It’s about the video, not the workouts

Posted by Darren Urban on April 19, 2013 – 3:52 pm

General Manager Steve Keim mentioned yesterday about the fine line evaluating players and, more specifically, not wanting to overevaluate them. With so much time between the end of the season and the draft, that is a concern.

But both he and coach Bruce Arians agree it is the play on the college football field above all else that should be driving these player grades.

“I don’t grade anybody down at the (Scouting) combine,” Arians said. “The tape doesn’t lie. If a guy plays football fast and doesn’t run fast at the combine, that means he carries his pads pretty well. … I don’t believe in working out in shorts because the game is not played in shorts.”

Keim, not surprisingly, referred back to Anquan Boldin — he of the relatively slow 40 time when he was at the combine in 2003 (the 4.7 range) — and yet became a Pro Bowl receiver from his first game in the NFL.

“As much as combine numbers mean to you, and sometimes our guys will get enamored with a guy who ran a (tremendous) 6.55 three-cone, you have to remind them, unfortunately, at 1 o’clock on Sunday, we don’t get to run a three-cone drill,” Keim said, adding that the evaluator has to ask, “What are his compensating abilities” for whatever shortcomings he might have.

That doesn’t mean someone with an impressive combine gets thrown out, even if his stats weren’t great in college. Again, the evaluation is about what the team sees on video. Production counts but it isn’t the whole picture. The player had to have shown something in real games. It sounds simple. But every team doesn’t always adhere to it.

— Really good read from Josh Weinfuss collecting an oral history of various Cardinals players from their time around the draft.

— Safety James Sanders, who wasn’t going to return this year after his one year on the Cardinals, has been suspended the first four games of the NFL season.

— And with that, I am headed to this evening’s Tweetup with SI’s Peter King, Arians, Keim and a host of players downtown at Tom’s Tavern as we raise funds for a Tillman Foundation scholarship. Tomorrow, I’ll be running in Pat’s Run at ASU. Hope to see some of you.

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32 Responses to “It’s about the video, not the workouts”

  1. By Dynosoar on Apr 19, 2013 | Reply

    Mike Ellingboe,

    So what makes me think we’ll win against the Seahawks twice next year?

    1. We’ve done it in the recent past (not last year though).

    2. They’ll only have three time outs.

    3. I’m really counting on a healthy O-Line.

    4. We have Stump Mitchel coaching and he has insights into how they stop the run game and we should have three healthy backs.

    5. We have a quarterback who can get the ball within ten yards of Larry (probably on the money if his past is an indication) and to Andre and to Floyd and to…

    6. While I liked Whizenhunt, he managed the clock. That was his philosophy. Arians likes the deep ball, tells me he manages the scoreboard. Huge difference.

    7. This coaching staff is hungry.

    8. This team is hungry (and I’m not talking Lutui hunger. HaHa. Deuce, I wish you were here last year.)

    9. My brother’s a Seahawks fan (from the year they were organized). I can’t give them even one game.

    I would state we’ll beat them twice because of my brother, I’m posting this belief for the world to see because of the first 8 reasons.

    Man, after reading my post, I’m even more of a believer. I’d say we’ll win twice against St. louis, but I just fear a trap game in our second meeting, given our record then and theirs. If I’m wrong, that’s 13-3 for the season. Man we’ve had a grand season and it’s not even the draft. HaHa!

    To all, enjoy the last weekend of your family complaining about the hours and hours of mock drafting you’re going to do. At least, till next April.

  2. By Dynosoar on Apr 19, 2013 | Reply

    You lucky (Sun) Devils. I wish I were in Phoenix to take part in Pat’s run with ya’ll.

    Sanders, suspended. Ughh. I know he’s not with us anymore, but he made my favorite play from last season.

    The more I read statements from Arians and Keim, the more I can’t believe they haven’t been Head Coach and GM before this. They say good things come to those who wait, if everything I read and listen to is an indication, good things come to those who wait and to one who has waited since ’77, we’re being rewarded with better than a good thing. We’ve got two good things (err, men).

    Darren, some of my friends here must get together with you at some of these “Tom’s Tavern” gatherings, for those of us outside your little town will you post a photo of a gathering of regular posters from the blog. That is, if ya’ll go to these gatherings. I envy ya’ll, but know the grass is greener here (more water, less heat, it works.)

  3. By aaron on Apr 19, 2013 | Reply

    I wonder if that means they value Jarvis Jones a bit more than most.

  4. By Mike Ellingboe on Apr 19, 2013 | Reply

    Liking Keim more all the time, although I’m guessing most in his position agree with him. They’re not starting up track teams, and with the right coaching just about anybody can improve their take-off at the start to make their 40 times better, but as it relates to football speed, pretty meaningless. To that point, I’d be curious to know why they don’t test their times in full gear, on the field?

    Now if teams would quit picking QB’s based on how far they can throw.

  5. By jeffy1951 on Apr 19, 2013 | Reply

    Hi Darren, am I being overly ‘paranoid’ when I wonder how much information is too much? Coach Arians and Steve Keim are refreshingly open about their approach and philosophy about drafting and the combine etc. but I wonder if they are giving the “enemy” an advantage in so far as maybe educating the less skilled or knowledgeable coaches and GMs in the league and enlightening the unenlightened? Or maybe just providing the competition with insight they may never have had come across? i.e. your comment at the end “It sounds simple. But every team doesn’t adhere to it.” ….Maybe they don’t but will now because they’ve been struggling and need a fresh perspective >>>>>Capisci?

  6. By Darren Urban on Apr 20, 2013 | Reply

    jeffy —

    RE: Info

    This all seems new right now. As someone who has been through this with multiple coaches, trust me, the message will stay the same, and eventually, you’ll start talking about how they repeat themselves and don’t reveal much. It’s inevitable. I don’t think there is anything wrong with talking philosophy. What have they really revealed?

  7. By John The Draft Guy on Apr 19, 2013 | Reply

    Thus, enter Dion Jordon vs Jarvis Jones.

    Jordon really had very little production at Oregon for the type of combine numbers he put up.

    Jones should have been playing D2 ball with his combine numbers but was dominant at Georgia and lead the nation in sacks.

    Yet, here we are. Jordon is rated the top pass rusher and people are wondering if Jones will go in the first round.

    I would love to know what Keim and Arians have to say about Jones tape. I would think if you through out everything besides the tape, how could we take anyone else at #7. I find it all very interesting.

  8. By Andy Kw on Apr 19, 2013 | Reply

    I am loving the fact that this team has the potential of drafting OT Lane Johnson. The issue that I have is that we drafted OT Bobby Massie last year and OT Levi Brown is returning from an injury. We have 3 Quality Offensive Tackles in Brown, Massie, and Potter. I feel that drafting OT Lane Johnson to shore up the Right Tackle spot would be great but then what would happen to Massie? Moving Massie to guard will weaken the O-Line by a lot because he would now have to try to adapt to being a guard and as you saw in his rookie season when he started his career, he struggled in the first half of the season trying to adapt to a new level.
    -If we draft OT Lane Johnson, I think we should trade OT Bobby Massie. I would hate to see a starter become a backup.
    -This team needs better protection on the O-Line but this team also needs a pass rusher.

  9. By John The Draft Guy on Apr 19, 2013 | Reply

    Just saw the Vikings are looking to trade up to get a Wr like Tavon Austin.

    They have the 23rd and 25th pick. How high will they go? Would the cards consider dropping? Could be interesting.

  10. By carlo milano on Apr 19, 2013 | Reply

    Do u see keim trading up for a tackle?

  11. By Darren Urban on Apr 20, 2013 | Reply

    Carlo —

    RE: Trading up

    I doubt they trade up.

  12. By Andy Kw on Apr 19, 2013 | Reply

    I feel bad for the future of RB Beanie Wells and FS Kerry Rhodes. RB Beanie Wells has played decently when healthy and Kerry Rhodes is a beast when healthy as well. I understand cutting FS Kerry Rhodes cleared some cap space, nicely done. But now, we can bring him back to a 1 or 2 yr contract worth less than his previous contract. So not only will our Safety position be more solidified and strong, he will be a quality starter until there is an elite Safety in the draft in the future.We already have our future in SS Rashad Johnson. Now, Yeremiah Bell is at age 35 and is much slower. He is a nice tackler but when there is any speed, Bell will not be able to use his tackling abilities to catch his opponents. FS Kerry Rhodes is a few years away until he finally breaks down and he is still fast enough and is a pretty good tackler to play a huge impact to the Arizona Cardinal’s defense.

  13. By Carpenterdon on Apr 20, 2013 | Reply

    I had a gut feeling about Doug Martin last year. This year my gut feelings at RB are LeVeon Bell and Kerwynn Williams. I am interested to see who the Cards take at RB. I am pumped for the NFL Draft!

  14. By Mike Ellingboe on Apr 20, 2013 | Reply


    Ok, wasn’t buying into the logic until #9, then it all made sense. And just when you had me on board with the 12-4 crowd, you switch it to 13-3. Very elusive, but we’ll see if I can get caught up by the time the season starts.

  15. By Jason on Apr 20, 2013 | Reply


    Jones’s 40 time isn’t the only issue…he has the spinal stenosis as well. Maybe one issue wouldn’t drop him but the combination?

  16. By ored on Apr 20, 2013 | Reply

    it’s not always about how far the qb can throw,bit with how much velocity to fit into small openings.

    also would welcome rhodes back.i think the jarvis pick would be good,but not to trade massie,he’s just starting to get it and played lights out last half of the an up and coming tackle with the rookie year behind him now for another unproven tackle with his rookie year ahead of him,does’nt sound too good to me.

    what does is if we were able to trade back for another 2nd and then pick the golden domer te with our 1st,leaves us 4 more picks to upgrade and the final 3 picks to get younger and grab makes perfect sense,BA gets his dynamic te duo and with some coaching up his blocking also helps the line,palmer gets his te targets,and we get an extra pick out of it to boot.

    i like the cooper/warmack to fall back on as plan b or c,but lots of quality guards still to be had,the te just jumps out as the perfect fit for our offense,look what a game changer gronk is with the pats,and i also am pumped for the draft.

  17. By George on Apr 20, 2013 | Reply


    I like the possibility of the Vikings trade. If the player Keim and Arians really likes is gone by 7 and the Vikings call to make that deal, I think Keim should do it. No use in reaching for a player when there will be good value at 23 and 25. There will be good safety’s and o-lineman available at that point, plus you add an extra pick. I’ll be watching Thursday. Happy draft weekend Cards fans.

  18. By Credit Card on Apr 20, 2013 | Reply

    i agree with John the draft guy, if the Cards can trade down, an pick up two late 1st rounders — they should. This draft doesn’t have any top 10-picks and difference makers. The # 1 pick is similar in talent to the #45th picked guy. Two 1st rounders at 23rd and 25th — they could get the two decent OL.

  19. By ored on Apr 20, 2013 | Reply

    seriously doubt we would get two 1st rounders even thought they are late picks but we can far as difference makers,every year someone surprises so i’m sure this draft will be no different,also having a player fit our scheme could be a difference maker for us,just not he same for every other team.

    i keep looking over the top 100 rated prospects,and it is deep with talent,and that does’nt figure in the sleepers and the injured that have fallen out of’s the time where all the evaluating tells the story,who’s more nervous,management,players,or fans?

  20. By Ricardo C on Apr 21, 2013 | Reply

    What are the possibilities of drafting Alec olgetree the inside linebacker from Georgia he is predicted to go in the first round and we do need a inside linebacker next to Daryl not at 7 bit if we trade down to 15 to 20 range it might be happen.

  21. By lobo on Apr 21, 2013 | Reply

    won’t happen…but…second round pick to kc get alberts on a renegotiated contract and best (bpa) defensive player at 7.

  22. By Coach Kevin on Apr 21, 2013 | Reply

    My crystal ball is giving me 7 new names this weekend for the Cardinals in order of selection. 1. Lane Johnson, 2. Jonathan Cyprien, 3. Zaviar Gooden, 4. Dallas Thomas, 5. Tony Jefferson, 6. Zac Stacy, 7. Sean Renfree.

  23. By Jason on Apr 22, 2013 | Reply


    Curious if you read, or heard about, the LA Times mock draft in which local beat writers made the picks for the teams they cover? The draft went as follows:

    1. KC-Joeckel
    2. JAX-Fisher
    3. OAK-Milliner
    4. PHI-Jordan
    5. DET-Ansah
    6. CLE-Mingo
    7. AZ-Warmack (Kent Somers)

    I found it interesting that he would pass on a guy that is perceived to be an elite LT prospect with Johnson still on the board. I am under the impression that playing guard is much easier than playing tackle, from an athletic standpoint, so it seems to me that moving one of our tackles to guard would improve the interior of our line. An added bonus would be flexibility. If you have a guy you’re comfortable with at tackle playing guard he can move over if an injury occurs like Levi’s triceps tear last year. Warmack is a one trick pony (it’s a pretty good trick) he can only play guard. I love Warmack and I think he improves our team, there is no question about that, I just think at 7 you have to address a premium position…I feel like I’m taking crazy pills.

  24. By Jason on Apr 22, 2013 | Reply

    I did watch the presser and thought the part where they spoke about drafting a guy at 7 who wouldn’t be ready to start could be about Ansah or Johnson. If it is in fact Johnson they were speaking about it would answer all the questions that I have. I know it’s just a mock and no need to over think it…but, the fact Kent Somers made the pick gave it more validity.

  25. By John The Draft Guy on Apr 22, 2013 | Reply


    My take is,

    I can’t believe Johnson is not ready. If guys are a little raw, they tend to fall out of the top 10. Armstead and Watson are very talented but raw tackles that will go anywhere for 15-45. If Johnson wasn’t ready, that is where I see him going.

    I am really curious about #2. You have seattles D cord becoming head coach. You have a defense that cant get to the QB and need CBs. Gabbert has been known to pull a Kevin Kolb and hold on to the ball way too long. With MJD back, the oline is fine if Gabbert would read defenses. (one reason I wouldn’t be surprised if Geno went here or they took a QB in round two.) So, there reporter goes LT?? It could happen, I just dont see it.

    Oakland lost their interior D line this off season. This draft is rich in DBs. Got to think they look to move down or take a dlineman like Star or Floyd.

    Detroit’s coach Schwartz has to be on the hot seat. If they go Ansah and he misses, disaster. Not to mention, he might take a year or two to develop. Lions can’t gamble like that. I think they take Fisher but in this mock, they would take Johnson (who Mayock and Bryant have in the top 10).

    If this whole thing played out like above, Johnson would have to be our pick. If we took the guard, Cooper is more versitile. He could play guard or center and may be a better pass blocker. If not , Trading down , Star Lotulelei, or Kenny Vaccaro would be other possibilties.

    A couple more days to see.

  26. By John The Draft Guy on Apr 22, 2013 | Reply

    Here is an interesting mock draft. All 7 rounds

  27. By John The Draft Guy on Apr 22, 2013 | Reply

    The seven round mock above gives us; (all 3 tackles gone)

    1) Ansah pass rusher (he believes will grow and take Docketts spot)
    2) Armstead LT
    3) Larry Warford Guard
    4) Glennon QB
    5) Knile Davis RB
    6) Sean Porter OLB
    6) Alvin Bailey Guard

    In his mock, I would have replaced Ansah will Vaccaro, Jamie Collins instaed of warford. I like Landry Jones more than Glennon.
    Jamie Collins
    Landry Jones
    Knile Davis
    Sean Porter
    Alvin Bailey
    would be an ideal draft for me in his mock.

  28. By Darren Urban on Apr 22, 2013 | Reply

    JTDG —

    RE: Mock

    Except the Cards don’t have two sixth-round picks. Only one, and one in the seventh.

  29. By John The Draft Guy on Apr 22, 2013 | Reply


    I think the guy did it before the trade or maybe he missed it. I saw that too but thought I would put it the way he had it.

  30. By Jason on Apr 22, 2013 | Reply

    I think he’s ready…but, whoever the scout was had to be talking about a top 10 prospect because they were talking about the 7th pick. I think it’s Ansah but I know one of the knocks on Johnson is experience so I just threw that out there. Trying to make sense on passing on a possible franchise LT. As far as the other mock…I like it, but Bailey is not going to be there in the 6th or 7th round.

  31. By Jason on Apr 22, 2013 | Reply

    My 7 round mock

    1. Lane Johnson LT Oklahoma
    2. Damontre Moore OLB Texas A&M
    3. JJ Wilcox S Georgia Southern
    4. Landry Jones QB Oklahoma
    5. Alvin Bailey OG Arkansas
    6. Zac Stacey RB Vandy
    7. Keelan Johnson S Arizona State

    I stole picks 6 & 7 from Coach Kevin and I threw in Landry Jones for JTDG.

  32. By Jason on Apr 22, 2013 | Reply

    If all 3 LT’s are gone my top 2 change to
    1. Dion Jordan OLB Oregon
    2. Kyle Long T/G Oregon

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