Friday before the Hall of Fame game

Posted by Darren Urban on August 3, 2012 – 5:09 pm

It’s time to go to Canton.

From the day it was announced back in February, the Cardinals have looked forward to this weekend. As usual, it seems both that training camp just started and that camp has been going on for weeks rather than less than two. But the games are here, as the Cards and Saints begin the NFL preseason schedule Sunday night at 8 p.m. in Ohio (5 p.m. in Arizona). It’s an extra game. That’s good and bad. One more chance for guys to get hurt, one more chance to spread around some playing time.

Watching the quarterbacks will be interesting but not definitive – I mean, I guess it could be definitive depending on what happens, but that’ll only happen with an injury – because I would like to see both Kevin Kolb and John Skelton in a game to see if it looks much different. They spent the offseason working on fundamentals, and with Kolb in particular, he’s had his time to prep that he didn’t get last year.

Another thing I want to see is just how much attention the NFL Network pays to the Cardinals. The Saints have had one mess of an offseason. Hopefully that’s not all the crew talks about.

— Coach Ken Whisenhunt will have to juggle his running backs. Beanie Wells is still on the PUP list. Whisenhunt officially said Ryan Williams won’t play, although that seemed likely all week with Williams taking a couple of days off from practice to rest his rehabbed right leg. Javarris James has his abductor strain, and William Powell got hurt in the night practice Wednesday – something in his leg, I believe, although I wasn’t able to find out exactly what – and I would think is unlikely to play. That leaves LaRod Stephens-Howling, Alfonso Smith and newcomer Thomas Clayton (who barely was able to practice.) Maybe the Sherminator will be unleashed.

— Speaking of not playing, I don’t expect safety Adrian Wilson to go with his calf injury. It’s minor, but again, five preseason games. The first means nothing. (Besides, how many series will the starters play? Two at the most? What would Wilson really be missing?)

— It’s time to break in the newcomers. Wide receiver Michael Floyd is obvious, and so is cornerback Jamell Fleming. But drafted offensive linemen Bobby Massie at right tackle and Senio Kelemete are important. Those guys are supposed to be on the roster and be able to play if there is an injury (and Massie, in theory, could still start). This is the first test. Massie has looked better as camp has gone on. I’ll be honest, I haven’t watched Kelemete much yet.

— There won’t be gameplanning, but I remember how Aaron Rodgers ripped up the defense in the preseason last year. That was early, early, early in the defense’s understanding of the scheme. Now they get Drew Brees (even if it might only be a series). Let’s see how the Cards handle a high-powered passing attack.

— Individually, the passing would play well toward the Cards’ cornerback battle, right?

— If you don’t get NFL Network, the game will be televised locally in Phoenix on Ch. 5 KPHO.

— I’ll be with the team Saturday night when they get a private tour of the Hall of Fame, and we will have a story sometime before the game. This should be a pretty cool trip.

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Posted in Blog | 24 Comments »

24 Responses to “Friday before the Hall of Fame game”

  1. By alexmannsportskings on Aug 3, 2012 | Reply

    First… LETS GO CARDS!
    Second… Lets say I don’t get NFLN and I don’t live in the Phoenix area, but I live in Tucson. Is it going to show in Tucson like it does during non Nationally televised games?

  2. By Darren Urban on Aug 3, 2012 | Reply

    alexmann —

    RE: Tucson

    I have to admit, I do not know. I would guess so, but I am not sure.

  3. By AzDesertRat1953 on Aug 3, 2012 | Reply

    Man you get some cool perks. :>)

    All I have to say Darren, is have fun!

    One question;
    How did we get a feed for the game? Because the Cards are playing in the game, or did the front office go after it for the fans?

  4. By Darren Urban on Aug 3, 2012 | Reply

    AzDesert —

    RE: HofF feed

    I think the NFL is aware many people do not have its network and want to make sure the home folks are taken care of. It’s a group effort.

  5. By AndyStandsUp on Aug 3, 2012 | Reply

    Here we go, 5 games in less than 4 weeks. Players love this, I’m sure.
    60% chance of rain and wind on Sunday so the game could be “cool”. Not good since the Cards will probably be weighing heavily on the passing game.
    Make sure you get a photo of the Tillman exhibit, please.
    Way to plant seed of discontent on the possible NO overcoverage, Darren. I really feel the Saints feel slighted with the league and Brees in particular could try to make statement.
    Could care less about the margin of victory. Just let everyone come out healthy.

  6. By Eric Y on Aug 3, 2012 | Reply

    Absolutely thrilled to see the Cardinals play some football this weekend, even if it is a meaningless game. I’m wondering most if the 2 QBs are going to get a couple of reps each with the rest of the ones, whomever the starter.

  7. By david on Aug 3, 2012 | Reply

    You know what’s pretty cool Darren ,

    We beat the saints with max hall. Let’s see if nfln mentions that.

    Defense aided of course.

  8. By Nick Pepe on Aug 3, 2012 | Reply

    It has to be a great trip for all involved. I mean as a player how could you not get Goose bumps walking thru that place.

    Most important, everyone come on happy, safe and healthy!!

    Looking forward to some football!

    Nick Pepe
    Lifetime Member

  9. By dan on Aug 3, 2012 | Reply

    Just curious, how has Ryan Lindley looked so far in camp?

  10. By Darren Urban on Aug 3, 2012 | Reply

    Dan —

    RE: Lindley

    Fine. He hasn’t gotten a lot of reps yet.

  11. By John the Draft Guy on Aug 3, 2012 | Reply

    First, how do people live without NFL network? Crazy.

    Second, it will be interesting how much play Kolb and Skelton get. With Brees, one series at most. But with the battle, I wonder how long Kolb goes.

    Third, with so many injuries to runningbacks, we could see the QBs throwing a lot. The Oline will be tested with a lot of drop backs.

    Finally Darren, every year, some undrafted rookie surprises in the league. From Cruz to Foster to Harrison, to Romo, there is always a surprise. Locally, Mckennon and Lassiter and of course Warner, to name a few have started as undrafted FAs.

    So Darren, anyone who we should keep our eye on in this game.

  12. By Darren Urban on Aug 3, 2012 | Reply

    John the draft guy —

    RE: UDFA

    Probably Byrd. I would have liked to see Nash.

  13. By Scott H on Aug 3, 2012 | Reply

    Let the games begin! And let’s get in and out of Canton with no injuries. That’s better than a meaningless win.

  14. By John the Draft Guy on Aug 3, 2012 | Reply

    To keep with the theme, how about this for a list of current undrafted players;

    QB – Tony Romo
    RB – Arian Foster / Fred Jackson
    TE – Antonio Gates
    WR – Miles Austin
    WR – Victor Cruz
    WR – Wes Welker
    T – Tyson Clabo
    G – Harvey Dahl
    C – Jeff Saturday
    G – Kris Deilman
    T – Jason Peters

    OLB – James Harrison
    OLB – Cameron Wake
    ILB – London Fletcher
    ILB – Bart Scott
    DE – Cullen Jenkins
    NT – Pat Williams
    DE – Adewale Ogunleye
    CB – Tramon Williams
    CB – Sam Shields
    S A little help with safeties

    K – Adam Viniterri

  15. By in fitz we trust on Aug 3, 2012 | Reply

    the first “Friday before,” love it.! I cannot believe we are actually gonna see the cardinals on sunday!!!!

  16. By clssylssy on Aug 4, 2012 | Reply

    This has been a long time coming, or maybe it’s just all the drama of the past two offseasons have made it seem longer than it really was. It will be a good exercise playing the Saints, they have some great players but not any better than some of our guys and without Payton, I think they may not be ready for us.. I’m anxious to see if Thomas Clayton feels some of the old majic he had in college just going up against Sproles. I don’t imagine the Saints will play their starters more than one quarter and it will be fun to see Jimmy Graham whose athleticism and drive reminds me a lot of Fitz. The Cards are well represented in the Hall and this could be a very motivational experience for all of our players.
    Hope the guys have fun and enjoy the experience and look forward to your posts to keep us informed on the experience. Seems unreal…FOOTBALL IS HERE! FLY HIGH CARDINALS. YOU MAKE US PROUD!

  17. By Jzoully on Aug 4, 2012 | Reply

    Say Darren question,
    Lets say a hypothetical situation where Beanie Wells wins the job over Ryan Williams, has another 1000+ season rushing, might Beanie be deserving of a contract extension? Side note, since we are trying to keep a winning formula might we try to extend Beanie now?

  18. By Darren Urban on Aug 4, 2012 | Reply

    Jzoully –

    RE: Beanie

    Not sure. Beanie is under contract through 2013 and the way the market is going for running backs, I don’t see anything happening soon.

  19. By Jzoully on Aug 4, 2012 | Reply

    Oh John the Draft guy and Darren, don’t count out the possibility of another linebacker who was impressive in college and might have to be a standout this year, Paul Vassalo.

  20. By John the Draft Guy on Aug 4, 2012 | Reply


    Interesting pick with Byrd. To be honest, all I know about him is he is tall, fast but was the 3rd WR at the “U”. With Fitz, Floyd, Doucet, Roberts, Sampson, at WR, its a tough road for him.
    I’ll keep my eye on him. Are the coaches impressed?

    As for Nash, I agree. Small college guy impressed during OTAs I hear. Tough break.

    Although he made the team last year, I like Ronald Talley. Talk about a tough situation with Dockett, Campbell, Williams, Carter, Eason, Holiday there. But he made it on the field a few times last year.

    Becoming a star from undrafted has as much to do with the team you go to, and plain old luck as it does with talent.

  21. By brad oneill on Aug 4, 2012 | Reply

    How can you even begin to evaluate john skelton if he isnt in the 4th quarter that is the only time he works. 🙂

  22. By jonnyb on Aug 4, 2012 | Reply

    darren, how has rob housler looked in practice

  23. By Darren Urban on Aug 4, 2012 | Reply

    Johnnyb –

    RE: Housler

    He’s made some plays. I want to see him in a game or two.

  24. By cardsalltheway on Aug 5, 2012 | Reply

    I got my NFL Game Pass and I’ll be watching early in the morning online across the waters. I watched the Curtis Martin induction speech, good stuff. He has some interesting and sad(family) stories, didn’t like football much or wasn’t ever a fan of the sport, never liked running even though he gained 14,000 + all time yards, and only now after meeting and listening to other players/old timers this weekend has he maybe become a fan of football.

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