Back in San Fran, Bartel gets his first

Posted by Darren Urban on November 22, 2011 – 10:32 am

Rich Bartel had been stewing about it since January, when he got in his first NFL game and had Larry Fitzgerald down the field on a double-move and couldn’t complete the bomb. He thought he was going to have a touchdown on that play.

He thought about that Sunday, when, once again, he came in in relief of John Skelton in San Francisco. This time, the quarterback was able to hook up with Fitzgerald for what was finally his first NFL touchdown pass.

“It was ironic the way it worked out,” Bartel said.

Bartel tried to savor the moment. Fitzgerald gave him the ball (Fitz is good at that; he caught and then delivered after the first NFL TD pass for ex-third-stringer Brian St. Pierre too) and in private moments with his wife, Bartel said, there is celebration. Mostly though, it’s difficult when the team has just lost, and when reality sets in that his chances are few and far between.

“Moments like that help you get through it, honestly,” Bartel said. “It’s hard, week after week, you’re not dressing, or if you are active and you look at the sheet after and you are the only player on the team that didn’t get to participate. It is tough, especially when we are having the season we are having. You want to help.”

Bartel’s story is a good one, having bounced around to a handful of organizations before sticking with Arizona and getting – albeit brief – playing time. He had an idea, as Skelton’s game went sideways Sunday, he might get chance to play for a second time this season (he didn’t do much in an appearance in Minnesota).

“You just know when things are running away a little bit,” Bartel said. “Creeps up on you like a sixth sense.”

But there has to be patience there too. The backup can’t just start warming up when he hasn’t been called upon. He was encouraging to John Skelton, but as the game slipped, he realized he needed to start getting his mind right if he did have to go in.

“I was sitting on the sideline thinking, ‘Good Lord, I wish there was a switch I could flip,’ ” Bartel said. “I was cold, wet, my lower back was stiff. It isn’t easy to just get into the flow of the game.”

Bartel will take what he can get in terms of playing time. He felt he was close to making something happen in San Francisco, and there is more to lament after a third-down pass to Early Doucet in the end zone glanced off Doucet’s hands with a little more than three minutes left, a second TD pass that could have made the end of the game a bit more interesting.

For now, he just has the one, getting the ball he expected to get since Fitz “has enough of his own.” He’ll have the ball painted to commemorate the occasion, and put it up … well, somewhere, since it’s lonesome, with Bartel’s milestone memorabilia sparse.

He plans on getting more, though.

“It won’t,” Bartel said, “be the last one.”

Posted in Blog | 28 Comments »

28 Responses to “Back in San Fran, Bartel gets his first”

  1. By OLdude on Nov 22, 2011 | Reply

    With the season pretty much over already and Kolb still a bit rusty and sore, why not give a trooper like Bartel a chance to actually START a game and see what he can do? Skelton has future potential but Rich Bartel hasn’t exactly been a failure either. DARREN – What are the chances of that happening?

  2. By Darren Urban on Nov 22, 2011 | Reply

    OLdude —

    RE: Bartel start

    Unless both Skelton and Kolb are hurt, I do not expect that to happen.

  3. By TucsonTim on Nov 22, 2011 | Reply

    Lucky guy. Put that ball in the trophy case. Great story.

  4. By Gilbert on Nov 22, 2011 | Reply

    This guy reminds me of Warner when no one believed in him. Who know he may be a high caliber qb. His chance will come I do believe that if Skelton struggles in the rams game Whiz will pull him out quicker n put Bartel in. Maybe u can tell us Darren if both share snaps tomorrow. ??

  5. By RelayTV on Nov 22, 2011 | Reply

    If nobody else will say it, then I will.

    Bartel is better than Skelton, and my be better than Kolb.

    Skelton already got his shot at the Rams.

    Let the Rich start a game & show what he can do.

  6. By Paul H on Nov 22, 2011 | Reply

    Way to keep you head up Rich and Congrats. Hope team is keeping their heads up too. With 4 out of 6 at home and a away against the Rams which I think we match up well with, I am holding out for the Cards to claw their way back to 8-8. Know that’s hard to think after last week but the 49ers are a tough bunch this year and it was at their place. Keep on grinding guys and it will effect next years attitude.

  7. By Kurt on Nov 22, 2011 | Reply

    Bartel, Seems like a keeper maybe the team can find a front office job for him when his playing career winds down a decade down the road.

  8. By Ernie on Nov 22, 2011 | Reply

    Geez, really people. Havent you learnt enough these last two seasons? Just becuase the back up comes in and has a good pass or even a couple good games doesnt make him the answer. Kolb is the direction to winning games and eventually taking back this division. After all had been tried with Healthy Kolb and full off season I will be first to admit this trade was a bust. Until then lets put a little faith into the system. Darren , any word on how Kolb is doing.

  9. By Darren Urban on Nov 22, 2011 | Reply

    Ernie —

    RE: Kolb health

    No, no word. We will see at practice tomorrow.

  10. By Blair on Nov 22, 2011 | Reply

    if for any reason other than injury bartel starts a game this year i will once again puke. that would make this season feel almost like a mirror image of last. three quarterbacks getting killed behind a crap o line so we can “see what they’ve got”. i know what they have with this line, sacks and picks.

  11. By Canadian Red Bird on Nov 22, 2011 | Reply

    I like his arm strength and accuracy along with his composure in the pocket. Who knows could be another Cinderella story much like that of Warner. I think what Fitz did with the game ball following Bartel’s touchdown pass speaks to why Fitzy’s the face of our franchise.

    Hope you get another chance to show what you can do Rich!!!!!!

  12. By David C. on Nov 22, 2011 | Reply

    Surprised at the fans chirping for Bartel. I think we can all agree that when you have fans calling for your third stringer to get a look, you don’t have a quarterback
    I just want to see Leinart play. My suspicion is he’ll thrive in Houston, and his release will be the nail in Whiz’s coffin.

    David C.

  13. By Sarah on Nov 22, 2011 | Reply

    Wow it is amazing how Skelton has gone from hero to zero ! Bartel is good at 3rd backup and is 28 and hardly our future. If Skelton boobs again then switch their order and if Kolb continues to bomb cut him loose. I am not happy with Skelton’s SF blunder but he stunk there last year as well. If Skelton cannot prove that he is competent with the offense and cannot move it then he needs to go, this despite his skills. At the end of the day it is about consistency and reliability, Skelton took a huge step back and the starting position was his to lose, misreads, ridiculous interceptions and timing at this stage are not acceptable. I think Bartel should get a start for evaluation sake just not now. As it stands all 3 would have a hard time making it long term in the CFL let alone the NFL . Bartel is a curiousity at this stage.

  14. By Chuck 1 on Nov 22, 2011 | Reply

    Logical and well written (for a “girl”). 🙂
    Now, let the firestorm begin. 🙂

  15. By CreditCard on Nov 22, 2011 | Reply

    All you armchair QBs out there … the coaching decision more than likely rests with what has been done in practice, of which we (as fans) do not get to see. By the time Bartel was substituted in for Skelton, the game was decided, and SF was playing the clock as much as the Cardinals. They were allowing all underneith and middle of the field passes. No doubt Skelton’s confidence was definately shaken, which also added to his poor outing. I personally think Skelton placed too much internal preasure on himself to “save” the game and be a vital member of the team. This resulted in a disasterous outing. Nevertheless, I’m sure the coaches have a good idea as to which QB has what talent etc… (My opinion all three have flaws.) The major issue, in my opinion has been the dreadful OL play. Only Kurt Warner’s quick release, ability to look off a defender and instantly read a defense, was suitable for this matadorian OL.

  16. By georgiebird on Nov 22, 2011 | Reply

    There is little difference in the physical talent level of Kolb, Skelton and Bartel. What will separate these guys is health and the ability to keep getting better. Since Kolb is here because of the investment, I hope the Cards keep the right backup.
    Noticed where Tyler Palko started for the Chiefs. He had a couple of pre-seasons with the Cardinals. In one preseason he played better than anyone. Todd Haley must have taken note.

  17. By AndyStandsUp on Nov 22, 2011 | Reply

    Everyone loves the backup QB.
    Two questions Darren, please.
    Is Skelton on the same trajectory as Max Hall? (Personally, I say no.)
    Which of the three current QBs had the best Training Camp? (Not that it pertains to anything, just trying to sneak an unsolicited opinion through.)

  18. By Darren Urban on Nov 22, 2011 | Reply

    AndyStands —

    RE: QB questions

    1) No. I didn’t see the Hall tools, to be honest. You can see tools with Skelton.
    2) In my opinion, Kolb was sharpest in Flagstaff.

  19. By horned frog on Nov 22, 2011 | Reply

    I wouldnt expect you to say anyone other than Kolb had the best camp in Flag considering our circumstances(controversy) and the fact that your employed by the team. Seriously though,
    Kolb was out a week in camp and has repeatedly said he’s still trying to get familiar with the system, you dont expect us to believe he had the best camp do you?
    Skelton almost lost his backup job in Flag to Bartel, then sealed the deal when he got hurt in Green Bay.
    Bartel had a very good camp.

  20. By Darren Urban on Nov 22, 2011 | Reply

    horned frog —

    RE: Camp

    I didn’t say Bartel didn’t have a good camp. Camp is camp. I can’t tell you who is running all the plays perfectly. I’ll never know that. I judge what I can see on the field the best I can.

    Seriously though, were you there every day? Because I was. Tell you what — ask Kent Somers and Mike Jurecki the same question. I’ll defer to them.

    Seriously though, I find it hard to believe, since so many think I’m useless because I am employed by the team, that people bother to read my stuff.

  21. By Peter in Canada on Nov 22, 2011 | Reply

    Sarah – Have you ever seen a CFL game? I’ve seen hundreds of them and believe me the level of QB play is pretty dreadful. Most of them have weak arms and happy feet. The sideline throws on the wider field sometimes have hang times like punts. Very occasionally a good one comes along (Moon, Flutie, Garcia). I think Max Hall should play in the CFL. He would be pretty good. Our QB’s have problems but I would definitely not hang a CFL tag on them.

  22. By Chuck 1 on Nov 22, 2011 | Reply

    IMHO (OK, maybe not so humble) those fans who think that Darren is a shill for the Cards’ management are way off base.

    He might not harshly criticize the management, GM, coaching staff and players as much as posters would like, but GET REAL. He must have some balance to his blogs and comments.

  23. By Billy Thomas on Nov 22, 2011 | Reply


    I’m sick and tired of hearing all of these people calling you a “homer”. To be honest, I’ve never seen a reporter employed by a team be so honest and forthcoming with his opinions. I’ve found I can always trust what you say is your honest opinion rather than something that the management wanted you to say. So, although you probably don’t need to hear it, I’ll say it anyway, thanks for being an awesome reporter on this site. I think most of us appreciate it.

  24. By cardsalltheway on Nov 23, 2011 | Reply

    “All you armchair QBs out there … the coaching decision more than likely rests with what has been done in practice…”
    Not true, Kolb was named “Our Guy” without ever stepping onto a Cardinal practice field. And it appears he will continue to be no matter how many games he loses or how terrible he looks in practice. The way Ken W. handles QB’s obviously gets us nowhere.

  25. By Die-Hard Cards fan since '88 on Nov 23, 2011 | Reply

    Until this organization decides to spend money on good offensive linemen, no QB will be successful here. Even Brady would suck behind this OL. The Tackles suck, the Center gets beat off the ball and on his back almost every play, and the Guards – specifically RG – needs upgrading. The only solid spot is Daryn Colledge – but he cannot block everyone – the supporting cast needs to do their part too! All teams have to do is double-team Colledge and it’s a free ride to the QB…

  26. By Scott H on Nov 23, 2011 | Reply

    More classy acts from Fitz. He is just amazing that way.

  27. By Canadian Cardinal on Nov 23, 2011 | Reply

    Bartel has a nice spiral on the ball. He seems to have good vision and can run out of the pocket if he has to. I would like to see him get a start and have a chance at it. Skelton had his chance and we saw what he could do. I have Bartel ahead of Skelton on my depth chart since the preseason. The Cards do need to try and run the ball more to keep the D’s honest and to take some pressure off the QB position. If they start Skelton and there are 3 and outs, interceptions, fumbles and so on then I would go to Bartel right away and don’t let a game slip away. Go Cards!

  28. By Barry Bond on Nov 28, 2011 | Reply

    Skelton had bad games and bad stats/interceptions in both the 49er game and Rams games? He is NOT a STARTER, still only a back up as we will see in the Cowboy’s game in week week 13.

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