Friday before the Rams

Posted by Darren Urban on November 25, 2011 – 3:52 pm

Ken Whisenhunt acknowledged Friday that, when Kevin Kolb got hurt originally, as bad as it looked, “you knew at that time there would be a time period to come back.” And there has been. Kolb did some work this week, but Whiz said Friday his next test would be the plane flight to St. Louis.

“Getting the rust off was what was important this week,” Whisenhunt said. “Seeing if he could play from the standpoint of practicing one day and see how it reacted the next day.”

What does this all mean? I suppose we could see Kolb Sunday. He is questionable after all. But Whiz also emphasized how important feet are to a quarterback – you can’t have him be a sitting duck back there – and given that he was limited all week after not practicing at all the previous three weeks, signs again seem to point to a John Skelton start.

That would be good for Skelton, to be honest. No way you want a young quarterback’s last taste during a season to be what transpired in San Francisco. That kind of ugliness – and how it noticeably affected Skelton, compared to how he usually is – needs to be flushed. Besides, if you are unsure of where Kolb is, what’s waiting one more week?

(Just in time for the pass rushes of the Cowboys and 49ers the next two games, by the way, albeit at home.)

We’ll see. Otherwise, it’s Rams Part II:

— Larry Fitzgerald tends to avoid talking specific criticisms, but he was blunt in calling the offense’s third-down conversions a “problem.” The Cards converted just one of 11 tries in San Francisco and “that’s unacceptable,” Fitzgerald said. “The plays are there, we have to be able to execute them.”

Overall, the Cards have converted a shade more than 30 percent of their third downs this season. Their last four games, it is 11-for-46, or 24 percent.

— You never want key cogs to go down with season-ending injuries (Everyone would have liked to see what the offense would have looked like with running back Ryan Williams or the defense with cornerback Greg Toler), but with nose tackle Dan Williams out, I would like to see how well rookie David Carter does. Veteran Nick Eason will be the starter, but Carter is the intriguing one, after pushing Williams in camp.

— That said, defensive coordinator Ray Horton liked what Williams was doing before he got hurt. Williams needs to keep his weight in check. Next year will be a big one for him, especially with Horton needing an anchor in the middle.

— The Cards can’t complain to the Rams about injuries, that’s for sure. Friday, tackle Jason Brown and receiver Mark Clayton were put on injured reserve – the 12th and 13th guys on that list for the Rams (and that doesn’t include a couple of injury settlements).

— The Cards have blocked four field goals this season, three by defensive end Calais Campbell alone. It’s the highest total for an NFL team since the Bears in 2007. “If you want to judge a team, watch that unit,” Whisenhunt said. “No matter what the score or where in the game it is, those guys are working hard. It’s just an effort play. It’s pretty amazing.”

— Quietly, wide receiver Early Doucet is on pace for 67 catches for 817 yards this season, decent numbers considering the inconsistent play at quarterback and in the passing game.

The Cards have won six straight games in St. Louis. I used to think it was a Kurt Warner-revenge thing. Nope. They’ve done it without him too.

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37 Responses to “Friday before the Rams”

  1. By Phoenixraven1 on Nov 25, 2011 | Reply

    Want to see Kolb really bounce back…

  2. By Scott H on Nov 25, 2011 | Reply

    Not really much to get excited about at this point….looking forward to seeing some of the young guys on D continue to grow and would love to see either Kolb or Skelton show some conssistency at QB. Beating the Rams ( home or away ) is no great accomplishment. And to tell ya truth, they might just be saying the same about us!

    Nice to see Doucet be able to stay healthy and even though he is having a decent season, I do not believe he is truly a number 2 WR in this league. He looks like a solid #3 but as of this point, no one has truly stepped up and made the contribution necessary at WR. What IS truly remarkable is the season that Fitz is having with no one else drawing attention away from him.

  3. By MIKE G on Nov 25, 2011 | Reply

    Hey Darren–I would like to see Skelton play this week and then come back with Kolb against Dallas. I also would like to see Carter get significant snaps in place of Dan Willliams. We have to stop the run this week and then not turn the ball over on offense and we should be ok. Hopefully our good fortune in St Louis will continue. Hey Darren–What is going on at tight end with Heap and Housler???? They have to get on the field!!! No???

  4. By Darren Urban on Nov 25, 2011 | Reply

    Mike G —

    RE: Heap/Housler

    They are both questionable this week. Of course, they could use at least one.

  5. By John on Nov 25, 2011 | Reply

    We seem to be making excuses for Kolb not starting. He needs to suck it up and play. So far he has been a major disappointment. Many player play though pain. He can heal in the off season which will be ling again this year.

  6. By Nick Pepe on Nov 26, 2011 | Reply

    @John, you ever try to plant and throw off an injury like that? If not, then you should not question. A QB who can’t plant and make throws at an NFL level is not how you go into a game. Don’t doubt the staff…. (trainers and coaches).

  7. By Peter in Canada on Nov 25, 2011 | Reply

    John – I don’t agree with that philosophy. Playing through pain is one thing and I am all for it but playing with a physical handicap is totally different. It limits the player concerned and also limits the team. I personally don’t like selfish types who want to emphasize their tough guy persona by playing hurt at the expense of the team.

    We are 3-7. We have six games left. Is it so important that Kolb start six instead of five?

  8. By Leslie on Nov 25, 2011 | Reply

    I just want a real QB for Christmas. I have four boys I should start training now.

  9. By R Robles on Nov 25, 2011 | Reply

    Whats up with Stephen Wiliiams is he hurt or just not playing good enough?

  10. By Darren Urban on Nov 26, 2011 | Reply

    R Robles –

    RE: S Williams

    He’s not hurt.

  11. By iluvbugel on Nov 25, 2011 | Reply

    Please just make me the GM! We’ll have a Super Bowl title in three years, guaranteed! I’ll do it for only 200K annually.

  12. By Brandon on Nov 26, 2011 | Reply

    Hi Darren, do you think the arizona cardinals would draft a CB or do you think they would draft a OT?

  13. By Darren Urban on Nov 26, 2011 | Reply

    Brandon —

    RE: Draft

    They have more than one pick. Maybe they can do both.

  14. By kkfan on Nov 26, 2011 | Reply

    I have been reading many of the posts on the message boards. Can’t post on the MB because I have a free email acct. Your site won’t acccept my email address. According to response (when trying to register) it’s due to previous trouble with free account posters. I can understand about not wanting to deal with ignorance from trolls. But for the true football fans who would love to participate ( been a football fan for over 60 yrs)it is disappointing to be unable to respond to others.points of view on the team and particular players. In all honesty I’ve only begun taking interest in the Cards since Kolb was traded to your team last off season. I watched him play in Houston and also for the Philadelphia Eagles. I do believe in time he will turn out to be a very good QB for your team. However, it is disappointing to read so much negtivity regarding him. I don’t think fans understand the enormity of having to go from one form of offense to a totally different one. Its not an over night accomplishment as many seem to think it should be. Anyway your team is young and seem to have some very talented guys. I give them all another season together and I don’t think the fans will be as negative as they are this season. I’m wishing both Kolb and the Cardinals future success.

  15. By kkfan on Nov 26, 2011 | Reply

    @ John, I’ve been reading the reports on Kolbs foot injury . Seems the injury is two fold .Turf toe (which I’ve heard is very painful) and takes awhile to heal,. But also a torn ligament in the foot. Which is usually termed as ” foot plantasia” Which as suggested by the term , effects the amount of pressure you put on the ball of your foot. It also effects his balance and accuracy in his ability to throw passes correctly . So to say he should just “suck it up” isn’t quite the way you handle that kind of injury. Unfortunately for Kevin, he is not the one making the final decisions on whether he plays or not. His h/c is. Knowing Kevin he is chomping at the bit to get back out there to redeem himself in the eyes of his coaches , team ,mates and yes, even the fans.

  16. By Christo on Nov 26, 2011 | Reply

    Every QB injured, or not, on this roster is a sitting duck behind this O Line. If they won’t get rid of Whiz for nose diving this team the past 2, now 3 seasons; we can hope it is Grimm I suppose.

    Great job going out and at the minimum attempting to address the QB situation this past off season.

    Can we stop ignoring the O Line?

    Can we start addressing our Defense?

    Do we need to be drafting RB’s and TE’s with such glaring holes?

  17. By AndyStandsUp on Nov 26, 2011 | Reply

    With this being the second meeting in 21 days between the two clubs, familiarity should breed contempt. However, in this case IMO, it will be more like spending Thanksgiving at the in-laws house …when will this nightmare end.
    Darren, with the season over and playing a banged up Rams team, will this be the game where Whiz brings trickeration plays or will he play it close to the vest, like he has all season, IYO? The Cards, as far I can tell, have only had one end around (Roberts) after having at least 5 per year since Ken’s hiring. No fake FGs, punts, no flea flickers, HB options, etc..
    I realize available personnel and game conditions dictate play calling (and they’re trying to work Peterson into the O) but the schemes seem so vanilla, almost too predictable.

  18. By Darren Urban on Nov 26, 2011 | Reply

    AndyStands –

    RE: trick plays

    That’s a good question. Lot easier to run trick plays when the basic offense is actually making some headway, which it clearly hasn’t been of late.

  19. By BIG RED on Nov 26, 2011 | Reply

    If there’s anybody that would love to beat the cowgirls, its Skelton. So,please I hope he gets to play against the girls. His already 1-0 against them. The girls didn’t look good against the Dolphins.

  20. By TucsonTim on Nov 26, 2011 | Reply

    There’s alot more to learn about Skelton in this game than there is to learn about Kolb. Kolb should be given more time to recover.

  21. By Mike in Mesa on Nov 26, 2011 | Reply

    Hey Darren what did you think of Ken Whisenhunts throwing Skelton under the bus? And how much class was involved in telling a guy with a broken arm, thats played his heart out that he needs to lose weight? This weight thing that Whisenhunt is so adamant about is hurting the decisions for this team in my opinion. I think Deuce should be playing.

  22. By Christo on Nov 26, 2011 | Reply

    Only the Cardinals draft a CB Top 5 and try to get him on the Offensive side of the ball.

    Why is that? What does that REALLY say about our scouting personnel?

    Perhaps we could draft a RB next year and let Horton work him into an LB spot?

  23. By MattAZ on Nov 26, 2011 | Reply

    Skelton & Kolbs strengths are pretty completory. I wonder if they could somehow photosynthesize Kevohn Skelobb?

  24. By nodavis2000 on Nov 26, 2011 | Reply

    I hope that John gets the chance to redeem himself. I think he’s a much better QB than what he did last week. I know that a lot of people get on him for not doing better, but I want everybody to remember this one thing: Kevin Kolb had a decent running game to help him with the passing game. Skelton has not had that WHATSOEVER.

    I think the trade for Kolb was good. But since he’s struggled and has not had as big an impact that I’d like, I’m not completely sold on him being the franchise Qb. I’d like him and Skelton to battle it out. I don’t believe that because John had a horrible game then he’s a terrible QB. I’d like ANYONE to name ANY SUCCESSFUL quarterback that hasn’t had a 3 INT game or one 32% completion game. Every QB has their bad games. Let’s see how big Skelton rebounds with the Rams.


  25. By Fatdog on Nov 26, 2011 | Reply

    If the Cards loose to the Rams on sunday willl it be the last game for Whiz or will they wait intill after the season to Fire him.

  26. By SteveDCO on Nov 26, 2011 | Reply

    Christo – Every hear of a guy called Deion Sanders?

    He had 784 YDS receiving in his career with 3 TDs. In fact every team except SF used him on the offensive side of the ball.

    Jimmy Johnson was running the Cowboys back then not Jerrys Jones and had some amazing drafts and used the scouting department well.

    I think PP getting the ball is about having your best athlete touching the ball a few more times per game than just punt returns and the occasional INT.

    This team has real issues, PP playing O isn’t one of them.

  27. By Cards#1fan on Nov 26, 2011 | Reply

    I’m watching Kurt Warner ” A Football Life” on the NFL network. Man, we had it good with Warner. I miss Kurt, not only from a football point of view but as a role model.

  28. By Chuck 1 on Nov 26, 2011 | Reply


    Please let me answer Fatdog for you: Whiz’ contract runs through 2013 and he won’t be fired after a loss to the Rams (or after this season). Period.

    How was that Darren? (I could have pasted a few prior answers to that question if i had them)

  29. By Darren Urban on Nov 26, 2011 | Reply

    Chuck1 –

    RE: Whiz situation

    That will do just fine.

  30. By Chuck 1 on Nov 26, 2011 | Reply

    Off topic, but quite a few fans have commented over the last several months that Whiz hasn’t done what he said he’d do when he first came to AZ i.e. play the best people.

    Too bad that he hasn’t done what Mike Tomlin has done in Blitzburg. See below for an article from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

    “There has been no bluff by coach Mike Tomlin this time, only determined action. Without warning, the Steelers coach has demoted four long-time veterans over the course of the season, the latest guard Chris Kemoeatu. Doug Legursky will start at left guard Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs, the second such lineup change on offense in two games.” (11/24/2011)

    Read more:

  31. By John from Oz on Nov 27, 2011 | Reply

    Said it before, will keep saying it!
    Whisenhunt should be sacked. Losing coach, no new ideas, no innovation, no imagination.
    Injuries are no excuse as a goo list manager and recruiter looks at depth in the playing list. Aussie Rules coaches have been shown the door mid contract for losing far fewer games than Whisenhunt.
    Let him go, find a coach with guts and imagination.

  32. By shannon robinson on Nov 27, 2011 | Reply

    kkfan – appreciate the input and say you’re spot on. I expect Kolb to become effective in this offensive system which means he will learn to see and to hit the open guy. The great news when he arrived is he has a strong arm and has touch and can be very accurate. I can imagine the frustration for Coach Whiz when he doesn’t get to see his offense happen the way it’s designed. The line is a mystery I can’t fathom. Run Beannie Run! Coach Horton’s defense is starting to unfold and it’s exciting to see the Cards go after the QB. Let’s just play good football and enjoy what that looks like.

  33. By cardsalltheway on Nov 27, 2011 | Reply

    Tight End “IF” / “WHEN” / “WHETHER” or not…Just a high or low will do. If you think Ken W. will call more than 1 pass play to a TE enter “H” or if you think Ken W. will call less than 1 pass play to a TE enter “L.”

  34. By Christo on Nov 27, 2011 | Reply

    @Steve sorry I am not going to drool over Deion’s offensive stats. I think Early Doucett has topped them at this point, this season alone.

    Do you not think it would do PP and our team better if he just focused on the position he was drafted for? Or shall we hamper his learning curve and continue to watch him get beat? Let’s be real, we watch him get beat EVERY week.

    What it really speaks to is a total lack of talent, and continued poor evaluation of our roster.

    Is that the Coach? Is that the GM?

    It’s time for change, we have been watching terrible football for years now. Although some of us have been around long enough to be watching terrible football for DECADES at this point. Pardon our lack of patience.

  35. By Nick Pepe on Nov 27, 2011 | Reply

    @Christo….uhm it tells me they made a pretty good pick.

  36. By john w. on Nov 27, 2011 | Reply

    Make that 7 straight wins at the dome. Sheesh, I know Big Red is struggling and needs some serious work, but the Rams are genuinely awful. They’ll probably consider the move back to L.A. now.

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