Friday before the Giants

Posted by Darren Urban on September 12, 2014 – 2:23 pm

The Cardinals moved up practice this week, starting at 10 a.m. on the field. That way, the players are “used” to playing football at 10 a.m., which is kickoff time for Sunday in New York against the Giants. Anything to be as prepared as possible for the earliest start time of the seasom.

“You do everything you can,” coach Bruce Arians said.

Larry Fitzgerald shrugged off the early-start-is-tough-on-the-Cardinals storyline this week – “That’s in the past, he said – and sometimes, there’s only so much you can do anyway. The Cardinals stayed in Florida all week last year after their road game in New Orleans to be properly adjusted for the game in Tampa Bay, and then they were terrible in the first half.

What the Cardinals didn’t have at that point last year was the confidence this group has these days. That makes a difference.

— There are plenty of injury questions for the Cardinals heading into the game, from Carson Palmer’s shoulder (he should be playing) to Andre Ellington’s foot (he thinks he’ll be playing) but maybe the most interesting thing at this point on the injury report is the fact Tyrann Mathieu is listed as probable. If he wasn’t likely to play, there’s no reason to not list him as questionable again. Food for thought as we wait the couple of days to see who is on the inactive list.

— The Giants’ passing game, under new offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo, has been a mess. Eli Manning is trying to learn a new system after years under Kevin Gilbride, his weapons are questionable and his offensive line struggles. It’s a situation upon which the Cardinals can capitalize, especially if they continue to defend the run as well as they do.

That said, the Giants are already frustrated. Bruce Arians told the New York media this week it takes a half-season for a veteran QB to get comfortable in a new offense – paging 2013 Carson Palmer – but that’s not exactly the timeframe Giants coach Tom Coughlin was hoping for.

“I’m not patient,” Coughlin said. “I’m not one of those. I don’t have a real good handle on that maybe because we haven’t done that around here and I haven’t done that for a long time. I have to bite my tongue sometimes and kind of step back and realize it’s a process.”

— I want to see Chandler Catanzaro kick outside in a place that can have interesting weather. The Cat Man is off to a great start.

— The Giants got some pass rush on Matthew Stafford Monday. Their secondary seemed a little out of sorts (covering Calvin Johnson can do that). But I think the Cards’ offensive line held up well enough in the opener. That must continue.

— Don’t remember a game in which both starting punters might be sidelined with injuries, but Dave Zastudil is questionable with his bad groin and the Giants’ Steve Weatherford is questionable after hurting his ankle. The difference is the Cardinals already have a backup punter on the roster with Drew Butler. The Giants haven’t made such a move yet.

— There is always emotion at play during an NFL game. At the end of the Cardinals’ win – when running back Jonathan Dwyer was about to get a third straight handoff on third-and-5 trying to seal the win – offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin said “a couple of choice words for him to keep the ball inside.”

“As big as he is, you saw the last run, he kept it inside and ran full speed, that’s what we’ve got to do,” Goodwin said.

Dwyer slammed up into the line for seven yards and a game-clinching first down.

“He was yelling, he said something, and it kinda pissed me off,” Dwyer said. “But I knew what he was talking about. I wanted to get the first down for my team. That’s what they brought me in to do.”

— If you missed this week’s Cardinals Underground podcast – and it was easy to miss – here’s a link.

— Lost in the will-Fitzgerald-get-more-targets stories of the week was the fantastic start to the season of Michael Floyd. Five catches, 119 yards, proof he’s a dangerous deep threat and the continuing uptick of his growth. He doesn’t get the spotlight, although that’s just how he likes it. That’ll change if he keeps playing this way.


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29 Responses to “Friday before the Giants”

  1. By The Gman on Sep 12, 2014 | Reply


    What happened to the RED RAGE?

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

    The Gman —

    RE: BRR

    Redoing their landing pages but it’s there:

    Just search “rage” on the site.

  3. By Marlin on Sep 12, 2014 | Reply

    Will be in Germany this Sunday..but keeping an eye on the Cards. Go Redbirds !!

  4. By John The Draft Guy on Sep 12, 2014 | Reply

    Just a guess, but if I was Bowles;

    I think this week, I would move more into a 4-3 lineup.
    Campbell and Shaugnessy at ends and Williams and Kelly inside. On Nickle, move Campbell inside with Acho and Keiser as OLBs and williams off.

    LBs -I would play all three with Minter, Foote and Bucannon, with Minter coming off the field in Nickle and Powers coming on in as nickleback.

    I would expect a lot of LB blitzes and leaving PP and Cro on islands along with powers and lock up Jefferson on TEs and have Johnson playing cover 1.

    I think with the personnel that we have at this moment and the style of play the giants play, I just dont think their receivers can beat our CBs. Bring the house Todd, bring the house.

    This will be a huge defense of game for the cards. If you have the cards defense in fantasy, it is a must play.

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

    Two comments (one off subject)

    First – up until a few years ago you never heard, “if you have the Cardinals Defense in fantasy football, play it!” (At least I never heard that, fantasy players used to avoid our Defense like the plague!!) Oh how sweet it is and how far the Cardinals have come, for to give props to Ray Horton, as well as Todd Bowles, our Defense is actually a factor in fantasy football, it has been to long!!

    Off subject – did you happen to see my man Shane Darren beat #17 VA. Tech today, threw for over 425 yards 4 TD’s (3pass, 1run). He almost hung a loss on South Carolina last wweek (SC beat #6 Georgia today) ECU looking pretty tough this year, they have a very deep WR room, just like the Cardinals, clearly there are some elite college QB’s like Mariota, Winston, Hundley, and Conner Cook, but Shane Darren is working his way into the bottom of that group in my humble, and yes, a bit biased opinion. Obviously Mariota and Winston are in a group by themselves, that kid from Texas A&M Kenny Hill?? is looking pretty solid as well, but I don’t think he is draft eligible.

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

    ***SHANE CARDEN*** not Darren

  7. By Patrick Hoog aka Don't Take Losses on Sep 12, 2014 | Reply

    A lot of good reporting this week, liked the 9/11 notes, couple thoughts:
    1. Mike Floyd… looked awesome… but does not look not quick enough on wide out screens, needs head of steam, that should be The Brown Bros and The Gin (imho, of course, and what do I know? exactly)…
    2. Veldheer looked really good “on the tape”, (love that big shot talk too, lol);
    3. Foote, also awesome, but as he quickly admitted post game, missed 2 key tackles, loved his performance, right in the face of Greg Foohey or whatever his name;
    4. Should be interesting to see how Seahawks handle Chargers in SD Sunday;
    5. Trust no word on Biblical Watch (uh, Abraham sighting)?
    6. Penalties on Massie and Larsen at home, wonder how bad it will be in NJ? With C. Palmer hurting and some OL doubt, sure hope we can run the rock early and often… Go Cards…

  8. By kauaicardsfan on Sep 12, 2014 | Reply

    Aloha Darren,

    Just Curious, Looks like CC or Csquared as I like to call Chandler Catanzaro, Lot easier for me to remember LOL, has a big leg, Do you know what is the longest field goal he has made in College?
    Also mahalo for bringing back the Cards Underground!


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

    Kauai —

    RE: Catanzaro

    I’d have to look it up.

    And Underground is on the site. We are redoing the landing page but just search “Underground” on the site.

  10. By letthemsparkle on Sep 12, 2014 | Reply

    Darren does the new NFLPA agreement affect Daryl Washingtons suspension? Any chance we could get him back this season under the new rules?

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

    lethem —

    RE: Dwash

    I do not know.

  12. By Eric on Sep 12, 2014 | Reply

    The Cat Man? = Nickname denied!

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

    Eric —

    RE: Cat Man

    I’ll let B.A. know.

  14. By Garrett on Sep 12, 2014 | Reply


    Will this new ruling on substance abuse effect Daryl Washington’s season long ban? And if so, do you know what the knew punishment will look like?


  15. By JohnnyBluenose on Sep 12, 2014 | Reply

    DU…..if Mathieu is active does Zastudil sit this one out?

  16. By Darren Urban on Sep 13, 2014 | Reply

    Johnnybluenose —

    RE: Mathieu/Zasty

    I don’t think they are necessarily connected.

  17. By Steve on Sep 12, 2014 | Reply

    Darren: Whats your gut feeling on John Abraham? Do you think he returns or would you wager he’s done playing?

  18. By Darren Urban on Sep 13, 2014 | Reply

    Steve —

    RE: Abraham

    I wish I could tell you. I will say it’s hard to believe you’d get to this point without seriously considering walking away.

  19. By Kyle on Sep 13, 2014 | Reply

    Catanzaro was called Big Cat at Clemson, I think that name will stick for fans eventually.

  20. By Dynosoar on Sep 13, 2014 | Reply

    I like “The Big Cat”, but nicknames come from those around the players, rarely from fans. So “Cat Man” is good.

    The stadium could play “Stray Cat Strut” after every field goal.

  21. By JohnnyBluenose on Sep 13, 2014 | Reply

    Catanzaro nickname……Khatmandu (pronounced…cat man do). we know he will.

  22. By The Gman on Sep 13, 2014 | Reply


    I didn’t see the Red Rage for last week. I saw the one for this week.

  23. By kauaicardsfan on Sep 13, 2014 | Reply

    Lets start looking for a nickname for Catanzaro

    How about ” Catcando ” ???

  24. By Scott H on Sep 13, 2014 | Reply

    While I have to believe the Cardinals would be good enough to beat the Giants at any point this season, I am especially glad we are catching them early on, when they are still clearly not comfortable with their new offensive system. As I stated in an earlier post, the Giants have REALLY been struggling to run the ball. So, it seems critical that the Cardinals put some points up early on this week ( something THEY struggled to do last week ) and force the ball into Eli’s hands so he has to throw often. If the Cardinals get it rolling that way, this should be a solid win. My concerns are these –

    1) that the Cards struggle on offense and do NOT put points on the board, allowing the Giants – however badly they may be playing – to hang around. All it takes is one big play to Victor Cruz and we could be playing from behind again.

    2) The dreaded scenario of a west coast team playing at 1:00 on the east coast. There is DEFINITELY something to that, regardless of who the teams are.

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

    I would add the weather as a possible factor, it has been a steady downpour here on the Carolina coast, they actually moved all the Friday night high-school games to Thursday night, and these systems usually move north along the coast. I have not had the time to check the forecast, but if this system is moving north, it will affect gameplans, it poured a steady downpour for almost 2 days here, like a tropical depression downpour, without the winds. Don’t know how well the drainage at the stadium is, but the field will get nasty real quick. Our ground game may have to step up in a big way.

  26. By krehbieo14 on Sep 13, 2014 | Reply

    Is anyone listening to what Steve Keim has said about Daryl Washington and his many blunders, or are some people comfortable with denial?

  27. By cardsalltheway on Sep 13, 2014 | Reply

    Can we sometime get a fine explanation that includes numerous GIF’s and still photos of plays/why we win or lose like the Chiefs offensive film room made available for Chief fans?…

  28. By wampag on Sep 14, 2014 | Reply

    With the new drug policy do we get Washington back?

  29. By Darren Urban on Sep 14, 2014 | Reply

    Wampag —

    RE: Washington

    I do not know.

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