Game day for Andre and Saturday before the Chargers

Posted by Darren Urban on September 6, 2014 – 3:02 pm

Will he or won’t he? I’m sure the last thing the Cardinals wanted going into the opener was having their key offensive piece be a game-day decision, but that’s where we are left with running back Andre Ellington and his pesky foot problem. Bruce Arians said Ellington did enough in practice Saturday (pictured right) to convince him that Ellington could possibly play Monday, so there is that.

“We can’t worry about injuries,” Arians said. “Nobody cares but us.”Andre3MAINblog

Even if he doesn’t play, the beat moves on. If you look at the key guys not playing in total that you had hoped would – Washington and Mathieu and Dockett and Cooper, aside from Ellington – it can be a daunting list. But these are things that don’t make Bruce Arians flinch. He will forever have that 2012 season with the Colts burned on his brain, when everyone seemed to get hurt for Indy (except for Andrew Luck) and they still won 11 games. That will be the memory Arians will fall back upon, and why his “Next Man Up” battle cry isn’t just lip service. Whether the Cardinals can too make it work, we’ll see. The Chargers are just the first in a tough schedule.

— Punter Dave Zastudil was added to the injury list as questionable Saturday with a groin injury. That’s not good, obviously. The Cardinals did cut linebacker Desmond Bishop Saturday, so maybe the Cardinals fill that spot with a new punter if Zastudil can’t go. (Kicker Chandler Catanzaro punted once last season in college at Clemson.)

— If I had to pick just one major key to the game Monday, I’d have to go with the pressure the Cardinals need to put on Philip Rivers. There are other important aspects, of course. The Cardinals need to show they can stop the run again, and they need to protect Carson Palmer as promised. But after the vanilla preseason, it’s important that the Cards can hurry Rivers in the pocket. Once in a while without a blitz, preferably.

— Here is not a surprise in the least: The presence of new left tackle Jared Veldheer has completely changed the tension level for offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin.

“For me, for Carson, it’s about being comfortable,” Goodwin said. “For me, I can worry about other things. I don’t have to worry about chip-help for the tackle all the time. That relieves a whole lot of stress.”

No question Veldheer gives the Cardinals something Levi Brown simply did not, and that Bradley Sowell can not. In the end, Veldheer is seen by many fans as a savior to that position, although Veldheer isn’t all that comfortable with the notion.

“I guess that’s an OK thing, but to me, the biggest thing is being accountable to the guys on the line and the offense and the team,” he said. “And that’s me doing my job.”

— Got a chance to catch up briefly with Darnell Dockett yesterday, and he was as Darnell as always. He’s already pushing himself hard on his knee, even this early.

“You put the time in, got nothing else to do,” he said. “My coaches are supporting me, they know my work so they give me the green light to do everything I can to come back faster. There can’t be a better situation other than not being in this situation in the first place.”

— I’ve had many people ask me what the ramifications might be for suspended linebacker Daryl Washington if the new drug policy – rumored to be close – is passed. The truth is, I have no idea. Part of the problem is that it hasn’t publicly been said why Washington was suspended. He said in his statement it was for marijuana, but you’d need more details than that. Let’s put it this way, first this new policy actually has to be put in place – and it hasn’t yet. I still wouldn’t hold my breath for Washington even if it does.

— It’ll be an emotional night Monday. Aside from the game itself and the knowledge it is on national television, Kurt Warner gets inducted into the Ring of Honor at halftime. I’d guess there will be some well-remembered highlights played too. Don’t leave your seats.

— Carparks open at 3 p.m. Monday. Don’t forget your clear bags.

— With all the Ellington news, the possibility of Tyrann Mathieu playing has seemingly been pushed to the background. I still think the Cardinals are going to err on the side of caution and keep him out for now, but Arians said again it’ll be a game-day thing.

— Crazy to think Alameda Ta’amu is fine after tearing his ACL in the 2013 season finale, but the nose tackle should be in the defensive line rotation and his biggest issue is his stamina. “He’s full go. He runs on and off the field and gets out of gas. That’s a lot of ass to carry back and forth out there.”

So, on that note, on to Monday night.


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Posted in Blog | 25 Comments »

25 Responses to “Game day for Andre and Saturday before the Chargers”

  1. By Ryan on Sep 6, 2014 | Reply

    Hey Darren,

    Do we get Trico and Gurden?

  2. By Darren Urban on Sep 6, 2014 | Reply

    Ryan —

    RE: Monday night

    Berman and Dilfer

  3. By James P. Krehbiel on Sep 6, 2014 | Reply

    I think the Cards will give it a go with Ellington getting fewer touches. Hopefully no further aggravation to his foot. I wonder if the foot specialist recommended any kind of orthotic device to assist with pain? Best wishes to Andre and the Cards!

  4. By strajk on Sep 6, 2014 | Reply

    Will the Ring of Honor induction be shared on the site?

  5. By Darren Urban on Sep 6, 2014 | Reply

    strajk —

    RE: ROH

    There will be something, yes.

  6. By Dr. G. on Sep 6, 2014 | Reply

    Re: TA’amu…

    That’s a very amusing closing comment….lmao…. But we need the big fellas…

  7. By Grant on Sep 7, 2014 | Reply

    Hey Darren,

    For those of us that don’t have cable do you know if the game will be on a local channel? In years past this was the case with Cardinals prime time games.

  8. By Darren Urban on Sep 7, 2014 | Reply

    Grant —

    RE: MNF

    It will be on Ch. 3.

  9. By clssylssy on Sep 7, 2014 | Reply

    i guess I’m having a little trouble with the idea that Gordon might get to play this year when he’s had four strikes already (according to Fox pregame show) and
    there isn’t any hope for Washington? Seems a lot has to do with the “squeeky wheel”principle which seems to rule the NFL.

  10. By Darren Urban on Sep 7, 2014 | Reply

    Clssy —

    RE: DWash

    Again, we don’t know the specifics of how many times DWash violated the rules. Keep that in mind.

  11. By cardinal on Sep 7, 2014 | Reply

    Excited to begin my 40th season as cards fan ……Darren what happened to the running back out of va tech that was injured by week 1 his first 2 yrs , and was inactive every week last yr his 3rd season on the cards ?? cant remember his name .

  12. By Darren Urban on Sep 7, 2014 | Reply

    Cardinal —

    RE: RB

    Ryan Williams is on the Dallas practice squad.

  13. By Dynosoar on Sep 7, 2014 | Reply

    br in nc,

    As to college football, I bleed orange. But I know 90% more of and about the players and coaches of our Cardinals than I do of my Vols. If they had a website as well put together and run as this one (Darren, you can use me as a reference next time you ask for a raise. But beware, you may hear them ask “Dyno who?”) then I’d know a whole lot more about Tennessee.

    I consider myself diehard, but there website doesn’t promote the in depth ins and outs of the team this one does. I will go and look up your local boys and see what I can learn.

    Spurior has done some great things with your program. If your HS there is producing such talent, I imagine the Friday night games are exciting.

  14. By br in nc on Sep 8, 2014 | Reply

    They have pretty in depth reporting on the Vols actually. Try the bleacher report site, as well switch to “news” and there are a couple of newspapers that cover the Vols quite extensivley, there is another site that I have used but for the like of me I can’t remember!! I think of it and post it for you Dyno ..
    I remember posting on a Vols forum as well, I posted right after Derrrell Scott committed to Tennessee, it looked pretty in depth forum site, a lot more posters on the Vols site than on this site, as you would expect from a huge college, all the alumni over the years, but Darren’s forum is the perfect mix of size and regular posters, this site that Darren has provided is one of the best, if not the best I have ever registered on. (No!! No!! No!! I’m not looking for a job with the Cards, and I don’t owe Darren any money, that I’am aware of anyway. LOL!) What makes Darren’s site so awesome, is not just Darren and his daily blogs, it also all the posters that continue to post, and make this site one of the best!! Even though we don’t all agree on everything (how boring would that be!!) 99 times out of 100, we usually work out our differences and just agree to disagree, and we all respect each others opinions, with the exception of a few posters (your going to have your 10% that are just haters, or in their mind they are never wrong, or they thrive on internet arguing, so they can be that tough Guy they always wanted to be, but never could because they would pee there pants in a face to face confrontation!! But they can get satisfaction for being stuffed in a locker years ago in school, or just last week at work, they can rush home and become a keyboard commando, and some sick self satisfaction somehow! ) but this forum is far and away the best I have ever belonged to!

  15. By br in nc on Sep 8, 2014 | Reply

    Yep very exciting, especially since there is not much else to do!! But the have won the last 3 state championships here in NC. One thing I will say though, we still have those kids who just have the world in their hands and they blow it!! 2 more this year, 1 made it half way through ECU got suspended numerous times, coach finally had enough and booted him off the team! The other was committed to Spurrier and was headed to South Carolina next year, and now he has a sh$&load of trouble, he has only been charged (17 charges) but has not had his day in court so everything is alleged, so I wont say anything else other than, he as well could be tossing it all, one of the best LB’s in the state of NC, And an ESPN top 100 recruit from 2 years ago, lost it all as well, he used to love to fight both on and off the field, he beat a few smaller, younger kids pretty bad, and bam, coach booted him and college coaches pulled the offers he had, I still see him walking up and down the streets (we only have one main street, all businesses are on that main street, all other roads are residential, I kid you not!!

  16. By John The Draft Guy on Sep 7, 2014 | Reply

    Watching a few of the games today, there were a few things I noticed.

    You have to hand it to Coach Whiz and at the same time wonder what the heck he was thinking from 2010-2012.

    Of course we know he took the young Big Ben on to the superbowl and then revived Kurt Warner’s career. But then , when people were talking about Rivers being on the decline, he gets Rivers going.

    Today, I saw Jake Locker, a guy many were calling a bust, go 22 for 33 (67%) for 266 and 2 TDs and beat the chiefs.

    Which begs the question, what was Whiz thinking with Anderson, Skelton, Max Hall and Ryan Lindley?

    The rams are really bad without Bradford. But what really surprised me was their defense. Really bad tackling.

    The 49ers dont scare me. They are not the big bad defense in the past. They played a really bad cowboy team with Romo playing even worse.

    Interesting to see if the cards defense will rise to the occasion. With PP on Keenan Allen and Cro on Floyd, we should be able to get to the QB. If we can shut down the run and get a lead, look for the cards to get Bucannon in as the nickle LB locking up on guys like Mathews and Woodhead. Don’t be surprised if he gets a sack or two.

    Key to the game- can we slow down their 2 TEs? I don’t think we can. We will need o score at least 24 points to win.

  17. By br in nc on Sep 8, 2014 | Reply


    You have to concede that Locker is a far better QB or athlete than any of the Cardinal QB’s you listed on your post. Whiz is an awesome coach, but Jake Locker is light years ahead of Lindley, Hall, Anderson, Smelting, and even Lienart (the first 4 are just a fact. Lienart being worse than Locker??? My humble opinion only.)

  18. By Dynosoar on Sep 8, 2014 | Reply


    did you see my question for you on the Ellington Sits, Shelton Visits post? It’s about a WR from Tennessee.

    As to Coach Whiz, I was a huge believer and supporter in what I felt he was doing here and I think your question regarding his last two years with QB’s here is a fair one. What was he thinking?

    I an pleased to have BA. I don’t think we’ll be asking any of the same questions of him. I hope he coaches as long as some of his coaches have (thinking Tom Moore here). I always felt a dynasty in the desert was coming, if BA sticks around ten or more years, we’ll have one.

    I’m looking forward to the first of two victories against the Chargers this season.

  19. By cardsalltheway on Sep 8, 2014 | Reply

    After this comment got 6 up votes and 4 down votes
    By cardsalltheway on Sep 5, 2014 | Reply
    “RE: DWash
    I wouldn’t expect any changes.”

    I said…
    “After the NFL’s Commissioner’s(R. Goodell) recent missteps(to say the least) we can all hope that he removes himself from his current state of mind to find a new and wiser one with common sense, can’t stand the guy myself.”

    Now, I wonder what others think of Goodell since TMZ released the video provided by the hotel casino worker titled: “Ray Rice ELEVATOR KNOCKOUT Fiancee Takes Crushing Punch (Video)”

    Does anyone want to give the NFL commissioner an up vote?

    Whom says… “the NFL saw the elevator footage before imposing the 2-game suspension.”

    But of course Goodell denies it, though I don’t believe him. I believe the casino hotel worker myself.

    “Inside the elevator it’s apparent he strikes first … she hits back … and then Rice delivers the knockout blow.
    The punch knocks Janay off her feet — and she smashes her head on the elevator hand rail … knocking her out cold. Ray doesn’t seem phased … and when the door opens, he drags her out into the hotel.

    An employee of the hotel — which just shut down for good — tells TMZ Sports he was working there at the time and says the NFL saw the elevator footage before imposing the 2-game suspension. “

    If D. WASH ever returns and is punished according to the “New NFL Goodell Domestic Violence Rules” I’d appeal the NFL since his violent act occurred beforehand when the “Old NFL Goodell Domestic Violence Rules” were in place.

  20. By br in nc on Sep 8, 2014 | Reply

    I don’t think Dwash will get the 6 games suspension since his happened before this new rule was put into place, but with the NFL not having to follow any laws or rules, Goodall is the judge, jury, and executioner! I truly didn’t think he could suspend Ray Rice today, since he already suspended him for the same crime. I’m no lawyer, but sounds like double jeopardy to me. I guess none of the rules and laws that are followed throughout the American Justice system, do not apply, nor have to be followed by the NFL, or Goodall. Don’t get me wrong Rice deserved a much larger suspension the first time, he actually should be in prison, but that is a whole different legal system for another day. But I just don’t understand how he is half way through his 2 game suspension, and bam, the NFL suspends him again for the same crime, totally confusing.
    Since Rice was cut presumably because of a crime he committed and was already punished for, can any team put a waiver claim on him now, or do they have to wait until Goodall decides to lift the suspension??? Anyone have any idea, or an answer or guess on this one?

  21. By John The Draft Guy on Sep 8, 2014 | Reply

    br in nc

    My point was, Whiz knows QBs. So he had to know the bunch of guys he had couldn’t play in the NFL.
    So, with all his knowledge, did he think he could “turn the ugly girl into Homecoming Queen” . I just don’t get why he continued to pass on QBs in the draft, knowing he did not have one.
    It is obvious, when he has one, he can do well.


    I have to be truthful and can’t say I have seen North play. I have seen clips and read about him and yes, he is getting national attention. Everything I hear is he could be one of the better WRs in college football. I will have to watch a Tenn game.

  22. By Nick Pepe on Sep 8, 2014 | Reply

    It is finally here. And I think this squad is ready to make some history. I truly think it’s our time.

    Can’t wait to see the defense surprise everyone who is saying they are going to take a step back because of the set backs. Looking forward to #12 blow past people early and often. Waiting to see Housler make the plays down field. Anxious to see a successful screen play…. Ok, maybe I am pushing my luck with that one.

    Nick Pepe
    Lifetime Member
    I want a ring

  23. By Dr. G. on Sep 9, 2014 | Reply

    – jtdg – – You mention Whiz “knows QB’s”…. I believe that after all we have seen with his experience in the NFL, he has usually been handed a good QB to work with, even with the Titans. I believe he has little clue in “drafting” a QB… You kinda hit on that when you said he basically kept passing. I assume and agree that you think Lindley did not qualify… there were much better choices.

    As you have read, I am in the court of improving that position every year if possible. You have been OK with the 3 QB’s we had last year. Drafting Thomas was a good move, though he may not turn out to be the answer, he has a raw skill set rarely seen. We need to keep at it.

    I trust you enjoyed the game last night… You said you would be there. It was stressful, but very entertaining. I still have not totally reviewed it yet. My first take is that Ellington was given some plays that could have been better shared by some of our other highly skilled players. Play calling??? We were very lucky to win that one… Be well…

  24. By Dr. G. on Sep 9, 2014 | Reply

    br – – The Commish stated he was not aware of the left-handed hook to the face of his then girl friend. Rice was given 2 games for violation of his conduct clause. This new indefinite suspension can be justified in light of this new assault information. It is not the same action. And yeah, double jeopardy for a “felony” and suspension for bad behavior in a “business” are not synonymous. Personally, I do not want a player with this type behavior to be an example for our children. (or even immature adults!)… He deserves to be gone forever and he can work somewhere else. It is very likely that a prosecutor will seek a felony conviction and succeed.

    As for DWash… he “plead guilty” to a crime, ((the same as a conviction)) and the courts have not decided how to proceed yet, if and when the penalty phase occurs. As we have discussed prior, it is my opinion that he will not see an NFL field again before 2016 or probably ever. the Commish has paused in his case still pondering how to proceed. I think the probationary period gives time to evaluate DWash.

    Bottom line, do we should not want admitted or convicted felons on the field. The argument is always if and when they pay for their crime, why should people restrict what they do in the future? Here it is…when you choose to violate society, you lose some of your rights in that society….etc…. Be well…

  25. By Dr. G. on Sep 9, 2014 | Reply

    I neglected to add something for the Rice incident. The two of them have probably explained away this incident to themselves blaming it on party drugs or alcohol. No big deal, so we’ll get married anyway. My teeth don’t exactly line up now, but we’ll be fine…and the I like the easy $$$$.

    ((Now it’s gone! Now what?))

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