(A quiet) Friday before the Raiders

Posted by Darren Urban on October 17, 2014 – 4:46 pm

Oh, there was still drama Friday that impacted the Cardinals, but for the first time in a couple of weeks, it wasn’t directly related to the Cardinals themselves. Instead, the Seahawks traded (the guy who seemed to be a dangerous) playmaker Percy Harvin to the Jets. That means the Cards never had to play against the guy when he was in Seattle – he was injured for both 2013 meetings, and the Cards have yet to play the Seahawks this season. I’m sure we’ll be hearing more about why Harvin was dumped soon – a lot of stuff out there already basically saying Harvin had worn out his welcome – but the Cards aren’t going to be dealing with him.

Otherwise, it was a boring Friday for the Cards as they prepare for their road trip to Oakland. That’s a good thing. No quarterback questions. No wondering about chop block fines. No new injuries. Just a game.

How about that?

— Bruce Arians all but scoffed at the idea of trap games, and the way he and his staff operates, that doesn’t surprise me. There has been zero looking ahead (Philly and Dallas are up next) from what I have heard/can tell. Arians did say the Cards can’t be as listless to start in Oakland as they were against Washington and I totally agree. The lesson hopefully was learned.

— Speaking of listless, the last time the Cardinals went to Oakland for a regular-season game was 2006. It was a disaster. It was a week after the Cardinals had the infamous Monday Night Meltdown and Denny popped off (hey, that eight-year anniversary, by the way, was yesterday!) The Cardinals had fallen to 1-5, but we’re playing the 0-5 Raiders and the I-don’t-give-a-flip version of Randy Moss. The Cards were terrible. Moss actually scored a TD. That was a long time ago.

— Andre Ellington believes the run game is close. He actually said he feels more fresh right now than he probably should, because his foot injury means he doesn’t do as much as practice as he normally would. Ellington has also be careful, as he was going to have to, of getting down on plays once he figures out he’s not going to gain any more yards.

It was noticeable against Washington, and I even heard from a couple of fans wondering why he was going down so easily. In the end, Ellington said, it’s about thinking big picture.

“I don’t have the strength to fight away from tackles,” Ellington said. “I try to do myself justice by getting down and getting ready for the next play.

“(Other people) are not out there taking those hits like I have to. I feel like once I get all I can get, I’m going to go down. I moreso do it on plays when I get a big gain. If it’s third-and-one, I’m going to fight for that yard.”

— Ellington also said the Cardinals would have “some surprises” in the run game Sunday. We’ll see what that means.

— Redskins defensive tackle Chris Baker was fined $10,000 for ripping the helmet off quarterback Carson Palmer on that in-the-grasp-probably-should-have-been-a-sack pass completion Palmer made to Robert Hughes. Redskins receiver DeSean Jackson was fined $16,537 for a horsecollar tackle on the sideline made on safety Rashad Johnson after Johnson’s first interception. Neither play drew a flag from the officials (although Dan Williams, Jared Veldheer and Tony Jefferson tried to get in Jackson’s face after the play.)

— Running back Marion Grice got a few first-team reps at running back this week, offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin said, although Goodwin made it sound it was more exploratory rather a harbinger of anything imminent. Goodwin also reiterated he thinks Grice can perform all the same tasks as Ellington.

— The Cardinals are third in the NFL in run defense, meaning they moved up in the rankings even after losing Calais Campbell and Matt Shaughnessy. Now they face the next-to-last rushing team in the league.

— How about Dan Williams playing some defensive end? The nose tackle likes it. “I’ll take it where I can get it,” Williams said. “It kind of reminded me of college a little bit. I haven’t played that much end since my rookie year.”

— You just get a feeling Patrick Peterson is motivated to have a big game Sunday.

— You know the Raiders buried a football? That’s what interim coach Tony Sparano did with his team, symbolizing the end of the poor play that culminated with coach Dennis Allen’s firing.

“If you keep looking back with that same old mindset like, ‘Oh, yeah man, we can’t do it because this, this and that, we already lost five games,’ well you defeated yourself before you even tried to get on the field and to make something happen,” Raiders defensive end and former Cardinal Antonio Smith said. “I think that was the main thing that Tony was trying to symbolize when burying that ball—burying whoever you were before that day, whatever team we were before that day.”

The Raiders played better last week. But they still lost. The Cards don’t want that changing. Not yet.


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10 Responses to “(A quiet) Friday before the Raiders”

  1. By T.Stone on Oct 17, 2014 | Reply

    Buried footballs? If I remember right he has done this before or someone had. Doesn’t mean anything except he will be doing it again on Monday. As for Ellington, he is just smart for running out or going down. Percy Harvin was and is a joke (except for the SB) and was not a factor anyway. My Head hurts coach…..WHaaaaaaaaa. Good riddance. Glad to see him with the Jets. We don’t have Denny or the Whiz coaching this team any longer and thank god for that. THe RAIDERS are who WE Know they ARE. DONE. As for the fines. Seems weird to me as I was listnin to the TNF broadcast on the radio said that throwing the ball in the stands was over $5 grand. Is that true Darren?

  2. By Darren Urban on Oct 18, 2014 | Reply

    T.Stone —

    RE: Fine

    I do not know for sure, but I wouldn’t be surprised.

  3. By beardinals on Oct 17, 2014 | Reply

    Who’s big and can hold on to the ball? Might be a clue in the running game “surprise”.

  4. By truths4all on Oct 17, 2014 | Reply

    Its OK to hear that PP is motivated to have a good game against the Raiders, but Come On, he should have a good game because, afterall, its against the hapless Raiders.

    The big deal will be if PP has a great game against Dez Bryant and the Cowboys and an equally monster game against the Eagles.

    As a matter of fact, it would be extremely troubling for the Cards and Cards fans (except for PP’s blind fans) if PP has a monster game against the Raiders and then return to his new normal by getting burned and schooled by the Cowboys and Eagles.

  5. By Dynosoar on Oct 17, 2014 | Reply

    We’re third in rushing defense and we’re 30th in rushing. Perhaps our rushing game never gets to practice being good, all they’ve practiced is how to get stopped.

    Maybe our rushing defense should let them learn how to make holes so they can do so against opposing teams. I like the rushing defense being third, who’s first and second and how does their rushing game rank? Does anyone know?

    This is going to be a sweet win, we’ll be ahead the entire game and pull away in the fourth quarter, we’re always at our peak in the fourth (well, except for Denver, but injuries derailed us big time. No excuses, that’s part of the game, but an explanation so we can keep it from happening again.)

    A Big Win! T.Stone saw it.

  6. By JohnnyBluenose on Oct 18, 2014 | Reply

    Seattle did okay last year without Harvin so I guess they will be okay now. But I have to think it will be easier for Bowles and our defense to prepare for the Seahawks without having to worry about Harvin’s skill set and the plays that are usually designed for him. Maybe those two games (or three games) just got a little bit easier for us. Stay healthy and keep going.

  7. By Chuck 1 on Oct 18, 2014 | Reply

    Ellington’s comment reminds me of the criticism that Franco Harris received because he ran out of bounds instead of into a defender and also how Earl Campbell shortened his career because he insisted in running into defenders.

  8. By azdesertrat1953 on Oct 18, 2014 | Reply

    Ellington needs to keep doing just That, get down when you know that’s it. Case in point the Honey Badger last year, he should have went down on the first hit.
    We don’t need hero’s yet, stay healthy and make sure you are here for the Play Offs’, then go all Rambo on everybody.

    LET’s GO!

    GO CARDS!!!

  9. By CreditCard on Oct 18, 2014 | Reply

    Winning on the road is tough for any NFL team. I agree, the Raiders record does to equate to their talent level. The Cardiac Cards have not put any team out, rather they have allowed teams in their victories to “hang around”.

    I hope the Raiders don’t come out in peak form, and the Cards flat. Just being on the road — this game makes me nervous. Can go either way.

  10. By clssylssy on Oct 19, 2014 | Reply

    A player can hand the ball to a fan in the stands but throwing it into the stands supposedly creates a public safety risk (fans fight over the ball) and so it is prohibited…according to…hence the fine. A player handing off the ball to a kid in the stands still has to pay for the ball @ something like $500 a pop.
    It’s interesting to note Anquan Boldin use to do this on a regular basis when he played for the Ravens and it’s unfortunate that the NFL has become the No Fun League and now seems to find excuses to levy outrageous fines on the players inconsistently.

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