Friday before the Dolphins

Posted by Darren Urban on September 28, 2012 – 4:36 pm

No Darnell Dockett. That’s the very real possibility Sunday because of his hamstring injury. As Darnell mentioned to me in the locker room after the Eagles game, “Every now and then, even the Hulk gets wounded.” The Cards’ version of the Hulk has missed exactly one game since he got into the league in 2004. That’s 135 games played in 136 opportunities, including playoffs, and he started 134 of them. (He missed a 2010 game with a shoulder problem, the Cards lost.) The Cards can overcome an absence, I’d think. They did pretty well last week when safety Adrian Wilson had to sit out.

“If that’s the case, they’ll step up. That’s kind of the mentality of that group,” coach Ken Whisenhunt said. The Cards have Vonnie Holliday, Nick Eason and even David Carter who could probably play some. Besides, you never know what DC Ray Horton might cook up.

The injury situation will be interesting, not only because the Cards have a bunch of guys that could sit, but also because the Cards have a short week next week – they play Thursday night in St. Louis. Asked if the schedule might dictate how he would make inactive decisions for this game (for instance, resting a guy because he wouldn’t have as much recovery time) Whisenhunt said that hasn’t been the approach.

“I can’t say that wouldn’t change maybe as we got closer to the game,” Whisenhunt said. “I don’t anticipate it changing. We’re focused on this game and I’m not really worried about the Thursday game right now. I think that’s the way you have to approach it.”

— The spotlight will be on the Cards’ running game. The Dolphins are allowing less than three yards a carry and are third in the NFL in run defense. The Cards are averaging less than three yards a carry on offense. Ryan Williams, what say you?

— The Dolphins are also fourth in the league in rushing, not a surprise because when you have a rookie QB like Ryan Tannehill, you are going to effort to run the ball. Reggie Bush, who has broken out as a back since going to Miami, is questionable with a sore knee. Word from Miami is that Bush is expected to play. Holliday made the point earlier this week the Cards’ defense, as well as it has played, needs to do better against the run. Here’s a big chance.

— History said last week that Larry Fitzgerald always did well against the Eagles, and then he went out against the Eagles and played well again. The sample size is much smaller against the Dolphins, but the highlights are there. In 2008, Fitz, Anquan Boldin and Kurt Warner riddled Miami with shots in a 31-10 home win. Fitz ended that day with six catches for 153 yards – that was the first day the whole Todd Haley ridding the Cards of the “one-trick pony” and a guy who never got yards after the catch finally took hold. Fitz was a monster (Boldin had six for 140 too, with three touchdowns.)

The other Fitz-Miami game was less spectacular but more memorable. It was 2004, Fitz’s rookie year, and he made a two-yard jump-ball touchdown catch with 19 seconds left to beat the Dolphins, 24-23. Fitz had five catches for 92 yards that day, and the Cards snapped a 17-game road losing streak (Ah yes, those were the days). Mostly from that game I remember Fitz’s post-game presser. Those were the days when Fitz often left the locker room before reporters even got there. With the game-winner he was made to come into the interview room for what might have been the most awkward presser ever. I think Fitz delivered very few short sentence answers before it mercifully ended. He’s come a long way since then.

— Calais Campbell went to the University of Miami, although he doesn’t see facing the Dolphins as an big deal because of that (now, the Denver Broncos for the Aurora, Colorado, native is something different.) That said, Campbell has a long memory. Before the Cardinals took Campbell in the second round of the 2008 draft, the Dolphins could have taken him but instead took Clemson defensive end Phillip Merling. Merling is now in Green Bay, having washed out as a Dolphin.

“I was a little bit mad about that,” Campbell said. “I definitely want to make sure they regret the decision. I love being in Arizona, I don’t think I’d do well in Miami, but I know one thing, I want them to regret not drafting me. I’m sure they already feel that way, but I want to make them feel it even more.”

— For those wondering, Scott Green – who is the head of the referees’ union, is scheduled to officiate Sunday’s game. (He was the ref for the Cardinals-Packers wild-card playoff game in 2010 too. Karlos Dansby must be happy.)

— Speaking of Karlos, he was also a good guy. He also was one of those players that always dropped a “Know what I’m sayin’?” every third sentence. It was kind of his calling card. But the one I remember most is when I went to ask him for his reaction that then-teammate Sean Morey had agreed to donate his brain to research after his death in an effort to find out about potential brain effects that come with playing in the NFL. Karlos didn’t hesitate.

“That’s huge, man,” he said.

Indeed, it was.

— Dolphins coach Joe Philbin said stud pass rusher Cameron Wake has played very well this season and is pressuring the quarterback often. Wake, however, has yet to record a sack. The tackles will have to hold up against Wake, who could have been a Cardinal. After lighting up the CFL, Wake worked out for the Cardinals in late 2008 as a potential outside linebacker. The Cards ended up passing, and Wake didn’t latch on anywhere until Miami signed him in the offseason – and where he had notched 28 sacks in three seasons before this one.

— Since Whisenhunt arrived in 2007, the Cardinals are 27-5 in games in which they have carried a lead into the fourth quarter.

— Kevin Kolb, with a passer rating of 108.6, is the third-ranked passer in the NFL behind Matt Ryan and Ben Roethlisberger. Raise your hand if you saw that coming.

— Congrats, by the way, to the Kolbs for the arrival of Saylor. Family time intact, and no missed games.

— The Cardinals, over their last 11 games, have allowed a mere 1.33 touchdowns per game. Wonder if Tannehill knows that.

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35 Responses to “Friday before the Dolphins”

  1. By Brian R. on Sep 28, 2012 | Reply

    Lets go Cardinals!!!


  2. By truths4all on Sep 28, 2012 | Reply

    Based on two full games and one drive in the Seattle game, Kolb has delivered a legit QB rating if 108.6, Although Mike Miller may try to sell us some snake oil to the contrary, the Cards have finally waken up and really customized their offensive passing game plan to virtually mirror a West Coast Offense which plays to Kolb’s offensive skillset and strengths. However, we should not make a big mistake to fail to recognize the absence of the negative factors Levi Brown and Brandon Keith brought to the Cards Offense last year.

  3. By Andy Kw on Sep 28, 2012 | Reply

    Hey Darren
    Do you agree with what Dave Dameshek about the Cardinals not making the postseason in the end? I was shocked at his response after not even giving the Cardinals faith after the amazing starts for the first 3 weeks.

  4. By Darren Urban on Sep 28, 2012 | Reply

    Andy Kw-

    RE: prediction

    Everyone has an opinion. It doesn’t matter in the end.

  5. By D on Sep 28, 2012 | Reply

    Did AZ sign Porter or Haagans instead of C Wake?

  6. By Darren Urban on Sep 28, 2012 | Reply

    D –

    RE: Wake

    Neither. Cards were just checking him out.

  7. By ken on Sep 28, 2012 | Reply

    CONGRATS to kevin and his family. Im not a big KK fan but awsome job last few weeks,keep it up. Im hopeing to see a 8-0 this year. What does everyone else think, think were goin to b ther in week 9?????

  8. By John on Sep 28, 2012 | Reply

    Thanks Darren, but don’t get on yourself for lengthy posts. I like those!

    Remember the 2008 matchup was 1 week before the Dolphins unleashed the wildcat on the Patriots and changed the NFL somewhat. Wonder if we use some PatCat this week.

  9. By Dre on Sep 28, 2012 | Reply

    D karlos was great card wish he didn’t take the money and run. But d wash is a stud. I hope Dd get better soon big lost up front long season rest next man up. Let’s play like we always do don’t take them likely come out with a w.

  10. By Sarah on Sep 29, 2012 | Reply

    Enough about Kolb’s baby ! Suddenly winning has become frankly boring. I may cheer for Miami on Sunday as the Cards need a reality check.

  11. By cardsalltheway on Sep 29, 2012 | Reply

    When players aren’t at 100% or close to it(not only physically but mentally) and it’s noticeable, better to sit them and give others a chance to bull rush it. Pardon the “rush” pun W. Powell. Fire up Nick Eason and D. Carter.

  12. By clssylssy on Sep 29, 2012 | Reply

    This game makes me nervous because I think everybody underestimate the Phins and they have sort of been a “sleeper” and manage to stay under the radar…gotta watch out for those kinds…lol! We have good depth and I know the team will play hungry despite the many casualties. I would rather see them sit and be ready to crush the Rams than risk getting reinjured on this game. It will good to have Dansby back in the house…I always liked him and was sorry to see him leave the Cards. Our defense is going to have to keep them nailed down and hopefully our offense and special teams will have an opportunity to show their stuff with some of those amazing runs and catches. Sorry about DD but glad we have Vonnie Holiday and other intimidators. GOOD LUCK TEAM, FLY HIGH!

  13. By Stephn Baldetti on Sep 29, 2012 | Reply

    I know this isn’t quite on topic, but I just want to put it out there, that we’re still the most disrespected team in the league. Darren I dunno if you’ve seen this yet, but I just now read an article on where Dave Dameshek posted an article on Arizona’s 3-0 start where he says quote on quote:

    “The Cardinals are a fun story, but let’s not get silly: even if they get to 4-0 with a win against the Dolphins on Sunday, they are most certainly not going to the playoffs. The NFL is a Quarterback League, as you may have heard, and the Cards are starting Kevin Kolb at quarterback. And in a week to four weeks, they’ll start John Skelton. And two to five weeks after that, it’ll be Kevin Kolb’s turn again.”

    It just upsets me, how these so called professionals think they can make these early season accusations with nothing to back them but their own opinions and just throw people’s teams under the bus, especially when they’re undefeated!!! I thought professional sports writers are supposed to be neutral. This really fires me up. Just thought you might want to share that with Wolf, Pasch, Whiz and the rest of the team. I’m sure that won’t sit too well with them either. Obviously knocking off the Pats and crushing the Eagles isn’t good enough. Cards should use this to continue to fuel the fire.

  14. By Peter in Canada on Sep 29, 2012 | Reply

    Andy kw, Darren –
    I read Dameshek’s piece and it is not even an opinion. He mouths that old platitude about it being a QB’s league and since we have KK and JS we automatically won’t make the playoffs. I don’t know how braindead people like that get published.

    How about another platitude. Offence sells tickets, but defence wins games.

  15. By Dynosoar on Sep 29, 2012 | Reply

    Can anyone tell me what kind of chant we have in our stadium on game days? Is there a chant the whole stadium joins in on (other than D-Fence, D-Fence).

    In High school our band had a chant for every school we played against (Doyle High School was “Go bannannas – Go go bannannas – Go bannannas – Go go bannannas – You peel to the left – You peel to the right – You peel down the middle and *unnh* take a bite!” Yeah, I’m from TN.

    I’m in Salt Lake and so I just don’t know. Wish I could be there with ya’ll.

  16. By truths4all on Sep 29, 2012 | Reply

    Does anyone know if Carter is as fast or faster than Dockett? Carter has performed wel in the middle, but to spell Dockett, he has to produce some real quickness in penetrating the offensive line and some real pursuit speed of the ball after he maintains his initial gap coverage.

  17. By Dynosoar on Sep 29, 2012 | Reply

    A note to everyone who hears the disrespect of the pundits and wonders if it will ever change, here’s the solution. They’re like little kids with their favorite toy and they’ll always have their favorite toy until we change the mindset.

    When I grew up the worst teams that very few liked and the pundits always railroaded were (alphabetical order) Browns, Buccaneers, Cardinals, Chiefs, Colts, Lions, Oilers (Titans), Patriots, Seahawks and the Saints.

    Some of these teams are now the darlings of the NFL and only a couple are still disrespected so openly. The great grand secret lies with us, from the Bidwell’s to the FO to the Coaching staff to the players to the Red Sea (yeah, us fans).

    The formula to build a dynasty, from those who’ve successfully changed the mindset.

    1. Owner(s) needs to make the decision they want to become a dynasty.
    2. Get a coach that has a winning system (When the Patriots lost Brady, Cassel took them to the playoffs. Bill has a winning system not dependant on one player. Compare to the Colts losing Manning for a season.)
    3. Get a Peyton Manning. (This step was more for a laugh.)
    4. Build in the draft by drafting the best player available an building around that players strengths.
    5. Fill holes in player needs through free agency.
    6. Have veterans willing to mentor the younger players (as apposed to hazing).
    7. Develop depth so when players are injured another can come in and play at the same level.
    8. Award contract extension and new contracts to keep the team.
    9. When a player(s) leaves for greener pastures (Dansby, Domanique) they’re replaced with equal or better talent (Washington, Peterson).
    10. Consistently win 10+ games each season.
    11. Consistently make the playoffs (Division Champion or Wildcard does not matter.)
    12. Win a Super Bowl.

    Coach Whizenhunt has patience and has a plan and he’s accomplishing that plan. Listen to what he’s been saying since he’s been the Head Coach. We need to have patience and as we can see, the plan is working and paying dividends. I’m grateful Michael Bidwell has not been a hair-trigger owner and fired him because of not making the playoffs the last couple of years. I’m convinced he knows more of Whizenhunt’s plans than we do, but he’s given us plenty of sound bites through the years to piece at least some of it together.

    We’ve accomplished 1-9 and if you look at our last 16 games, we’ve one 10+. It is really up to the organization whether we get respected or not, the mindset must change. Look at the list of disrespected teams from my childhood (70’s and 80’s) and how many of them changed the mindset. The pundits are human and have they’re favorites, but if we do things right, they can’t ignore us.

    I’ve got an idea that I’ll propose when I get it fleshed out that will allow the Red Sea to rise and make an impact (I don’t want the team organization have all the fun in changing the pundits opinions, I think we fans need to make an impact as well.

    This idea will need participation from others on this board (and perhaps from contacts with the appropriate talents and skills that I don’t have.) Let the Red Sea rise and make an impact. The pundits will not know what hit them.

    I may post this again when it will get more views. 4-0, we can do this.

  18. By scubasteve12 on Sep 29, 2012 | Reply

    Sarah is jelous of kolbs baby

  19. By dan on Sep 29, 2012 | Reply

    Schofield is our best defensive player………….thats right!

  20. By Andy Kw on Sep 29, 2012 | Reply

    The Cardinals are guaranteed another win and here are my reasons why:
    -The Dolphins have an injured Reggie Bush so he will no be at full power no matter if he plays or not.
    -Ryan Tannehill is just too inconsistent in the pocket and our secondary has been improving by the week.
    -Miami has a decent defense but has not proven that they can beat the best. Their defense has not pressured the quarterbacks of opposing teams a lot
    -The Cardinals have a decent O-Line for the first time in years. Lyle Sendlein, Daryn Colledge, Adam Snyder, D’Anthony Batiste, and Bobbie Massie have finally developed a rhythm and has proven that they can even defend even the best of defensive linemen.
    -Larry Fitzgerald had a breakout game against Philadelphia and will continue to breakout against the Miami Dolphins with the Miami Dolphins terrible 29th ranked secondary.
    -Kevin Kolb has been consistent against the Philadelphia Eagles and he has proven that he can move the ball against the best of defenses. He moved the ball well against the Seahawks, Patriots, and Eagles.
    -Andre Roberts has been a decent Wide Receiver and has proven to be reliable when Kolb needed him the most. I expect Roberts to have a breakout game.
    -Rob Housler has been improving at Tight End and I believe he will make a couple of big plays. Jeff King will be a key component to the Cardinals victory.
    -Ryan Williams had a breakout game against the Philadelphia Eagles. Although he tends to fumble a lot, he has big play capabilities.
    -The liability in the Cardinal’s offense are the injuried players Todd Heap and Anthony Sherman. These players played really well this season but with the loss of these 2, our team needs signed Reagon Mauia and Rob Housler to produce.
    -The defensive line of the Cardinals have done a decent job the past 3 weeks. Allowing the best of runningbacks to gain less than 100yds. With Darnell Dockett injured, Nick Eason will need to step it up. Calais Campbell, Dan Williams and Nick Eason should provide enough pressure to sacks Ryan Tannehill multiple times since our team is one of the best teams in the NFL in providing pressure to opposing teams.
    -Patrick Peterson, William Gay, Kerry Rhodes, and Adrian Wilson will destroy the Dolphins. They are the players to fear since they have done so well the past 3 weeks. The backup secondary will make big plays as well.
    -Sam Acho, O’Brien Schofield, Paris Lenon, Daryl Washington, and Quentin Groves have done a phenomenal job the past 3 weeks. Daryl Washington will pressure Ryan Tannehill a lot.
    -Jay Feely and Dave Zastudil are players that produce each week.

    Arizona Cardinals run over the Miami Dolphins 34-9

  21. By Texascard on Sep 29, 2012 | Reply

    Sarah that hurts me.

  22. By stewart badley on Sep 29, 2012 | Reply

    Darren is John Skelton healthy enough to be the back up this weekend? GO MY CARDINALS LETS MAKE IT 4-0

  23. By Darren Urban on Sep 29, 2012 | Reply

    Stewart –

    RE: Skelton

    He’s still been limited so I am going to guess he sits another week.

  24. By bluepitt on Sep 29, 2012 | Reply

    Ask Drew B, over their in NO. if it is a QB league? hahaha

  25. By Tucson Cardinal on Sep 29, 2012 | Reply

    Go Cards! Game by game.

  26. By red sea on Sep 29, 2012 | Reply

    Its funny Dameshek opinion when even last year we almost had a chance for playoffs at the end of the season and this year we r off to a great start i would love for cards to continue there winning streak to shut up these so call sport experts and make them eat there words wat will they say by week 8 if cards r still undeafeated

  27. By mike hadzinski on Sep 29, 2012 | Reply


    When can we cut FLAT FOOT WELLS ????????

  28. By Cobra on Sep 29, 2012 | Reply


    Please don’t repost that again.

    Andy Kw:

    Please don’t repost that again.

    Great win for ASU, Go CARDS!

  29. By Cobra on Sep 29, 2012 | Reply


    Please don’t repost that again, you are not as old as you think, some of us are older. Len Dawson, Chiefs, and Johnny Unitas, Baltimore Colts, just to start. How far back are you going?

    Andy Kw:

    Please don’t repost that again.

    Great win for ASU today, Go CARDS!

  30. By Jesse Robles on Sep 29, 2012 | Reply

    You shouldn’t underestimate any team that is in the NFL, they are there for a reason. Any team can win on any given day, and I do think the Niners were more worried about the Jets then the Vikings, but I also believe it had to do with playing on the road 2 weeks in a row, and not going back to SF. I just hope the Cardinals can learn from that mistake, and not let up, and pressure this running game and QB as much as possible. This win will be huge! Never 4-0 in AZ either, it isn’t over after 3-0. Lots more football to be played. No win is guaranteed. Lets go Red Sea!! Lets go Cardinals!

  31. By philly cards on Sep 29, 2012 | Reply

    A lot about building a dynasty is easier said than done.number nine took 3yrs+ to happen we had to wait on gerard hayes to return washed up
    I think with graves providing talent whiz has been able to do one thing keep players consistent with approach.and maybe that takes a lot of his time.the tackling and blocking from recivers.special teams.that type of stuff post fransisco we are ok.
    Creativity vision (derreck anderson and certain player groupings) leave a lot to be the players need guts and we showed it every week so far.
    Even in philly as a starter kolb had vick coming in doing the wildcat.he still has not gotten his chance.
    I hope we get run game up. We need three guys who can step in next year. And maybe the third guy can be a larry centers type.

  32. By georgiebird on Sep 29, 2012 | Reply

    Big game for Horton to show that he can adapt from game to game and from play to play. The Cards’ defense is now an item.
    The 1974 team allowed only 29 points in the 1st four games but failed to keep up with changes going forward- opponents began to handle the blitzing schemes. The ’74 team also did not have the high ceiling players as this year’s team.
    But most of all the ’74 team was hurt by turnovers especially by Terry Metcalf- who was at the same time the most exciting player in the league.
    Tomorrow, what scares me is RW and the way he carries the ball. Hope I’m wrong.

  33. By Cardinalsforlife on Sep 29, 2012 | Reply

    Cardinals fans; Ignore Dave Trollingshek.
    I have been a Cardinals fan since 1982, and I can tell you- this team has never been respected in the NFL.
    Part of it was, we were probably the worst franchise in Sports, winning wise until the late 90’s.
    Heck! Forget that, until Whiz got here.
    Remember 8-8 was considered a great year before Whiz.
    Sure before they moved to Phoenix they had a couple of good years but that was bout it; Loved Neil Lomax and Jim Hart though.
    Anyway, The best advice I can give other fans is, ignore the negative opinions of the press, when it comes to the Cardinals.
    Only the results on the field matter- nothing else.
    If you chose not to ignore the negative comments by the press, only thing you are doing is trolling yourselves.

  34. By philly cards on Sep 30, 2012 | Reply

    I really don’t want respect in everyday form. As long as terry bradshaw hand over what is ours what more do I need? Strippers?

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