Cooper’s angry toe, and B.A.’s thoughts

Posted by Darren Urban on August 21, 2014 – 12:27 pm

The same three players will miss practice again Thursday with injuries — Kevin Minter (pectoral), Max Starks (ankle) and Jonathan Cooper (toe). And Cooper knows everyone is waiting on him to get back and start showing what made him a No. 1 draft pick. His turf toe is not cooperating.

“It’s getting better each day, but it hasn’t gotten to the point where I feel I can be effective and really evaluated fairly,” Cooper said.

Sometimes, Cooper admits, he can play up on his toes, which technically is not correct. But until he breaks that habit it’s a factor given that the toe injury makes it very difficult to push off. Ted Larsen will start at left guard for the Cardinals Sunday in the third preseason game, and at this point, Cooper is running out of time to make sure he’s the starting left guard when the regular season begins Sept. 8.

“It’s definitely been tough sitting out, especially coming off an injury that forced me to sit out so long,” Cooper said. “I just have to understand it’s part of my personal process. As long as I come back ready to play, everything will be OK.”

— Coach Bruce Arians said he wasn’t happy with the intensity of Wednesday’s practice, and it bothered him since the 2013 Cardinals had issues early in the season with having mediocre practices on Wednesday following the normal Tuesday off day — like the Cards had this week.

“We are going to try and nip that in the bud,” Arians said. “Just pointing out the trends to them that we do not want to set.”

— Arians knows new defensive lineman Ryan McBean because he was coaching with the Steelers when McBean was drafted there. But he reserved big praise for the other new defensive lineman Isaac Sopoaga. “I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a guy take a physical, sign a contract, get dressed, takes reps with the first-team defense and tell them what they were doing,” Arians said of Sopoaga’s Wednesday debut. “It was a real good start for him. He brings a lot of energy and professionalism.”

— The starters will play no more than a half Sunday, Arians reiterated, and “hopefully less than a half if we are playing really well.”

— The Cards will not fill their open two roster spots since the team has to shave the roster down to 75 Tuesday anyway, Arians said.

— Finally, there was this interesting comment about the defense: “I think we are better than we were last year right now at this time,” Arians said. “This defense is better than that one, even without Darnell.” Now, the Cardinals defense got better as the season went along, and didn’t have Daryl Washington for the first four games either. Last year’s defense was still learning what Todd Bowles wanted. But Arians definitely can’t be faulted for having confidence in his team.

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29 Responses to “Cooper’s angry toe, and B.A.’s thoughts”

  1. By D on Aug 21, 2014 | Reply

    I believe one of BA’s main reason for optimism is D. Bishop. People in GB really liked him but his track record with injuries makes you want to quell it for now until he can stay healthy for a period of time to produce during regular season games..

  2. By Dynosoar on Aug 21, 2014 | Reply

    Copper was drafted because he’s incredibly talented and had shown that during his college career. As many have said, he’s a beast!

    I’ve never had “turf toe”, but as a fencing coach I have injured my forefinger and while I could do all my day to day activities, wielding a fencing foil or sabre caused tremendous pain, enough to sometimes lose my grip and I wasn’t blocking a Darnell Dockett or a Frostee Rucker, just parrying another blade.

    All Cooper needs is to remember who he is and he’ll be better than he was in college. He’s got a better surrounding cast and can dedicate himself more fully to the game than he ever could in school. He’ll be just fine, just needs to remember. He needs the challenge of the game and it’ll come.

    I’m looking forward to seeing Ellington and Dwyer and Taylor slingshot out of the whole created from Cooper in beast mode. I close my eyes and can see it, what a sweet dream this is. Please, Jonathan, come back sooner and make this a reality against San Diego.

  3. By krehbieo14 on Aug 21, 2014 | Reply

    The depth of the Cards helps immensely on both sides of the ball. Dockett’s loss will be filled effectively with Rucker, Stinson, Martin and various defensive schemes. IMO, Minter and Cooper are a bigger issue. Their injury types are nagging in nature. Both turf toe and a pectoral tear can be slow to heal. I just hope that both of them mend properly without need for surgery. You don’t want your first and second 2013 draft picks out of commission. Larsen and Bishop will have to hold down the fort until we know more. They are both adequate replacements. We’ll know more about the severity of Coop’s and Minter’s injuries in a couple of weeks. Let’s hope it’s nothing too serious and they are ready to roll! Best wishes to Darnell.

  4. By br in nc on Aug 21, 2014 | Reply

    I really like Sopoga (even though I don’t think I can spell his name yet!) comes in jumps in practice, and seems like he took it over, seems he has the heart and desire, hopefully he can shake the rust off quickly and show what he is capable of. SK & BA seem to be 2 for 2 with late veteran signings (Bishop & Sopoga (sp) both impressed coaching staff on first day or two!) Not sure about Mcbean yet, may have to give him some time (which he don’t have much of…camp is almost a wrap!)
    Reading where kicking under pressure has fired Feely up again, I think if I read correctly he is perfect on field goals last two practices. Anyone seen how his kickoffs have been doing? That seems to be the biggest concern, getting more hangtime and deeper kicks! Reading about his kickoffs vs Vikings, he was kicking them 4-8 yards deep into the endzone, yet Vikings were getting good returns, don’t think anyone can lay all the blame on Feely’s shoulders (or in this case his LEG!) Sounds like Cards need to tighten up the kick coverage, or the Vikings have one hell of a kick return game already in place.

  5. By Fredrick Hutchison on Aug 21, 2014 | Reply


    Can this team afford to fail on another offensive lineman? Leonard Davis.. the bum we traded away last season… and now maybe Cooper? Why does this orginization struggle to draft great talent at the two most important roles in football… QB and QB protection…

  6. By Darren Urban on Aug 21, 2014 | Reply

    Fredrick —

    RE: OL

    Well, it’s awful early to saw Cooper was a fail. And Leonard Davis was good OL, made several Pro Bowls. Just not with the Cards or at left tackle.

  7. By Scott H on Aug 21, 2014 | Reply

    C’mon, Cooper….damn, man. Geez, I defended you on a previous blog where someone expressed that you didn’t look the part. Maybe that was un-fair, but…you aren’t exactly showing us that you DO look the part. You ain’t showed much of anything. It’s almost curtain time and our first round pick from LAST YEAR is still mostly unkown to us.

  8. By louis on Aug 21, 2014 | Reply

    i hear no one talking about playoffs maybe next year.

  9. By br in nc on Aug 23, 2014 | Reply

    Aahhh Louis!! We have missed your insightful comments, you been off trolling other sights? Have not seen you in awhile ( not that I’m complaining, mind you!!!) But I see by your return here your mommy has stopped giving you the attention you need! Welcome back troll.

  10. By Hammy on Aug 21, 2014 | Reply

    Man sure seems like J. Coop is like “Glass Joe” from “Punch Out”! We are facing way too many injuries at this point in time and we haven’t even played a regular season game yet. I hope these young rookies (Stinson and Martin) can step up fast and provide some of that fight that Dockett brought for the past 9 years.

  11. By Timmy on Aug 21, 2014 | Reply

    And here we go again. First game we are the greatest thing on earth; next game, the team is falling apart and our draft picks are busts. They have injuries. It happens, this is football. Can everyone just take a breath and relax. If there is anything that Keim and Arians have shown it is that they are capable of overcoming things like this. I still think this is going to be a great year. I also think that Cooper is going to be a really good lineman. You styling about a 300+ LB man who snapped his leg and had his toe rolled up on. It might take a little time to get back to 100%, but he will get there.

  12. By Fredrick Hutchison on Aug 22, 2014 | Reply

    He was struggling prior to his toe… per anyone whos been at practice … from coach to fans.

  13. By br in nc on Aug 23, 2014 | Reply

    He broke his damn leg, out for the year, give the kid some time, geez! He (most) athletes that have a major injury are going to be timid, (ok maybe not the right word) lack confidence in the leg ( or whatever the injury was) he just needs time, it will click real soon, and we will start to see what we saw when he was drafted. I would hope that once Cooper “is back” and starts impressing people again, all you naysayers wont run and hide, prepare yourselves for some crow!! But I’m pretty sure we wont here a peep out of any of you!

  14. By Timmy on Aug 21, 2014 | Reply

    That should be “talking about” not styling about.

  15. By drummer-1 on Aug 21, 2014 | Reply

    Hey Darren.. I thought a player was considered a bust when he’s drafted early and on the field and don’t perform well, not when he’s injured and can’t get on the field.. please correct me if I’m wrong..

  16. By Darren Urban on Aug 22, 2014 | Reply

    drummer —

    RE: “Bust”

    Well, I suppose it’s in the eye of the beholder.

    Andre Wadsworth had his career derailed with injuries. Was he a bust as a third overall pick? Some think he was. I don’t think there’s a “true” definition.

  17. By Steve on Aug 21, 2014 | Reply

    Darren: The Cards never had this many injuries in preseason when John Lott was here….

  18. By Darren Urban on Aug 22, 2014 | Reply

    Steve —

    RE: injuries

    Are you sure about that? I haven’t done the research. Have you?

  19. By Cactus jeff on Aug 21, 2014 | Reply

    Scott H
    That someone was me

    MJ from the radio “no could have predicted a week ago Larsen would be starting LG”.

    Actually that was me again, I mentioned it to Darren after the first preseason game in the form of a question.

    Just like Ryan Williams. Injuries that force players to be non weight bearing for long periods of time are devastating. Patellar tendon rupture, micro fracture surgery(see Amare Stoudamire) and a serious fx like Cooper require them to be nonweightbearing. With ACL tears, after surgery, they start weight bearing immediately. that is why Adrian Peterson returned to form so quickly. Now with Cooper, he isn’t physically imposing but he used to be an explosive athlete. Not so much anymore and since he isn’t a 320lbs. mauler, without the explosion, not good….

    Larsen will do fine. RT is a bigger concern.

  20. By br in nc on Aug 24, 2014 | Reply

    Larsen is a versatile lineman, he has to be in order to remain in the league, he isn’t a naturally gifted athlete, he has to work harder than others (and he does!) he has to be smarter than others (and he is!) but he is NOT the long term, permanent answer at LG, at least not for the Cardinals. COOPER is the long term answer and anchor for the Cardinals at LG. Larsen was a very valuable under the radar Free Agent signing (may turn out to be one of the best “not talked about” “under the radar” ” surprise” whatever you choose to call it) that the Cards pulled off in a couple of years. IMHO, Larsen could turn out to be LS’s replacement at Center, down the road a few years, but Cooper will be the anchor at LG for the next 10 years, and mark my words…Cooper will make the Pro Bowl (probably more than once!) before all is said and done.

    PS – I’m sure I will catch hell for this one (not to mention I’am admitting my stupidity!!) But Larsen was such an “under the radar” free agent signing, up until last week, I thought the pictures I was seeing of him were Ed Stinson!!! No joke guys, that’s how popular Larsen is/was. (In my defense, they do look a lot alike, you dress them the same and put them in a crowd, and it is almost impossible to pick who is Larsen and who is Stinson! LOL!! OK, OK, OK, Im trying to justify my stupidity with some humor, and I’m pretty sure it isn’t working, so I will leave it at that! Damn, I have a feeling I’m about to find out that…HONESTY is not always the best policy!!! LOL!

  21. By ryan on Aug 22, 2014 | Reply

    I have no idea why i keep reading these blogs. i should just read the story and stop there. Not that there isnt a few interesting posts that actually have some thought behind them.

    Coop BROKE his leg last year- how would YOU be doing at this point if you did the same? Ya- thats what i thought. His injured toe has more strength in it than most of you will ever have.

    playoffs?…. playoffs??…. playoffs!

    i remember a bunch of you talking about how bad we were going to be last year…

  22. By Andrew on Aug 22, 2014 | Reply

    Everyone needs to give Cooper a break.

    He snapped his leg last year in open space which is where the coaching staffs wants him. He got rolled up on by a running back. It’s not as if he was jogging off the practice field and slipped and hurt himself. So far he’s just missing preseason games.

    Now if the turf toe limits him throughout the season then we can talk at that time.

  23. By br in nc on Aug 24, 2014 | Reply

    A lot of naysayers seem to forget quite abit of stuff especially when it doesn’t benefit their post! As for Cooper, thanks for pointing out the FACT he was 15-20yards downfield blocking, you wont see that in a lot of linemen, especially in a preseason game, Cooper did it constantly at UNC, and did it against some of the best LB’s and DB’s, for his whole career, always out in front looking to hit someone! He just needs time to build his confidence in the leg back up, and get this turf toe injury healed, and he will prove his worth! Unfortunately turf toe can linger and basically bother you for months if it doesn’t heal correctly.

  24. By clssylssy on Aug 22, 2014 | Reply

    Most people don’t realize how debilitating foot problems can be and many tend to scoff at turf toe…until they experience it personally. Foot problems can be crippling for anyone but for a professional athlete they can significantly impair their production and sometimes end their career as happened to Carl Nicks who suffered from an infected toe last season (MRSA). Last winter I broke my great toe and can honestly say I was crippled as I was unable to bear any weight on that foot until my toe healed as well as the soft tissue damage around the cartilage; my foot would swell when not elevated and the ongoing severe pain disrupted my sleep pattern. I can’t imagine having to play sports for a living with any kind of injured toe as our toes are necessary for balance and to push off with. My sympathies go out to Coop because I can understand the tremendous pressure he is under to get back to the field and produce, especially after his injury last season.
    Being the big guy he is, coming back from these kinds of injuries will slow the process because of the weight bearing issue. I hope that the Cards staff and fans will show some compassion, hang in there before judging until he can get back and show what he can do when healthy. Sometimes it’s not mind over matter, and there are legitimate medical issues complicating what seems to be something minor, rather than the malingering suggested by some frustrated fans.

  25. By br in nc on Aug 23, 2014 | Reply

    And another 100 thumbs up from me!! Even though I don’t put any weight into the thumbs up/down, I read each post and judge it for myself, don’t use it much at all and know that some come on here and thumbs down every single comment made, that is why I prefer to judge for myself and post a comment rather than blindly vote with a thumb!! So I bestow onto you all the THUMBS UP that I could use up on other comments to you!! I am 100% with you on this one! ( just wish I could “lay it out” like you, I just don’t have the manners, And don’t particularly care if I step on someones toes (no pun intended) or I f I hurt someones fellings by not being politically correct, I could care less, never had that talent, sometimes I wish I did, but other times, as in most times, I’m glad I don’t! (Will never be politically correct, nor do I ever want to be!! LOL!)

  26. By Timmy on Aug 22, 2014 | Reply

    That is far and away the best post on here! If I could give you 100 thumbs up I would. The man is injured give him a break! If he stinks when he is healthy, he is a bust and needs to go away. I think we should wait until then though! Great comment!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  27. By cards62 on Aug 23, 2014 | Reply

    Concerning Cooper I still remember watching him pull and run down field and block last preseason and smiling all night, because I have followed the team for over 40 years and remember all of our bad OL. I am not ready to give up on him yet and just hope he gets healthy and then can forget about the injuries and play like he did last preseason.

    Concerning Todd B. comments on our defense. I really like Todd and the job he is doing for our team so his comments make me happy, but my two big worries going into this season is our front 7 on defense and 1/2 of our o-line. Just some bad breaks on defense as our front 7 last year was the best part of the team to me.

    I am excited most about Carson and our wideouts this year and second by our secondary. The last time I was excited about our secondary A. Williams was playing.

    Glad we are playing the Bengals 3rd preseason game as they have a very good offense so this should show us something about our defense Sunday night. Looking forward to the game. Go Cards!

  28. By red bird of death! on Aug 24, 2014 | Reply

    Ok everyone should just chill on Coop, he’s already out 2 weeks with what 2 more before the first game of the season, yes we need him but I think they know his potential and we probably won’t see him until game 2 or 3, sucks though.

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