Whither Deuce?

Posted by Darren Urban on February 27, 2012 – 12:52 pm

General manager Rod Graves talked last week about the Cards hoping to sign some of their own free agents back, and obviously, there has been a lot of speculation about how the Cards might/could/should draft offensive line in the first round. One of the mysteries the Cards must clear up is free-agent-to-be Deuce Lutui, who sat all last season as a backup after starting each of his first five seasons.

Coach Ken Whisenhunt said he can see a Cards’ future with Lutui in it.

“It’s up to Deuce,” Whisenhunt said. “We’d like to have him back but one of the things we have to get worked out with Deuce is with his weight. We had to struggle with him the last couple of years. The bottom line is that Deuce hasn’t played as well when he has been heavy. We would love to see Deuce come back, get in shape and play well for us and we’d love to have him under those conditions. But we can’t afford to not give someone else a chance if Deuce is going to come in overweight.”

Lutui, who nearly left as a free agent last year to Cincinnati before his weight undercut that and sent him back to Arizona, insisted at the end of the season he had turned a corner with his mindset. Maybe, but he only got on the field for an extended period at guard for one half all last season, replacing Rex Hadnot in (ironically) Cincinnati. Daryn Colledge is going to be the left guard; some suggest the Cards could take Stanford guard David DeCastro in the first round and any OL first-round pick would likely be a starter. Lutui wants to start. What kind of market will be there for him is the biggest question.

Actually, the biggest question will be Lutui’s weight. I suppose that hasn’t changed.

Posted in Blog | 62 Comments »

62 Responses to “Whither Deuce?”

  1. By Phoenixraven1 on Feb 27, 2012 | Reply

    Miss the Duece! So much potential…

  2. By DontTakeLoses on Feb 27, 2012 | Reply

    Darren: Enjoyed the Deuce post but Bravo! on the Character post. Well done.

  3. By D on Feb 27, 2012 | Reply

    maybe pete c will give him a chance in seattle, along with Matt L who I hear will be looking for a job again..draft a Guard in round 3 or 4 if a tackle is taken in round 1

  4. By Andy K on Feb 27, 2012 | Reply

    Deuce should stay. He has a lot of potential and intelligence with the team and that he would prove worthy to sign back. Deuce should have an equal chance on being the starter but if Carl Nicks and other high quality guards are on the lists for the Cardinals, Deuce should remain a backup and Hadnot should be a backup as well. We need as much experience at the guard position that we can get.

  5. By joe holst on Feb 27, 2012 | Reply

    They should switch him to wide receiver..

  6. By adamant on Feb 27, 2012 | Reply

    @ joe holst : u mean a WIDE receiver?

  7. By Secret on Feb 27, 2012 | Reply

    It’s not so common that a team drafts a G in the first 15 picks of the draft, but DeCastro seems to be a guy that can be a pro-bowler for 12 years. Granted, G isn’t the “sexy” pick in the first round, but would you be surprised or disappointed if they drafted him at 13?

  8. By Darren Urban on Feb 27, 2012 | Reply

    Secret —

    RE: DeCastro

    I don’t do “disappointed” ever. Surprise would be a name out of nowhere. It’s not unprecedented to see a G at 13, so no.

  9. By Matt H on Feb 27, 2012 | Reply

    When’s the next underground planned for? Can we expect anything post-combine?

  10. By Darren Urban on Feb 27, 2012 | Reply

    Matt H —

    RE: Underground

    Maybe one before free agency? Not sure.

  11. By Matt H on Feb 27, 2012 | Reply

    As an aside, am I the only one that bugs you about the podcasts? I’m sure you get tired of me asking every other week during the season

  12. By Darren Urban on Feb 27, 2012 | Reply

    Matt H —

    RE: Requests

    Not the only one. Questions don’t hurt me. I promise.

  13. By Steve on Feb 27, 2012 | Reply

    Darren: I owe you an apology (albeit a rather late one) when I chastised you and the organization for not taking Missouri QB Blaine Gabbert last draft who I felt was a possible franchise QB. You stuck to your guns and said predraft that Patrick Peterson would be the safer pick and I vehemently disagreed at the time. Well the jury is still out on Gabbert who did not look particularly good last season with the jaguars but Peterson was nothing short of sensational and has multiple Pro-Bowls in his future l so I stand corrected.

  14. By Darren Urban on Feb 27, 2012 | Reply

    Steve —

    RE: Gabbert

    Well, let’s make this clear: I have no say in the pick. Any pick.

  15. By Mr.Ramirez on Feb 27, 2012 | Reply

    Deuce should be placed on the startingline. a great blocker.but still you have to giveback ups a chnace to playto show thier potential.

  16. By AndyStandsUp on Feb 27, 2012 | Reply

    I don’t understand the feeling that Lutui needs to start to stay in AZ. Even after getting the Cincy offer he was going to be a backup. (And why WOULD you give a reserve, starter money in the first place? Maybe that’s why he flunked his physical, cuz the Bengals realized he couldn’t be a left guard?)
    Is it because he’s looking for that one big payday?

  17. By brad oneill on Feb 27, 2012 | Reply

    I Think the cards hurt themselves really bad by not having Deuce play with starters for preseason 2 years ago, and they solved the problem by not letting him have his spot just because he got to weight this last year.

    The only one that can keep the downward slide in Deuces career from turning into a belly flop is Deuce he has everything I like in a player, he is likeable, athletic, a good team mate. the only thing he can’t seem to control is his metabolism. It isn’t a matter of a guy just eating too much his body is designed to put on size and fighting that is a huge struggle. when you stop eating your body reacts by retaining fat. you need calories to power a body like that so cutting calories makes you weak.

    As a fat guy myself i have a lot of love for Deuce and I really hope he gets it together and finds a way to get his spot back and fend off the third round pick that will be trying to take it.

  18. By Darren Urban on Feb 27, 2012 | Reply

    Brad —

    RE: Weight

    I get that, but it’s not like they are asking Deuce to play at 290. They are asking about 345. I don’t think that’s out of line.

  19. By Brian on Feb 27, 2012 | Reply

    I really like how Whiz has handled the situation with Deuce. Tough love. Deuce’s complacency was not going to fly with Whiz who let him go elsewhere only to receive a HUGE reality check. Hopefully Deuce knows that he is wanted here as long as he does what’s best for the team’s success and that involves showing up to camp in shape and not 70 lbs over weight. If he does that, he’ll start and our O-line is better with him in there.

  20. By georgiebird on Feb 27, 2012 | Reply

    It will be a big mistake to take either of the Stanford OL guys. Luck with his quick release and ability to check down when receivers were covered.made DeCastro and Martin look so much better than they are.
    FA is the only way to go with OL needs. Kolb needs stability in front of him and knowing a rookie is on the OL will make Kolb back pedal more than ever.
    As I said before, Kolb will be an albatross around Whiz’ neck. Yes, it was a bad trade but it’s time to move on. All QBs get hit in big games; there’s no way to keep a QB clean for 60 minutes-how many times will Kolb get hit in the four games against Seattle and SF? Can he survive? No way.

  21. By sport245245 on Feb 27, 2012 | Reply

    I watched preseason and the one regulare season game in which Lutui played, and he was a mauler. Whiz has a stubborn streak so he stayed on the bench the entire year. People in the know said that he was the Cardinals best, consistent lineman in prior years. Did he suddenly regress to the point that he couldn’t play at all? I decided to check it out (I love my DVR) for myself. So much for being out of shape, he played almost the entire game against Denver in the preseason, so it just didn’t make any sense to me. And, he played extremely well. Whiz just wanted to make a statement, but sometimes, he just cuts of his nose to spite his face because of stubborness.

  22. By nick on Feb 27, 2012 | Reply

    Just heard that the Jets gave Bart Scott permission to seek a trade, any chances the cards look at that possability?

  23. By Darren Urban on Feb 27, 2012 | Reply

    Nick –

    RE: Bart Scott


  24. By georgiebird on Feb 27, 2012 | Reply

    Deuce can be a pretty good OL guy. It’s up to Cardinals’ coaches to motivate him rather than see another team take him and start him.
    On another subject: Who do the Rams think they are fooling-they will draft RGIII at # 2, and will trade the disappointing Sam Bradford to some team like Cleveland, Miami or KC. The Rams will not trade down. Jeff Fisher and the new GM won’t risk passing on RGIII unless they are planning a move to LA real soon.

  25. By Brad O'Neill on Feb 27, 2012 | Reply

    Darren- I don’t think the organization was out of line either they made a tough choice that hurt themselves but it was made for the right reasons. Whiz can be frustrating but the man is principled and the players know exactly what they are going to get from him. I like the fact that i have never heard a fight with the front office go public even though i know there has likely been some big ones behind closed doors. lienart, duece, boldin. you know the friction has been there and you also know it is handled correctly. I am definitely a big fan of the way this team is run under whiz and graves.

  26. By John the draft guy on Feb 28, 2012 | Reply


    31 other teams saw the same thing as Whiz, including the Bengals. Why else would they cut him after signing him to a nice contract and he had to re-up with us in a backup role?
    Let’s see what FA brings him this year IF he strolls out at 375+.

    If Ryan is wanting to trade one of “His” guys, what do you think that means? Too much money-too little left in the tank.

  27. By Brian on Feb 28, 2012 | Reply

    @ Sport

    I agree with you the Deuce may be the best o-lineman on the team. I think the statement Whiz is making is to set the standard for the rest of the team that no matter how good you are, if you don’t work hard and play by the team’s rules, you aren’t going to play and you sure as heck aren’t going to get a huge contract from us. Perfect example, look at Fat Albert Haynesworth. The guy was a beast until he got paid. Then he showed up to camp out of shape and didn’t care. I’m not saying Deuce is just like Haynesworth but imagine if we signed him to a long term deal and he showed up to camp out of shape and had a carefree attitude about it. Other players, younger players especially, may see this and follow that example. Imagine if PP, or Washington or any of those guys looked at it and said, “huh, Deuce got paid, came to camp out of shape and still played, I should be ok getting by on my talent alone”. I know they are professional athletes and everyone should hold themselves to the highest standard but it can still happen and Whiz is putting a stop to it before it starts. It’s setting a standard for the rest of the team that complacency will not be tolerated, no matter how good you are. I think they went through a similar situation w/ Dockett where he wanted a new contract but the team wanted him to take more of a leadership role. He has done that and he got his contract. Like I said before, I really hope Deuce has learned from this because I would rather have him in there than Hadnot at RG. Sounds like he has so I’m excited to see him maul next season.

  28. By D on Feb 28, 2012 | Reply

    Interesting that everyone is talking about trading the #2 pick this year and they all talk about the 1998 draft, where AZ moved down with a deal with SD that brought them Andre Wadsworth, Corey Chavous, David Boston (following year), Eric Metcalf and Patrick Sapp. If you look at the 1998 first round draft, other players taken played in AZ, Duane Starks, Alan Faneca and Vonnie Holliday…tells you what great shape Holliday has kept himself, since most of those players have not played in years….

  29. By Mike Ellingboe on Feb 28, 2012 | Reply


    “It will be a big mistake to take either of the Stanford OL guys. Luck with his quick release and ability to check down when receivers were covered.made DeCastro and Martin look so much better than they are.”

    Luck’s release has nothing to do with how solid DeCastro is fundamentally.

  30. By azfancolo on Feb 28, 2012 | Reply

    Hey goergiebird just wandering if Kevin Kolb stole your puppy or something everything you comment on you are always bagging on Kolb one way or another dude we get it you can not stand Kolb let it the hell go!

  31. By Mike in Mesa on Feb 28, 2012 | Reply

    Whiz got lucky because of injuries to get the better players in the game that should have been starting last year. His M.O. is to blame players and not his decision making or system. Go back and read Adam Greens article last year for Arizona Sports called “Hubris is becoming Ken Whisenhunt’s downfall”. This writer has a clue to whats going on. If the Cards start Kolb next year, get ready for another losing season. He not only benches players with his perception of weight problems even though they are better, he also doesn’t start rookies even thought they are better. Who knows Quan may be a pro bowler sitting on the practice squad. Who knows with this teams ability to assess talent?

  32. By D on Feb 28, 2012 | Reply

    One less OLB option in Free agency..(hats off to Sf)

    “Ahmad Brooks gets six-year extension from 49ers
    Posted by Gregg Rosenthal on February 28, 2012, 3:07 PM EST
    The 49ers defense has a lot of free agents and a lot of roster holes heading into the offseason. They can now cross one problem off their list.

    The team announced that outside linebacker Ahmad Brooks reached a six-year deal with the club on Tuesday. The former third-round supplemental pick by the Bengals has played in San Francisco since 2008.

    Like many defenders, Brooks had his best season under Jim Harbaugh’s coaching staff in 2011. Brooks started all 16 games and finished third on the team with seven sacks and 59 tackles.

    We’ve yet to see final numbers, but NFL Network’s Jason La Canfora reported it could be in the range of $7 million-per-year. It’s hard to know if that per-year figure means anything without seeing the structure and guaranteed money.

    This could be a sign the team has soured on Parys Haralson, who is due $2.45 million. Brooks and Aldon Smith will be the two starters at outside linebacker next year.”

  33. By Matt in Philly on Feb 28, 2012 | Reply

    Frankly, I’m looking forward to the Cardinals taking an OT with their first pick in this draft, even if it is Jonathan Martin. Now, if there’s a Melvin Ingram available at #13, it’ll be hard not to take him. But if you look at the options, Martin is the best choice at #13. There’s not a better free-agent OT option out there right now for the price. There are a couple WR options out there. And when you look at the Cardinals OLBs in Acho and Schofield, you can’t be too pessimistic. The 49ers just gave Ahmad Brooks a big new deal, and Acho put up almost identical numbers in way fewer snaps (Brooks started every game). Not to mention that neither Acho nor Schofield has had a training camp yet (remember Schofield was injured coming into his rookie season) to absorb a complex defense. It would be nice if the Cards could get a Matt Kalil or Reilly Reiff, but Martin at #13 is acceptable.

  34. By Peter in Canada on Feb 28, 2012 | Reply

    Mike in Mesa – Sorry but I can’t agree with you on this for a couple of reasons.

    1. The coach puts a system in place and the players have to play within that system otherwise things fall apart big time. If the system is complex a la Horton’s defence then rookies take longer to learn it especially with a short training camp so they sit until they do.

    2. I like Lutui but his weight problem is not perception but reality. He did flunk a physical after all.

    3. I am assuming that the comment about Quan is facetious rather than your real opinion.

  35. By Peter in Canada on Feb 28, 2012 | Reply

    Georgiebird and Mike Ellingboe –

    Georgie has a valid point. A QB with a quick release makes linemen look better. See our line when Anderson replaced Warner. But Mike has a point too. A fundamentally solid lineman should be picked regardless of the QB. Judging whether a lineman is fundamentally solid is beyond my expertise which is why I am posting instead of coaching.

  36. By Rickard M on Feb 28, 2012 | Reply

    I’ve got a completely unrelated question. As I’m from Sweden, I don’t understand why someone like my favorite Kurt Warner isn’t on the team as QB trainer or something. I bet there’s a very good reason but I don’t know it. Could anyone enlighten me?

  37. By Darren Urban on Feb 28, 2012 | Reply

    Rickard —

    RE: Warner as QB coach

    Yes there is a good reason. Kurt has no desire to coach.

  38. By D on Feb 28, 2012 | Reply

    Happy BDay Coach!
    resign Campbell, L.Brown and R. Marshall
    get a pass rusher and wr in free agency
    Round 1–best Off tackle on board
    Round 3- L. Nix RG Pitt
    Round 4- T. Crawford DE Boise State
    (not a good draft for strong safety)

  39. By Moe Hanna on Feb 28, 2012 | Reply

    As a former trainer I can totally understand all the reasons for wanting every player to be in the best physical shape as possible throughout the season. Coming into training camp out of shape and/or overweight puts them as risk for injury (if they are lucky NOT season ending injury) and the entire team at a disadvantage.

    However, with that said I have had the pleasure to get to know Deuce on a personal basis with his involvement in breast cancer awareness “Crucial Catch” campaign. He has a heart of gold and is a true leader. I would hope that if he can’t physically play the # 1 spot that the team would find a place for him as a back up and/or coach/mentor perhaps with the practice team.

    From your slightly overweight friend “Moe Moe” … Deuce we look forward to seeing you in the #1 spot come training camp.

  40. By Mike Ellingboe on Feb 28, 2012 | Reply


    No doubt Georgie is right about a great QB making his line look better. However, if you watched Stanford over the last couple of seasons it’s clear that DeCastro played his position every bit as well as Luck played his.

  41. By Mike Ellingboe on Feb 28, 2012 | Reply

    @Mike in Mesa,

    “Who knows Quan may be a pro bowler sitting on the practice squad. Who knows with this teams ability to assess talent?”

    If that were the case you’ve just questioned every team in the league about their ability to assess talent, since players on the practice squad are fair game for anyone’s active roster.

  42. By Peter in Canada on Feb 28, 2012 | Reply

    Mike Ellingboe –

    Up here in the north I haven’t seen a Stanford game in years. I yield to your greater knowledge of DeCastro, Luck and Stanford.

  43. By WildCard on Feb 28, 2012 | Reply


  44. By Scott H on Feb 28, 2012 | Reply

    Still don’t understand why people think Kurt Warner should be a QB coach. I’m sure if he wanted to, he would. But why would he??? What he’s doing on NFL Newtwork looks like a lot more fun than coaching probably would be.

    And again, if all great QB’s made great QB coaches, wouldn’t they all be doing it??? Right. Instead, NONE of them are doing it. Warner, Aikman, Young, Marino, Simms, Esaison…ALL in broadcasting, NONE of them in coaching. Must be a reason for that…

  45. By Mike in Mesa on Feb 29, 2012 | Reply

    Ellingboe I do question everyones ability to assess talent. Just as everyone wants to give credit for sensible moves, blame should be given for foolish ones also. Do you think any team would pass on Jeremy Lin right now in the draft? Seems to me a lot of teams made a mistake on that one. Circumstances sometimes make careers. Coaches don’t always make the best decisions. They can let ego, politics, finances and media hype influence what they do. This happens more than a lot of you homers realize. Did you bother to read Adam Greens article? Ditto to Peter in Canada. Just because Whiz got lucky towards the end of the season doesn’t make the article any less accurate. A scale or veteran vs. rookie doesn’t dictate who’s the better player. I think the title of the article hit the nail on the head. Whiz has a HUBRIS problem. But he’s also not the first coach to suffer from this. Smart coaches are flexible and make their systems fit their players strengths, not vice versa.

  46. By Mike Ellingboe on Feb 29, 2012 | Reply

    @Scott H,

    Completely agree – I don’t know what the going rate is for a QB coach but I doubt it pays anywhere near what HOF QB’s get for being on ESPN, national networks, etc. The other thing that seems to be forgotten is a position coach is a stepping stone for more prestigious coaching jobs, and to your point I’m not sure why so many think Warner has any interest in that.

  47. By Mike Ellingboe on Feb 29, 2012 | Reply


    Greater knowledge being a very debatable term, but if you get the chance to watch any of their games on any cable re-runs I’d recommend it. Two remarkably polished players. On occasion I did see Luck bail Martin out (to be expected, no LT is going to stuff the rush every time), but I’m not sure what Georgie saw in regards to DeCastro – one of those guys who just never seems to make any kind of glaring mistake. For that matter, didn’t make many minor ones either.

    I did have to laugh at one so-called online draft expert who stated that Martin bailed him out a few times. Apparently he didn’t watch them enough to realize DeCastro plays RG, not LG. Not sure who we’ll get, but with all due respect to Hadnot he projects as a significant upgrade to that position and is, by all accounts, a legit first round talent. From what I’ve seen the comparisons to Hutchinson are very valid.

  48. By Scott H on Feb 29, 2012 | Reply

    Geez, doesn’t it seem like we’ve been perpetually wondering about Lutui entirely too long at this point??? We need to move on with him or move on from him.

  49. By cards62 on Feb 29, 2012 | Reply

    Go Duece we are rooting for you big fella, but it is really up to him.

    Playing QB in the NFL requires a lot of commitment and hours which is why I think these guys retire besides the physical beating and requirements of course.

    To Sweden (Hope all is well on your side of the world)

    Now after retiring do I really want a 70 hour a week coaching job that pays okay and does not receive much publicity or do I want an announcing gig that pays much better for much less work and will put me so much more in the public eye?
    QBs are not dumb jocks Including our beloved Kurt Warner

    Go Cards and lets get Duece on Dancing with the Stars !!!

  50. By pipapiko on Mar 1, 2012 | Reply

    Deuce is a BEAST! Despite this past season and all that weight drama he is a hell of a player! You can argue the weight issue which is a factor or is it? These are O-linemen not receivers or db’s, plus I felt that Whizz is a hater and there is obvious reasons why the the Steelers let him and Russ leave! I would pick this kid on my squad any given Sunday! Go back and look at the cincy game? Cardz were getting smashed, and then they decided to throw Deuce in the game just to spark the offense and hope of a complete comeback! I hope Deuce goes to a winning organization and not comeback to these inconsistent clowns lol…. Seriously though after the Superbowl run these guys ain’t really done jack squat! Cards will never see a Superbowl run again lol…..

  51. By Darren Urban on Mar 1, 2012 | Reply

    Pipa —

    RE: Comments

    Just deleted your second comment, by the way. Thanks for coming.

  52. By Mike Ellingboe on Mar 1, 2012 | Reply

    @Mike in Mesa,

    “Did you bother to read Adam Greens article?”

    As a matter of fact, yes. I read the articles that followed them as well, doesn’t sound like he’s questioning Whisenhunt’s way of doing things anymore. Went so far as to say we’re not far off from being where the Giants are.

  53. By rayray1028 on Mar 4, 2012 | Reply

    If I was Rod Graves and Coach Wiz…

    1) resign Richard Marshall
    2) re-structure Levi Brown contract and move him to RT. Then sign LT Demitrus Bell from the bills. Potential is high on Bell . ( OL LT Bell, LG Lutiue, C Sadlein, RG Colledge RT Brown) 
    3) sign either Mario  Mannigham  or Pierre Garçon 
    4) With the 13th pick, draft Melvin Ingram ( put him a an inside linebacker next to DWashington)
    5) with their 3rd pick, they select Bruce Irvin OLB. Irvin is a bad dude when it comes to providing speed rush from the outside. ( imagine this lb chore of Acho, Ingram, Washington and Irvin) 
    6) find a replacement for Adrian Wilson in the draft( my suggestion would be Duke Ihenacho SS from San Jose State)


  54. By tb116 on Mar 19, 2012 | Reply

    Duece, is down to 340lbs now but played in the Superbowl at 370lbs..The weight thing is not the issue.Something else??????.Tell the boy what to do and he will do it..He is one of the best i’ve seen at G…

  55. By Mike in Mesa on Mar 20, 2012 | Reply

    yeah its something else Whiz’S screwed up ego.

  56. By tb116 on Mar 20, 2012 | Reply

    Well he (wiz) needs to get over it and help us start winning games.We need some blocking and we will be good this year. Duece gives us for the best chance especially that they sat him last year ..How much money did that take out of his pockets.De valued the S*** out of him…I hope they bring him back and let him play ,We need him… Again Weight excuse is BS….

  57. By Darren Urban on Mar 20, 2012 | Reply

    tb116 —

    RE: Weight

    How do you know the “weight excuse is BS”?

  58. By tb116 on Mar 23, 2012 | Reply


    He was 370 at Superbowl .He has not had a blocking problem.Now if you say he is goof at practices and plays around too much I”ll go with that..Maybe a little Lazy? Maybe..But his weight is not an issue with performance…Is he being used as an example…Maybe… Do we need his skills ..YES..just say sit him down tell him what we need and see if he steps up..I know first hand it has never been done..

  59. By Darren Urban on Mar 23, 2012 | Reply

    tb116 —

    RE: Weight/performance

    Well, I don’t know. I’m not a line coach. However, the coaching staff disagrees and says weight does affect performance. What the Cards say they need is for him to hit his target weight, and I’m pretty sure that had been done multiple times.

  60. By tb116 on Mar 23, 2012 | Reply

    I agree with you Im not the line coach either.I just like the guy and wish the best for this years team whoever is playing.It is a business and there are always more goes on behind the scenes than we know and not really are place to know.It is simply an opinion.
    I saw some pictures this week and he is looking great, Has lost a lot of weight so I hope to see him back in Red….


  61. By tb116 on Mar 26, 2012 | Reply

    Sounds like Duece is gone…..Worst of all to SF….

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