Uniform choices and the flex barrier

Posted by Darren Urban on October 21, 2014 – 4:45 pm

It never fails that I get requests often to say which uniforms the Cardinals will wear on a given Sunday, especially at home when the black tops are in play. You can count me as one who doesn’t understand the big deal about the uniform (other than I get fans wanting to wear matching gear to their team) but people want to know. At this point, the black alternates are no longer available. The NFL doesn’t like allowing alternate jerseys once flex scheduling starts, and this year, flex scheduling began back in Week 5, earlier than before.

The decisions to pick what uniforms to wear was broken down quite well in this Sports Business Journal story from a year ago (h/t to @PhilHecken). Included in the story is this passage explaining the alternate jersey rules:

 In 2002, the league began regulating when teams could wear their third uniforms, which some teams made throwbacks and others made an entirely new jersey with alternate colors. The initial rules said that they could wear the third jerseys only twice a year, but those rules have become more prescriptive over time.

The league wants national TV audiences to see teams in their primary uniforms, so teams are allowed to wear third uniforms only in regular-season games on Sunday afternoons before the start of the league’s flex schedule. The NFL will grant exceptions on some occasions when teams make a formal request.

The Cardinals, by the way, will wear red uniforms with the white pants Sunday against the Eagles. No sign of red-on-red yet, although it is possible for later games.


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Posted in Blog | 63 Comments »

63 Responses to “Uniform choices and the flex barrier”

  1. By Jon on Oct 21, 2014 | Reply

    Good, I don’t like red on red. They look like pajamas. Red on white looks best.

  2. By hummer53 on Oct 21, 2014 | Reply

    I’m also not zealous about the uniform choices( though I did have my hopes up about the black stripe on the helmets that didn’t come to be ) I’m a betting man and I would guess the all red will be for the Seattle game later in year.

  3. By Blake on Oct 21, 2014 | Reply

    So Darren,
    Are u saying the the broncos last Sunday night made a request to wear their all blue uniforms against the 9ers?

  4. By Darren Urban on Oct 21, 2014 | Reply

    Blake —

    RE: Broncos

    Why would there be a request? Blue is a primary color.

  5. By OH IOcards fan on Oct 22, 2014 | Reply

    Broncos primary uniform colors are white for road games and orange for home, their blue unis they wore sunday are their alternate jerseys and definitely needed special permission to wear.

  6. By Blake on Oct 22, 2014 | Reply

    I thought their orange jerseys were now their primary home jerseys? Same as the chargers and ravens wearing alt. last week. Request? Week 7?

  7. By T.Stone on Oct 21, 2014 | Reply

    Thank God for Red over white. It will mix just peachy with the pink shoes and the
    black eye purple silicone wrist band for domestic violence awareness. Now we can all rest easy on Sunday.

  8. By infitzwetrust on Oct 21, 2014 | Reply

    Speaking of uniforms, I would love to see the uniforms that had the state flag with the stripes on the arms. The white version of that jersey is the best cardinals jersey in my opinion.

  9. By Scott H on Oct 21, 2014 | Reply

    I have always thought, still do, that the white pants / red jersey is their best look. But I gotta tell ya…there is something about that all red look that I have come to like more and more. They just always seem to play so mean and nasty when they go with that look. Save it for when the Seahawks come to town! I’ll be in the house this Sunday ( !!!!!!! ) and I want to see the red and white.

  10. By John The Draft Guy on Oct 21, 2014 | Reply

    T. Stone
    Is this the project runway blog? (I know you are joking)

    More importantly, The Patriots have Chandler Jones out for a month so they inquired about a guy I mentioned last month. Akeem Ayers was in the doghouse with Horton (ask Dockett about that) and sitting the bench.
    He was a college stud at rushing the passer at UCLA and was playing in a 4-3 Sam LB with Tenn. Even with that, he posted 7.5 sacks in 2012.

    The patriots went and traded for him. What were you doing Keim? you complain each week about the pass rush, a group you assembled by the way, and then you don’t make a move.

    Now is Ayers the answer? Who knows, maybe after his two knee surgeries, he is done. But dang, a late pick for a chance at improving the pass rush made sense to New England.


  11. By clssylssy on Oct 21, 2014 | Reply

    I was always of the impression that the red on white was our home uniform and the white on red the away, with the red on red the throwback for special games and the black on white just the “alternate” or gimmick uni that is so popular with many of the younger fans. I agree with with infitzwetrust that the white/jersey w the AZ flag on red pants was the best but can understand the NFL not wanting to be upstaged by a state logo!
    While the red on red initially reminded me of long johns, I have come to find it very bold and appealing. The important thing is what’s in the uniform and let’s hope it’s
    a team that is hungry for some payback for the loss we sustained in Philly last year! Let’s find a way to keep Foles under wraps so he can’t pass to Sproles or Riley Cooper. We need to neutralize their weapons and protect the nest!

  12. By Brett n Co. on Oct 21, 2014 | Reply

    When does the league decide the flex schedule?

  13. By Darren Urban on Oct 21, 2014 | Reply

    Brett —

    RE: Flex

    I assume you mean week to week. They have to make a decision on the game 12 days out.

  14. By Big Ken on Oct 21, 2014 | Reply

    Orakpo to IR ending his season. Hum I guess we could pick him up for a song/one year deal. Otherwise, red flag

  15. By Dr. G. on Oct 21, 2014 | Reply

    Color of uniforms? Doesn’t matter; I’ll wear Tillman’s ASU jersey. If I had a choice, strategically, brown would be the best ‘cuz it conceals the ball better..!!

    … Darren – – Not able to get to my inquiry on the Bird Chat today. Some serious stuff. I need to be convinced how we are “evenly matched” with the Eagles. Do the stats from the Denver skew things?

    Anyone, please explain to me how we expect to beat this Eagle team with the same approach on Offense being used up to now. On paper, they are better in all but 1 of the significant categories. check it out – –

    Ellington, always limited in practice because he is dinged up, and then ride him like a pack mule until he says, let Taylor go in, I need a blow!

    Our defense has the 5-1 record up to now….time for the offense to SCORE some points with the big horses we have. Some of our horses are not being used to blow up the other teams. Agree with Fitz “”we should go over 30 every game!”.

    Be well Cards Fans…. I’ll still be happy with a split on the next 2…

  16. By clssylssy on Oct 21, 2014 | Reply

    Darren…any word on Dockett’s progress and whether he’ll be rejoining us anytime soon? I read somewhere that BA said we’re “pretty healthy” but that can mean nothing or that we are getting back up to speed? Last week it was speculated that Calais would be back for the Eagles game and I know they don’t want to show their hand but do you foresee any significant lineup changes this week (wink, wink)? Uh huh or hunt uh will get the message through LOL!

  17. By Darren Urban on Oct 22, 2014 | Reply

    Clssy —

    RE: Dockett

    Darnell is on injured reserve. He cannot play this season.

  18. By georgiebird on Oct 21, 2014 | Reply

    The Cardinals vs Dallas game on November 2 is scheduled for 1pm ET.
    Is there any possibility that this start time might be changed. Thanks.

  19. By Darren Urban on Oct 22, 2014 | Reply

    Georgie —

    RE: Cowboys game


  20. By Zachariah on Oct 21, 2014 | Reply

    Red on red!!! The cardinal Bird doesn’t have white bottoms!!!

  21. By red bird of death! on Oct 21, 2014 | Reply

    I hate our away Uni it looks so bad, just go back to the old school simple sun devilesqe away uni please Mr.Bidwell.

  22. By Nor cal cards fan on Oct 21, 2014 | Reply

    Will the team ever consider wearing their white jerseys with the all red pants on the road again? The team did wear that combo on the road for many years, but not recently. The last time i believe they did was early in the Whiz era (At Cincy for the Antrel Rolle 3 INT game) if i remember correctly. I’ve always wondered why they abandoned that look? Because nowadays they only wear the red pants maybe once or twice a year when they go red on red at home, but they never wear them on the road anymore. Urb i know u have been covering the Cards for many years so surely u remember the white jersey on red pants combo..? I always thought it was the sharpest look for the Cards.

  23. By Dynosoar on Oct 21, 2014 | Reply

    Dr. G,

    Kevin S Mesa wrote a couple articles ago,

    “The combined record of the Cardinals’ opponents is 19-21. And that includes the fact that we are 5 of those losses… so their combined record in games not against us is 18-16.”

    And I found this (OK, I did the math and calculated this)

    Eagles opponents combined record = 17-24
    Cowboys opponents combined record = 19-26 (1 extra game played)
    Cardinals opponents combined record = 19-21

    49ers beat the Eagles and Cowboys
    Our Cardinals beat the 49ers (and we were in it with Denver most of the game, SF never was.)

    I hope that helps.

    Dallas is winning because of their run game, we’re number one against the run. The Eagles are winning because of their run game, we’re number one against the run. That gives me great comfort.

    4-0 against the NFC East!

  24. By Dynosoar on Oct 21, 2014 | Reply

    Red jersey with white pants.

    White jersey with red pants

    Black jersey (if they must) with red pants. (Cincinnati Bearcats use this combo, so you can see what it looks like.)

    (Although, having the red stripe down the side of the white jersey changing to a white swoop on the red pants may not work. But I always loved the white jersey red pants combo the team used to wear.)

  25. By T.Stone on Oct 22, 2014 | Reply


    RE Project Runway

    I love me some Heidi Klum, is she still on that show? Not sure. Going to have to ask my wife. but I love me some Heidi Klum. I thought she is on the talent show now. But even that crazy one that I saw on project runway wouldn’t have white, red, black eye purple and pink together. You are right. 🙂 But what the hell do I know.
    I know this.

    Cards 28
    Eagles 27

    P.S. I love me some Heidi Klum for sure.

  26. By Eazy E on Oct 22, 2014 | Reply

    This is so dumb. If the cards want to wear the black for all 16, they should be able to do it as long as the other team wears lighter colors. #Baffling

  27. By T.Stone on Oct 22, 2014 | Reply

    This might seem weird but here it goes.

    I feel sick when I think about the NFL anymore. I will not bow down to
    the Leper Messiah anymore.

  28. By 'ZonaFan89 on Oct 22, 2014 | Reply

    BRING BACK RED-ON-RED!!! Best look we have. We need to wear those red pants full time! Including road games, with our white jerseys!!

  29. By LifetimeFan on Oct 22, 2014 | Reply

    I gotta disagree with you guys – Red on Red is Awesome!

  30. By BirdsSTC on Oct 22, 2014 | Reply

    You would have to think that the NFL or NBC (I don’t know who has the say) is considering flexing our game in Dallas right?

  31. By Scott H on Oct 22, 2014 | Reply

    Dynosaur –

    The Eagles are definitely NOT winning with their running game. Look at the numbers. THE story of the Eagle season so far this year has been the inexplicably disappointing performance of LeSean McCoy thus far. He broke out with some big yards last week, but…up until then, people were in disbelief about how bad he had been playing. Their passing game has been much more productive and they have been scoring like crazy on defense and with their special teams.

  32. By Coach K on Oct 22, 2014 | Reply


    Is their any doubt after free agency losses, injuries on both sides of the ball, and a 5-1 record, that this coaching staff is THE BEST IN THE NFL?

    I don’t think our coaching staff get’s the national credit it deserves. Massive losses on the defensive side of the ball and Todd has them ranked as the #1 rush defense in the entire league. Quarterbacks injured, running backs injured and removed from the team, and yet, this team is 5-1 in the leagues strongest division.

    Can there be any doubt this is the BEST COACHING STAFF IN THE NFL Darren?

  33. By Darren Urban on Oct 22, 2014 | Reply

    Coach K —

    RE: Coaches

    There are a lot of good staffs in the NFL. But there is little question the Cardinals have a good one.

  34. By rick on Oct 22, 2014 | Reply

    Red on red for me followed by Black uniforms look the best.

  35. By clssylssy on Oct 22, 2014 | Reply

    Scott H…
    The Eagles have some explosive weapons in Darren Sproles and Riley Cooper and while their defense and special teams have been their saving graces this season, I would never underestimate them. Nick Foles is an excellent QB when he has an 0-line (sound familiar?) They play a fast game and we are going to have to work to keep up the pace but have better all around talent and depth. Even with HFA and all we have going, we are still being considered the underdog and our offense needs to come out strong and make a loud statement. This game is where we need to start putting our foot on the excellerator!

  36. By superbowlcards on Oct 22, 2014 | Reply

    As long as we keep winning they can play in a red and white striped g string only!!
    Anyone think Michael Sam is an option to possibly shore up or at this point wake up a non-existant pass rush?

  37. By joe67 on Oct 22, 2014 | Reply

    No red on red………….ever….PLEASE!

  38. By Dr. G. on Oct 22, 2014 | Reply

    Darren – – got the thumbs down, but no response yet. I would like to hear your opinion on my question earlier….Thanks

  39. By Darren Urban on Oct 22, 2014 | Reply

    Dr. G —

    RE: Question

    If you are asking about the thing where you said you needed to be convinced, I’ll leave that to others.

  40. By Chuck 1 on Oct 22, 2014 | Reply

    I’m glad to see that fans are now posting comments about the Eagles, not the “Boys”.
    There’s plenty of time NEXT WEEK to think about them.

  41. By Dynosoar on Oct 22, 2014 | Reply


    Michael Sam has been cut from two teams so far and he was drafted by one if I’m not mistaken. I think we can believe Darren when he says we’re not going after Sam. I doubt we will look at another linebacker unless injuries occur… again. Or if we need someone specific on the practice squad for a specific game plan preparation.

  42. By Bernadette on Oct 22, 2014 | Reply

    I bet on them whenever they wear black! They win every time.

    Plus they look awesome in the black uniforms.

  43. By Dr. G. on Oct 22, 2014 | Reply

    Dyno – – Win//Loss records are certainly a “final” measure for a team, but if you consider the strength of schedule, home//away success, and player matchups among other stats, your future prognostications may bring better success. Now, RichardS may go back to the matrix and come up with some crazy things; I can’t wait..!

    eg…, A team with a good record and a very weak schedule early in the season goes up against a team with a lesser record but a stronger schedule will not be favored very often…. Who wants to play the Saints at 2-4 and bet really big $$$$..? Be well….

  44. By John The Draft Guy on Oct 22, 2014 | Reply


    “As long as we keep winning they can play in a red and white striped g string only!!”

    Right after that statement of the players wearing G-strings, you bring up Michael Sam? Hmm

    As for Sam as a card, both the rams and cowboys lost pass rushers to injury and still cut Sam. That would lean me to saying he can’t get the job done.

  45. By John The Draft Guy on Oct 22, 2014 | Reply


    Your getting Thumbs down for Heidi Klum? What is wrong with these people?

  46. By jme on Oct 22, 2014 | Reply

    This game i hope the whole team knows is the start of a new season!! In my eyes we are at 0 again and need to go 5-1 these next 6 games!!! Quizes are over, time for the tests… Lets Go Big Red!!!

  47. By Dr. G. on Oct 22, 2014 | Reply

    JTDG – – We need to get you a shot at the Improv… just let me know.! Clever

    As for the commentary that the Eagles and Cards may be evenly matched, I’m thinking that our home crowd will make up any difference of the prevaricating prognosticators’ predictions combined with Peterson’s prestidigitation newly procured.! (( INT )) False Start Central…!

    Thanks for your reply Darren.

  48. By azqfan on Oct 22, 2014 | Reply

    JTDG, I disagree 100% with giving away a draft pick for Ayers. He was a bench guy on a terrible defense who has never proven he can be a good pass rusher. I would MUCH rather have Keim use the draft pick, sure seems to me he hits those as good as anybody.

    Also with all the injuries(most who have usually never been hurt before, DD, JA) for you to blame Keim is just plain wrong.

    By your logic a GM who creates a roster of poor talent, but stays healthy did a better job?

    I think Keim has done a GREAT job. Surely better than any other GM we have had in AZ. Especially the contract guy who they gave the job to(Rod Graves).

  49. By Red Dead Redemption on Oct 22, 2014 | Reply

    Dang I was hoping for the blood clot uniforms. Not because I like them – they are just ok. But because of their record, when they wear them and a win against the Eagles would be big.

  50. By Scott H on Oct 22, 2014 | Reply

    clssylssy –

    Yeah, unfortunately, I get to watch the Eagles all the time. So, I’m usually pretty familiar with them. Sproles has been their most explosive player on offense this year, no doubt. That not only says a lot about him, it also says a LOT about the extent to which McCoy has UNDER-performed this season. But I have the feeling that McCoy is gonna come to life at some point and really blow the roof off. Good that we stop the run well! Riley Cooper? Not sure what you see in him. He is another one of their BIG disappointments this year. I think he is about as over-rated as any player could be. I think he was able to take advantage of a good opportunity last year with Desean Jackson still there, taking the top of opposing defenses, and Maclin being hurt. He played way over his head, raised expectations, and he is clearly NOT living up to them. Maclin and their rookie WR are the guys to be concerned about.

    AND given our continued struggles against opposing TE’s, I would watch out for Zack Ertz and even Brent Celek.

    BTW, as of right now, Sproles is still a question mark to be able to go on Sunday. I’m guessing he WILL play but maybe not at 100%. That could only help.

    Not surprisingly, Foles has really come down to earth this year. There was no way he was gonna continue to put up the ridiculous numbers he did last year. His TD to INT ratio is WAAAAAAAY off from last season. Too much went right for him, too, last year especially how unbelievably healthy their ENTIRE O-line stayed all season. That wasn’t gonna happen again. And Jackson’s loss has affected the whole offense, IMHO. I kinda like Foles, but…he always seems to play better that I think he really is, if that makes any sense.

    Like the Cards, the Eagles have had a habit of falling behind in games and then turning it around in the 2nd half. Geez…should we hope for the Eagles to be ahead at half-time??? Maybe we should!

    The Eagles D and their special teams HAVE truly been special for the big plays they have made so far. They far and away lead the NFL in defensive / ST’s scores. Without this contribution, they are NOT 5-1 right now.

    Bottom line, the Eagles are capable of being VERY good in all phases. When you put it ALL on the scale, these teams are just SOOOO evenly matched. I believe the Cardinals are a better team, especially at home. But this game will not be won by the better team. It will be won by the team that plays better for 60 minutes. Either team could do that, so it’s anyone game.

  51. By horsepedlr on Oct 22, 2014 | Reply

    remember the philly game last year. time for payback. and for those unhappy with kiem remember graves, wiz and horton then pick which ones you would rather have. i made my pick.

  52. By John The Draft Guy on Oct 22, 2014 | Reply


    DD is not an OLB, neither is Campbell, so injuries do not come into play besides an aging Abraham.

    Keim had a 36 yr old OLB and nothing else in the way of edge rushers from the OLB spot. He has hope for Okafor, who has a decent bull rush but is not explosive off the edge.

    But, Instead of going out and drafting or picking a guy up in FA, he did nothing. Keiser, a charger reject who hits more bartenders than QBs has been his huge pickup. That is it ! How long did he think Abraham could play???

    That is a piss poor job, and to combine it with his weekly message of the pass rush has to get better is almost insane. How will it get better? Maybe a trade? Nope, I just hope it gets better.

    As for Ayers being proven, as a blitzer in a SAM LB role (not an edge guy) he posted 6 sacks in 2012. He injured his knees in 2013 but played through it and had surgery in the off season.

    Ayers is a guy who could play inside or outside also. Just wait till Foote wears down and we have nothing but a safety to play inside because of his pick of a one dimensional LB in the 2nd round last year.

    As for being a bench guy, that is what Dockett was going to be or a cut guy under Horton. Some guys just dont mesh and with Ayers coming back from 2 knee surgeries, I am sure Horton wanted him going before he was ready.

    Ayers was known in college as a good cover guy who could rush the passer. His 14.5 sacks and 6 ints at UCLA, along with his 9 sacks and 2 picks and 14 pass defensed in the NFL, tells me he is someone to check out.

    The pats gave up a 6th and a 7th. Which for the last two years of Keim picking OUR 6th and 7th has netted, Ryan Swope, Walt Powell, and DC Jefferson (all gone) Ellington was a 6th rounder off a trade.

    Yes, so taking a look at a OLB, who had talent prior to his injuries for Walt Powell and DC Jefferson?? No brainer.

    “By your logic a GM who creates a roster of poor talent, but stays healthy did a better job?”

    What??? I don’t even know what you are trying to say there.

  53. By joeaman87 on Oct 22, 2014 | Reply

    I’m not sure all the alternate jersey rules are 100% correct. The NFL, unless it’s a special circumstance, doesn’t want teams to wear their alternate uniforms after the start of flex scheduling, which started in Week 5? But the Redskins wore theirs in Week 7. The Rams wore theirs in Week 6 on MNF (though they were honoring the ’99 Champs, whom wore royal blue and yellow uniforms back then), and I believe the Steelers might be wearing their throwbacks soon, those ugly striped ones. Plus the Rams usually have worn their throwbacks twice, as does Buffalo, and it’s past Week 5. So the flex schedule thing, I don’t know it’s 100% true. I think the rules are stupid. I think the TNF, SNF, and MNF TV audiences would love to see their teams wearing throwbacks if they were playing at home. Why does it matter to the NFL? The helmet rule is dumb too. The throwback helmets might not be safe because they’re not broken in? The helmets they wear every week pop off so easily with little or a lot of physical contact. I remember the Redskins Chris Baker last season vs Dallas celebrating a defensive stop and his helmet popped right off his head. You know, the properly-fitted and broken in helmet. Any helmet worn all season or for one game can pop off at anytime. But regarding the uniforms, the rules are stupid. Can’t change the throwback uniform after a certain period of time. Difficult to switch back to an old logo or uniform. The helmet rule. I love the Bucs and Patriots throwbacks but because of the stupid helmet rule I can never see them, which sucks. Everyone loves throwback uniforms so I think teams should be able to wear the whole thing whenever they want and as many times as they wish.

  54. By jme on Oct 22, 2014 | Reply

    watch Acho on sunday, he’s got this. His play is about to come alive. Pass rush is going to be lights out.

  55. By T.Stone on Oct 22, 2014 | Reply


    RE Thumbs Down

    Haters wanna hate,
    Lovers wanna love,
    I don’t even want,
    None of the above,
    I want ………,

  56. By hminus on Oct 23, 2014 | Reply

    1. RED on RED…2. RED on white…3. White w/flag on RED…86. black on WHITE…

  57. By hminus on Oct 23, 2014 | Reply

    WHY have they never tried black on red…,[even though i hate the black“raidaaas”jerseys,]…

  58. By Scott H on Oct 23, 2014 | Reply

    Black on red would look like an arena football league team. No thanks.

  59. By AzSPACEguy on Oct 26, 2014 | Reply

    I’d like to know what jersey the team is wearing, so the fans can wear the same if they wish. Also, the red on red looks like a D high school team

  60. By William Barry on Oct 26, 2014 | Reply

    I like the white on white of the mid seventies look……………

  61. By AZ cardinals Fan on Oct 23, 2015 | Reply

    No one going to point out the elephant in the room.. They said wearing Red against the Eagles.. Did we mean the Ravens? I’m just curious what color the Cardinals are wearing during Monday Night Football! Anyone know, and is this a typo??

  62. By AZ cardinals Fan on Oct 23, 2015 | Reply

    Yeah, just realized this is an article from last year… damnit google.. Its so hard to find what the team is scheduled to wear.

  63. By Darren Urban on Oct 23, 2015 | Reply

    Az Cardinals fan —

    RE: Uniform

    They are wearing red.

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