Thursday before the Raiders

Posted by Darren Urban on August 16, 2012 – 3:27 pm

So here it is, the day before the game in which Ken Whisenhunt promised to play his starters until they got it right. That was the message at the beginning of the week, and then Whisenhunt and his staff worked the Cards pretty hard over the next few days in Flagstaff.

It seems to me – and really, what do I know? – it worked.

“I don’t quite understand why he was trying to take us out of the preseason earlier anyway,” defensive tackle Darnell Dockett said. “I guess it’s (being) cautious, but we’re not out there to protect guys. We’re out there to get better, to make strides. For him to have to come and say that to us is disappointing, and we have to take care of our Coach because he takes care of us. I can guarantee that will not be the same Cardinals’ team (Friday night) that you all saw the last two weeks.”

The stars line up well for the Cards. It’s their first home game. There is desperation by a defense that has been disappointing and a starting quarterback fighting to stay in the hunt to be a starter. There is a clear edge in the air from a coaching staff that wants more, and an opponent who just played Monday night.

We’ll see if the attention to detail Adrian Wilson was searching for shows up.

— Assuming Ryan Williams finally plays, and all indications are that he will, Friday marks 364 days since he ruptured his patella tendon in Green Bay. It will also be his first game at University of Phoenix Stadium, since the Cards began with a pair of road preseason games last year.

— It’s been said many times, but this game will be important to Kevin Kolb. A poor showing doesn’t necessarily eliminate him from being a starter – at least, Whisenhunt hasn’t said that – but it’s hard to think, with time running out, that this is crucial. I’ve already been asked a bunch of times if the Cards will trade for another QB if Kolb doesn’t play well, or if they will cut him. I say the same I have been: I expect whoever isn’t starting to be the backup this season. But never say never.

(I will say that I can’t see trading for the contract of Tavaris Jackson, for instance, at $4M when he’s not necessarily an improvement. Same with Colt McCoy. How do they make you better? Especially when they’ll be coming in cold? Makes no sense to me.)

— Speaking of the QB competition, offensive coordinator Mike Miller said nothing is different even though the Cards haven’t settled on a starter. To the contrary, the changes come after a starter is named.

“I don’t change anything about how we install or operate day-to-day,” Miller said. “Once a decision is made, and as any team does at any position, there are strengths and weaknesses with each guy. So you try to cater your game plan to meet that player’s talent. What does he do best? It’s the old saying: Who are your best 11, and what do they do best?”

— Just because this game feels more important to Kolb, it doesn’t mean that John Skelton, whenever he comes in, should be ignored. He needs to play well too. Everyone is watching.

— While watching quarterbacks, how can you not look forward to seeing how Matt Leinart does for the Raiders? He’s backing up Carson Palmer these days and this will be his first visit back to UoP since being cut by the Cards. Against Dallas, he was 11-for-16 for 98 yards, fairly typical numbers – high completion rate for not a ton of yards.

— We don’t know exactly how Michael Floyd’s year will go yet, but at least he’s not tossing his cookies because of nerves. Then again, that’s been normal for him. “I’m surprised because usually I get sick and feel a little nauseated,” Floyd said. “But no. I feel comfortable and as long as I keep practicing and getting these plays down, I can have that comfort and be faster.”

— A tip of the cap to the long and good life of my grandfather, Raymond Urban, who passed away Wednesday afternoon. He had just turned 101 July 30.

— Interesting that DC Ray Horton mentioned to Kent Somers no cornerback has really challenged William Gay for the starting spot opposite Patrick Peterson. I didn’t get the impression that was because Gay has been flawless either. It’s one of the reasons this game means a lot to the defense too – where is that unit with the 2011 closing kick?

— Well, maybe they were around in practice this week. “There’s been no around,” Dockett said. “It’s been about business.”

Yeah, that’s what this Oakland game feels like. It definitely doesn’t feel like an exhibition. Not from this side.

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44 Responses to “Thursday before the Raiders”

  1. By rdixon50 on Aug 16, 2012 | Reply

    Hope you are loaded with your granfather’s genes.

  2. By Todd on Aug 16, 2012 | Reply

    Thanks for the update Darren. Good info.

    My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family with the passing of your grandfather. It is never easy to lose a loved one no matter what their age.

  3. By Mark on Aug 16, 2012 | Reply

    I completely agree with your take on cutting whoever loses out and signing one of the QBs you listed. Makes absolutely no sense at all. That said, it would be nice to see Kolb step up this week so the Cards can start getting a return on their investment. He has shown flashes in the past, but it is time for the flashes to stick.

  4. By brad oneill on Aug 16, 2012 | Reply

    101- beginning of social security, Medicare, world war 1, invention of television, commercial flights, world war II, freeways, air conditioning, artificial hearts, space flight, cell phones, polio vaccine, the rise and fall of the soviet union, the cardinals in the super bowl.

    Sounds like an exciting time to be alive. God speed Grampa Urban.

  5. By Bob-O on Aug 16, 2012 | Reply

    I care about the QB comp. but it’s not the end all be all. IMHO the Cardinals are a mean team that should trust that their ability will bring a team win no matter what week or game it is. I TRUST they can and will come out and play some *****ing smash mouth Grid Iron football from here on out. I BELIEVE IN YOU CARDS! Be the best player on every play and trust that your teamate cares as much if not more than you. BRING US THE W!. oh and DARKSIDE HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOT!!!!! Let’s see if A-Dub can break another receiver tomorrow.

  6. By Jesse on Aug 16, 2012 | Reply

    I’m sorry for your loss, best wishes.

  7. By procen on Aug 16, 2012 | Reply

    Hi Darren,

    Its been a while since I posted but hey it’s another season to cheer for. My condolence to you and your family with the passing of your grandfather. I wish I live to 101 like him. Peace!

  8. By johnnybluenose on Aug 16, 2012 | Reply

    darren, sorry to read of your grandfather’s passing. 101, wow. that’s impressive. godspeed mr. urban.

  9. By scott023 on Aug 16, 2012 | Reply

    Darren, really sorry about the passing of your grandfather. My grandfather passed away many years ago and I still miss him to this day. I am sure your grandfather was very proud of you. God Bless the Urban family.

  10. By Gerald Jones on Aug 16, 2012 | Reply

    Darren, can you make any comparisons between Floyd and Anquan Boldin as far as their after the catch ground gaining abilities?

    Sorry to hear of your grand father’s passing. I think that life does go on after we leave this earth, just not in ways we can understand.

  11. By Darren Urban on Aug 16, 2012 | Reply

    Gerald —

    RE: Floyd vs. Boldin

    I definitely think Floyd can be physical and break some tackles for YAC. But Boldin is the best I have ever seen at it, and it’s unfair to think Floyd can do that.

  12. By georgiebird on Aug 16, 2012 | Reply

    My condolences on the passing of your grandfather. The older we get, the more we realize our grandfathers and grandmothers were great people in our lives. Glad you had your grandfather with you for so many years.

  13. By toddcard on Aug 16, 2012 | Reply

    my condolences to you and you’re family darren, God bless #Birdgang

  14. By Ottis Anderson Fan on Aug 16, 2012 | Reply

    I don’t know how cautious Whiz can be this year if things don’t get off to a good start. I don’t know if he can afford to start the season 2-6 or something like that. I think everyone icluding management is getting tired with Whiz’s teams only stepping it up when their backs are up against the wall as the season draws to a near. This team cannot afford all the mental mistakes and lack of discipline that, unfortunately, have been a hallmark of Whiz’s tenure in Arizona. Everyone is REALLY tired of that also.

  15. By CORMAC b on Aug 16, 2012 | Reply

    We should just keep KOLB on the bench as a back up, and when the year ends, try and redo his contract at a way lower price. Keeping him on the bench would bring his value very low. Let him earn the spot. Then if Skelton does crappy, bring in KOLB, try and light a fire under his arse.

  16. By AndyStandsUp on Aug 16, 2012 | Reply

    With the acknowledgement that the Cards have played poorly the last two games, I wonder if the team will be scheming more than usual for the Raiders?

    It must be nice, Darren, to actually know someone who could have given you a play-by-play of the 1925 CHI Cards – Pottsville Marroons NFL Championship.
    I’m sure he told you many a great story.

  17. By DontTakeLoses on Aug 16, 2012 | Reply

    Kolb will come out really well this week and the conversation completely changes is my bet.

    PS: God Bless Ryan in his return, Raymond in his departure and my dear mother who would be 102.

    Ok, Go Cards.

  18. By Red cards on Aug 17, 2012 | Reply

    no I don’t think do If kolb does well he’s still one hit away from out for the rest of the season we need to keep him nice and safe on the bench we don’t want this guy in a wheel chair

  19. By cobra on Aug 16, 2012 | Reply


    God bless your family and loved ones.

    Raymond Urban, enjoy your new life at a better place!

  20. By clssylssy on Aug 16, 2012 | Reply

    Travaris Jackson makes about as much sense as McNabb…WHAT ABOUT THE 0-LINE?! It’s a good thing Peyton Manning didn’t come here because we could never have protected him and that would have been more money down the drain. I’m looking at a MUST WIN regular season opener against the Seahawks. We have to win at the VERY LEAST our league games at home and hopefully all of them no matter who plays what. The Raiders are pathetic so this is not a test to bomb!

  21. By john the draft guy on Aug 16, 2012 | Reply

    when Whiz says starters will play as long as necessary, does that also apply to Kolb or will Skelton also run with the 1’s?

  22. By Darren Urban on Aug 16, 2012 | Reply

    John the draft guy —

    RE: QBs

    That’s a good question. I think Kolb will get a lot of time, knowing Skelton can get a long time in Tennessee next week. But that’s a guess.

  23. By Dre on Aug 16, 2012 | Reply

    Sorry for loss d . I think gay will not be the starter by week 3. He not that good he will get burn and cant tackle for $/@@ .

  24. By G. Witt on Aug 16, 2012 | Reply

    Sorry for your loss.He will always be with you in sprit.

  25. By straightedgerevenge on Aug 16, 2012 | Reply

    great story darren, getting me amped up for the game tomorrow. BIRDGANG

  26. By Esai on Aug 16, 2012 | Reply

    My condolences to you and your family Darren. You know #BIGRED is always here for you!

  27. By Chris on Aug 16, 2012 | Reply

    Sorry for your loss Darren.

  28. By louis on Aug 17, 2012 | Reply

    this is going to be another disappointing year again show hope all your cardinals fans including me have somthing else to do in the fall.

  29. By Cactus jeff on Aug 17, 2012 | Reply

    I am sore getting out of bed at 43, can’t believe how tough it must be for our seasoned citizens. I am happy to hear all the good words for Grandpa Urban. The Bird-gang is special!

  30. By Nick Pepe on Aug 17, 2012 | Reply

    Lets see if we can keep the QB clean for 60 minutes. See how both guys play while being protected.

    I think Skelton wins the job, based on durability and poise. And, hoepfully, with time it leads to him improving his accuracy.

    Sorry for loss Darren

    Nicholas Pepe
    Lifetime Member
    Dog Saver

  31. By Andy Kw on Aug 17, 2012 | Reply

    This is what to O Line should be: C Lyle Sendlein, LG Adam Snyder, RG Daryn Colledge, LT Jeremy Bridges RT D’Anthony Bastiste. Levi Brown isn’t so great. I thought he would be more improved but he is not. Bobby Massie won’t be our Tackle answer and he isn’t our long term answer anytime soon.

  32. By azdesertrat1953 on Aug 17, 2012 | Reply

    Sorry to hear about your Gramps Darren.

    Well it’s about ten hours from game time, about 9 hrs. 57mins. and 22 sec. to long.

    GO CARDS!!!

  33. By Zach on Aug 17, 2012 | Reply

    Andy^, I want to see how Batiste does at RT, but Bridges as a starting LT is a horrible idea, he is our worst pass blocking Tackle, Levi is much better. Massie is also a Rookie and it takes awhile for Lineman to adjust to the NFL. He was a 4th rounder, give him some time and he could be a solid RT.

  34. By allen on Aug 17, 2012 | Reply

    need to package up , [ wells , kolb , brown ] and trade them , for help in the o line

  35. By Mr Robles on Aug 17, 2012 | Reply

    Just saying so Kolb is the backup to Skelton do they have Kolb take a paycut? Or leave as is. Expencive backup. We need a vet in my opinion to help out.

  36. By wnycardfan on Aug 17, 2012 | Reply

    Here’s my game prediction………
    Kolb – looks like he has the last 2 preseason and like he was last year, a bit lost, frustrated, and running for his life (even when he doesn’t have to).
    Skeleton – same, durable, more confident, but inaccurate

    SO…… new news on QB battle.

    I agree with a lot here, would REALLY be nice if the OLINE could be half way decent to see how these guys play when there isn’t a bad guy in their face.

    Williams……….very interested in how he does

    Sorry for the loss, Darren

  37. By Ron Sellmeyer on Aug 17, 2012 | Reply

    Can we win four games with the schedule and this offensive line? Quarterback???

  38. By Ron Sellmeyer on Aug 17, 2012 | Reply

    You got that right on injury prone Wells, Kolb lost in the corn field and Brown the human turnstile.

  39. By Mr Robles on Aug 17, 2012 | Reply

    Sorry to hear Darren, my condelences & prayers go out to you & your family. May God Bless you guys, sorry.

  40. By Ron Sellmeyer on Aug 17, 2012 | Reply

    Somebody commented on coaching. I like the integrity and the giving back to the community. Unfortunately since Warner, Boldin, Breaston and Antonio Smith left, I don’t see a lot of heart on this team. I see emotion that results in stupid penalties not good tackling or ball hawking. The thing that really disturbs me in watching the Cardinals is they very seldom jump on somebody early and dominate them. The last time I remember that happening was Carolina playoff game three years ago. They either play poorly for most of game and come back at end to win. or play well for most of gave and disappear in 4th quarter. The Birds Nest is not making the same difference it did three years ago. The players still have to play and coaches coach.

  41. By Rio on Aug 17, 2012 | Reply


  42. By Ezz on Aug 17, 2012 | Reply

    What’s with the super late start? Have some sympathy for your European fans for God’s sake.

  43. By Darren Urban on Aug 17, 2012 | Reply

    Ezz —

    RE: 7 p.m. start

    This is normal for preseason.

  44. By Nick Pepe on Aug 17, 2012 | Reply

    I hurriedly deleted the comment about Kolb and the lemon law. Whoever posted that, kudos to you. You made me chuckle !!

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