Missing Fitz in plain sight

Posted by Darren Urban on November 27, 2012 – 11:12 am

Larry Fitzgerald was open.

He was open a few times against the Rams, down the field early when rookie Ryan Lindley missed him down the left sideline. He was open when Lindley woefully underthrew a pass near the Cardinals’ sideline that was intercepted. He was open down the field on another interception and again on a play that could have gotten big yards but didn’t because  a line mistake led to a sack.

Fitzgerald made three receptions for 31 yards on the Cards’ first drive but couldn’t get a catch after that. It’s been a brutal stretch of late for Fitz in terms of production, and when Fitzgerald is open and can’t get the ball, the frustration is there fore everyone involved.

“It’s hard, because you don’t know how much goes in to trying to work to get these situations, and then when you do get them and they come up and you have it there and we don’t execute on it …,” coach Ken Whisenhunt said, leaving the end of the thought to the obvious.

“You have a chance to make a layup, you work hard to get it, and the ball bounces out,” Whisenhunt added. “You’re frustrated that you didn’t get it done, something that you think is, I won’t say simple, but something you put a lot of work into doing and you expect to do it. There are a lot of those things that happen that people don’t see.”

Whisenhunt’s example was the sack, in which Lindley had to slide to his left because of a blocking mistake, costing him a clean look at the open Fitzgerald down the field. “You look at that play, and it’s something that you work to set up and Larry’s behind everybody and that’s where Ryan is going to go with it but we have a breakdown. That’s been happening too much to us.”

Fitzgerald isn’t going to say anything. He talked after the game about not pointing fingers and refusing — even after Lindley took the blame on missing Fitzgerald on a couple of passes — to throw Lindley under the bus. Even generally, when asked about the frustration about getting open but being unable to get the ball, Fitz wouldn’t bite.

“It’s football,” he said. “Things happen. Assignments are missed. When I’m perfect, I can start calling people out on their flaws and mistakes. But I’m not. We have to do a better job offensively executing when we have our opportunities.”

Fitz isn’t perfect. Fitz, according to Stats Pass, has three drops this season. Obviously he couldn’t come up with that one at the end of the Atlanta game, although the Stats people didn’t consider that a drop; they give him one each in each of the two Rams’ games, and one against the 49ers.

Still, what resonates as a Fitzgerald memory up until this point this season is an opening and then a pass too far over his head or too far out of bounds for him to make the play. Mike Sando broke down the targets to Fitz from the Cards’ three QBs; while Kevin Kolb couldn’t get it to Fitz all the time (61.5 percent completions of Fitz targets), the duo of Lindley and John Skelton have missed Fitzgerald on 34 of 57 targets. Lindley in his brief time has throws Fitz’s way 17 times but completed just four passes (with three interceptions.) Lindley had his misses against the Rams and Skelton — who had a few throws to Fitz out of bounds down the sideline over the weeks — had the now infamous miss of the open Fitz in the end zone.

Thus far, Fitz has just 55 catches for 627 yards, a pace for 80 receptions (which would equal last year) but just 912 yards, 499 yards less than last season. If he wants to complain — and goodness knows those of us asking the questions have given him multiple chances to do so — he has shown remarkable restraint in not.

“Larry’s been great,” Whisenhunt said. “He works hard every day. He wants to be successful and it hurts him when he’s not. We are all frustrated, but it hasn’t affected Larry from the standpoint of how he has dealt with his teammates, how he works in practice, the positive things he talks with the quarterbacks.

“Listen, he wants the ball. He comes over and talks about things during the game. (But) he is a true professional.”

Tags: , , ,
Posted in Blog | 93 Comments »

93 Responses to “Missing Fitz in plain sight”

  1. By joecb91 on Nov 27, 2012 | Reply

    Some people on another site I go on think that Fitz is injured right now (since the 49ers game when he was hit in the head?), and that it seems like he is getting up slower than normal.

  2. By Darren Urban on Nov 27, 2012 | Reply

    joecb —

    RE: Fitz injured

    Um, no. Fitz is fine.

  3. By dave on Nov 27, 2012 | Reply

    Darren—you may want to review footage of larry since that hit—joecb91 is right–soemthing is going on with Fitz since that hit—

  4. By Darren Urban on Nov 27, 2012 | Reply

    Dave (and everyone) —

    RE: Fitz

    Fitz is fine. If he is getting up slower after particular plays, I’m going to guess it has to do with frustration, not health.

  5. By Jesus on Nov 27, 2012 | Reply

    Why do I keep coming back?

    this is painful, is there anything to look foreward too with this team.

    I am really hoping Miller is gone after this season.

    I look foreward to that but please atleast give us one more win.

  6. By jocards on Nov 27, 2012 | Reply

    @ Jesus

    You keep coming back because you are a fan just like the rest of us. And you are absolutely right, it is painful week after week.

  7. By MIKE G on Nov 27, 2012 | Reply

    Hey Darren–Hope u are good! It seems any of our 3 QB’S are struggling getting the ball to Fitz down the field –both on intermediate to long passes. I think all 3 of our QB’S struggle with down field timing patterns. Kolb is a West Coast guy and the other 2 QB’s are young and are going to be inconsistent throwing that long ball. I kind of feel Whiz and his staff call a lot of the same plays as if Warner is the QB. Having Fitz as our best player may force the coaching staff to try to get him the ball when our QB’S struggle with long plays. I was hoping the last year and a half we would be more of a power running team–but injuries have hurt in being a run team first. Hey Darren–If we are a pass team first–I think the biggest obstacle Whiz faces going forward is finding a starting QB—Do you think the Cardinals brass at this point believe the QB is on our current roster or possibly in the upcoming draft?????

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

    Mike G —

    RE: QB

    I think they will look to see what they can find at the position, but I’m not sure there’s a Luck out there to be had.

  9. By clssylssy on Nov 27, 2012 | Reply

    While Fitz is always professional and will not say a harsh word against his employer or criticize any of his fellow players, I think his “slowness” is just due to cracks in his enthusiasm that he is starting to feel, having to week-after-week put on that million dollar smile and “act” like things are O.K. when everyone knows otherwise. I hope Fitz has a backdoor to his contract that will allow him the freedom to choose his future path and find a team that allows him to grow rather than stagnate. Larry will always be great and give the team everything he’s got and the organization owes him a lot more than a fat check. For an elite player like Fitzgerald, that fat check is nothing compared to having success on the field and winning to get to the next level. The fans love Fitzgerald because he has given us something to be proud of in a person when the organization wasn’t even worthy of commentary by national sports announcers. Sometimes silence speaks loudest!

  10. By Supercardinals100 on Nov 27, 2012 | Reply

    As a fan it hurts to see fitz not get the ball man because you obviously want him to be happy on your team but idk it just seems that he is losing patience and not to blame because we all knw how good he is…the problem I have with whisenhunt is that he drafts floyd( I actually think it was a good pick) to take pressure of Larry but then he starts him behind Roberts and doucet like really are you serious? C’mon man let the kid play what you drafted him for and let him become a weapon so you can take the preassure of fitz it’s foolish that he has floyd not being the number 2 receiver Roberts will do fine as a slot receiver he is not a receiver that is a enough threat that can take pressure of fitz.. I can only imagine what a quarterback like Rodgers or manning or Brady would do with fitz on one side and Floyd on the other this coaching staff needs to put the talent on the field not on the sideline be stubborn about not playing rookies much your only hurting the team And I love the cardinals it hurts to see this happen to us again but I will keep watching on hopes to see fitz get the ball and Floyd as well lea go cards

  11. By jocards on Nov 27, 2012 | Reply

    Fitz is a true professional. I just wish we had an adequate NFL starting QB to get the ball to him. Unfortunately Kevin Kolb can’t seem to stay on the field so that’s not an option. The argument being waged here between playing John Skelton or Ryan Lindley tells one all they’d ever need to know about where our season has gone. Neither one of those guys is an adequate NFL starter at this point, I have severe doubts that they ever will be. We’ve seen that Skelton is not an accurate passer first hand. Lindley dropped to the 6th round in the draft because there were severe doubts about his accuracy. Judging from his admittedly very limited duty thus far I’d say those doubts were certainly understandable. It does no good to have enough arm strength to throw the ball through a wall if you are unable to hit the wall. Confidence, swagger and having a gunslinger attitude don’t mean anything if you can’t make the throws…Things are bad here, very bad.

  12. By Brandon on Nov 27, 2012 | Reply

    Hi Darren I saw that Jason babin was cut. Any chance the cards might pick him up?

  13. By Darren Urban on Nov 27, 2012 | Reply

    Brandon —

    RE: Babin

    Has to pass through waivers (or the Cards could claim him). They are aware of his release. Whether they actually make a move, we will see.

  14. By Brandon on Nov 27, 2012 | Reply

    Thanks for that Darren 🙂

  15. By georgiebird on Nov 27, 2012 | Reply

    Whiz can say what he wants- like maybe we should have scored an extra 3 TDs a game if our QBs had time to pass and were accurate. But now, let’s go over to the other team and give them a chance to correct their messed up plays and get those 3 TDs back.
    After the Atlanta game, Matt Ryan said he had played one of his worst games but he didn’t say that the Cardinals’ defense was lights out. If Ryan could have played better maybe Roddy White would have caught 16 passes for 246 yds instead of 8 passes for 123yds.
    Trying to unilaterally correct our mistakes without letting the opposition correct their miscues is one of the most ridiculous discussion points I’ve heard- it is definitely pure desperation for the Whiz.
    Michael Bidwill’s should have worked up a buyout for Whiz a long time ago- it’s just not working out.

  16. By Darren Urban on Nov 27, 2012 | Reply

    georgie —

    RE: Mistakes

    You really are priceless.

    Name me one coach and/or player that doesn’t talk the same way. They all talk from that perspective. In your own example, you cite Ryan giving no credit to the Cards’ defense. So should the Falcons dump Ryan for being so myopic?

  17. By georgiebird on Nov 27, 2012 | Reply

    To all the fans looking to pick up any player who is released. Players get released for a reason AND the Cardinals are not one or two players away from turning this program around.
    To make an analogy- if your house has one glaring problem, you can focus on that problem and do what’s necessary to get the proper work done.
    When your house has a multitude of problems, it can become an exercise in futility to just identify the problems much less fix them.
    Two predictions:
    1) Jets will hammer the Cardinals by at least 20 points
    2) When Skelton is released there will be several teams ready to give this 24 year old a shot at winning the QB job or at least the backup role with a good team.

  18. By wnycardfan on Nov 27, 2012 | Reply

    love your comment about Fitz getting up slow
    “Fitz is fine. If he is getting up slower after particular plays, I’m going to guess it has to do with frustration, not health.”
    And I think your insight is correct.
    Man I hate to see that guy after these losing games (esp after a streak like this) and esp for a 3rd year in a row. Its just one more reason to make a BIG change to try and shake things up next season. This season is lost. We’ve got a rookie QB, 2 rookie lineman, and a new center. That is going to be ugly. Injuries may not be able to be prevented, but prep for worse case scenarios can be done and it just doesn’t look like they did a lot of that. Sorry Fitz, keep trying.

  19. By georgiebird on Nov 27, 2012 | Reply

    Why talk about missed passes? Every team in the NFL misses on pass plays. Matt Stafford and Joe Flacco miss more than the Cardinals’ QBs. Tony Romo misses receivers, Mark Sanchez misses receivers- they all miss receivers- don’t you watch the games? Cam Newton’s passing has been bad this year, Vick misses people all over the place-except for garbage time Philip Rivers is inaccurate.
    And in the same way, offensive tackles get beat in every game but some have QBs who know how to get rid of the ball in a productive way.
    Only losers talk like Whiz does.

  20. By Darren Urban on Nov 27, 2012 | Reply

    Georgie —

    RE: Watching games

    Yes, every team misses passes. And every team talks about how they missed passes. Not only to I watch games, I read/hear coverage of different teams, comments and analysis. I question if you watch other teams. Flacco does not miss more than the Cards. Neither does Stafford. The statistics alone bear that out.

    The comments were about Fitz being open. So, if I am interpreting your argument the right way, you are saying what, exactly. That the lack of Fitz catches is par for the course? That his stats would be the same playing for the Ravens or the Lions? That, what, everyone should shut up and never explain anything? Go all Belichickian and monotone and repeat “We just have to do a better job” to every football question? I know I’d be bored. Why talk about missed passes? Because Whiz was asked about the Cards missing a wide-open Fitz often. That’s why.

    You’re upset, and I get that. Again, if the Cards were winning, Whiz would talk the exact same way, and you wouldn’t complain.

  21. By Andre on Nov 27, 2012 | Reply

    I have been reading some articles about fitz might get traded away 🙁

  22. By Andy Kw on Nov 27, 2012 | Reply

    There are a lot of players that need replacing:
    -We will keep Kolb for next season but either Skelton or Lindley will leave. If not both QBs should leave and start a new in Free Agency or a #1 draft choice in 2013 like Matt Barkley.
    -Running backs have been a huge issue for this team. Beanie Wells and LaRod Stephens-Howling are a guaranteed stay. Ryan Williams has not been healthy at all and I believe we need a true running back in free agency to replace him. Williams should be released or traded.
    -Wide Receiver is a small issue for this team as well. Larry Fitzgerald need to lose more weight and get faster. Andre Roberts has been consistent but needs to be faster. Michael Floyd needs to work on holding on to the ball. Early Doucet is fast but lacks consistency when holding on to the ball. LaRon Byrd has been impressive in preseason but has lacks production in a true NFL game. If he can do well in preseason again, I hope he becomes the #4 Wide Receiver.
    -The Tight End position has lacked consistency for years. With Todd Heap leaving for free agency after seasons end, I see Rob Housler fully retaining the #1 job and he has done so well. Jeff King has been okay but he lacks the explosiveness Housler has. Jim Dray has done okay on Special Teams but I think that we need to find true #3 and #4 for this position in free agency and the draft.
    -The Offensive Line has done better. Rich Ohrnberger and D’Anthony Batiste have to go because they are the weakness to this offensive line. Sendlein, Snyder, Colledge, and Brown will be the starters. I see Nate Potter and Bobby Massie fighting for the Right Tackle job with a Top draft choice in the 2013. But if Levi Brown struggles, I expect Nate Potter to fight for that Left Tackle spot.
    -I love the Defensive Line but I feel their are too many holes. I see all these teams running for over 100yds per game against this team and I feel Ron Aiken (DL Coach) has to go. Darnell Dockett, Calais Campbell, and Dan Williams are really good linemen. David Carter and Nick Eason should be returning with their outstanding performances as a backup. We should also pick up a Free Agent defensive linemen as well so that our team is truly complete on the DL.
    -The Linebacker position needs fixing. I see Daryl Washington, O’Brien Schofield, and Sam Acho returning as starters. I am worried for the aging Paris Lenon and the inconsistent Stewart Bradley. Quentin Groves should be resigned to another contract but I feel that this team needs an explosive Linebacker which I feel we don’t really have in Lenon or Bradley. If we draft a Linebacker, it has to be one of our Top 2 draft picks. Zach Nash is leaving guaranteed.
    -The Defensive Back position needs a huge change. We need more Dynamic Safeties in the backfield. Adrian Wilson has lost his groove and I want Rashad Johnson to finally replace him. I trust William Gay and Patrick Peterson will be better by next season. I feel extremely confident in the progression of Jamell Fleming. Justin Bethel needs to be better or else he will be cut. I want James Sanders to return due to his impact to this team. We need a new Free Safety because Kerry Rhodes is allowing too many yards. Michael Adams still proves to be the best backup DB on this team. Greg Toler needs to be released or traded.
    -Jay Feely and Dave Zastudil will return just as Mike Leach will. I have full faith in all of them.

  23. By jocards on Nov 27, 2012 | Reply

    @ georgiebird

    Not attacking, just asking in all seriousness; for what other NFL teams could you realistically see John Skelton winning the starting QB job? To me he has the potential long term to be a serviceable backup so I don’t totally disagree with your prediction but I just don’t see him as a long term starter at this level.

  24. By Austin on Nov 27, 2012 | Reply

    Georgiebird makes no sense!
    That is all.

  25. By Gerald Jones on Nov 27, 2012 | Reply

    If Fitz wanted to leave, who could blame him.

  26. By sarah on Nov 27, 2012 | Reply

    Whiz is one stubborn dude, so if we lose to the Jets what is his plan ? I want Kolb back and end the hype on this guy ! The difference is the offence last week was Beanie as he gave them a running game which produced some first downs. Against the Jets he will be utilized more as those 4 interceptions by Lindley will have the secondary licking their chops.

  27. By Jesus on Nov 27, 2012 | Reply

    Read an article about Todd Heap saying that the team is not emarrassed about how they have played the past couple of months.


    “I don’t think we’re losing in embarrassing fasion”

    well I guess the game looks different when your sitting your but on the sideline!

    it is emarrassing where I am watching the game from.

    it is emarrassing that he can’t get his but out on the field and help the Team.

    what is not embarrassing about a 7 game losing streak?
    what is not embarrassing about an ofense that can’t move the ball?


    line Heap up with groves crying that the fans quit on them.

    this team is quiting on us.

    oh yeah, forgat to add……Please fire Miller.

  28. By johnnybluenose on Nov 27, 2012 | Reply

    we all agree that fitzgerald is a great receiver and a great teammate but the cardinals are not getting great results from him considering all the money he is being paid. i doubt that fitz will sign another contract extension after 2013. why would he? the cardinals should seriously explore trading him rather than letting him walk. if there was a vote for the luckiest player in the nfl i think anquan boldin would warrant serious consideration. he has enjoyed, really enjoyed playing football in baltimore the last three years. imagine if he had stayed put and suffered through all the crap that has gone on in arizona the last three years. what a nightmare and it’s not nearly over. i’ve been travelling for the last month and i may have missed it but darren, what if anything has bidwill said about this season and what has he said about his plan to win games.

  29. By Darren Urban on Nov 27, 2012 | Reply

    johnny —

    RE: Fitz contract

    Fitz is under contract through 2018.

  30. By in fitz we trust on Nov 27, 2012 | Reply

    Why would any true cardinal fan EVER suggest letting fitz go, or hope there is a “backdoor” in his contract? Simply because he isn’t getting the production he is used to, or “deserves.” I simply cannot understand the logic.

    Lack of production on the entire TEAMS part would be the sorriest excuse for a player to leave.

  31. By georgiebird on Nov 27, 2012 | Reply

    I don’t follow your point about “missed passes”. If Whiz was asked that question point blank then the correct answer is ” I have put together a group of guys that can’t complete a pass. It’s my fault- my evaluation of players (especially QBs) has been downright awful.”

  32. By Darren Urban on Nov 27, 2012 | Reply

    Georgie —

    RE: Missed pass response

    Ah, I appreciate you explaining what’s what. I’m stunned an NFL team hasn’t hired you either as a spokesman or a scout.

  33. By jocards on Nov 27, 2012 | Reply

    @ sarah

    I applaud you for posting the link to the article above….I’d have thought you would have buried it given the fact that it clearly stated that John Skelton was “ineffective” and that the only success the team had enjoyed this season was when Kevin Kolb was playing. Perhaps I’ve misjudged you, good job….

  34. By cobra on Nov 27, 2012 | Reply

    A little off subject:

    For all of you that feel you know football, well, Men have been playing this sport for over a hundred years. They have tried to perfect what is, a never ending evolution to the sport.
    I guess the really troubling part is the negativity fans have towards eachother. Yeah, I say what is on my mind as all of you. The problem is, some people need to chill. Quit bitching about things you cannot change. Support your team. Evolution is a strange happening, it determines if you have the ablility to Man up, or just whine for Mama. Just because you want, doesn’t mean you get! It is what it is this year. Myself, I’m proud of the players and coaching staff for playing as a team. Injuries have decimated the front line, as well as key injuries on D.

  35. By Scott H on Nov 27, 2012 | Reply

    One wonders if the course of things with Fitz will ultimately go as they did with Aeneas Wiiliams….which is to say that he will show ( HAS shown ) remarkable loyalty to a losing team with the sincere hope that he can achieve SB glory here but will ultimtely have to go elsewhere when the reality becomes that it will not happen here. That is a shame. A shame for Fitz and a shame for the fans. It will NOT be a shame for the Cardinals because it will be a familiar scenario and a repeated failure for them.

  36. By clssylssy on Nov 27, 2012 | Reply

    There actually are teams out there that work on DEVELOPING players with potential. John Skelton has raw potential that the Cards were remiss in developing;.that is why it is important to have a good QB coach (like Whiz was developing Big Ben in Pittsburg). Believe it or not, there are teams out there where I could see John doing well. The Giant’s owner, John Mara, I believe, is a Fordum alum and I could see young Skelton going to New York, being mentored under Eli Manning as a backup; and what an opportunity that would be… not too shabby a change-of-pace either! We have had the resources to develop players and have not, for that we must assume accountability. Other teams have replaced injured players for the short haul with one year contracts that are a means to an end; some teams are heavy in certain areas and there’s not always something wrong with players who get cut…often times one team’s loss is another’s gain (case in point, Kurt Warner). It seems that fans tend to forget how important a good backup is, although this season should have brought that fact into focus with all of the injuries to starters. Football is a gladiator sport and the teams at the end ,who are playoff bound are the ones who have survived the battles with the most soldiers still on the field! The fact that these guys…the backups, 2nd, 3rd stringers or practice squad have even had the opportunity to play in the NFL puts them far ahead of the average Joe expert critic at the bar.
    Darren…you do a terrific job dealing with what has to be a rollacoster of frustration interspersed with fleeting moments of joy and excitement.

  37. By Giorgio on Nov 27, 2012 | Reply

    Re Sunday’s game, there is no way the Cards were going to beat the Rams. Jeff Fisher has their number, and when he really gets rolling in St. Louis (or LA if they relocate) look out Cards. Sadly, the Cards have been trying for three years to turn this ugly ship around w/PR instead of great play on the field. PR will only carry you so far. The story is old, but the only reason they, the Suns and the D-back get away w/it is because the fans here are so laid back. I’m an AZ native so I know the sports fan mentality win or lose. And when you have no fan or media outcry you can get a way w/ a lot. Cards onwership would really be rolling the dice in keeping Whiz and his staff, because if they do and the thing still goes south the players and ownership is really cooked. By changing hands at the helm and bringing in a new HC and staff they buy themselves a few years to try and re-build. Re the QB, c’mon guys other than Warner they haven’t had one since Jim Hart and Neil Lomax both who were St. Louis Cards, albeit Lomax had a few yyears here before he got hurt and was forced to retire.

  38. By NJAzCardsFan on Nov 27, 2012 | Reply

    Darren- Do the Cards lead the NFL in 3 downs and out? Do they keep stats on something like that?

  39. By Darren Urban on Nov 27, 2012 | Reply

    NJAz —

    RE: Three and outs

    It might be out there somewhere. I would have to try and track it down.

  40. By georgiebird on Nov 27, 2012 | Reply

    @ Sarah,
    You are so right about Kolb. After losing the QB battle in training camp (by Whiz’ expert evaluation), Kolb has morphed into a “Savior” – his return is expected to rival the return of Batman.
    Keep up the good work.

  41. By jfig on Nov 27, 2012 | Reply

    Why does the comment keep coming up so much about “letting Fitz go to another team”…..I don’t understand how anyone can think that him leaving somewhere else will/could be a better situation (for him or us).

    As bad as its been here this year, that same thing could happen to ANY other team he goes to (and yes, that includes all the top teams this year). No one knows what each new year holds, and in watching Fitz all these years, I’m sure he’s smart enough to realize that…..

    And who is to say that we aren’t one of those teams that won’t turn it around again next year. Remember, we’re dealing with injuries to all (most) the starting position players on offense, as well as key backups.

  42. By rob on Nov 27, 2012 | Reply

    “He was open a few times against the Rams, down the field early when rookie Ryan Lindley missed him down the left sideline. He was open when Lindley woefully underthrew a pass near the Cardinals’ sideline that was intercepted. He was open down the field on another interception and again on a play that could have gotten big yards but didn’t because a line mistake led to a sack.”

    Darren, please help me understand. Skelton has proven himself as a finisher. He wins games and he does so in the third or fourth quarter (for now). We can’t figure out why, that’s just the way he is. He is somewhat inconsistent, but the team seems to play better around him. For example, before he was benched, the running game seemed to be doing so well, and instantly when Lindley came in-it died down. How can Skelton be benched like he was? He was even coming off a bye-week…. He wasn’t even given a full half. He didn’t throw an interception, he was winning the game. As others have said, every NFL QB misses open receivers- it just happens sometimes. After Skelton was benched, the first thing Lindley did was fumble the ball for an opposing TD. Then again last week, Lindley throws terrible picks for opposing TDs. He couldn’t get a first down for an ENTIRE half. I don’t think skelton has ever had as terrible of stats as Lindley has, and that’s since the offensive line has improved dramatically. There is no doubt in my mind that we would have won both of our last two games had Skelton been allowed to settle in.

    Can you honestly tell me that benching Skelton was a justifiable move? And in your eyes do you think that we would have lost both games had Skelton been playing?

  43. By Darren Urban on Nov 27, 2012 | Reply

    Rob —

    RE: Lindley/Skelton

    I don’t have a whole lot of excitement inserting myself in this argument, in part because IMO it has gotten way too emotional for too many.

    That said, unfortunately, Skelton has not finished this season. He did last season, but was unable to do so against Seattle (injury, I know) and then Buffalo, Minnesota, San Francisco, Green Bay. We don’t know exactly what has been going on behind the scenes either, which always could affect the choices being made.

    As for “justifiable,” justified to whom? Obviously the coaches felt it was otherwise they wouldn’t have done it.

    Finally, whether they would have won with Skelton is moot. It’s a pointless exercise. You can argue they would have held on in Atlanta, because John did such things in 2011, or you could have argued that based on 2012, they would have frittered away the lead. Maybe he doesn’t throw pick-6s against the Rams, but you can’t know that he would have led the Cards to 17 first-half points either — he had yet to do that.

  44. By azcards24 on Nov 27, 2012 | Reply

    the patriots wouldnt let they’re team look this bad , without someone being in the hot seat. Know why, they have a little bit of pride, a little self respect , and enough smarts to know a change is needed. Someone needs to get fired you dont treat this like another losing season, , the owners look like they gave up trying to win, how many winning seasons have we had in the last 10 years, not enough . ONE SUPER BOWL LOSS ISN’T ENOUGH FOR US TO STAY HAPPY BIDWELL. STOP BEING SORRY AND START BEING BETTER !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  45. By scubasteve12 on Nov 27, 2012 | Reply

    I have come to the realize that I do not actually dislike Skelton. He can make some pretty good plays. But he also inaccurate and cant put together enough drives to win games. I realized that why i have disliked skelton for so long is because his fans. They make the stupidest of comments and suggestions. So its not that I hate skelton. I hate his fans.

  46. By Darren Urban on Nov 27, 2012 | Reply

    Scuba, everyone —

    RE: Comments

    I will tell you the same thing I told Sarah. Clean it up.

    Everyone, come on. We are talking about football here. Debating can be fun. I have no idea why it has to get nasty from either side. Frankly, I’ve had about enough of it.

  47. By Rio on Nov 27, 2012 | Reply

    Every play when the other side needs a play to go after william Gay #22 doensn’t anyone see this. The rams when after him everytime they needed to make a play he just can’t cover. Some of you so call fans must see what i see.

  48. By georgiebird on Nov 27, 2012 | Reply

    All this stuff about Skelton not finishing is totally unfair to John. Coming off an injury he played at Minnesota, then home to SF, and away at GB. It’s pretty clear that was about the toughest three game span on the schedule when you consider the venues.
    Skelton is not a finished product and he may never be a good starting QB. But he has played quite well for a 24 year old. In the three games above, the defense gave up the game in the 1st half and JS was forced to play from behind against three very good opponents.
    So anyone looking to analyze Skelton’s stats has to do a little bit of work. If you want to judge Skelton’s stats without any regard to the points above, then in the same way judge Larry on those three games without any allowance for the game situations- most importantly that the defense was pretty bad and put us in a hole early in each game.
    Skelton is probably not the answer but he is definitely better than Lindley (at 23 years old) and Kevin (TKO) Kolb.

  49. By Sammy on Nov 27, 2012 | Reply

    Is it just me, or do we become too predictable on offense? Our defense has to be getting frustrated by now. They are ballin out there and doing everything possible to win and our offense can’t get the job done. Do you guys remember how bad our defense used to be? Guys were not making tackles, getting beat at the point of contact and not creating any turnovers. Ray Horton came along and changed the way those guys played! Sure there are new faces, but a good coach can make a huge impact. Whiz has been here for what six years now and our offense has been getting worse each year it seems. Maybe a change at the helm is exactly what this team needs. Whiz and his crew are not geting the job done. The entire coaching staff (except for Horton) as well as the GM need to go. I would really like to see Jon Gruden replace Whiz. Gruden has a great understanding for the offensive side of the ball and I believe he is a better coach now than he was back when he won a Super Bowl in Tampa. Would love to hear any feedback.

  50. By phillycards on Nov 27, 2012 | Reply

    Footwork footwork footwork. That’s how you miss people and that’s how you can’t see.who’s job is it to see that? Who was hired for his offensive knowlege as head coach? Every qb has had the same issues.and derrek anderson was the perfect example of an undiscipline player not being taught.because it happened in cleveland.

    This goes back to the interview of whisenhunt.and the one he had with pittsburg before he came.

    He doesn’t know the intracies of what makes things work. He follows basic procedures. He needs help and they knew it. That’s why he had success with haley.and why the steelers said no thank you.

    He might be book smart.but he’s not football smart enough to be creative. Adapt unique schemes to players. or teach flaws away.

    Qb coach Chris miller excellent former nfl qb said that the problem with kolb last year was his footwork. And the footwork was tied to the routes. Too much has to be right. He was fired.

  51. By Kevin S on Nov 27, 2012 | Reply

    Georgiebird —

    If as a Skelton detractor I acknowledge that you are correct that he came into a very tough part of the schedule this year, will you acknowledge as a Skelton backer that last year, he came into a very favorable part of the schedule? Yeah, he won 6 games out of 8, but only 1 was against a team with a winning record… 2 were against the completely hapless Rams (2-14), and both of those were squeakers — one we won only after surviving a GW FG attempt and then getting a PP TD in OT, and the other we won in spite of a terrible game by Skelton because Beanie ran for franchise-record yardage and PP returned another one. Also needed OT to beat a 4-12 Cleveland team, and a 7-9 Seattle team, both at home. Skelton was, quite simply, a luckbox. That kind of luck doesn’t last.

    Also, I don’t understand anyone’s thinking who says the Cardinals haven’t given Skelton a fair shake. It is precisely the Cardinals who have given him probably more opportunity than he would have had anywhere else. Let’s be realistic: If John Skelton were not drafted by the Cardinals in 2010, I don’t know who would’ve taken him, but the odds that he would have seen ANY playing time in the NFL at this point for any other team are pretty low. Remember, the only reason he ever saw action in 2010 is that we had league-worst QB’ing from DA and Max Hall. Even marginally acceptable quarterbacking in 2010 means we never see Skelton in 2010, which may also mean in 2011 that he’s still the 3rd stringer. And if some other team had drafted him he would’ve almost certainly started as their #3 guy as well. To the extent John Skelton has had a career consisting of more than holding a clipboard, this is because of the Arizona Cardinals.

  52. By Supercardinals100 on Nov 27, 2012 | Reply


    Do you by some chance know if cardinals players or coaches read these comments on this page?…it would be fun if they did

  53. By Darren Urban on Nov 28, 2012 | Reply

    Supercardinals —

    RE: Reading

    If players or coaches read them, they haven’t told me.

  54. By Kevin S on Nov 27, 2012 | Reply

    Also, Georgiebird, I don’t really understand your point about Skelton having to play from behind. If anything, that improved his stats… vs. GB, for example, he put up a monstrous second half (after starting it off with an INT). The Skelton camp will say this is because he gets better as the game goes on, but I can just as easily say, ahead 24-7, GB could largely coast and just protect against the big play.

    Some people make outlandish statements trying to defend the guy. Mike in Mesa says that if our receivers caught just half of the 7 drops we had, we win the game. What? We lost 31-17… how do 3 or 4 more completions guarantee us at least 2 more TD’s. (Not to mention that the GB offense was on auto-pilot for the entire 4th quarter with a 14 point lead… they just ran Starks for something like a dozen plays… Rodgers attempted 3 passes I think. To assume that GB couldn’t have put some more points on the board if they needed to — and that assumes that in fact a few more completions on our end actually lead to 2 more TD’s — is ridiculous. The second we got the score within 7 they responded with a TD instantly.)

  55. By Kevin S on Nov 27, 2012 | Reply

    Clssylssy —

    Eli Manning is 31, and hasn’t missed a game since 2005. He’s probably got at least 5 if not more years left in him. His current backup, David Carr, has gotten to throw 27 passes in 3 years as a Giant. Do you really think if Skelton goes there, he’s going to develop more than he’s developed by actually getting to play in Arizona? This whole “mentoring” thing for QB’s is overrated. The best mentor is playing time — Luck, RG3, Tannehill, R Wilson, etc. are getting mentored just fine I think.

  56. By Jeremy on Nov 27, 2012 | Reply

    Simply put, the root of the losing issues is the head coach. 6 quarterbacks in 3 seasons. None of which played a full season.
    Mentally un-tough Derrick Anderson replaced Matt Lienart who was let go before the season. Public reason, Matt didn’t command the huddle or earn respect from teammates. Decision a couple weeks before opening day? Terrible time for a move like that.

    Undrafted rookie Max Hall replaced Anderson on coaches choice. Whiz liked his “moxy” and command which led to an inaccurate evaluation of ability.
    Late round draft pick from a small school John Skelton replaces Max Hall, due to injury, and plays out the season going 2-2. Shows talent and ability and is raw and inaccurate an expected trait for a late round draft pick.

    Trade for Kevin Kolb sending former 1st round draft pick DRC and a 2nd round pick away and a large contract. 1st game plays well, then looses a bunch of close games and gets hurt. Replaced by Skelton and Skelton helped for the most part by Ray Hortons defense finishes the season strong.

    Whiz publicly declines to name a starting QB thus instilling no confidence or certainty in the players minds nor giving the starting quarterback time to properly adapt and mature in the system. More importantly offloads the responsibility on the player not on the coaching staff for QB play. This is a key thing to understand.

    Sketon named starter and goes down hurt. Kolb comes in a plays to a greater potential demonstrating to the talent and desired reason for the trade. Offensive line allows for a punishing amount of sacks no QB could endure.
    Skelton plays best game of cardinal career in GB and yet is pulled for a 6th round rookie with a 13 point lead the following week in Atlanta.

    All the while offensive coordinator is not held accountable for adapting the play book for the talent.

    Whiz blames the QBs and players but the onus is on him and Miller. They are doing a very poor job of managing the situation and exacerbating the injury situation. Andy Reid doesn’t pull Vick, Sanches receives support from his coach. Name me one great coach who would pull their starter for missing a throw with a 13 point lead with lights out defense for a 6th round rookie?
    Think of Alex Smith pre Jim Harbaugh, same QB, better coach.

    That is bad coaching in a nut shell. 6 quarterbacks and 3 non-winning seasons is enough to make Ftiz frustrated which is a very tall order given the character of that man.

    Why is the QBs bad play on the player and the lack of improvement in play not on the coach? It’s the coaches job to work on the issues of each player for improvement. In 3 years with the cards the coaches can’t improve Sketons’ accuracy? Hogwash.

    If the season finishes poorly I seriously think we should consider Horton for head coach on the grounds that he may leave without the internal opportunity.

  57. By clssylssy on Nov 28, 2012 | Reply

    That was the most sensible post I think I’ve ever seen from you.
    Darren, I think fans recognize how much Fitz has done for the Cardinals and they want to see him succeed in getting to the SB and getting that ring he so deserves. Technically, he may be under contract until 2018 however, I think he signed that contract with some expectations for getting to the Big Dance from the Organization who HAVE NOT fullfilled it’s part of the bargain in rebuilding a 2008 caliber team; we have obtained some great talent but certain fundamental pieces are glaringly absent. Fitz has the best agent in the business and no contract is bulletproof. As for where he could do better…hook him up with Aaron Rogers and the Packers or even Christian Ponder and Jared Allen, reunite him Q and the Ravens, Haley and the Steelers, all are playoff caliber teams and would be killer with the services of Fitz, not to mention Belicheck would love to have him and he and Brady would be unstoppable. In short, he could go about anywhere he wants. The fans love Fitz and if the Organization tries to hold his feet to the fire, I can pretty much guarantee you will REAlLLY see ugly and ticket sales will drop because nobody wants to support an organization who has that sort of public personna. Football is a business as you have pointed out so often, players come and players go. Kurt Warner had a year on his contract and didn’t hesitate to quit the team for a cushier job as a TV personality. I think the money is more important to Mr. Bidwell than it is to Fitz and if he had to pay it back, it woldn’t ruin his day.
    We may be only fans to you, and I’m sure you get tired of the hateful bickering that goes on, so do I, but, anytime you set up a competition you are going to have a polarization of supporters and the fans did not set this scenario in motion. A lot of us have been Cards supporters for years and will continue to be because we love football:)

  58. By Dave Chaney on Nov 28, 2012 | Reply

    I want to give you a huge pat on the back Darren for keeping your optimism intact and continuing to write columns as positive as you do. Your assessment of the team is pretty much right on all the time and I truly enjoy reading what you write. Not to say I like reading the bad news, but you do what you have to do. As my years continue to tick away and until I take that last breath, I will hope to see the Big Red go to another Super Bowl and win one so we don’t continue to go down in NFL history as one of the super non-achievers of all time. Thanks again for getting us through another very, very disappointing season and I hope you are around for a long time to come. Hopefully long enough that you can write that huge column about a SB win!

  59. By Dave Chaney on Nov 28, 2012 | Reply

    One more thing…I certainly hope management doesn’t decide to “reward” Fitz the way they have rewarded other players in the past, Aeneas Williams comes to mind, for performing so long for a losing team by trading them to a contender. Fitz is the heart, soul and total image of all that is good with the Cards. Hopefully he can finish his career here for better or for worse.

  60. By Cert 33 on Nov 28, 2012 | Reply

    I have to agree with Darren. If you were talking 2011, Skelton was definitely coming through in the 4th qtr. in several games. That said, I have not observed anything like that from John this season at all. Perhaps a quality QB coach could figure out what has gone wrong but that is neither here nor there. By the way, great site and great job Darren.

  61. By MIKE HADZINSKI C.M. PUNK on Nov 28, 2012 | Reply

    really darren were loseing games all you talk about is keeping larry happy i hope we trade him and you your blogs are starting to cover up whats wrong with the team..

  62. By Campbells on Nov 28, 2012 | Reply

    Lindley won’t win a game. Defenses are going to eat him up. Many of us already question the logic (or absence of it) in starting him. The media/analysts will ultimately have their day scrutinizing Whiz. His own contract is up next year. The Bidwell family needs to pull the trigger on a new HC before we end-up getting stuck with the bottom of the barrel. Several other teams need to make changes as well. For Whiz supporters, our regular season record hasn’t been that good (better than .500 twice), even the year we went to the Superbowl. 6-teams with equal or better records missed the playoffs altogether, the year of our Superbowl run. Whiz is mediocre at best, and his stats prove it.

  63. By jocards on Nov 28, 2012 | Reply

    @ clssylssy

    I actually agree that Skelton could develop into a serviceable back up in the NFL so we certainly have no argument there…I also agree that one teams loss can be another teams gain although I think using a former MVP and Super Bowl winning QB like Kurt Warner was is a bit of a stretch in this context (as it relates to Skelton that is) but I agree with the sentiment. I was merely expressing that at this point I do not see John Skelton being able to unseat any teams starting QB….Landing a backup gig someplace? Sure.

  64. By jocards on Nov 28, 2012 | Reply


    RE: Lindley/Skelton

    I am in complete agreement that this debate has gotten way too personal and emotional for a lot of folks here. Actually we can throw Kolb in there too…..We all want to the Cardinals to succeed and there is no reason to get so nasty about stating an opinion. IMO the team is better with Kolb playing QB but he is unable to stay on the field. Skelton in my view gives the team a better chance to win than does Lindley but obviously the coaching staff that is around these guys every single day feels differently. I didn’t like the timing of the switch to Lindley but again I am not close to the situation and the coach obviously is…In the end I just want the team to succeed and would have no problem getting behind any QB that can achieve results.

  65. By Chuck 1 on Nov 28, 2012 | Reply


    Thanks for lowering the boom on some of the posters who have gone over the top with their nasty and personal comments.

    Re: Skelton’s stats. As a few posters have pointed out, look at his whole body of work over the three years that he has been with the Cards.. His stats are just not that good e.g. completion percentage, INTs vs. TDs & ranking of NFL QBs.

  66. By suspence716 on Nov 28, 2012 | Reply

    Watch Skelton go to the seahawks or the rams n then end up killing us in the future. How many times has this happened to ex cardinals players?

  67. By Campbells on Nov 28, 2012 | Reply

    Skelton’s stats aren’t that good, yet he has almost twice as many wins as Kolb. Lindley has 0-wins. Nobody has an issue with a < $1 million QB winning twice as many games as the $35 million QB??? Skelton's ugly wins are certainly less impressive than Romo's, River's, and Sanchez's ugly losses??? Hmmmmm…… Once again, this logic escapes me.

  68. By Kevin S on Nov 28, 2012 | Reply

    Jeremy —

    A lot of people won’t agree with me but I think Whiz’s worst decision re: QB was the decision to have a QB competition this year.

    I don’t really blame him for 2010 — Warner had a year left on his contract and left us in the lurch. Other than Bradford whom we had no shot at, there were no great prospects in that draft — I don’t think anyone other than Tebow was even taken in the first round, and I don’t think anyone from that class (other than Skelton up until recently) is still getting any significant playing time. (Colt McCoy was in 2011 but has been supplanted.) You can argue with the choice of DA but really, anyone we were getting in 2010 was going to be someone else’s backup or an unwanted free agent, so it was doubtful we were getting anyone who’d lead us to the playoffs.

    So we got Kolb for 2011 and most people were excited about that (although I know some were detractors from the start). You give up a ton to get him and then he gets hurt. Twice. Yeah, that sucks. But in my opinion if you’re going to pay his big roster bonus in March to keep him (I think it was $7M?), you have to say he’s your starter. I would’ve either released him, or just said, this is my starting QB. Either scenario is justifiable — if you go the former route, you just say, hey, we took a shot, thought this guy would be our QB, but we only won 1 game when he started, and he suffered two significant injuries on the heels of an injury in 2010… we just can’t justify a continued investment. If you go the latter route, you say (to Skelton), nice job, you did exactly what we wanted as the backup, and still have a key role on this team. But Kolb’s our starter. This would’ve been perfectly defensible based on pretty much any objective view of how they played (QBR, completion percentage, YPA, INT’s, points scored by the offense in the games they played…). But the fact that the D showed up in the 2nd half, we played a less demanding schedule, and just got plain lucky, resulted in the “winner” storyline around Skelton, and the coach felt he had to have a competition.

    If I’m paying Kolb a $7M roster bonus then he’s my QB. If I feel that he isn’t good enough to clearly beat out John Skelton and that I’m going to have to let them both compete for the job, I’d just have released him and drafted a QB (whether with the plan to immediately start him, or to start Skelton for some interim period).

    Now I don’t know what would’ve happened if Kolb had simply been named the starter from the beginning. Everything about the season would’ve been different, including the preseason playing time, etc. If Kolb played the whole SEA game, who knows what would’ve happened — he might have gotten hurt right away, or maybe the offense would’ve clicked from the beginning and that might have affected our entire offensive approach to other games and the whole season plays out differently. Maybe RW doesn’t get hurt. Maybe Kolb never does, or like I said, maybe he would’ve been out even earlier. No way to know. I’m not saying we’re 7-4 instead of 4-7 because I have no idea. But of all the decisions re: QB, I fault Whiz the most for the QB competition in 2012.

  69. By Kevin S on Nov 28, 2012 | Reply

    Suspence —

    Really? Both those teams already have young QB’s… the difference is theirs are good. If Skelton were to go to either team he’s never playing unless there’s an injury.

  70. By Kevin S on Nov 28, 2012 | Reply

    By the way, when I said above that we only won one game last year when Kolb started — I meant before he went down the first time. I know he came back and won the Dallas game (and, technically, he started the 2nd SF game, but Skelton gets credit for that W).

  71. By Jahstone on Nov 28, 2012 | Reply

    We’re all throwing FITZ cause’ we’re in a HEAP of trouble…LMAO!!

  72. By Kevin S on Nov 28, 2012 | Reply

    Campbells —

    Where are you getting the “twice as many wins”? In 2011, it’s fair to say Kolb was 2-6 and Skelton was 6-2 (I certainly wouldn’t try to give Kolb credit for the SF win even though he was technically the starter).

    It’s 2012 now. Kolb has 3 wins that are all his. Skelton has 0. So then we’d be at 6 wins Skelton, 5 wins Kolb. If you give Skelton the benefit of the SEA win, he’s ahead 7 to 5. But considering Kolb came in and pulled that one out, it should probably be considered at best a wash. Are you also counting Skelton’s 2 wins in 2010 when Kolb wasn’t even with the team? If so, then I’d give Kolb credit for his wins in Philadelphia too.

    If you want to argue based on salary that Kolb’s results aren’t there, fine, but let’s not start talking like Skelton’s won twice as many games — unless you’re in a time machine still stuck in 2011.

  73. By sarah on Nov 28, 2012 | Reply

    First game review above, beat Dallas next game 2010, went 7-2 next year 2011, was up 10-3 at the half vs Seattle 2012. Came into replace Kolb vs Buffalo and put team in position to win (Feeley missed kick), in OT LSH dropped ball that would have setup win, then Skelton threw interception. Lost to three playoff bound teams Minn, SF and GB (first two line was awful ), the latter he had his best game as a pro at Lambeau Field while receivers dropped 7 passes and D gave up big plays. Pulled after 7 passes in ATL and career ended over a missed end zone TD pass costing 4 points while team was ahead 13-0. Whiz is making him the scapegoat !

  74. By The everlasting Kolbstopper on Nov 28, 2012 | Reply


    Please don’t cite Skeltons halftime lead against Seattle this year, unless its okay to cite all of Kolbs halftime leads last season. Cause if halftime leads make a good QB Kolb is it based on last season. Especially since the D gave up so many points in the games Kolb played in.

  75. By iammattyoung on Nov 28, 2012 | Reply

    When you look at this Cardinals team that has a very good defense and playmakers at big positions, it really seems as though the team’s success hinges on a QB. They are not going to find that guy in the first round of the 2013 draft. Neither Geno Smith nor Matt Barkley are the answers for this team.

    I don’t know if the numbers work out, but it seems like a great move for the Cardinals to make would be to try to swap Philip Rivers for Kevin Kolb and some draft picks. San Diego is hurting right now, and the fans are calling for heads — Coach Turner, Philip Rivers, maybe both. Both Rivers and Kolb have received almost all of their guaranteed money, and their salaries are about $3 mil apart each year. This draft is top-heavy with defense, arguably a position of strength for us. So swap our first rounder for their second-round pick (a round in which we’ve had great success in the past), and make it a deal.

    Can you imagine what Rivers could do with Fitz, Floyd, and Roberts? You’d probably get similar results to when he was throwing to Vincent Jackson, Malcom Floyd, and Antonio Gates. San Diego has probably the only O-Line worse than ours, so he’d be used to that.

    Just a thought

  76. By Kevin S on Nov 28, 2012 | Reply


    Please try to keep the facts straight. In 2011 Skelton only played in 8 games so he can’t have gone 7-2. (He was 6-2.) The game after the Broncos game to which you linked a summary was not the Dallas win but a loss to Carolina.

    As far as the merits of your argument, I don’t think Whiz is making him the “scapegoat,” but certainly if this were the case, you would expect the upper management would see through it. You basically cite all the best of Skelton without the worst. Now, I didn’t expect anything from him in 2010 and frankly he exceeded my expectations, but if you’re going to mention the win against Dallas, let’s mention the fact that our defense outscored our offense 14-13 that game, and without those two pick 6’s we lose in a blowout (Dallas outplayed us by far — 24 first downs to 10). And sandwiched between the DAL and DEN wins was a loss to the worst team in football that year (2-14; we gave them one of their two wins). We put up 3 points in the first 54 minutes of football that game, with Skelton having his typical slow start before waking up and putting up 10 points (and over 120 of his 196 passing yards) on our last two drives when it no longer mattered (down 19-3).

    Against Buffalo, I agree that he put us in a position to win — but let’s review what actually happened. We were in serious trouble after a penalty gave us 1st and 20, and Kolb rushed for 22 yards and a first down to put us on the 41 before getting hurt on the next play (the busted handoff). Skelton comes in with just over 2 minutes to go, so clearly we’re in 4 down mode. He completed 1 of 6 passes — the one he did complete was important, but I’d say a pretty high % of the time that you give an NFL QB 4 downs to work with, he’s going to get a first down. And then after getting that one completion the drive stalled, without us even getting another 5 yards to get it closer. 3 straight incompletions. So Feely has to bail us out with a franchise-record kick, or else we’re not even talking about this game (except we’d be talking about how Skelton failed to move the ball). The next series, given great field position, he did make a great pass — and I give him credit for that. And then Feely missed a makeable FG, which happens. In OT, the LSH pass looked like it was going to go for good yardage but to say it was going to set up the win is a bit much. Who knows what would’ve happened. And then the INT. I do not pin that loss on Skelton but I don’t sit here acting like he played great either.

    And everyone keeps talking about how he had his “best game as a pro” against GB. It was a good game by Skelton standards, no doubt — but therein lies part of the problem. There were a lot of drops — I’ll take your count of 7. If you throw 46 passes there are usually going to be a couple, but not 7… so fine, give him credit for 5 more completions and you have 28-46. That’s the issue — we have a QB in what you describe as his “best game” barely completing 60% of his passes, even if we count 5 of the 7 drops as completions. And the vast majority of the completions and yardage came after we were down 24-7, basically making the game unwinnable (I’d say a Las Vegas oddsmaker would give the Cards about 1 chance in 200 of coming back from down 17, on the road, against the Pack). Now I’m not faulting Skelton for the fact that the D gave up 21 1st-half points, but just pointing out that he piled on most of the big #’s after the game was out of reach.

    Look, I’ve probably come across as more down on Skelton than I really am. Like I mentioned above, I was surprised he did as well as he did in 2010. And in 2011, while I wasn’t thinking he was our QB of the future like some, I was quite pleased that we got some victories with him at the helm, even if I attributed more of that to schedule, improved defense, etc. than others. The fact is that in 2011 he had only 2 really awful games (the first SF game and 2nd STL game) and the rest ranged from OK (e.g., CIN — 3 INT’s but also 2 TD’s and 297 passing yards, and could’ve been 3 TD’s if Early didn’t fall down) to good (PHI, 2nd SF game). For a 5th round pick out of Fordham, I think he’s done pretty well. I’m not delusional and do not think he is, or ever was, our franchise QB, but I don’t think the coaches are hanging him out to dry to save face either — he’s just not that good. In any case, these are the same coaches who, after all, named him the opening day starter this year, so if anything, their behavior in yanking him the way they did calls their judgment into question a lot more than NOT doing so. And at the start of the season the easy thing for Whiz to do would’ve been to just name Kolb the starter from the beginning — after all, many Skelton fans expected him to do just that, claiming the QB “competition” was just a ruse. He didn’t, so it’s hard to say he has it in for Skelton.

  77. By Kevin S on Nov 28, 2012 | Reply

    Sorry, 9 points in the last 6 minutes of the CAR game, not 10 — we missed a 2-point conversion on the TD.

  78. By Kevin S on Nov 28, 2012 | Reply

    Given our QB situation, it sure makes one envious of our division rival when they can afford to bench — not due to injury — their former #1 OA pick, with a 104 QB rating and 70% completion percentage this year, and 30 TD’s to 10 INT’s in the past 2 years.

  79. By Chuck 1 on Nov 28, 2012 | Reply

    Sarah (and other Skelton lovers),

    Forget his passing stats.
    Let’s just induct Skelton into the Canton Hall of Fame immediately!!!
    It’s obvious that he’s better than Rogers, Big Ben, Brady and Brees.

  80. By Scott H on Nov 28, 2012 | Reply

    For me at this point, talking about Skelton / what he might be / what he might not be is just useless and it makes me feel like we are…stuck. Stuck in a present that feels like it has no future. i was very much in his corner coming into this season, I admit. But now? C’mon, folks…it’s time to move forward. Look at the QB’s – veteran or otherwise – who are at in the top third of the league right now and ask yourself – Do you see John Skelton as being in the same league with ANY of them??? The answer is no, he is not. If we want to get back to the level of a serious contender in this leagus, then we need to be setting our sights MUCH higher than John Skelton. And I can only hope this organization TRULY realizes that and is prepared to get serious about the QB position.

    Know what else? I admit that I was SOOOOO utterly and completely wrong about Peyton Manning. Holy cow…all I can say now is that I wish this team had done more to get him here. I didn’t see it that way then. Good lord, I couldn’t have been more wrong. When I look at the way he gathers his offense on the sidelines in Denver and provides such leadership….I swear, he is a great QB AND a coach AND an offensive coordinator all in one. To think that MAYBE we could have had that here…it just makes me sick now to see where the Broncos are ( and are going ) compared to where we are. Ugh…

  81. By KDubADub1324 on Nov 28, 2012 | Reply

    Kevin S, good points man. Couldn’t agree with you more. Lets face it, Kolb is the best QB on the roster, hands down. I have no side in this whole QB thing. I just go by how I observe it. And personally, I think Kolb has shown ENOUGH (given the amount of time he’s been able stay on the field) that he can be a solid QB for this team. I don’t know about elite status like everyone is wanting so bad, but I think with a good Oline and balanced offensive attack (run/pass) he would do fine. But we may never know what he can truly do for this team because he can’t stay on the field.

    Nothing against Skelton, I like the guy, but he sucks. Supporters like to say he ‘wins” games, or point to what he did last season and yadda yadda yadda…but come on, really? I don’t care what they are argue…..

    Tebow is a “winner” too, right? But look at him…enough said…

  82. By Red cards on Nov 28, 2012 | Reply

    Heres what I think about kolb ,Skelton and lindy fire them all and let the great one ken whizzy be our QB at least he would finally Take responsibility for a loss …………… Nevermind he still wouldn’t

  83. By BIG RED on Nov 28, 2012 | Reply

    Hey Kevin S, tell me one thing. Everything you write about is smashing John Skelton its kind of getting old. Tell us the truth did he took away your wife or your girl friend.

  84. By phillycards on Nov 28, 2012 | Reply

    I think any skelton fan is delusional. Look at his 65qb rating. His draft scouting report. He won 6 games last year because of patric peterson. Sort of like whiz getting credit for haley.

    He threw a pick in 16 straight starts.
    And his great game? The same week luck threw 48 passes and got 433 yrds skelton threw 46 passes and got 303

    Defenses sit back on him in a zone and wait for the errors.
    He’s inaccurate even with that.

  85. By inthecards87 on Nov 29, 2012 | Reply


    ”The…Ravens organization has seemed reluctant to give a new deal to Flacco, even though he’s set to become an unrestricted free agent in 2013.”

    Don’t know why they are reluctant but….

    Sign him and maybe we can also reunite Fitz and Boldin in a 2 for 1 deal! Ok just kidding on the Boldin part, but I think Flacco has the tools to succeed in Arizona. Again, Whiz and crew need to all be let go (offensive side of the ball) and replaced. Too bad we don’t have Todd Haley again huh?? Another Rod Graves mistake…

    Ray Horton for Head Coach immedietely and a chimpanzee with a clipboard for offense coordinator. Still not worse than what we have now…again just trying to lighten the mood. Keep the faith Cards nation and even if this year is looking bleak there is always next year and hey…at least we are not the Browns or Jaguars right?

  86. By hminus on Nov 29, 2012 | Reply

    the nfl average last season for sacks allowed was 35-38 , our o-line allowed 29 in 4 games, that leaves virtually no time for the qb to react & execute good judgement in selecting a receiver to throw to,it also has exposed our ground game,(at or near the bottom of the league @81.3 ypg,as anemic & substandard,)with no respectable ground attack to keep defenses honest,opponents pin their ears back & stomp our qbs until they have to leave on crutches,(warner was able to have some success w/his ultra quick release & football savy,but even he couldnt do that forever & bailed prematurely to protect his health,) its also quite clear that this issue had an effect on the p.manning sweepstakes last offseason when he was deciding on a new team,(which is-i believe-one of the reasons why our draft included 3 o-linemen),our coaching staff finally realized how games are won & lost in the trenches & free agent qbs like manning,if given a choice,will not go to a team that has a track record of not being serious about adequately protecting its signal callers.

  87. By jocards on Nov 29, 2012 | Reply

    I remind everybody that Trent Dilfer was the starter for a Super Bowl winner. I’m not taking anything away from Dilfer, he wasn’t a terrible player but I’d hardly say that he was the main reason that the Ravens won the Super Bowl. He was actually replaced the following season. There is far more that goes into evaluating a QB than merely a team’s won/loss record….It is a factor but hardly the only one.

  88. By Kevin S on Nov 29, 2012 | Reply

    Scott H —

    I agree, I had the same feeling about Manning that you did. We were definitely wrong about that one. I don’t think we were high on his list though. Not sure how much of a chance we really had.

  89. By Kevin S on Nov 29, 2012 | Reply

    KDubaDub —

    I’ve mentioned the parallels between Skelton’s and Tebow’s 2011 seasons previously, taking over a team with 1 win that ultimately ended up 8-8; a lot of razor-thin wins; etc. Of course the Broncos weren’t buying the Koolaid and went out and got Manning.

  90. By johnnybluenose on Nov 29, 2012 | Reply

    Kevin S. you are absolutely right about the ridiculous quarterback competition that lasted until a week before the season started. all that uncertainty hurt us and it only goes to show that whiz cannot evaluate talent and is indecisive. once manning decided to go to denver whiz should have named kolb the starter and treated him as such. and for everyone out there who moans about kolb not being tough or that he is injury prone. he is neither. he has just been unlucky. his latest injury happened because william powell missed an assignment. that wasn’t kolb’s fault. and then whiz being whiz decides to ignore powell for the rest of the season to teach him a lesson. the same way he is now teaching skelton a lesson. anyone remember skelton? he was the one that whiz decided was our quarterback. the one who gave us our best chance to win, something that whiz is happy to say all the time. except now he thinks lindley gives us the best chance to win. the man has no clue. he will be our coach in 2013 unless he leaves of his own accord because bidwill won’t pay two head coaches’ salaries. and next season won’t be any better than this one. we are nowhere, man.

  91. By Eazy E on Dec 5, 2012 | Reply

    Damn shame a player that great can’t get the ball because of terrible QBs employed by Whiz, Graves, Keim, M Bidwill etc.

  1. 2 Trackback(s)

  2. Nov 28, 2012: Word From the Birds Blog | Pro Bowl update, and some other tidbits
  3. Feb 25, 2013: Word From the Birds Blog | Arians thinks accuracy can be helped — sometimes

Post a Comment

%d bloggers like this: