Wednesday before the Titans

Posted by Darren Urban on August 22, 2012 – 4:27 pm

Ah, Nashville. The last two times we were here, the story was always the quarterback. In 2009, Kurt Warner, last moment, decided his concussion wouldn’t let him play, and Matt Leinart almost had the game he needed – until Vince Young put together a 99-yard drive to finish the game and the Cardinals. The last time here was the beginning of the end for Leinart, the preseason week spent in Tennessee where Leinart was demoted from the first unit in favor of Derek Anderson and we all know how that turned out.

Some things never change. Quarterbacks are still front and center. John Skelton gets the start and ostensibly, the chance to put a stranglehold on the job. Kevin Kolb will play. Coach Ken Whisenhunt hasn’t given any indication this battle is over. This game will mean something. Ron Wolfley made a point the other day both on the podcast and his radio show that Kolb has probably been better in practice where Skelton has been better in games, which is why this is probably closer for coaches than fans (who don’t watch practice daily but watch the games.)

In any case, it looks like this game will only add to the quarterback legacy that Cards’ trips to Nashville have built.

— Watching Beanie Wells in a game for the first time will be fascinating. We’re on the precipice of the regular season. It looks like Ryan Williams is in good shape to be ready as expected. It’s time for Wells to make a similar step. It has been suggested Beanie runs with a limp. Some of that has to do with getting used to his brace and getting back on the field for the first time in a while. But those of us who have observed Beanie have always noticed what to me, at least, seems like an awkward gait when Wells walks quickly or runs half-speed, even when totally healthy. When he turns it up, it disappears.

— Larry Fitzgerald said he knew all along there probably wouldn’t be a choice at quarterback just yet. “You can’t just give guys one game. That’s not much of a competition,” he said. “We knew it would probably come down to the wire.”

— D.J. Young and D’Anthony Batiste get their chance to show what they can do at left tackle. Will one emerge? Maybe. Conventional wisdom seems to be that Batiste has a better shot than Young. There are more options than Batiste at right tackle, which could be Jeremy Bridges or even just sinking or swimming with rookie Bobby Massie (although the Massie move might be easier to deal with if Brown was still in the lineup). A savior isn’t coming, though. The Cardinals might pick someone up in free agency or the waiver wire, but again, anyone on the street is on the street for a reason. Chad Clifton is available, for instance, because he’s been injured and is 36. Anyone cut next week will be cut because there were at least two guys better than him on his previous roster. That’s reality.

(And a quick side note on the depth behind Brown, and the Cards being caught unprepared – you always want the best depth you can get on the roster, but I’m not sure you build a roster with the idea of a guy possibly going down with a season-ending injury. You’re counting on the starter to be there, especially a guy like Brown, who had played every game for the last four seasons. I think they felt Batiste/Bridges would have been fine as a Brown fill-in for a game or two.)

— Brown had his surgery, by the way. The Cardinals have to trim 15 players off the roster by Monday (although it may come as soon as Friday.) One of those moves, I would think, would be Brown’s move to injured reserve. I just don’t see them saving a roster spot for an end-of-season return. We will see.

— Left guard Daryn Colledge on losing Levi: “If anyone was (indestructible) I thought it would be Levi. Anyone who tears a triceps and just takes a knee (after the play) and talks about it, that’s a pretty studly guy to me. But anyone can go down on any play, that’s the hard part about preseason. We lose him in Week 14, that’s something, but lose him in Minus-Week 3, that’s one of the worst things that can happen.”

— Lots of questions about whether Quan Sturdivant is going to make the team, but it seems like a longshot with the way Reggie Walker has been playing. Your starters are Daryl Washington and Paris Lenon, and I think both Walker and Stewart Bradley have played well in the preseason. Four inside linebackers seems like enough. It’s been suggested that maybe the $3 million for Lenon might put him on the bubble, but the way he has performed and with his durability, I just don’t see him anywhere but the roster.

— Besides the first cuts that I mentioned earlier, final cuts must be made the day after the final preseason game, Friday the 31st.

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36 Responses to “Wednesday before the Titans”

  1. By Ezz on Aug 22, 2012 | Reply

    Your comments about Lenon made me wonder Darren, is there someone in particular you’re keeping an eye on as far as surprise cuts go?

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

    Ezz —

    RE: Surprises

    Without talking to anyone, I’m curious about Toler, as banged up as he is. Maybe Rashad Johnson. There are always a couple of guys you don’t expect. I could be totally off base.

  3. By Chris B on Aug 22, 2012 | Reply

    My inner 12 year old must comment that the picture associated with this blog appears to have a trail of gas leaking from Fitz bottom. He could also be sharting. I LOLed.

  4. By fightingbird on Aug 22, 2012 | Reply

    I hope big John gets the starting job,that will kick his confidence into high gear besides we need a big John,the Steelers have a big Ben nothing against Kevin but Im a John Skelton fan. Come on guys GET YOUR MINDS RIGHT. GO CARDINALS

  5. By johnnybluenose on Aug 22, 2012 | Reply

    levi brown never got a lot of respect….except from his teammates. that says a lot. at least, it does to me. i hope you can make it back levi.

  6. By NJAzCardsFan on Aug 22, 2012 | Reply

    Darren- How many seasons can a player be on the Practice Squad? How many games can they be active for, that would make them in-eligible for the PS?

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

    NJAz —

    RE: Practice squad rules

    A player can only be on the practice squad two seasons (or parts of two seasons). He also can’t have an accrued season (meaning he was on the active list for at least nine games on the active roster).

  8. By mal on Aug 22, 2012 | Reply

    Darren –

    Yeah, I signed up for the NFL Preseason Live package so I could watch the games on-line, but they blacked out the HOF game, altho before you bought the package they made it look like you would get that game live, too. Okay, they have their reasons — I can live with that.

    But then the next week in KC I had to listen to the Chiefs announcers call the game. They really sucked. But okay again, I guess, since it was the Chiefs home opener.

    The following week, though, was the Cards home opener so I was sure I would finally get a home announcer, but NO. That game had the Raiders broadcasters! OUR stadium, OUR home opener, but all the sideline shots were of Raiders, even all the shots in the stands were of Raiders fans, all the stats, all the sideline interviews, everything was Raiders!

    Darren, you need to talk to some higher-ups in the organization and let them know that the Cardinals and us fans are really getting the shaft. Is Mr. Bidwill aware of this? I pay my $20 to get the Preseason Live package and we cant even get Cards announcers for our home opener?! It stinks! And of course it will be the same thing again in Tenn becuz thats their home game. It sucks big time.

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

    Mal —

    RE: Preseason live

    I will check into that. I assume your e-mail you have included is correct? I will e-mail you later.

  10. By georgiebird on Aug 22, 2012 | Reply

    Cards didn’t even have a viable plan “B” for LT. Agree that you ‘can’t build a roster with the idea of a guy going down’ but LT is viewed as about the 3rd or 4th most important position on the team.
    The real reason is what Daryn Colledge inferred ‘we thought he was indestructible’
    Which leads to the following riddle- What does Levi Brown and the Titanic have in common?

  11. By georgiebird on Aug 22, 2012 | Reply

    A further note on the LT position. In the off-season the SB Champ Giants signed 10 year vet Sean Locklear to back up the RT and LT positions. Now Will Beatty is injured and Locklear is the starting LT. Cost to the Giants for the one year contract- $890,000. That’s chump change for the Cardinals.

  12. By Stewart Badly on Aug 22, 2012 | Reply

    “KK better in practice than Skelton”…..No pass rush he has to worry about. I have seen videos of practices where Sam Acho gets to KK and Sam stands next to KK for 5 seconds waiting for him to find an open receiver, in game situation you don’t have that much time. We question KK ability to move in the pocket not his accuracy. He can be the best practice player in the history of the world but it is about who plays better on sundays. Your excuses for KK are running out of time.

  13. By Cactus jeff on Aug 22, 2012 | Reply

    Ok, let’s brainstorm. Cards have 4 starting ILBs, Packers have 1, Bishop is out. Trade for their backup LT. Another asset is AJ Jefferson, he has experience as a starting CB, get more depth at OL or DL. Finally, can we please see what the 13th overall pick in the draft can do!

  14. By clssylssy on Aug 23, 2012 | Reply

    I just read that Fitz won’t be playing the final two games of preseason and that really seems strange if our #1 receiver is a big factor in evaluating how well the QBs will be at completing passes to him and getting the ball down the field. I hear all the time about how Skelton isn’t accurate and doesn’t make good decisions when I’ve yet to see Kolb get a good pass off to Fitz, It appears that Seattle will be our Division’s major rival this year and this Wilson kid may unseat their signed starter…hmm sounds a little familiar! Hope Skelton comes out and has a great game to lead the Cards to a win over the Titans. I still believe we need to hang on to our depth at the QB position as well as fortify other areas. There seems to be an inordinate amount of injuries plaguing the league so early and I hate to see anyone get kicked to the curb prematurely at the same time think the team will begin playing more cohesively when the various units are set. This team has so much talent we should be able to go the distance this year. GO CARDS! GOOD LUCK BIG JOHN…YOU CAN DO IT!

  15. By Havasu Tom on Aug 23, 2012 | Reply

    I’ve been thinking Toler also. Darren, what are Adams chances of making the 53. Also, I haven’t seen Massie making any great strides so far. Is the coaching staff pleased or disappointed with his progress?

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

    Havasu —

    RE: Questions

    1) Adams will definitely be on the bubble at this point, but I expect him to be in the mix.
    2) I think Massie has been about what was expected. A fourth-round pick with much to learn.

  17. By Andy Kw on Aug 23, 2012 | Reply

    I believe Kolb’s career with the team has officially come to an end. If John Skelton can lead the 1st unit offense to a scoring drive on the 1st or 2nd drive, Skelton will be the winner. I have no doubt that Skelton will win the Starting Quarterback job. If Kolb does perform better, then this game will continue to the last preseason game. But I see no reason for this QB competition to be pushed any further. Kolb has been given chance after chance to prove that he is the starting QB of this team but he really has nothing left in the tank. He has played against 2nd unit defenses but still had no luck. Skelton will win the starting QB job because he has performed well in 2/3 preseason games. Kolb has done poorly in all 3 of his preseason games. Skelton will win no doubt.

  18. By cardsalltheway on Aug 23, 2012 | Reply

    See code quote below for ~ our 60 million dollar man K. Kolb will start the 1st game of the season…
    “…Kolb has probably been better in practice where Skelton has been better in games, which is why this is probably closer for coaches than fans (who don’t watch practice daily but watch the games.)”

    Because everyone knows(even the fans) that practice is more important than games(preseason). I remember the 1st preseason game of J. Skelton’s rookie year he threw a beautiful long pass and led us to a come-from-behind victory, but that didn’t matter to Ken W. because Max(Moxy) Hall was better during practice. Ha ha ha!!!

    “The last time here(Tennessee) was the beginning of the end for Leinart, the preseason week spent in Tennessee where Leinart was demoted from the first unit in favor of Derek Anderson and we all know how that turned out.”

    Yes, that was when Ken W. said something like “Oh well” after D. Dockett broke the Do Not Hit QB/Leinart Rule in practice and nothing happened, unlike Quentin Groves who had to sit out or “take a break” for hitting Kolb or Skelton.

  19. By D on Aug 23, 2012 | Reply

    I hope I am wrong about this season and it goes better than expected, but if it goes south and Mr. B feels changes are needed. This could be a route they can take.
    Promote Horton to HC
    Bring in a Norv Turner like OC
    Draft a QB in top 5 of next year’s draft

  20. By cheesebeef on Aug 23, 2012 | Reply


    I understand that having a Plan B for a starter like Levi going down isn’t always going to happen, but can you tell me why there was no PLAY A for the RT position where the team simply let Keith, who was an atrocious starter, go and then decided to replace him… with two players who couldn’t beat that same atrocious starter out for the last two years?


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

    Cheese —

    RE: right tackle

    I think the idea is that Massie was/is going to be that guy. Not sure if the timetable is helped/hurt because of the Levi injury, but I think the thought was that Massie was going to be the starter at some point this season.

  22. By Nick Pepe on Aug 23, 2012 | Reply

    Georgi- How exactly do you have a viable “plan B” for a position, other than having a back-up? don’t get that. @ Cacuts Jeff: what makes anyone think GB’s back-up LT is better than any option we currently have? And if he is that good, I doubt GB (or anyone else) would dump a quality back-up LT. Young stars got to emerge from somewhere, might as well be at our left tackle spot!!!!!

    Tonight I am interested in seeing a succesful screen pass. That may be a lot to ask for, but might as well try.

    Darren – this fyi, If I am on my laptop or at pc, and check notify me of follow-up comments, all is good; I get replies on all devices including iphone. However, when commenting on your blogs initially from my iphone and check “notify”, I never get the responses….. not sure if its just me .. thought I’d throw that out there.

    Nick Pepe
    Lifetime Member
    desk duty sucks !!!

  23. By cheesebeef on Aug 23, 2012 | Reply


    The idea truly was that a 4th round rookie was going to be the starting RT? Really? We’re not talking about a 1st or 2nd rounder, who even then would struggle as most rookies do. But a 4th rounder… and to start at RT from Day One? Or that the plan was to bring him along slowly and still START the season with two guys who couldn’t beat out the atrocious starter from last year? Do you believe that was a wise plan to go into a season for an offensive line that has been pretty bad the last two seasons?


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

    Cheese —

    RE: Massie plan

    I’m not sure exactly how they thought it would play out from the outset. I will say that starting a lower-round offensive line draft pick as a rookie isn’t exactly unique in the league. Not saying everyone does it all the time, but it happens.

  25. By scott on Aug 23, 2012 | Reply


    With this report do you think the Cards would have any interest trading for Bell? I doubt they would be willing to give up much? What do you think?

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

    Scott —

    RE: Bell

    First the Eagles would have to want to trade him. And for the money he makes, I mean, the Cards thought he was overpricing himself before, which is why they never seriously took at run at signing him. Not sure why you’d overpay now.

  27. By mal on Aug 23, 2012 | Reply

    Yes, the email you have for me is correct, and thanks, Darren.

  28. By john the draft guy on Aug 23, 2012 | Reply

    Nick Pepe, Georgie, ect,

    I agree with Nick that there is not a lot of good LTs sitting at home. And as for a trade, who would trade a talented guy away.

    Cactus Jeff; In a week or two, there will be several AJ jeffersons available. Why would someone trade something of value for something of little value? ILBs?? Dont we need those guys? You would have to trade something of value (ie Draft picks) to land a decent LT.

    As for planning for a LT backup plan. My thought was, Brown would serve better from the right side. If you drafted a LT who could have challenged at right tackle this year and switch the tackles next year, you would have been prepared. Too late now. We got what we got. Maybe someone steps up.

    If we are picking in the top 5, that means Horton didn’t do his job.

    As for a Norv Turner Offense, which is what Washington ran with Gibbs. Whiz played in that offense and then later used a lot of it to develop his own offensive style. So I guess you could say we have a Norv Turner type of Offense, The difference; Norv worked with Aikman and works with Rivers.

    Which is why I agree with your last point.

  29. By cheesebeef on Aug 23, 2012 | Reply


    I’ve been following football a very long time and the idea that starting a low round rookie… at OT isn’t “unique” doesn’t hold a lot of water for me. Are they pressed into action sometimes? Sure. But the idea that there teams who actually PLAN for that to be the case just doesn’t bear much truth in my opinion. Maybe teams with bad plans do that, but do you really think that’s a recipe for success to start someone at such a key position? And even if you’d argue it’s not “unique”, wouldn’t it be EXTREMELY unique for THIS team to PLAN to start a lower round rookie at this position considering this team notoriously brings even their HIGH draft picks along very slowly?


  30. By john the draft guy on Aug 23, 2012 | Reply


    I agree with you. mostly

    When teams have a hole in the lineup, they can do 4 things; 1) Sign a FA to fill that void. 2) trade for a player to vill the void. 3) Draft a high pick and plug him in. OR 4) draft a guy who they believe can fill the spot and have him compete with a journeyman.

    The cards went with #4. You see it all the time with QBs, Chad Henne and Blaine Gabbert or Matt Moore and Ryan Tannehill. The journeymans job is to bridge the gap till the other player is ready.

    But to your point, counting on a 4th round guy, who we weren’t sure we were even be able to get (FA had been going on before the draft), doesn’t seem like the best plan. Going in with the idea of trading down and landing an Adams, Glenn or Martin and competing against a journeyman would have made more sense to me.

  31. By cardsalltheway on Aug 23, 2012 | Reply

    Prediction: We look bad vs. Titans, Beanie fumbles the ball on exchange, K. Kolb starts vs Seahawks.

  32. By Nick Pepe on Aug 23, 2012 | Reply

    Would expect nothing less from you.

  33. By Scott H on Aug 23, 2012 | Reply

    C’mon, John Skelton….step up and make this happen. This job is there for the taking. So, take it and make it yours.

  34. By buddy ball on Aug 23, 2012 | Reply

    John skelton has been here longer than kolb and intially was behind anderson and max hall. He has won games with less than 100 yrds passing and numerous games vs 2nd and 3rd string opponents and lost the rest.He is telling us he has no upside.we got kolb he was paid 60 million because he has upside. and he has shown it with big games.his career has hit a wall he is no longer developing neither is skelton. skelton should know larry better than anybody by now and should have made a name for himself instead he is a punchline other players who have stalled under whiz doucet.levi.breaston.drc.ghayes (simply woke up and was terrible one day) brandon keith (evidently was always terrible)fransisco (other teams 12th man)and our starting number two reciever would be the cover photo for lost azyouth if the player doesn’t come to az extremely gifted he’s not going to get better under whiz.this year will be qb musical chairs.

  35. By Louisville Card on Aug 24, 2012 | Reply

    Darren do you think Lennon read this blog posting before the game last night? He showed up with some big (did you just say me on the bubble) hits last night…

    I didn’t hear or see much of Bradley though last night was he even in there? Or did Boomer just call the wrong name. He was doing that a lot last night or was that just me? Seemed like he had the wrong player list in the beginning of the game.

  36. By Doc on Aug 28, 2012 | Reply

    Lenon and Washington are no-braiders on this squad. Lenon was laying some bombs out there and he is the Defensive QB. Bubble? Come on Darren, really?

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