Cards cut FB Maui’a, promote WR Johnson

Posted by Darren Urban on November 29, 2011 – 11:22 am

With fullback Anthony Sherman back to health, the Cardinals released fullback Reagan Maui’a today. That was expected once Sherman had recovered from his ankle injury. To fill Maui’a’s spot on the roster, the Cardinals have promoted wide receiver Jaymar Johnson from the practice squad — interesting in the fact the Cardinals already had six receivers on the active roster and one — Stephen Williams — is a healthy scratch every week. Johnson has speed and has spent time with the Vikings. We’ll see if he gets a chance to play on Sundays.

Filling Johnson’s spot on the practice squad will be tight end Steve Skelton, who was brought back for a third time this season.

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Posted in Blog | 39 Comments »

39 Responses to “Cards cut FB Maui’a, promote WR Johnson”

  1. By Todd on Nov 29, 2011 | Reply

    Darren, how long has it been since the Cowboys have beaten the Cardinals? Don’t want to jinx them but I know it’s been a few years at least.

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

    Todd —

    RE: Cards v Cowboys

    The Cowboys last beat the Cards in 2006, 27-10 at UoP. The Cards won in 2008, 30-24 in OT, and last year, 27-26.

  3. By Die-Hard Cards fan since '88 on Nov 29, 2011 | Reply


    What are the chances the Cards go after OT Jared Gaither – just released by the Chiefs? The team needs help at the tackle position. Potentially, Gaither could roll into the LT position and move Levi Brown back to RT – his natural position.

    Die-Hard Cards fan since ’88

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

    Die-Hard —

    RE: Gaither

    I would not expect it. He didn’t exactly impress in K.C.

  5. By Die-Hard Cards fan since '88 on Nov 29, 2011 | Reply


    I forgot to ask, any idea on Lutui making it back to the starting lineup? Also, I was interested in PS OT D.J. Young – could he be that tackle the team needs next year? Brandon Keith has lingering health issues, plus the team needs to protect the QB better – especially with the possibility of Kolb returning as soon as this Sunday. Thanks for all you do!

    Die-Hard Cards fan since ’88

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

    Die-Hard —

    RE: Lutui/Young

    I don’t know what they think they might have in Young, but yes, I’d guess he’d be in the mix at least for training camp. As for Deuce, I am guessing only a Hadnot injury would get him back in the lineup.

  7. By Eazy E on Nov 29, 2011 | Reply

    Darren, Gaither didn’t get much of a chance either as a backup. This guy was a pro bowler just a couple seasons ago with the ravens because last year he was injured the whole year. Why not the cards? Our Tackles this year have been really bad except for Bridges who is consistently pretty good.

  8. By MIKE G on Nov 29, 2011 | Reply

    Hey Darren–Nice posted video on the Dallas-Card’s series. Some of those old highlights bring back memories. The Card’s offensive line is the key to this game. We must protect our QB and not give up many sacks. Hopefully Beanie can have a big game on the ground. The last few games I saw Dallas play Romo has hurt the blitz. I hope Horton doesnt blitz too much so we can keep some guys in coverage –maybe get a couple picks. When you blitz–you better get there.
    Im looking for Hyphen to have a big week. Darren–seems Whiz saves Hyphen for some big 3rd down plays at the end of games lately!! I think the coach likes his speedy RB against a tired D in the 4th Qtr. Darren– Do you see this pattern continuing with Hyphen getting the ball more at crunch time at the end of games????

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

    Mike G —

    RE: Hyphen

    I don’t see LSH suddenly having his role change.

  10. By Tony on Nov 29, 2011 | Reply

    What has become of Will Davis? haven’t heard anything about him in a while

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

    Tony —

    RE: Will Davis

    As far as I know, he never signed anywhere.

  12. By AZLOGAN on Nov 29, 2011 | Reply

    Hey Darren,

    This has really been bugging me, why is it that Johnson is going to get a crack in the lineup and possibly in games, when poor Stephen Williams is a healthy scratch every single week. Williams earned his spot out of training camp and has never got a shot. Especially with the sub par performances of some of our recievers have had this season, why not give him a shot ahead of someone who was just brought in from the practice squad? I always thought he had a lot of potential but we have yet to see him in a game!
    Thanks again,

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

    Azlogan —

    RE: S Williams

    Just because you earn a spot in late August doesn’t mean you aren’t constantly being judged throughout the season. Nothing is ever a given.

  14. By Alex Mann on Nov 29, 2011 | Reply

    Darren- Is there any truth to PP’s cleats being entered into the HOF?

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

    Alex —

    RE: PP cleats

    Just posted about it.

  16. By Scott H on Nov 29, 2011 | Reply

    Gee, isn’t interesting how jacked up people have been about Stephen Williams for the past 2 years and the guy can’t even get onto the game-day roster? OK. So, can we put this to rest now? Repeating what I’ve said many times – there is a huge difference between performing during practice and pre-season games and performing during the REAL games. This guy is living proof of this. I mean, it ain’t like we’ve still got Fitz, Boldin, and Breaston on the roster. Fitz is the ONLY sure thing we have at WR at this point and it would seem that anyone else on this roster would have ample opportunity to prove themselves. Once again, Williams is nowhere to be found.

    After Breaston left and the organization did NOTHING to fill the void, WR appeared to be a position of great need coming into this season. Unfortuantely, perception has pretty much been reality. We can only hope that the organization will realize this this off-season instead of telling us that they like their young WR’s and getting snippy at press conferences when questions about positions of obvious need are being asked about.

  17. By AndyStandsUp on Nov 29, 2011 | Reply

    Not sure if Johnson is the speed receiver the Cards are looking for, at least based on draft 40 times.
    He ran a 4.50, similar to Fitz’s 4.53 and Doucet’s 4.54 yet below Roberts 4.40 and Stephen Williams’s 4.31.
    Makes you wonder why Williams was passed over for the promotion.

  18. By Erik on Nov 29, 2011 | Reply

    Hi, Darren;

    First off, as a first time person here, I wanted to say what a fantastic job you guys do on Cardinals Underground; great interaction between the three of you.

    Darren, my other comment/question is similar to AZLOGAN’s up there, but if I may, you’ve seen Stephen Williams practice etc., and I’m sure that as such you know some of the periphery – the vibe and the nuances that surround an athlete, but as it does seem like Stephen Williams has something, from your angle of perception, why do you think we have not seen more of him?

    Thanks for your good work, Darren,

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

    Erik –

    RE: S Williams

    Because he doesn’t play special teams, he’d need to be a very crucial part of the offense to play. He’s not going to be ahead of Fitz, Early and Roberts. Sampson had a better camp I think. Williams hasn’t shown a step forward either.

  20. By tony romo himself on Nov 29, 2011 | Reply

    go cowboys! that is all.

  21. By Shaun Church on Nov 29, 2011 | Reply

    Hey, Darren,

    About S. Williams:

    If he is on the 53 and is a healthy scratch every week just because he does not play special teams, then why not cut him and so he can have a shot somewhere else to live his childhood dream? That way we can use the roster spot on something useful; like a corner who won’t be burned constantly or a tackle who can pass protect slightly better than that which we have at our disposal (though I must say the line has improved some over the past month).

    “Because he doesn’t play special teams” is weak. There has to be more to it than just that. Aside from his performance in the preseason and in practice, he is our biggest receiver and would be a massive asset in the red zone. 6-foot-5, 210 pounds. He is Plaxico Burress if he puts on a few lbs (okay, 20 lbs). I completely disagree with how the team is handling him. We need receivers who can play, and with the inconsistency this season at the position, you would think the organization would be a little more receptive (pun intended) to trying different combinations on the field.

    At the very least, he creates a mismatch with a small corner in the slot inside the 20, and that alone should get him on the field every single week.

    Thanks for being awesome, Darren

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

    Shaun –

    RE: S Williams

    I appreciate that you disagree. Given that the coaches are watching him every day in practice, however, don’t you think there are reasons he can’t climb the depth chart?

  23. By Shaun Church on Nov 29, 2011 | Reply

    Yes sir, that is my point in a roundabout way. It has to be more than just the special teams thing. I heard from someone — but can’t remember who — that he doesn’t run very good routes. That would be a better reason to give in my view.

    Andre Roberts is the third leading receiver on the roster this season, yet he has not caught a TD pass. He drops far too many passes to be considered a No. 2 threat. That is the reason Fitzgerald continues to be mauled with bracket and straight double teams every week. Teams know Roberts is not a threat to beat them down the field. Doucet has been a nice surprise (finally), but there has to be another option for our quarterback(s). Why not give him a chance? What’s the worst that can happen?

  24. By Darren Urban on Nov 30, 2011 | Reply

    Shaun —

    RE: More S Williams

    Well, if what you are seeing in practice isn’t good enough, what’s the point?

  25. By Frustrated on Nov 30, 2011 | Reply

    It might be that he can not run block. The three primary receiver do a farily good job of run blocking don’t you think?

  26. By Darren Urban on Nov 30, 2011 | Reply

    Fryustrated —

    RE: WR run blocking

    Yes, I can see that.

  27. By joe67 on Nov 30, 2011 | Reply

    Seeing as how Fitz is the primary target, it seems, on every play, why don’t we go to a 3 or 4 WR set, WITHOUT Fitz on the field. Would probably be mass confusion. I think the DB’s would be as confused as the Easter Bunny showing up on Christmas Morning. This is partially with tongue in cheek, but still, I find it so hard to believe that Fitz is double teamed on every play, and we still have a hard time finding receivers open. Seems like anything would be worth a try a couple times a game.

  28. By Mike in Mesa on Nov 30, 2011 | Reply

    So Darren does preseason account for anything? I’m responding to another party line article you’ve written.
    What you are saying is that even if a rookie outperforms veterans in preseason he should sit on the bench and be brought along slowly.
    You act like these rookies are successful because of Whiz’s philosophy. How about addressing what the Cardinals record might be if he had started them day one like he should have. The increase in the defensive play can be traced to the fact these guys finally got to play and are better. Their not suddenly better because he brought them along slowly. They were better all along. Dennis Green was genius in this respect compared to Whiz.
    So stop patting Ken on the back for his mistakes. Because that’s what they are. STOP the SPIN.
    I really think had they been playing the Cards might have a winning record right now. But I guess we’ll never know.

  29. By Darren Urban on Nov 30, 2011 | Reply

    Mike in Mesa —

    RE: Article

    To start with, I was stating how it happened. I even said you can argue the other way, to do it other ways. I explained the thought process.

    If you don’t like the articles, feel free not to read them. No one is making you.

    You make a good point though, although you probably don’t realize it cuts both ways. How is it that you know it was a mistake? If you admit “we’ll never know” you don’t know what would have happened had it been done differently. Let’s say, for instance, Acho is playing most of the time when they play the Giants. Or the Redskins. Which, really, are the only two games you could realistically say could have been affected. Are you sure the Cards win those games?

  30. By Anita45 on Nov 30, 2011 | Reply

    Should have left Sherman out and kept Mauia. He’s a much better blocker. GO DALLAS!

  31. By cardfan6 on Nov 30, 2011 | Reply

    truth is Williams doesn’t always hang on to the ball seems a little hesitant to catch over the middle. I would love to see the Cardinals get a guy like Arelious Benn from Tampa dude’s gonna be another Q.

  32. By Shaun Church on Nov 30, 2011 | Reply

    Darren –

    That is also my point. Why keep him on the roster as a prisoner when the spot can be used on a player who can make an impact? If they’re not going to use him at all they are only hurting themselves every week. They basically have a 52-man roster the way they are handling it.

    I say why not give him a shot. His athleticism is prodigious, and you can’t teach that. Get him the game-time experience in an all but lost season so he can learn how the NFL is played. Practice is far different than games; you know that. Invariably shunning him is not the way to go at this point in the season.

  33. By Darren Urban on Nov 30, 2011 | Reply

    Shaun —

    RE: “Prisoner”

    Sorry. Can’t agree with that. He signed a contract. A comparison to a prisoner is lost on me. He is getting paid good money. They still think they can develop him. They don’t think he is ready to play. I would argue too that out of every position, wide receiver is the position where practice is closest to what happens in a game.

  34. By Shaun Church on Nov 30, 2011 | Reply

    Is it? I wish I could be out at practices to see what goes on so I can have a better understanding of the team. I am a Cards beat writer for CHFF, and I hope to be allowed a press pass for next season so I can make it to the games and practices. If that happens I will be right there with you so we can have these discussions in person.

    Anyway, I hope they are able to develop him into an every-down player. He has such talent and athleticism, I would hate for that to go to waste.

  35. By Chris Robot on Nov 30, 2011 | Reply

    RE: S. Williams

    I thought he sounded promising but I sometimes wonder if he lacks certain things such as discipline. He was on Twitter talking about going to get some Five Guys (extremely unhealthy burger and fries) the night before today’s practice. While, granted, it’s one meal.. he had teammates telling him it was a bad idea the night before practice and to eat better. To me, that says something, and I wonder about his work ethic to be a professional in the NFL. Again, it’s just one meal, but with how little he gets on the field, it all has to be related in some way, shape, or form.

  36. By Shaun Church on Nov 30, 2011 | Reply

    That I can agree with. Putting himself in that type of situation, though not to the extent that other athletes do, is not wise. Twitter is the ultimate Expos’e in this day and age; it is killing reputations on a daily basis, and without bias. Maybe it is discipline on Williams’ part.

    I think you should get to the bottom of this, Darren. I know of at least 100 fans who want to know why he isn’t being given a chance on Sundays, and I am sure there are plenty more where we came from.

    Cheers, good sir.

  37. By Mike in Mesa on Nov 30, 2011 | Reply

    No Darren I don’t know if they would have won them. I do know they lost not playing them. And are now winning playing these guys. But I’m a firm believer in playing your best players. Do you agree that some coaches don’t always do that? Or make mistakes in their judgment of talent? Or maybe have egos that can interfere with their decision making? Or that team politics can come into play? Some fans just believe too much of this coachspeak answers they get from head coaches sometimes.
    Don’t be so touchy by the way. If you are going to write articles you need to have a thicker skin. As a fan I can read your articles if I want and give my opinions if I want. Now that they have this blog stuff to vent with. You generally make good points, but its also way too much fun to give my opinions on these subjects when I disagree,and maybe push buttons with some of my responses. So I will keep reading and you can forget using your standard reply “don’t read my articles if you don’t like them” you seem to use for everyone that upsets you.

  38. By Darren Urban on Nov 30, 2011 | Reply

    Mike in Mesa —

    RE: Opinions

    You can have your opinions, and guess what? So can I. I am posting what you want to say. I don’t understand why I can’t either. Sometimes I give the last word to the fan, and sometimes I don’t. You could have let my response go — but maybe you are touchy too. It’s the downside of interacting with me — maybe I won’t just roll over and take whatever comment people want to make.

    As for playing your best players, there’s the rub. I agree you play your best players. I would bet Whiz does too. But you are assuming that, earlier, Acho was the best player. Who knows, maybe he was making so many mistakes in practice there was no way they were going to let them play. Maybe he was, and Whiz made a mistake. Certainly that happens too.

  39. By joe67 on Dec 1, 2011 | Reply

    I really dislike thin skinned people, and I don’t consider you to be that way at all. I think this is one of the best websites around, and a big part of that is because of you.
    Mike makes some points, and I enjoy all the opposing views. But all too often fans assume they know as much as the coaches, or something would have been different IF….. Mike assumes Acho was as good in week one or two as he is now, and since he is a rookie, I don’t think anyone can make that assumption.
    Darren, you keep writing and Mike you keep reading. This is what makes it fun.

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