Abraham provides another headline for Cards

Posted by Darren Urban on September 10, 2014 – 4:52 pm

At this point, you certainly can’t say it’s been dull around the Cardinals. Between key injuries and comebacks and starting jobs and receiver targets — and a one-point, come-from-behind win — this team has kept in the public eye. Wednesday it’s the news that linebacker John Abraham is considering retirement, as he takes leave of the team and takes another piece from the defense. He has five days to decide if he wants to stay or go, although you wonder if it’s gotten to this point, how Abraham hasn’t already given it serious thought. Funny thing, when he came back from his rehab and got to training camp, he insisted he never once thought about not playing. Football was his life, he said. Now, it may not be.

Whether Abraham would have notched a bunch of sacks eventually may never been known. He did get off to a slow start last year before eventually breaking into double digits. But in the end, I think the Cardinals find a way around this, just as they did with Darnell Dockett, and I think the defense can still play at a high level. But yes, Todd Bowles will have earned even more respect if he continues to weave his playcalling magic.

— There will be more tomorrow on Larry Fitzgerald when he speaks to the media on his normal Thursday, but this was noteworthy from Bruce Arians today: He acknowledged that Fitz’s knee issues limited him as the Cardinals headed into the first game and the reason Fitzgerald wasn’t on the field for three different passing situation third downs was because Fitzgerald hadn’t been able to practice those plays. “I learned my lesson last year not to ask (Larry) to do things in a game that you’re not practicing,” Arians said. “It’s not fair to the quarterback either.”


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44 Responses to “Abraham provides another headline for Cards”

  1. By italycardfan on Sep 10, 2014 | Reply

    Avere John Abraham in caccia è sempre una minaccia per ogni quarterback avversario. Spero rimanga.

    Google translate:
    Have John Abraham in hunting is always a threat to any opposing quarterback. I hope to stay.

  2. By joe holst on Sep 10, 2014 | Reply

    Hi Darren

    Is Kareem Martin ready to jump in and help us out?

    Also do you think Ryan Lindley had any influence in the Cardinals offense struggling for the 1st 3 quarters against San Diego?

    Thank you

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

    Joe —

    RE: Martin/Lindley

    We’re going to see on Martin. And no, I don’t think Lindley hurt things.

  4. By br in nc on Sep 10, 2014 | Reply

    I’am seriously starting to think the Cardinals are cursed this year, someone or something is dead set against our Cardinals having a successful year!! Just stunned at all the loses we keep piling up (players that is) if JA decides to retire is that the straw that breaks the camels back? No, I don’t believe it would be, we are seriously hurting at the “pass rush” OLB position already, and losing our sack leader from last year would be a serious blow, but 1 man doesn’t make a team, or even a defense. If he doesn’t return, add in all the other player loses this year, and its looks like a pretty huge obstacle to overcome, but if our Cardinals somehow find a way to have a successful season, man what a fairy tale story that will be, hopefully the players that are 100% commuted to this team will use all this adversity and shock the NFL and the world!!
    Come on guys, looks like your backs are against the wall, what are you going to do about it!!!!

  5. By CreditCard on Sep 10, 2014 | Reply

    I will have to say, I called this one. Abraham didn’t appear in playing shape, and there appeared to be something different (other than weight) about him. A player not playing full speed in the NFL is dangerous. I would rather see a healthy and happy Abraham than an injured one. The Cards will be Ok with Acho and Kieser.

    Fitz will be Ok and get plenty of balls thrown his way. Season is young, and the Cards already seem to have a chip on their shoulder.

  6. By Scott H on Sep 10, 2014 | Reply

    I really….can’t….friggin…..believe this. Not gonna say I told ya so because I never really did, but…I REALLY had a feeling his mysterious absence during training camp was a prelude to something not so good. And, well, here we are.

    I think when the Honey Badger makes it back, the hardest adjustment he might need to make will be not recognizing anyone on the field with him. Because it seems like everyone he played with last year is NOT going to be on the field with him!

    The offense better get it in gear, start getting the ball to Fitz before the game gets into the 4th quarter, better keep everyone healthy. And Ted Ginn, it sure would be nice if you started helping out, too. Because this defense is probably not going to hold up over the course of the season. It’s reached the point where the next man up is now replacing the FIRST next man up who was replacing the starter in front of him at one point. They may still be solid and I would probably be thrilled with that if they were. But I would be nothing shy of AMAZED if this D stayed in the top 10 overall.

  7. By James P. Krehbiel on Sep 10, 2014 | Reply

    If John Abraham is having significant memory loss as reported, he should not play another down. Best wishes John!

  8. By rod on Sep 10, 2014 | Reply

    Well now he can go and drink a bunch of beer to “forget”.

  9. By John The Draft Guy on Sep 10, 2014 | Reply

    Bad news, Bad News, good news, good news, bad news;

    Bad news – Dockett, Dansby, DWash, and possibly Abraham are gone from the defense last year.

    Bad News – on a team with very little pass rush, Abraham is our lone bright spot. Now he may retire.

    Good news- We added a very good CB in Cromartie, which strengthened our nickle, and with HB coming back, the secondary is very good.

    Good News – Bowles knows how to use his players (see Bucannon at ILB) and will find ways to confuse the other teams. I loved what I saw in game one.

    Bad News – Bowles may be so good , we lose him as a head coach next year.

    Good News – He leaves after we win the super bowl.

  10. By br in nc on Sep 12, 2014 | Reply

    You think this leads to a sharp increase in Corner & Safety blitz’s?
    HB is an obvious choice to send on a DB blitz, but to be honest I have never really payed much attention to our DB’s blitzing ability, other than Honey Badger looking quite successful on the blitz, do any of our other DB’s have or are known for having success at getting to the QB and causing havoc in the backfield?

  11. By Steve on Sep 10, 2014 | Reply

    Darren: If Abraham does indeed retire do you see expanded roles for both Kareem Martin and Thomas Keiser?

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

    Steve —

    RE: Martin/Keiser


  13. By br in nc on Sep 12, 2014 | Reply

    I think its safe to say Martin wont be on the inactive list this week.

  14. By norcalcard on Sep 10, 2014 | Reply

    As a fan of the Cards I was surprised to see how quickly and easily Abraham fit in with them. he took to a nice veteran leadership role to our young guys quite naturally.

    I’ll always be thankful to him for that year he gave us when we lost OLB’s Acho and Okafor in the same game. Not only was he still a great pass rusher but he more then held his own against the run. He was used way more then the Cards or himself projected and the guy has taken a lifetime of licks in the NFL and in his condition I would hope he makes the right decision for his long term health now.

    A Total, complete professional and a true warrior he would be missed. I hope to see him again, if not on the Cards then on TV somewhere like NFLNW either in the studio or in a booth he’s a guy that would do well on TV with his knowledge and demeanor. Either way best wishes and g’luck in life my dude!

  15. By br in nc on Sep 10, 2014 | Reply

    Along the line of Pass Crushers, anyone think Thomas Keisler will take this opportunity and excel and become a formidable Pass Rusher for the Cardinals? Any possibility that SK pulled another “rabbit out of his manic hat” (personally hoping for a “one man’s trash, is another man’s treasure” ending. ( I’m in no way saying that Keisler is trash, just trying to throw out a cliche that fits, and of course trying to sound more educated than I’am!! “Cliche” is actually a big word for me!! LOL!) I have never seen him play, nor have I ever heard of him, from what little I have read he seems to have some promise rushing the passer, had multiple sacks in very limited play for the Chargers last year. Thoughts?
    Kenny Demens on the other hand, I know all to well, playing for Michigan he was to often in my nightmares, he gave my beloved ILLINI migraine sized headaches every year, he was a tackling machine in college, and one hell of an ILB for the maize and blue! He was never flashy, didn’t have “Superman” moves, but was always the last one to get up from the pile, always seemed to end up with double digit tackles, hopefully he sticks with our Cardinals this go around. (that is if Abraham decides to retire! Which is the last thing I want to happen, but if he has truly lost the desire and passion to play, or is even questioning whether he has lost it, I honestly don’t believe he could be an asset to the team)

  16. By br in nc on Sep 10, 2014 | Reply

    ***Crushers should be Crushers***

    Maybe someday we will have a pass “CRUSHER” or 2, but lets just start with a couple of solid pass “RUSHERS” for now!! That would make most of us very happy!!

  17. By br in nc on Sep 10, 2014 | Reply

    ***RUSHERS*** ***RUSHERS*** ***RUSHERS***

  18. By Sean on Sep 10, 2014 | Reply

    First off, I hope he really is ok…2ndly I find it funny that all of a sudden he wants to retire after the 1st game, when he is now guaranteed to receive his full salary for the year. Then talking about how he’s not sure of his desire to play anymore with Arians before the game? To me it’s just a little coincidental….Hmmm #gotpaid

  19. By T Stone on Sep 10, 2014 | Reply


    RE: your post

    Just Google translate once. Not twice. We will either think you are

    1. Illiterate
    2. An Italian that cant write English.

    Thanks for your Football Support.. Playing for Pizza is one of my favorite books. And so out of Character for Grisham for sure.

  20. By T Stone on Sep 10, 2014 | Reply

    Let the Cardinals show some guts and grab Sam from the Cowboys and put him in the rotation. That is his specialty, BA is a no BS kind of man and if we can be, as Darren said in this piece ” kept in the public eye” That would do it.
    This organization has been at the forefront of racial and equality in all area’s for years.

  21. By Steve on Sep 10, 2014 | Reply

    John The Draft Guy: Its probably a foregone conclusion that pass rushers will be a top priority come next draft!

  22. By br in nc on Sep 12, 2014 | Reply

    Not going to speak for JTDG, but IMHO, since right now it doesn’t look like any ILB’s are worthy of a First round pick, If I were a betting man, I think they go for a Pass Rusher first, ILB or DL in the second round, and Pass Rusher in round three. (Depending on Free Agent signings, of course). I would not be totally shocked if the Cardinals went Pass Rusher #1 & #2, probably highly unlikely unless the best available prospect on the board when we select in round #2 is a OLB/DE pass rusher.
    Vic Beasley/Clemson is one to keep your eye on for round #1 (he will be long gone if we pick at the end of round #1, which I’m sure everyone is hoping we pick last in round#1)
    I love the small school prospects, and the under the radar sleepers from all levels of college football. Here is a small school prospect (not a sleeper, or under the radar by any means) who is (or should be) a top 5 small school prospect. Keep an eye on Zach Hodges/Harvard, looking like an early day #2 prospect.

  23. By Dave on Sep 10, 2014 | Reply

    Darren, who do you think the Cards will eye at a possible pass rusher pick up? What names are on the market? Is it realistic to think they could look into Sam on the Cowboys practice squad? The kid can ball man.

    *Not sure why this posted on the Shelton story, probably operator error!)

  24. By Darren Urban on Sep 11, 2014 | Reply

    Dave —

    RE: Pass rusher

    I’m not 100 percent sure they chase anyone now that Benard is back.

  25. By azdesertrat1953 on Sep 10, 2014 | Reply

    Well that sucks.

    I hope the head aches and the depression go away fast John.
    If the feeling is gone, well then you can’t do much about that.

    GO CARDS!!!

  26. By jeffgollin on Sep 11, 2014 | Reply

    Is there a remote possibility that Abraham’s sudden change of heart about retirement may have something to do with his personal/DUI issues within the context of shifting NFL policies stemming from the Ray Rice issue? Could John be concerned about any new stuff coming out that would have a negative bearing on his personal reputation or his status with the team or the league?

  27. By JohnnyBluenose on Sep 11, 2014 | Reply

    @JTDG…I saw the game on tv not at the stadium. I don’t recall Minter having much of an impact. What were your impressions?

  28. By clssylssy on Sep 11, 2014 | Reply

    Sad news about Abraham who really stepped into playing a major role for the Cards defense last season. It’s really even sadder that we have fans who are so insensitive and lack the empathy to understand that sometimes a player has to do what is best for himself and his family, especially when he has health issues. Concussions are a serious issue as we are becoming more and more aware, and a man who is 36 years old should do everything he can to insure that he is around to enjoy his family without compromising his ability to function. To have periods of memory loss or being “out of it” is a terrifying thing. He’s lived the dream, has been a probowler, and there is a lot ahead in life after football. I am thankful to John Abraham for what he has given this team and wish him the best in whatever decision he makes but also would hope that the Birdgang shows a little class and humanity in not speculating or judging his decision.There are some things in life that money can’t buy and health is one of them. The organization is behind him, his teammates are behind him, and a good fanbase would stand behind him too. Let’s show the world the the Cards fanbase embrace the humanitarian standards set by the Bidwill family and put into practice by players such as Larry Fitzgerald. Best wishes and many thanks to John Abraham for being a great player and sharing his talents with the Arizona Cardnals. Charity begins at home.

  29. By Jon on Sep 11, 2014 | Reply


    Your theory would make more sense if he didn’t actually suffer a concussion.

  30. By LG on Sep 11, 2014 | Reply

    He’s a great player but Next man up! Birdgang must move on.

  31. By Patrick Hoog aka Don't Take Losses on Sep 11, 2014 | Reply

    Yep, wild ride so far Darren. And there is no bad behavior or efforts at attention, just stuff happening. Resilient team, impressive leadership, depth.

    If Carson can make good decisions, we could toasted Rolle, DRC. My $$ is on C. Palmer. Go Cards.

    PS: Lets say a li’l prayer for Abraham … his life is coming to a turning point, he’s a warrior we loved to cheer, but a person too.

  32. By John The Draft Guy on Sep 11, 2014 | Reply



    He is exactly who we thought he was. He plays really well between the tackles and on running downs. He does ok on his blitzes. (he is no DWash or Dansby on blitzes).

    He cant go backwards, meaning he is not dropping into coverage and taking RBs or TEs on. He is not an every down LB. He may be better suited for a 4-3.

    What we saw was Bucannon’s talent at blitzing and covering backs and short routes more valuable than Minter’s ability to stuff the run. Minter might have played 8-12 plays I would guess. Mostly short yardage.

    Don’t be surprised if he plays more against the Giants, but I really like what they did with Bucannon and would keep him at ILB.

    It will be interesting to see what they do against power run teams like the niners and seahawks. Mainly because of the running QBs. Can you afford to take out a run stuffer for Deone. Can you afford to take out Deone with an option QB.

    One thing I know is Bowles will figure it out and find some kind of exotic packages. I think the thing I will find most interesting is watching Bowles be creative all year.

    One other thing that may not be very popular. We are going to need Minter at some point. If you look over the last 5 years for Larry Foote, he has started 16 games once. He is 34. I would not be surprised if Foote is injured at some point and Minter has to step up.

  33. By JohnnyBluenose on Sep 11, 2014 | Reply

    @JTDG….thanx for your input. Bowles has a lot of pieces to work with and I guess we will see all of them. I seem to remember Minter saying early in pre-season that it was his defense now. I guess not but hopefully he will play well when he gets the opportunity. At least he should be well-rested and ready to play hard. I think the Giants are favoured on Sunday. Other than being at home I don’t know why that would be. Take care.

  34. By clssylssy on Sep 11, 2014 | Reply

    It’s only been one game so a little premature to make any predictions about Minter, who did receive some compliments in the game against the Chargers. No, he’s no Dansby or DWash yet, but, he’s an LSU product so I’m sure he’ll develop. He played against some pretty impressive talents in the SEC so I don’t worry about his ballskills or mental acuity. With a lot of players, it takes two or three years to see them come into their own and with him being out most of his rookie season, this is like a do-over. Nothing is going to be a substitute for what a veteran brings; you hope that they can stay healthy and take it one game at a time. It’s the durability of the little guys like Ellington and John Brown I worry about standing up to a physical team like the Seahawks or the 9ers, especially when Coach BA seems to want to build our offense around them. Our defense looked like it had the potential to be OK and some commentators felt he would be better than last year. We can hope!

  35. By clssylssy on Sep 11, 2014 | Reply

    I meant the defense would be OK, not “he”…lol! (that’s what happens when trying to type without glasses!)

  36. By italycardfan on Sep 11, 2014 | Reply


    Re: Your post

    My dear T-Stone, in another comment I had already asked excuse for not knowing your language. Really sorry, but at my age is already a big step to be able to use the computer, to follow every day my favorite team. It ‘true your second option: I do not know English and google translate helps me to make me understand.
    But I do not think this is a problem, you think? I think that what really matters both my and your faith in the team.
    Greetings from Italy.

  37. By Darren Urban on Sep 11, 2014 | Reply

    Italy —

    RE: Language

    I agree with you. Don’t worry about it.

  38. By John The Draft Guy on Sep 11, 2014 | Reply



    Truth be told, they needed more speed at ILB and made a brilliant change.

    As I stated above, that doesn’t mean Minter is a bust or even bad or that he needs more time. He just is who he is. He will attack RBs and play down hill between the tackles. He will hit hard. and can even blitz decent. No shame in that.
    But he is not able to cover down field and the chargers with the backs and TEs they have, and the fact that their is no DWash next to him, he had to be replaced for the faster Bucannon.

    (Not about Minter -But in general)
    I am blown away at the “give them more time” way of thinking. Sure players need time to develop, but you know if they can play pretty quick. JJ Watt didn’t have 20 sacks as a rookie, but he flashed that he could someday. That is what I look for. Do they flash? Do they compete? Can they beat out journeyman? Do coaches want them on the field someway, somehow?

    The cards played a rookie safety in Minter’s spot at ILB.
    So the rookie safety moved to LB doesn’t need time to learn a new spot and develop but the second year LB does?

    No. What happened was Bucannon has shown so much, Bowles is looking for a way to get him on the field.

    We hit with Bucannon. I was against drafting him because I didn’t feel he could cover down field the athletic TEs, and maybe he cant. But Bowles saw he has talent and found him a role.

    As a coach, you see if they can play or not real fast. Minter has a skill set that is good but doesn’t fit against teams that can throw. We get that Ellington is small so he cant run it up the middle 25 times a game for 16 games but we dont get that Minter has a certain skill set. Minter is like the Bruising FB. He serves a purpose. But you don’t split FBs out and ask them to run a 9 route.

    I think you will see Minter, Foote and Bucannon all playing the two ILB spots.

    “Also, just because he is from LSU doesn’t mean he will make it” says Jamarcus Russell.

  39. By br in nc on Sep 13, 2014 | Reply

    Two points to add, if I may.
    Bucannon played linebacker quite a bit in college, so its not totally new to him, new schemes, but same linebacker techniques.

    As far as Minter, he will never replace Dwash or Los, they were/are two of the best ILB’s in the league, and on the field together, they were the best duo (if not the best, they were top 2 or3) not many ILB’s are 3 down players, both Dwash and Dansby were and could play effectively every down if needed. Minter will be a key contributor for the Cardinals, but mostly to stuff the run.

  40. By mashable6 on Sep 11, 2014 | Reply


    I can’t help but think of these injuries being corelated to Bruce Arians moving on from Mr. Lott as our strength and conditioning coach. What do you think?

    I think the Cardinals defense will be ok but it is definitely taxing on a cards fans brain but much more the coaching staff.

  41. By Darren Urban on Sep 11, 2014 | Reply

    mashable —

    RE: Injuries

    I don’t know. Cooper, Acho, Okafor, Alexander all got hurt last year. I wouldn’t pin that on Lott.

    Bottom line, football is a sport with injuries. They happen.

  42. By italycardfan on Sep 11, 2014 | Reply

    Darren Urban

    Thank you, Mr. Urban.
    Thanks to the simultaneous translator can read his articles and keep me informed of everything that concerns the team.
    My compliments and greetings.

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