Trust and the 50/50 ball

Posted by Darren Urban on November 25, 2013 – 10:52 am

Sometimes, practice doesn’t make perfect. Sometimes, it’s only game-action that truly can forge what a player can do. That’s often tackling, because you can’t practice it live against your own teammates. And for similar reasons, it’s the same for the jump balls a quarterback throws to a receiver.

From the lofted fade pattern to Larry Fitzgerald for a touchdown to the 29-yard bomb to Michael Floyd early in the second quarter, Carson Palmer tossed it up and counted on his receivers to bring it down.

(Poor Vontae Davis, who was the cornerback victimized on both plays. Obviously, the Cards sensed a weakness.)

Those jump balls weren’t being caught early in the year, for a variety of reasons. Who can forget the interception early in the year on the long jump-ball pass to Floyd, the one Bruce Arians said he thought Floyd should have broken up? Or even a lack of jump balls thrown to Fitz, which might’ve just been a case of Fitz’s hamstrings and being physically limited. But if the Cards can try more of those down the stretch to Fitz and Floyd, the chunk plays and the scoring plays should keep coming.

Especially now that Palmer has a trust good things will happen. He couldn’t have known that this summer, or even really in training camp.

“With those kinds of things, you don’t gain trust and know the plays the guy can make or can’t make until you’re playing games with guys,” Palmer said. “In practice, nobody is going up for 50-50 balls, risking an ankle injury or coming down on a shoulder, so you have to see it in games.

“I’m starting to realize the types of plays that those guys have the ability to make and the types of plays they don’t. I’m getting a feel for where I can put certain balls. It’s just something that when you see it on the film and when you see it on the field, you can’t practice that. You can’t see it in practice and all of a sudden go, ‘OK, I know exactly how he’s going to react to this.’ You’ve got to see it on game day. Mike (Floyd) has done a great job making those plays recently.”

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23 Responses to “Trust and the 50/50 ball”

  1. By John The Draft Guy on Nov 25, 2013 | Reply


    Funny, I just was writing about the trust Palmer has in his wrs and oline on the last blog as this article popped up.
    I guess we are on the same wave length.

  2. By Mike G on Nov 25, 2013 | Reply

    Hey Darren–Hope all is good in Cardinal land. It should be because Big Red played a great game yesterday. All 3 phases were good. They finally beat a winning team which I think is important in gaining confidence. They jumped on Indy right from the start and didn’t let up. Palmer played well – had no turnovers and seems to be developing some nice chemistry among his receivers. He seems to be more comfortable in the pocket the last few weeks. Hey Darren– Is it me–or does it seem that Palmer is getting the ball out quicker than he did earlier in the season????

  3. By Darren Urban on Nov 25, 2013 | Reply

    Mike G —

    RE: Palmer

    I think the entire offense is clicking together better.

  4. By beardinals on Nov 25, 2013 | Reply

    So true. The one thing we tend to gloss over early in the season is the new offense AND the fact that these players are new to each other. Another sign of little patience in the NFL… and society nowadays.

  5. By LadyBird04 on Nov 25, 2013 | Reply

    The Trust is a two way street. I’m glad Palmer is getting better at trusting the recievers. I also believe the recievers are starting to trust the qb to actually get the ball in their zip code. (Unlike the carousel of qb’s from the last two years) It’s hard on both the qb and wr’s to click immediately. I’m glad to see Larry finally getting his td’s and both he and Floyd will keep cb’s busy for the rest of the season. It’s not just them – what were there 10 or 11 different receivers yesterday? If you were defending the Cards – who would you cover? Finally we have a passing/running team. Just have to continue.

  6. By Patrick Hoog aka Don't Take Losses on Nov 25, 2013 | Reply

    Palmer is a very accurate passer(wow, think bakc to Skelton et al) and getting a real feel for the pocket with this OL, he is in sync.Noticed BA is giving more help where needed, like on Mathis Sunday with real chip blocks (Smith did well), not just shoulder fakes. Also noticed Housler does really good job blocking and then looking for that screen pass. a very dynamic and well executed play, time after play. Bravo on the play calling and execution!!!

  7. By Kevin on Nov 25, 2013 | Reply

    Fight for Carson to keep the Movember stach!

  8. By mal on Nov 25, 2013 | Reply


    Did Bethel play any snaps against the Colts? Thx.

  9. By Darren Urban on Nov 25, 2013 | Reply

    Mal —

    RE: Bethel

    Sure he played. Earlier today he lamented that he missed a couple of ST tackles he felt he should have had.

  10. By John The Draft Guy on Nov 25, 2013 | Reply

    I am going to go out on a limb and say this team is better than our 2008 team.
    Here is why;
    In 2008, our defense was ranked 28th in scoring defense. We couldn’t stop anyone when we needed to. ( see last 2 min of Superbowl ).
    Our 2008 defense only picked 13 balls and had 31 sacks.

    This 2013 version is ranked 7th in NFL, they are projected to have 44 sacks and 22 picks. If we had this defense, we walk away with the superbowl.

    Offensively, we had the passing game with Warner. No argument, he was awesome. But there was no run game as we were near the bottom with 73 yards per game.

    The 2013 version isn’t putting up Warner numbers. But we are starting to run the ball better, ( 89 yards per game ) and over the last 3 games, Palmer has 6 Tds, to one pick, 68% comp ration and a QB rating over 100.

    I would also say, this is year one of Arians vs year two of Whiz. I think since the Bye, you have seen the emergence of Housler and Floyd. You are seeing a QB more comfortable and an offense emerging against some good defenses.

    Overall, this is a better team because it has a defense to go with this offense that has put up 25+ in four straight games.

    One similarity, The 2008 Cards were 7-4 when they went to Philly and got smoked 48-20. Then came home to beat the rams.
    The 7-4, 2013 cards next two games; on the road to Philly and home vs rams.

  11. By Dynosoar on Nov 25, 2013 | Reply

    John The Draft Guy,

    Now that’s some good comparisons. I like the coincidence of the next two games. To bad for the Eagles we’ve turned things around and the score will be 48-20 for our Cardinals. Haha.

    I’ve maintained for years Whizenhunt was building a dynasty. He was and now Arians will get to finish building that dynasty.

    We’ll be a force to recon with for years to come. John, are you for the red pants with the black jersey? I am. Then our uniform will match the bird on the helmet.

  12. By robert on Nov 25, 2013 | Reply

    love the Cardinal;s since 1988 but we have to be realistic because the real season starts next sunday in Phil. How many games have the Cardinals played in the wind clod, rain and whatever other weather they will have to deal with this year? How much practice time have they had in this weather? Exactly zero. Plus east coast early start time. I would have the team out ther on Friday for at least a few practices in that the eagles are coming off a bye. All i am saying is that they easily lose the next 5 games. However if they get by this game and the one ion Tn then I will feel more confident about their playoff chances

  13. By John The Draft Guy on Nov 25, 2013 | Reply

    Robert and others,

    My comment about being better that the 2008 group has nothing to do with the playoffs.

    A 7-9 team made the playoffs and an 11-5 team did not. It has so much about how the league plays out. The AFC has a 5-6 team in while the NFC could have a 7-4 team out.

    Our 2008 team was 9-7. Do I think we will get at least 9 wins? Yes. But 9 wins won’t get us to the playoffs. I believe we can beat the Rams and Titans. 9 wins. 10 wins? sure, knocking off either the niners or eagles.

    This team is good enough to get 10 wins. Will 10 wins be good enough?
    That niners game at the end could be a playoff game.

  14. By Erik on Nov 25, 2013 | Reply

    hey Darren, can you tell the tech guys that when we watch videos on the website(not mobile) there’ no toggle full screen like before. There’s just the volume adjustment but even that doesn’t work lol. Kind of sucks how we have to watch it minimized. Thanks. GO CARDS!!!

  15. By Darren Urban on Nov 25, 2013 | Reply

    Erik —

    RE: Tech

    I will note it, but that is under the league umbrella and something I will need to pass on to them.

  16. By Peter in Canada on Nov 25, 2013 | Reply

    Dynosaur –

    I think Whiz was vilified unfairly. He was criticized for his play calling in particular and the dreadful play of the offence in general and people said he was only successful because of Warner. While there is truth in this he had to make do with Leinart, Anderson, Skelton, Kolb and several others. Vince Lombardi couldn’t have won with them. On yesterday’s telecast it was mentioned that we have 27 players who were not on the 2012 roster.

    That indicates to me that the real problem was Groves rather than Whiz and it also accounts for our slow start this year.

  17. By T. Stone on Nov 25, 2013 | Reply

    @ Peter in Canada

    Whiz was Vilified unfairly? HAHAHAHAHA 2010 Cards had a 7 game losing streak. That’s the team quitting on the coach. 2011 Cards had a 6 game losing streak and in 2012, a 9 game losing streak and they lost 11 of their last 12. He was on one of those leashes that just keeps coming out of the plastic handle and never stops. Your right about Graves though, if he would have fired Whiz sooner he would probably still have his job.

  18. By cardsalltheway on Nov 25, 2013 | Reply

    Peter in Canada,
    “I think Whiz was vilified unfairly.”


    Whiz knew had done messed things up and couldn’t come to terms with it, those kind of things spread like a virus, brings the team down and causes sickness. We were a sick team. A sickness that couldn’t be cured as long as he was the coach and the incompetent slow afoot leftovers alike(Levi Brown) remained.

  19. By Dr. G. on Nov 25, 2013 | Reply

    Good to see the Ponies get spanked and wrangled…

    Palmer quoted: “I’m starting to realize the types of plays that those guys have the ability to make and the types of plays.” (from Darren’s article) Is Palmer telling us that he is a slow learner….11 games to get the lights to come on? Coming in, he had a Hall-of Famer, an up-and-coming Sophomore (Floyd) who is as good as or better that Boldin, a receiver who would be #1 on many teams (Roberts), and a coach who grooms the TE’s to block and run over defenses. What’s there to know? What? Believing in the superstitious mustache is as curious as his statement. !!! Perhaps he now realizes that short passes don’t get it done.

    I am in Palmer’s corner (for this year), but with this sort of commentary, his leadership baffles….

  20. By Dr. G. on Nov 25, 2013 | Reply

    Arians quoted: “Every game is a playoff game.” (from interviews) WISDOM…

    Arians knows there are 4 or 5 good teams in the hunt for the Wild Card spots.

    He also knows we have a zero chance for the Division.

    He knows that the toughest games are looming, esp. in the Division.

    He knows that we cannot rely on tie-breakers the way things are shaking out.

    He knows that 3 wins probably won’t do it… we need 4 wins to get to the dance.

    If Palmer can continue his streaky play, we can get this done, but “every game is a play off game.” This does not have to be a Cinderella team. It can be done; wouldn’t it be just outstanding???? We have to go through Seattle (maybe twice) or New Orleans to hoist another banner.

    Be well Cards fans…. growin’ the stash just in case….

  21. By Dr. G. on Nov 25, 2013 | Reply

    Well, it’s late evening after the 49’ers beat the Skins (a gift). It was fun to see the Cardinals listed as one of the 2 Wildcards even if only 1 day. A good college team could have taken the Skins tonight. But the 49’ers move back to the 6th spot ‘cuz we lost to them last time. We need to put an ass kickin’ on them the next time. They did not look all that good…. They have a weak schedule sans Seattle and the Cards. We gotta hope they lose one of those easy games. We’ll be back…. later….

  22. By ored on Nov 26, 2013 | Reply

    now is the time to look forward to those tough matchups,i think we got our swag,now just need to stick it to em.we no longer have an anxiety attack having to play the 9ers or the hags,now it’s equal footing and bring your A game,your gonna need it.

  23. By Brian on Nov 26, 2013 | Reply

    to be honest with my fellow red sea fans, I never thought we would have made it to the playoffs this year. shoot, 8 thought 8-8 would be realistic. but damn, were talking playoffs! were in the race and the race is looking great. (beating the panthers and the lions).

    personally, I cant wait to face those 9ers. the cardinals are playing with humble attitude and a mentality of get-out-of-our-way.

    feels great to a be a cards fan.
    in bruce I trust!

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