You can’t say that about last year.

    3. Derek Anderson, and the other quarterbacks, had significantly worse performances throughout the rest of the season. The first few games, he was decent as far as turnovers get, but again, there was no offensive production whatsoever.

    To all the Kevin Kolb haters: You’d be complaining a whole lot more if we didn’t get Fitzgerald signed long term, and didn’t have a upgrade at the position. There were no other options. The entire team is struggling as a whole, not just Kolb. Give Kolb, at the very least, the rest of the season before making an sort of judgement about who he will be. Kurt Warner took time to develop in the same system Kolb is running.

  12. By TucsonTim on Oct 11, 2011 | Reply

    Scott H –

    We’re better at Tight End!!!

  13. By Victor Sanchez on Oct 11, 2011 | Reply

    @suspence716 – without a doubt yes. Kevin Kolb is getting the ball down the field and being relatively productive. He has demonstrated good arm strength and an ability to get the ball deep to Larry Fitzgerald.

    I feel he still needs to get confortable in this offense. Once he understand how to beat the blitz things will improve drastically. He also needs to trust his O-line and step up in the pocket.

    By the end of the year, you will see a much better QB play and a much better team than we are seeing today.

  14. By AndyStandsUp on Oct 11, 2011 | Reply

    Stats can be twisted in any which way the purporter wants them to.
    I posted about a week ago that Kolb’s first three games as a Card were eerily similar to Warner’s first three games.
    Does that mean that Kevin will be the next Kurt?
    Not anymore than Anderson is an equal of Kolb.

  15. By AZ Fan in WA on Oct 11, 2011 | Reply

    Suspence or Suspect?
    Are those numbers indicative of QB decision making? Accuracy? Protection? Receiving Core? Defenses/schemes faced? You cant just barf out some convenient facts and draw conclusions based on whatever your prejudices are. DA was a terrible QB. Kolb has seemed to get worse each game but the argument that DA was better or even equal to Kolb in terms of skill level is ludicrous. Will Kolb figure it out/survive? WTFK?

  16. By Brandon LA on Oct 11, 2011 | Reply

    Pads or No Pads. Red Pants for Steelers!

  17. By D on Oct 11, 2011 | Reply

    Well, a bright spot with this injury to Kerry, if we see nothing from Johnson in the next 4-5 games, then we know that we will need to draft another safety this offseason in rounds 3-5-hopefully the light will turn on for him

  18. By Chuck on Oct 11, 2011 | Reply

    Darren what do you think about the O-Line Kolb is running for his life and getting blasted from his blind side! It seems our tackles struggle with speed rushers in passing situations?

  19. By Darren Urban on Oct 12, 2011 | Reply

    Chuck —

    RE: Tackles

    The tackles are not playing well. I think that’s been covered.

  20. By BIG RED on Oct 11, 2011 | Reply


  21. By suspence716 on Oct 11, 2011 | Reply

    I wouldn’t disagree with anyone on the Qb thing. I do think Kolb has a much better upside than DA and I wasn’t ever much of a DA fan. Just thought the stats were interesting. We also had a better record at this time last year with DA, but fact is we still were pretty horrible last year. Thing I do like about Kolb is at least he takes his job seriously from what I have seen and heard. He’s not sitting on the sidelines next to duece ‘cheeseburger’ lutui cracking jokes thinking its funny, like DA did and then denied doing last year. Not by any means do I think we got better on any side of the ball so far. This team might get some things fixed and be a little better, but as far as our record goes for this year I think we only got worse.

  22. By soares20 on Oct 12, 2011 | Reply

    Fans need to shut up about Kolb, here are some stats for you. Kolb had a week to learn a completely new system while DA had a whole offseason. Kolb is a leader DA couldn’t lead a band of school girls. Kolb’s potential equals franchise QB DA potential equals backup and that is as high as it will ever be. The teams problem is the overall team not one player(Kolb), I kind of wish it was just one player……….

  23. By Christo on Oct 12, 2011 | Reply

    Only Whiz would consider not padding this under performing group.

    Man up, show some accountability.

    Someone needs to let these players know that due to the first 5 weeks, they are effectively playing for their jobs NEXT year.

  24. By Jeff Gollin on Oct 12, 2011 | Reply

    I’m afraid the time for steady, consistent, “methodical, “clean a bunch of stuff” coaching is over.

    (Under that approach, we haven’t cleaned things up and (with perhaps the exception of Beanie and the run game) haven’t gotten any better).

    Time to shake the tree. Put the pads on, and let’s find out (a) who loves football and (b) who merely enjoys playing the part of a football player. You can get injured crossing the street, and (should that unfortunately happen) it’s not as though we could play much worse anyway. The upside of re-energized players is worth downside risk of possible injury.

  25. By nodavis2000 on Oct 12, 2011 | Reply

    I think if he doesn’t put them in pads, then that would be a huge mistake. Look what Tomlin did for the Steelers. They were playing awful, he made them put pads on at practice, and then they come out with intensity and KILL the Titans. This is what we need…

    I know a lot of people comment on here about the Steelers and whatnot, but I for one think that the Cards needs to step up.

    If we take away the first quarter against the Vikings, they only scored 6 points. The turnovers absolutely killed us.

    Darren, do you have a preference with whether or not the Cards should or should not practice in pads??? I know you’re not a coach, but since you are there in person more than us, you see what this team needs. Do you think they need to get more physical with the pads in practice???

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

    nodavis —

    RE: Padded practice

    I have no idea what the team needs anymore. That said, a padded practice makes some sense to me, if nothing more than to serve as a wake-up call.

  27. By cards4ever on Oct 12, 2011 | Reply

    I’m not going to judge this team until next year, when all the new players and coaches have a chanc to adjust to the new system. Even the great Kurt Warner said it took him a year to learn Whiz’s system. We really can’t expect Kolb to come in here and be a miracle worker. Those of you comparing Kolb to DA shouldn’t concider yourself’s true football fans. Kolb’s accuracy and leadership qualities are light years ahead of DA. The turnovers are a product from the lack of time in the system. Just be patient red-sea. The negative energy we emit can’t be helping.

  28. By cards62 on Oct 12, 2011 | Reply

    Suspence 716

    This is all I know. Last year after 5 games the offense made me sick after all 5 games and this year the offense has only made me sick after the Seattle game.
    Kolb and the TEs are the reason. KOlb was not my first choice and I have no problem if Bartel or Skelton beats him out but I like his Moxie truly I mean that. I am not kidding so I want to see us give him a chance like Dallas gave Aikman and the Colts gave Manning. Lets see what we bought.

    Guys remember also our coaching staff. Do you really think Kolb is receiving any help from our OC or QB coach?

    Tuscon Tim as President of the Todd Heap fan club I do thank you for bringing up the TE position. The one position we had 100% turnover and it has had the largest improvement. Must tell you I still like Heap and King, but this Housler kid potential is huge.

    Our team is 1 – 4. Are you kidding me coach!. Show these millionaires how upset you are with their performance and work their butts off in pads.

    Darren thanks for not taking the bye week off ha ha.

    Go Cards

  29. By Dan on Oct 12, 2011 | Reply

    I’m sick and tired of people saying “Well Kolb’s play is okay since the lack of offseason.” THERE ARE TONS OF ROOKIE QUARTERBACKS PLAYING MUCH BETTER THEN KOLB, WITH THE SAME AMOUNT OF OFFSEASON AND NO EXPERIENCE COMPARED TO KOLBS EXPERIENCE! Its just an excuse of poor execution by Kolb.

  30. By suspence on Oct 12, 2011 | Reply

    Cards 62

    The only game the offense has upset u in is the seattle game? REALLY? WHAT GAMES HAVE U BEEN WATCHING? What about all the games when we had the ball on 2nd and 1 and try to run a screen pass only to take a sack and end up with 3rd and 16 n then a punt? What about all the 3rd n shorts n not being able to convert? Have u seen the Cardinals 3rd down convertion success? Its absolutely horrid! What about all the trips to the redzone where they have failed to come up with any points at all. ZERO POINTS, several times when we were within the twenty. Either due to a turnover, penalty, or Kolb taking a rookie like sack that ends up pushing us out of field goal range. How many of those trips would have at least led to a field goal, n completely changed the outcome of the game at the end? Maybe the only game u actually sat down and watched was the seattle game because it was suppose to be an automatic win. The offense has been downright gross. I’m not saying its all Kolb’s fault but he does play on that side of the ball, n alot of his mistakes are the reason we left the redzone without points. The problem with the offense just doesn’t die within the redzone. Kolb has taken several sacks that have pushed us out of field goal range because he was holding the ball too long. Maybe u should go watch some film.

    I couldn’t agree with you anymore. I’m sick hearing its a learning curve for Kolb. Look, Andy Dalton and Cam Newton were both in college last year playing in college offenses and both have out-performed Kolb who was in an NFL offense last year. Everyone had THE SAME AMOUNT OF TIME to prepare for the season this year. Do i dare even bring up Alex Smith’s name in comparison?

  31. By Scott H on Oct 12, 2011 | Reply

    Tucson Tim –

    Better at TE, yes. You got me there. Then again, considering how completely inept we’ve been at that position, how much did we really need to improve to get “better”??? And have we really improved as much at TE as we thought we would considering we signed 2 as FA’s and drafted another??? We may be better but….”better” is quite a relative term here.

    cards62 –

    And if this Housler kid DOES indeed have so much potential, I hope we’re gonna see it someday soon. I was hoping to have seen more of him by now.

  32. By UC on Oct 12, 2011 | Reply

    Kolb was not my first choice either, and he’s doing some things that indicate how little game experience he actually has in his career. But come on, how is anybody who doesn’t have an instantaneous release on passes (like, say, a Kurt Warner) supposed to function behind this offensive line? Can anybody in fandom provide any kind of plausible rationale for why Levi is playing tackle instead of guard, other than because Kenny is being stubborn? Why have so few offensive lineman been drafted by Kenny? I suppose people can always criticize Kolb for not growing fast enough, but when a tree is trying to grow in the middle of a forest fire, what do you expect?

  33. By cards62 on Oct 13, 2011 | Reply

    Suspense 62 after last year I am just happy to see the red zone and see the offense stay on the field for longer than 3 straight plays. I agree Kolb has to play better and I hope he will and I think he will. Lets give the guy a chance, and I have no problem if Bartel or Skelton beats him out, but we had to do something at QB this offseason.
    I wish Kolb had Cam Newton’s or Andy Dalton.s offensive tackles, QB coach, and offensive coordinator. These things kind of mean a lot look at Alex Smith this year.
    I will go back and watch film this year, but you have to go back and watch film from 2010 okay as I can not stomach it.

    Scott H. unfortunately you will only get to see what Housler can do if Heap stays injured as he has that nasty disease called rookieitis that coach hates. I think Heap will make Housler a better pro but next year or year 3 I think you will be very happy with Housler and I have to admit I never heard of the kid before we drafted him.

    Go Cards

  34. By suspence716 on Oct 14, 2011 | Reply


    I watched film from last year, the offense looks just as horrid this year as last. Way too many three n outs, our running game looks a lil better this year but seems we still have too many runs that go for less than three yards or just flat out gets shut down in the backfield. Beanie is still dancing in the backfield at times, just like last year, and that seems to be when the play goes for a loss. The only diff i see from last year to this is that DA was willing to step up in the pocket, while kolb takes off running. Both of them were taking alot of sacks but at least DA wouldn’t go running backwards for ten yards before he got sacked. Neither guy could throw a screen. I’m just very unimpressed, but on a more positive note, it could only get better, right? I HOPE, PLEASE! GO CARDS!

  35. By Scott H on Oct 15, 2011 | Reply

    cards62 –

    As always, appreciate your replies. I hear ya about Housler. Perhaps I am just too consumed by my own bitterness at this point. But, really, what sense does it make to draft a TE that has such potential and then bury him behind 2 veteran free agents??? Why not just EITHER King or Heap ( who has done nothing here, and not to my surprise ) and address another position of need. Lord knows, we have no shortage of those. For me, this is just another example of very poor execution in the area of personnel. They totally over-loaded at a position that they’ve completely under-utilized for the past decade! And what is the measurable impact so far? Little. Very little.

    Adding to my frustration is the fact that a team like the Patriots can draft 2 ( TWO!!! ) TE’s in the same draft and have them BOTH making monster contributions to the offense right out of the gate. But here? No. It has to move at a snail’s pace. Geez….

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