Andre Ellington as QB

Posted by Darren Urban on November 12, 2013 – 4:51 pm

Given the way Patrick Peterson throws the ball, the cornerback would be a possible emergency quarterback with the Cardinals. Or so it seemed. Suddenly, rookie running back Andre Ellington was out there in the wildcat this past game, taking the snap at QB for three straight plays. Carson Palmer was not on the field.

“I’m not a wildcat guy with a quarterback in the game,” coach Bruce Arians said. “This is something we did many, many years ago with (wide receiver Antwaan) Randle El as an offense (in Pittsburgh). We’ve always got something prepared in case a bomb went off and we lost both of our quarterbacks. It was a good little change of pace today.”

The first was a keeper out of the shotgun for Ellington — after faking a handoff to Peterson darting in front of him behind the linemen and across the ine of scrimmage — for five yards. The second play was the same, picking up seven yards. The third was actually a give to Peterson in the same scheme, although by then the Texans were ready and dumped Peterson for a four-yard loss.

“It was a lot of fun,” Ellington said. “There are a lot of different things we can do with me and Patrick in that package, so we’ll see where it goes.”

Ellington said, despite the read-option look of the fake handoffs, there was no read. He was told to keep the first two and give it to Peterson on the third. “There was no decision making,” Ellington said.  Now, the question is, would Ellington be able to throw a pass if needed. That idea brings a smile to his face. “I’m willing to do it if I can get some practice at it during the week,” Ellington said. “We’ll see how it goes.”


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29 Responses to “Andre Ellington as QB”

  1. By Kevin S Mesa on Nov 12, 2013 | Reply

    Didn’t like this play the third time… it was obvious they were going to finally give it to Peterson after faking to him the first two times. I like PP on offense but not when it’s obvious we’re going to give him the ball.

  2. By Wildcard on Nov 12, 2013 | Reply

    Palmer is really bad. Ryan Tannehill is showing him up and he’s been sacked 10 more times and his best receiver is Mike Wallace.

  3. By eddie on Nov 14, 2013 | Reply

    Palmer is really bad??? R u watching the same games?? His last 2 games he post qb rating of 96 and 112 he definitely looks a lot better tha kaepernic recently so check your stats

  4. By David on Nov 12, 2013 | Reply

    Arians ego to not discipline “his” guys will be his down fall.

    To say mendenall s best game was Sunday after a fumble that could have cost the game is redic!! (He has not had a good game all season)

  5. By Scott H on Nov 12, 2013 | Reply

    Computer was down for more than a week. Ugh. Was KILLIN me not being able to be on the blogs! Ah well, sure I missed a ton but…just gotta pick up where we are.

    Great win on Sunday. Sorry to keep harping on it but I continue to be un-impressed with Carson Palmer. The team is 5-4, but…I just don’t see what great contribution he has made to that. With his BIG arm and ability to throw the deep ball and the “chunk” plays that were supposed to be part of this season because Arians has always liked them so much and with WR’s who are co capable of making big plays down the field…I just think Palmer is coming up small. He should easily be able to match the 4,000 yards that he had last year with Oakland ( and people were so ga-ga over ), but…at his present pace, he ain’t even close. OK, so maybe we haven’t needed that kind of passing yards to get to 5-4. But maybe if the TD – INT ratio were better, maybe we would be better that 5-4, ya know?

    What I am VERY impressed with is the defense and special teams!!! Love these big plays that are making the difference in some of these games. And it’s a good thing we are winning these games because the Lions and Panthers just keep putting up the wins themselves. It’s fun to be able to think about the playoffs and to be in the picture, even if it is a real long-shot. It just pisses me off to see everyone getting so ga-ga ( OK, I can’t believe I’ve used that term twice now ) over the Panthers while the Cardinals ( the last team to BEAT the Panthers AND pretty damn convincingly, thank you ) are not nearly as on the national radar. Ah well, so it goes. AND I gotta admit, Carolina beating San Fran in their house WAS pretty impressive.

    Who knows, maybe those wins against Carolina and Detroit will be the difference between who gets in and who doesn’t!

    Not related to anything here, but can’t help putting it out there…has anyone noticed how the Cardinals have popped up in some reports of the recent story about Rothlisberger wanting out of Pittsburgh? Seems a natural rumor when ya consider the Arians – Big Ben connection. THAT is an intriguing possibility…

  6. By georgiebird on Nov 12, 2013 | Reply

    When you win, everything is tolerated
    When you lose, everything is criticized

  7. By jstn on Nov 12, 2013 | Reply

    ryan tannehill 27 for 42 229 yards 2 TDs (no interceptions but a “LOSS”)
    carson palmer 20 for 32 241 yards 2 TDs (1 dumb interception but the “WIN”) plus i thought Texans #1 defense…
    Cardinal fans need to support our QB!!! Good JOB Carson!!! Your best game yet i feel.

  8. By Dynosoar on Nov 12, 2013 | Reply


    Please no! A hundred times NO!

    Scott H.,

    Welcome back. No on Rothlisberger, but dead on with the Panthers and National attention.

    The way San Francisco’s playing, I’m getting more and more exciting about our re-match. (Not so excited about facing Seattle in Seattle, but we have plenty of time to prepare. It’s all about peaking at the right time.)

    I remember someone saying if we were the only team in the NFL the main pundits would declare us the worst #1 team in history. Let them go ga-ga over the Panthers. We’ll be just fine.

    New York in February? I sure hope so.

  9. By Credit Card on Nov 12, 2013 | Reply


    In the chat you eluded that playing at Seattle will be the toughest game. I disagree. The game before with SF will be a play-off caliber game. Winner goes to the dance, loser gets a remote, soda, and a bowl of potato chips.

    Seattle is 9-1 and will run away with the best record. Mark my words, they will rest their starters, or anyone who is the slightest banged up, and rest. Seattle will have home field advantage regardless if they win or lose their last game. As a result, the Cards should win that game. It would be all moot if the Cards lose to the Rams and 49ers along the way.

  10. By Darren Urban on Nov 13, 2013 | Reply

    Credit —

    RE: Toughest

    First of all the Seattle game is first. SF game is the last of the season.

    And mark my words, the game at Seattle will be more difficult.

  11. By ored on Nov 12, 2013 | Reply

    i’m thinking ben is too much money and probably picks,would rather draft a qb to learn 1st year under palmer,just shore up the o-line and become more of a running team next year.if latest move solidifies TE,that saves us from drafting one,get a qb,lt,another rb,db,safety,and dt or olb,would rather sign a vet lt,that saves a draft pick.

    was just reading where brees said that johnny football has nfl game,would’nt that be interesting?

  12. By Credit Card on Nov 12, 2013 | Reply

    Another comment in the chat was about Mike Leach being a HOF candidate. I’ve been a huge Mike Leach fan. (I know this is a bad omen —but) the man is flawless. Perfect snaps each and every time. He blocks, and is often one of the first men down the field on punt coverage. He tackles, and stays in his lane, take on blockers … all the time quietly getting the job done.

    The position he plays is brutal. Both arms are between your legs and behind you in a squatting position. The only means to block and defend yourself is to use your shoulders. In the meantime defenders are using the small of your back as a spring-board, 300+ men falling upon you, and for the most part out of referee’s eyesight so that even more brutal punishment can be impounded upon the snapper.

    He has player (15-yrs?) w/o injury — and doing his job better than any other long-snapper — at least in my memory. It would be good if you media guys start the discussion with other media giants about the merits of a long-snapper being in the HOF.

  13. By Darren Urban on Nov 13, 2013 | Reply

    Credit —

    RE: Long snapper

    I like Mike a lot. But a long snapper is never getting in the Hall.

  14. By Scharf on Nov 12, 2013 | Reply

    Everyone who is harping on Palmer. Yes. He has thrown a lot of interceptions this year, and in fact has at least 1 in every game so far. But even with his miscues we are 5-4 and getting better offensively every game. To think your going to throw 5 TDs and 0 INTs every single game is crazy and that kind of Madden-Game thinking is going to get you in trouble. Palmer has done a nice job thus far, has he been boneheaded at times? yes. but if you go back and look, he is trying to force-feed Fitzgerald instead of taking what the defense is giving him. He has done a nice job responding this year, and regardless what you guys say about him – he brings some consistency to the position that we haven’t really had. We have had this lazy-Susan of quarterbacks that would play a few games and be swapped out like a dirt diaper because of poor play. We went out and got a veteran QB who is still capable of winning ball-games, no matter how ugly a win is – it is still a win. Let’s wait until Palmer has played a FULL year before we completely judge him – heck this is the same fan base that allowed themselves to think that John Skelton was the answer after his perfect preseason game.

  15. By Kevin S Mesa on Nov 12, 2013 | Reply

    Scott H —

    I get that you aren’t that impressed with Palmer. He isn’t a top 5 QB, no doubt. But he’s markedly better than we had, in a year where draft options were slim, so what option did we have? (Yes, I know you wanted A. Smith, but he wasn’t coming here. Stanton? Who knows how that would’ve worked out, but after three years of trying to turn backup QB’s from other teams into our starter, I’m OK with not trying that route a fourth year.)

    Let’s be more honest about the stats though. Palmer has 2,154 yards through 9 games… that’s a pace of 3,829. That isn’t close to 4,000? And we should be very glad to get some games like the Atlanta game where we rush for 200 yards, making it possible to dominate without gaudy passing stats.

    Again, the INT’s are really the only reason to be down on Palmer. And in this game, there was only one, and it was as much if not more Housler’s fault than Palmer’s. Palmer hasn’t been great, but that’s two games in a row with QBR of 116 and 93, respectively. Not shabby at all.

  16. By Marcelof on Nov 13, 2013 | Reply

    Was it obvious they’d handoff the football on the third play? I don’t think so, that’s the magic of this game, It may look obvious sometimes but It may not be, strategy is the key to succeed. It wouldn’t have surprised me if they had run the ball for five straight plays in a wildcat with Ellington. It’s so much exciting to notice cards got options on offense, lots of them. The addition of a fresh QB next April plus a solid left tackle and the return of Cooper, oh God, NFC West’s Crown has its owner in 2014.

  17. By Big Ken on Nov 13, 2013 | Reply

    Oh I’d say Coach Arians knows very well what he has in Andre Ellington.

  18. By clssylssy on Nov 13, 2013 | Reply

    I can’t say that I was impressed with the execution of the wildcat with Ellington under center, it looked forced and clumsy BUT I was happy to see the effort at something different. Seems like it would have made more sense with Peterson under center and I get the impression that BA is putting players into situations that will put them in the spotlight and connect them to him as the man behind the new found talent, the guru of playmakers. Peterson has experience as a QB, don’t know about Ellington, but of the two Peterson is more experienced and poised with Ellington just having his debut on the national scene. Ellington does remind me of Sproles but you don’t see Sean Peyton trying to use Sproles as an every down back or playing every other position where there is a need for a speedy fillin. Perhaps with more practice this play will become more natural and less rehersed and give our offense a new angle. Going into this stretch, my priority is to keep our guys healthy and off the IR with season ending injuries as we have some tough and physical game coming up in which the Cards are going to need everything they have plus a few special surprises. I like seeing a different face to our game and have been impressed with Carson Palmer’s ability to recover after a setback and push on with a renewed sense of purpose. Interceptions aren’t great but even Drew Brees throws them (props to the Honey Badger) and the important thing is to adapt, overcome, and keep on moving those chains! The fans were screaming for a new coach and now that they have one they need to get behind him because it is what it is and this is is HIS rodeo!

  19. By Dynosoar on Nov 13, 2013 | Reply

    Carson Palmer has played 9 games and is still playing. He’s not injured. Interceptions hurt, but Favre owns the record for most interceptions and I don’t ever remember people calling him out for them (although they may have, I don’t remember it.)

    Palmer is still uninjured! Think about that.

  20. By dan on Nov 13, 2013 | Reply

    It makes sense to use Mendenhall between the tackles — he has the body to absorb the punishment. It makes sense to use Ellington in space. Arians has it right.
    Peterson isn’t willing to put his nose in a tackler, I don’t think he belongs as a running back. I would like to see Ryan Williams be Ellington’s option back.
    Go Cards.

  21. By Matthew Thomas on Nov 13, 2013 | Reply

    2 Let u guy’s know that we’re doing good this year that’s great. But facing both Colts, Seahawks and 49ers will be Tougher to Beat.

  22. By Patrick Hoog aka Don't Take Losses on Nov 13, 2013 | Reply

    Randle was a great QB at IU (my alma mater)… not good, great. Ellington at QB does not leave the pass option in the playbook unless he can throw and he has nbo game history to judge.. Randle El was great passer and PP is pretty good. Like to see PP at QB and El (Ellington) crossing

  23. By Scott H on Nov 13, 2013 | Reply

    Well, I’m glad that Palmer is not injured. But…is THAT what passes for a good QB these days???

    And I never said that Palmer had to throw for 5 TD’s and no INT’s every week. And that’s good. Because he hasn’t come close to a game like that. Let’s not over-do it the other way, folks.

  24. By Dan on Nov 13, 2013 | Reply

    I agree that Peterson would make a good drop-back quarterback because ) he can throw 2) he can run in open space, 3) he’s smart, and 4) he could slide before getting hit.
    But he’s not a good wildcat QB because he’s afraid of turning it upfield in traffic.

  25. By Scott H on Nov 13, 2013 | Reply

    Dynosoar –

    No to Roethlisberger?? Really? You’re that oppsed to him?? We’ll probably never have to worry about it, but…can’t believe anyone would be that opposed to him coming here. A big, tough QB still in his prime with 2 SB wins already on his resume? And, unfortuantely, we’ve seen how good he can be in those big games. I’m having a hard time guessing what’s not to like…he’s had some off the field issues, for sure, but he’s a few years removed from that and has been better-behaved recently.

    Again, we’ll probably never have to worry about it.

  26. By Scott H on Nov 13, 2013 | Reply

    Folks, give it a rest with how we need to support our QB. Please. Is that REALLY supposed to make him play better??? First, I DO support our QB simply because he IS our QB. I want anyone who plays QB for the Cardinals to play well because I like it when we win games. But stop being so sensitive to ANY criticism of Carson Palmer!!! I’m sorry, but ANY QB who has a TD-to-INT ratio of 12 to 15 after 9 games is a below-average QB and one that I am not gonna get very excited about.

    Again, I DO support him and I WANT him to do well, OK? I’m not sittng behind the bench on Sundays and booing him. I’m not sending hate mail to his house. And I really don’t think any of my criticism of him is making him throw more INT’s than TD passes. Gimme a break….

  27. By Mona Ward on Nov 13, 2013 | Reply

    Why isnt anyone talking about the real question here- which is….what happened to PPs courage? Why is it last year all he asked for was 5 yards and he would make a play- and now with 20 yards he runs straight to the sideline or even worse, he runs backwards???? When he sees the defense coming at him he actually STOPS running!!! What happened to him? Why is he scared all of the sudden? what happened to those explosive returns??? I say keep Aneas in there to return the punts- he isn’t scared….yet.

  28. By Scott H on Nov 14, 2013 | Reply

    Didn’t say he ( Palmer ) was really bad. And I’m glad he has played better the last two games. Unfortuantely, all of the games he played before that counted, too. Hey, if he plays better going forward, I’ll be very happy about that. The Jags are one of the worst teams in the league right now against the pass. He should be able to throw for 300-plus and 3 TD’s and be able to sit on the sidelines and watch the 4th quarter from there. We’ll see.

  29. By clssylssy on Nov 15, 2013 | Reply

    Palmer has improved with an ever changing landscape and different targets from week-to-week. He has proven to be durable and is able to keep his head after being blitzed, sacked, and making mistakes, a trait that is not measureable with stats and gets overlooked or minimized. Hopefully, he will be healthy for the remainder of the season as we are entering a very tough stretch going up against Foles (#1 QB last week ahead of Peyton Manning), Wilson, and Kaepernick (underrated) . We saw how a good QB can tear us up when we played the Saints but our TEs are now a factor in our game and we have some surprises in BAs bag of tricks that our opponents never heard of. Hope that Palmer continues on a steady pace and stays healthy. He should get combat pay for the jabs he takes from the “fans”. GO CARDS! STAY HEALTHY!

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