Cooper not yet “one of the best players”

Posted by Darren Urban on November 12, 2014 – 1:32 pm

Bruce Arians was asked why specifically he had no interest in putting guard Jonathan Cooper in the starting lineup. His answer, as always, was blunt.

“If he was one of the best players, it’d be different,” Arians said. “He hasn’t shown he is one of the best players. He’s gotten a lot better than he was and I think he has a great future as long as he continues to do what he’s doing.”

Why isn’t the 2013 No. 1 draft pick one of the best, Arians was asked.

“The consistency in everything, staying off the ground, everything that goes into playing,” Arians said. “He gets his hands full with Calais (Campbell) every day on the scout team so I see improvement there. But there is nothing glaring where you’d say, ‘Take him out, put him in.’ That would be easy.”

Starting guards Ted Larsen and Paul Fanaika have not always been consistent, Arians and GM Steve Keim have said in the past. The line has to be better in the run game, Arians said. But the line isn’t going to include Cooper. Not now (which Arians has steadfastly said all season.)

“If I thought (playing Cooper) would fix it, hell yeah, I’d make the move,” Arians said. “I ain’t an idiot.”

— Defensive lineman Ed Stinson (groin, toe) and linebacker Desmond Bishop (hamstring) aren’t practiced today. DT Dan Williams, RB Stepfan Taylor, RB Andre Ellington, LB Lorenzo Alexander and S Deone Bucannon all are limited in practice today, Arians said.



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58 Responses to “Cooper not yet “one of the best players””

  1. By SteveG on Nov 12, 2014 | Reply

    Not too much ambiguity with BA, is there?

  2. By azjam on Nov 12, 2014 | Reply

    If that is the case, then the 7th pick in the 2013 draft should be considered a “bust.”

  3. By rod on Nov 12, 2014 | Reply

    You’re a bust.

  4. By Marlin on Nov 12, 2014 | Reply

    Looks like Cooper wasn’t worth the 7th overall pick in the draft. Even if he turns out to be a good lineman, he wasn’t worth a franchise type pick.

  5. By Carlos on Nov 12, 2014 | Reply

    its his second year n didn’t play his rookie yr. far from a bust just needs to keep improving like the coach said.

  6. By Big Ken on Nov 12, 2014 | Reply

    It will be interesting if we draft a guard next year, or maybe a very versatile o-lineman. A free-agent guard? hum..

  7. By Blc on Nov 12, 2014 | Reply

    Have you seen the play of our guards, if he isn’t slightly better than those two by now going against Calais Campbell everyday then we have a big problem. Ellington wants to run outside of the tackles but our guards aren’t quick enough to beat the defense to the spots. That is a problem

  8. By superbowlcards on Nov 12, 2014 | Reply

    Yeah, and whats weird about that is Cooper was the best in all of college football at pulling, and downfield second, and even third level blocks!! Didnt he break his leg blocking downfield?? I know that was his “forte” in college, I truly dont think this is a physical issue, I

  9. By Dr. G. on Nov 12, 2014 | Reply

    One thing that seems to be fluent with the Cards is that Keim does not tell Arians who to play…. and better yet, Arians continues to say that he lets his coaches make the decisions on who goes each week. They will tell him when Cooper is ready… So far in BA’s tenure, he has tweeked the press and the fans a bit, but when it comes to his coaches and players, he appears to be “NO BS” and up front. …totally admirable…

  10. By Steve Weston on Nov 12, 2014 | Reply

    That season-ending injury early last year has really made it tough for him. I think it’s too early to call Cooper a bust. Let’s see how he develops this year and the off season and see how he fits in next year. I’d be ready to call him a bust halfway through next season if he doesn’t make a big improvement to our line.

  11. By Dynosoar on Nov 12, 2014 | Reply

    This is essentially a rookie year since he was injured last year and he had some “rust” as the staff had stated in the off-season as well as the mental hurdle of his injury.

    I’m good with keeping the chemistry of the line intact. And just because we haven’t seen him play, doesn’t mean he won’t. We wouldn’t have predicted the tragic injury to Carson Palmer, or any of the others. Not wanting to “jinx” things, but we’ve had a lot of injuries this season.

    Darren, how does this year compare with others as far as major injuries? It seems like more than I’ve ever seen.

    I trust we’ll see him. I can’t imagine keeping someone making his money if he isn’t going to fit in someday.

    I just hope he has that same fire in his belly that Honey Badger has. I just hope the media constantly asking about him and if he hears what BA is saying doesn’t dampen his spirits, but stokes the fires inside.

  12. By clssylssy on Nov 12, 2014 | Reply

    This is only Wednesday so we’ll hope the guys “limited” today will be able to go on Sunday. We’re going to need everything we have against the Lions and these guys make up a pretty sizeable chunk! We can win this especially if we play like we did against the 9ers. There are an awful lot of nonCardinal fans out there cheering for us, which is pretty cool. and I know we have the talent and the ability to do it as long as we BELIEVE!
    I really don’t see what the big deal is about Cooper, the guy missed his rookie year with a very serious injury so this isn’t like we drafted him and he’s never stepped onto the field…that was Ryan Swope. Cooper will come along and linemen are always needed. The Cards haven’t had a great line in years and perhaps BA’s just got higher standards for improving team weaknesses.

  13. By Eric G on Nov 12, 2014 | Reply

    Really azjam and Martin? He broke his freaking leg last year and had to start over. He lost time lifting, strength training (probably lost strength while rehabbing) and lost practice time.

    Let’s see how well you play at a professional level after busting your leg, hell let’s see you do anything after that. It’s probably in the back of his mind every time he’s out there. If he had not been injured, and the questions like this loomed, then yeah, maybe think about whether he should have been picked at #7. But give the kid a break for now.

  14. By Dr. G. on Nov 12, 2014 | Reply

    Darren – – Sorry to bug again with this, but your commentary really helps clarify regarding Palmer’s $$$ and contract for 2015.

    He got the bonuses (($10.5MIL)) plus his 2014 money on 11/7/14.

    Your quote re: 2015 – -“”What that means is that he can indeed be cut before the roster bonus, but if he is still hurt, it’s guaranteed for injury, so he gets his money.””

    Not possible that he can be cleared to play by Feb. of 2015, so he will get another $10.5MIL basically for the 2015 year. So…he is getting $21MIL guaranteed for 2014//2015. I’m thinking insurance may pick up the second half of this. No way he is cut.

    Do I have this right? Thanks again…

  15. By Darren Urban on Nov 12, 2014 | Reply

    Dr. G —

    RE: Contract

    That is essentially correct. Don’t know about insurance. If he comes back in camp of 2015, not sure why they’d get to use insurance.

  16. By superbowlcards on Nov 12, 2014 | Reply

    Wouldnt it be a huge cap hit if they cut him in2015?
    Carson has been Kurt Jr, he solved our QB woes, the last thing I would want to see happen is for the Cards to cut him, he has plenty left in the tank to play out this new contract. Is this contract like his last one, where that last year was only there to soften the cap hit if he were cut, sort of a lame duck year that the contract experts put in for financial reasons?

  17. By Darren Urban on Nov 12, 2014 | Reply

    superbowl —

    RE: Contract

    Yes, the structure is similar to the last one.

  18. By D on Nov 12, 2014 | Reply

    If they were 5-4 today, he would be put into the lineup…but I see BA’s point, why change the flow/lineup when you are 8-1.

    Patrick Willis, Zach Miller, Brandon Mebane…all gone for the year…now if we can only hope Gore, Lynch and R. Quinn could take the rest of the year off we would be very grateful..

  19. By John The Draft Guy on Nov 12, 2014 | Reply


    When people are faced with the truth, they still won’t accept it.

    Please tell me all you thumbs down people, what more do you need?
    Dont just do thumbs down, explain your position.

    Is BA an idiot? He says , (not just me), BA says Cooper is not good enough.

    Also, the continuity issue is out the window when BA said;
    “If I thought (playing Cooper) would fix it, hell yeah, I’d make the move,” Arians said. “I ain’t an idiot.” Which suggest two things, I have a problem with my guards, and cooper is not the answer.

    To add to it, he is the franchise, multiple pro bowl #7 pick with 14.5 million dollars guaranteed. Keim and BA have said he is healthy, so injury is not an excuse.

    Faniaka and Larsen are struggling. BA said, (not just me), they got their asses wiped, against the rams.

    So, a guy who contract wise make sense to play, Where he was picked makes sense to play, The play by the other guards makes sense to play, Yet he isn’t

    How bad must cooper be?

  20. By superbowlcards on Nov 12, 2014 | Reply

    I love your take on the “thumbs up/down, I think the moderators should put somekind of block on the “thumbs down”, you must reply to it with an explanation as to why you are giving a post a “thumbs down”, I liken it to allthese idiots who go around bitching and whining about how worthless the current occupant of the White House is, (which I agree!) but when you ask them who they voted for, you get ” I didnt vote, my vote would not have mattered” I immediately tell them to shut up, quit bitching, you lost that right to bitch when you were to lazy to go vote! (i truly want to slap them
    upside the head, but that will just land me in the slammer! HaHa.)
    Anyway if you are going to thumbs down somebody, man-up and let him know what your thinking, or at least the system should post the names of the posters who give thumbs down with their tail between their legs!!
    On that note I disagree with you on Cooper, he has the talent, everybody was raving about his play in his rookie training camp, and right up to the play he broke his leg, h# was downfield blocking, and being dominate on that play as well, at least that is what all the so called experts, and coaches, and even fans on here were saying, I did not see the game, but all the press was positive, besides that, wasnt he a dominate interior lineman in college, ranked pretty high if im not mistaken? I think it is a mental issue, between his ears, not physical, but it is frustrating, that is for damn sure!

  21. By C on Nov 12, 2014 | Reply

    Darren, how much more enjoyable or unenjoyable is your job blogging about Arians vs. Wisenhunt? I would imagine it’s more fun with some of the low-hanging fruit that BA drops out there on a week-to-week basis, but from a blogging/reporting standpoint, do you have a preference?

  22. By Darren Urban on Nov 12, 2014 | Reply

    C —

    RE: BA vs Whiz

    I like having some cool quotes, but the job is the job.

  23. By sbrown on Nov 12, 2014 | Reply

    Cooper did not play a snap in a regular season game last year, due to his injury. I would consider this his “rookie” season. Don’t worry, still under his rookie contract so no huge dollars but if he is not going to make it Cards have the next two seasons to either see him play or after year four cut him.

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

    Arians said. “I ain’t an idiot.” Well., with Fanaika sometimes hurt, inconsistent and Larsen getting bull rushed on occasion and no run game, Cooper must not be very dang good if he can’t crack the lineup. Notice Arians didn’t give us any of the chemistry” crap…. truth, Arians is right, he’s no idiot 🙂

  25. By Roy on Nov 12, 2014 | Reply

    Yeah, we’ll see how he comes out of the offseason. Who knows, he could be the next man up…next. Jeez. He certainly is not Levi

  26. By superbowlcards on Nov 12, 2014 | Reply

    Kind of difficult to improve when teams are limited to 1 full contact practice a week!! Cant believe owners agreed to that crap on the last CBA, also explains all the injuries, if you ask me! (which of course nobody is! Haha!)
    I just dont get Cooper, his rookie training camp the staff was raving about him, the pre-season game in which he was injured, he was dominate! Boom, breaks his leg, turns into a 2nd string emergency only, hold your breath while he is filling in type of player!! Im perplexed!! Even the so called experts raved about him before, and during the draft!! It has to be related to his injury, willing to bet it is a mental confidence issue, you just dont turn into a mediocre player overnight, and its not like our starting guards are having all-pro years, in fact, they are the weak link in the oline and run game!! Im wondering why they dont throw him to the wolves, let him play to get better, cant do worse than are starters, can he?

  27. By Richard S on Nov 12, 2014 | Reply

    I hope they draft another offensive lineman early next year. I don’t like seeing 2 of our QB’s go down, and one go down twice during the season. We need an OL like the Cards from years ago, Dierdorf, Dobler and company who allowed 8 sacks the whole season, yes, the whole season.

  28. By T. Stone on Nov 12, 2014 | Reply

    My crystal ball is firing up again. Coop is a backup, and here is the score.

    Cardinals 24

    Lions 10

    Enough about Cooper. He got hurt, he had his chance. He must have been playing games instead of looking at the playbook during his rehab. His fault, His deal. Everyone makes a choice. He made his. The coaches know it, the players know it. Spend your time while you are out getting healthy and better. He probably chose butter and video games. So don’t complain now. Next off season we will find out if he is a bust. Because, will his next offseason consist of nachos and movies, or playbooks and game tape?

  29. By Scott H on Nov 12, 2014 | Reply

    To be honest, I don’t even care about Cooper right now. He hasn’t been a factor in getting us where we are right now. Obviously, his absence hasn’t been an obstacle to getting where we are right now. And if he ain’t gonna be a significant factor during the rest of the season….then I’m not interested. It’s an issue for the off-season. One of many.

    Right now, we got the Lions coming to town and they’re bringing the nastiest defense ( statistically ) in the league with them. They’re also brining one of the best WR corps in the league right now. Let’s deal with that.

  30. By John The Draft Guy on Nov 12, 2014 | Reply


    “Yeah, we’ll see how he comes out of the offseason. Who knows, he could be the next man up…next. Jeez. He certainly is not Levi’

    No he is not. Levi started every game at RT during our super bowl run.

    No, cooper is no Levi Brown. Not even close. That is how sad it is.

  31. By CreditCard on Nov 12, 2014 | Reply

    I wonder if the Cards have experimented with Cooper playing a little fullback / lead blocker on short yardage situations. Cooper’s speed and size would yield a nice collision. Not sure if it a good football play or even effective, but as a fan it sure would be fun to watch.

    Who is the back-up center in the event (hopefully not) Sendlien gets hurt?

  32. By cards62 on Nov 12, 2014 | Reply


    I am not saying Cooper is going to be a stud or even in the top half of NFL guards, but why have you already given up on him? I still hope Cooper will be a star, but yes I am worried about him due to not playing and coaches input. Cooper is a young guy brutal injury why not give him next year before deciding? I agree to not play him now, but why not next year? Cooper has some good tape in college and I know it was only preseason but he showed me a few things his rookie year before he was injured.

    I would draft/sign at least two guards in the off season wearing my GM hat but still hold out hope for Cooper.

    How do you think Bobbie Massie is playing now? Remember him his rookie year or even last year and he did not even have any major injuries to overcome. I think he is playing well. Not perfect not great but well. I know major difference in draft position and contracts, but that is water under the bridge.

    So right now is where we are at and I ask you. Would you cut Cooper now or in the off season or would you keep him through at least the preseason to see if he improves?

    Thanks for your input

  33. By Dynosoar on Nov 12, 2014 | Reply


    You said it best. “Please tell me all you thumbs down people, what more do you need? Dont just do thumbs down, explain your position.”

    Perhaps it’s because most people will defend their position. I know unless I’m shown I’m in error “like I was yesterday regarding Stanton playing with Manning,” I will. I am man enough to admit if I’m wrong.

    I’d just like to know sometimes why I get a thumbs down or a thumbs up. What is it that resonates?

  34. By JohnnyBluenose on Nov 12, 2014 | Reply

    I don’t know why Cooper was good enough to start for us until he broke his leg 15 months ago and he isn’t good enough to start for us now. His leg is healed now. At least we have been told repeatedly that he is healthy but he is just not good enough. He is not better than the two journeymen guards who are starting ahead of him. They are better than the healthy athlete who was drafted seventh overall just 18 months ago. Makes no sense to me but it sure frustrates me that we are getting nothing out of that pick right now. Steven Stampkos is a Canadian hockey player who was drafted into the NHL five years ago at age 18 by the Tampa Bay Lightning. He has been a superstar since day one. One year ago yesterday he badly broke his leg in a hockey game. Surgery was required and he still has screws in his leg. He tried very hard to recover so that he could play for Canada in Feb 2014 at the Olympics but he just could not. He did however return to the Tampa Bay Lightning on March 6th, 2014. That’s slightly less than four months after breaking his leg. He was skating 30 miles an hour, twisting and turning and risking falling feet first into the boards. He was playing. He was interviewed yesterday on the first anniversary of his injury. He said that his leg is still not right and may never be right but he is playing. And not just playing but playing at a high level and is near the top of the league in scoring. I am not a doctor and I have never broken my leg. But I see Stampkos playing. I see Mathieu playing after sustaining what I believe to be a much more serious injury than that sustained by Cooper. And I see Cooper sitting. And I just don’t get it. Either he just is not good enough or something else is going on.

  35. By Dynosoar on Nov 12, 2014 | Reply

    Here’s my impression of last weeks game against the Rams and why I’m more optimistic than before. I understand the brutal facts and those are that we’ve lost another great player and it hurts. It hurts him and it hurts to think of pressing onward without Palmer on the field.

    What doesn’t hurt is this, the team didn’t cave like against Denver. I still remember the throw by Manning after we’d lost Shaughnessy, Campbel and Stanton when I said to others in the room “they don’t have any drive left in them.” And Denver then went on to score at least two more unanswered touchdowns.

    What happened this game when Palmer went down? This team went to a place they’ve never been before. Everyone wants to see more from this team. The pundits don’t believe in us and the fans say “we want a dominant game for once.”

    Well we had a dominant game after Palmer went down. Peterson got a flag (questionable at best, or so I thought) and the next play intercepts the ball. Stanton comes in and on his third completion in three throws (and one scramble) throws the Sports Illustrated cover of the week TD pass to Smokey.

    This team found a depth of play I have believed was there since last season. They found that depth and now there’s no turning back. They now know how good they can be. Even as good as Denver is at scoring points, they still haven’t found that depth of inner reserve we found last week. That’s why they lost so badly in last years Super Bowl and to NE this year.

    That’s why I believe we will win. Our team has learned they can do so much more, most teams are not held back by opponents as much as by themselves. Remember the ’85 Bears Super Bowl shuffle. Man, that team knew they had won the game before they even began the playoffs, they felt it was their destiny. Last years Seawahks, same thing, destiny. This team is destined and they saw what they could do last week. I don’t see them slowing down, they’ve unleashed something, something powerful. They just need to keep this beast under control and no one can stop them.

    Our Cardinals now know they can achieve so much more. I’m so looking forward to the Lions matchup as I believe it is the last test. Watch, I believe we will see our first “complete game” of the year.

  36. By Dynosoar on Nov 12, 2014 | Reply

    And after the Lions who are as “survivalistic” and driven as our Cardinals, there’s not another team that has found out how far they can go left on our schedule.

    Our schedule may have looked tough before, after what I saw our team do to the Rams after Palmer was injured, they’re schedule just got a lot tougher.

    When the going gets tough the tough get going. We watched this with our own eyes last week. Our team just became the toughest in the league and if they didn’t before, they now have a cause. And because it was a freak accident and not a Rams player that did it, they are on fire against the world and not a Rams team only.

    We win out. I may be wrong. I understand “any given Sunday.” I know everyone says we have tough teams ahead. But I haven’t Ever seen a team Change from a winning team to a dominant team in mid game like I did the other day. We turned a corner and I calmly and confidently believe we win out.

  37. By Scott H on Nov 13, 2014 | Reply

    Speaking of such things….is anyone else concerned about the virtual disappearance of Michael Floyd from the offense? He has been a virtual non-factor for about a month now. How does that happen with a player who progressed the way he did over the 2nd half of last season? That just seems….wrong. Yeah, I know, we are spreading the ball around / not making any concerted efforts to get the ball to any one player, etc, etc. Got that. But…shouldn’t he be getting the ball at least once in a while, like everyone else is??? This kid is SUPER talented. If he is not hurt, how does he just DISAPPEAR in his 3rd year???

    Seeing as we face the possibility of losing Fitz after thie season, this concerns me greatly.

  38. By Patrick Hoog aka Don't Take Losses on Nov 13, 2014 | Reply

    JTDG speaks with unforked tongue.

  39. By John The Draft Guy on Nov 13, 2014 | Reply


    Yes cooper is still young. I have seen guys rise from the bust label and become viable starters in this league.

    Take Tony Mandarich. He was , what, #2 overall and flopped (forget about why). But most don’t remember that he rebounded and played guard for the Colts for several years.

    Same could be said about our Leonard Davis.

    I am not saying he will never be good. What I am saying is that all the evidence is pointing to being a bust. If I was a detective, I would feel I have enough evidence to make an arrest. Will his conviction hold up? Not sure.

    Massie is so totally different. He started and played well the second half of his rookie year. But then the coach was fired, the system changed and he didn’t grasp it.So they brought in a vet for a year. I feel he is playing well for us now.
    Where cooper never started, has been in the system 1 1/2 years and still has not impressed the coaches.

    You notice Watford isn’t getting the same criticism. It is what happens when you are a top pick. You are expected to be an impact player from day one.
    If not, you are to show flashes that you can be. Cooper has been healthy and can’t break into a line up with two back up guards.

  40. By Darren Urban on Nov 13, 2014 | Reply

    JTDG —

    RE: Cooper

    I will argue with you on one point, which is the Massie comparison. A guys breaks his leg in August and misses the whole season, I’d say he didn’t spend that year in the system. Certainly you could make the argument a healthy Massie should have grasped it sooner. Again, I’m not trying to debate that Cooper isn’t disappointing now. But Cooper was starting before he got hurt and he was impressing Arians and Goodwin. That’s undeniable. What happened since he got back, I’m not sure why he backslid. But it’s not like he’s been in the doghouse since day one.

  41. By John The Draft Guy on Nov 13, 2014 | Reply

    Scott H,

    I think the disappearance of Floyd happened at the same time the reemergence of Fitz happened.

    Since the game plan is to get Ellington 20-25 touches and take some shots at John Brown, Hit the TEs now and again, maybe it is an either or situation with Fitz and Floyd?

    But then again, Jaron Brown is starting to emerge too. Maybe there just isn’t enough balls to go around?

    Floyd has shown his talent and posted numbers. But with a new contract looming in the future, maybe they decided to pay Fitz and not Floyd. Who knows?

  42. By Darren Urban on Nov 13, 2014 | Reply

    JTDG, Scott —

    RE: Fitz/Floyd/Paid

    There could be multiple reasons for how this has played out. But seriously, knowing Arians as we all do, do you really believe a guy would get/not get the ball based on who was getting paid/who was going to be paid? That is so not how B.A. operates.

  43. By John The Draft Guy on Nov 13, 2014 | Reply



    Yes, I remember in preseason 2013. He was quick on his feet and able to pull. Guys directly on him could get a push, but he was very agile. Maybe the broken leg took away some of his agility? Who knows.
    Bottom line is he can’t beat out back ups and take the spot the number 7 overall pick should have.

    If it is mental, get some help. Or could it be the 14.5 million he is getting that has slowed him down? Not sure, but he is not good enough right now.

  44. By John The Draft Guy on Nov 13, 2014 | Reply


    Agree with both your post.

    Cooper being in the system. –
    I meant he had a playbook, access to coaches and practice. I think you would agree that he had an opportunity to know the system by now. Massie should know it too by now. But last training camp, maybe not so much, which brought in Winston.

    My point was more there might not be enough balls to go around more than contracts. The contract talk was more projecting into the off season that maybe you switch gears (or maybe it was the thought all along) and make sure you redo Fitz and maybe look to trade Floyd or let him walk after 2015.

    Point was, with Fitz, Jaron and John Brown all emerging and Ellington getting his touches, along with a couple to TEs, maybe they just don’t have enough plays to get more to Floyd.

    They have taken a couple deep shots to Floyd and if they connected, maybe this isn’t a topic at all.

  45. By William Barry on Nov 13, 2014 | Reply

    Darren, Drew will do fine in our offense……and as for Floyd, I’m sure he will get a few more touches each game…he is a fantastic talent….

    Darren, since there are only 6 more games in our schedule, if we win so many games and SF and Seattle lose “x amount” of games, what is the magic number (of won lost games) where we can declare we are the winner of the NFC West.!!!!!

    GO CARDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  46. By John The Draft Guy on Nov 13, 2014 | Reply


    I’m sorry, I missed your question.

    “So right now is where we are at and I ask you. Would you cut Cooper now or in the off season or would you keep him through at least the preseason to see if he improves?”

    Cooper is guaranteed 4 million whether he is on the team or not. I would obviously keep him. You owe the money and worst case is he is a back up. Best case, he can become a starter.

    If there was no salary guaranteed, it would be a long talk with BA on his thoughts. I would upgrade the guard in the offseason for sure, but cutting him would depend on Bruce’s thoughts. 2016? Yes, he would be cut.

  47. By Scott H on Nov 13, 2014 | Reply

    Darren / JTDG –

    Thank you both. The issue of money / contracts having an impact on BA’s thought process / play calling was not a consideration of mine. Heck, if that were the case and you were gonna do things that way, why not try to diminish Fitz as much as possible ( so fans might not mind his possible departure as much ) and get people psyched about Floyd for the same reason? No, I wasn’t thinking along those lines at all.

    John, you stated something I absolutely agree with – if Floyd comes up with more of the shots they HAVE taken for big plays with him, then I’m not even asking the questions.

    With all that you both came up with in response, it is still hard to swallow the extent to which he has seemingly disappeared. He and Michael Crabtree have been quite conspicuous by their absences this season. But at least with Crabtree, there is a major injury / recovery issue that probably explains SOME of what happened there. With Floyd….no health issue that we know of.

    John, back to you…I would have thought that Fitz’s re-emergence would have only benefitted Floyd by drawing the defense’s attention away from him. I think it has absolutely benefitted the offense in general ( because Fitz is still THE top play-maker here ), but….Floyd has only continued to dwindle.

    Interesting, to say the least. And, I have to admit, part of my frustration is that I drafted Floyd in fantasy football this year and he’s killin’ me. There. I said it. Neither of you need to reply to that, I know it’s not your thing. 🙂 Believe me, as much as I love fantasy football, it would NEVER hold the place in my life occupied by my beloved Cardinals and the thrill of REAL post-season football.

  48. By cards62 on Nov 13, 2014 | Reply

    Thanks all for your input especially JTDG.

    Cooper I will hope for the best and give him next year before I write him off.
    I am worried about him for sure, but I was worried about Fitz being able to get open earlier in the year and now look at him, I was worried about PP and the last 2 games he has stepped it up big time, I was worried why Dan Williams was not playing and the next week he had his best game ever. I was worried about our pass rush and we put up 6 sacks on the Rams. Floyd is a physical beast and very talented but I have worried about him ever since watching him in the Eagles game so hopefully he puts up 200 yards and 2 tds. I worry about our punter, Butler as he seems to take forever to get the ball off, and I always worry about our oline.
    I do not worry about our coaching staff and front office as I know they are doing all they can and they will do their best week in and week out and what they can not fix this year they will try and fix next year, and all teams have issues. So why not us this year in our own stadium??? I really enjoy watching this team play this year and guys go back and watch the tape these last 2 games on CC. Unreal how he has played unreal.

    Thanks again and it is fairly late on the east coast so goodnight to one and all.

  49. By Marcelof on Nov 14, 2014 | Reply

    William Barry,

    Depending on no one, win the next 5 games… we’re in with 13w.

    by winning the next 4 games ( including seatlle’s game ), root for Seatlle and SF lose one each and we’re in with 12w.

    Those are the only viable scenarios I can spot.

  50. By clssylssy on Nov 14, 2014 | Reply

    Scott H/JTDG.,,
    It doen’t really seem that Michael Floyd is out of the picture as he still gets targeted however, he also seems to still continue to drop the ball so I think it’s more a matter of Palmer or Stanton keying in on who they feel they can depend on.You will notice they are using their TEs more and our passing game is kinda more a trump card than a signature play as it was with Warner. Last season and early on, I felt there was a concerted effort to force the ball to Floyd or Brown with the goal,by the organization to downplay Fitz’s roll on the team while elevating Floyd and Brown, with money being the driving factor. This didn’t work out so well as neither Floyd or Brown could be depended upon like Fitz…Brown seemed to drop a few but has gotten better whereas Floyd, while still an important force and big part of this team just seems to be going through some kind of “drop off” (sorry for the pun) which he may come out of, just don’t think he was quite ready to be thrust into the #1 position quite yet. With so much on the line now, Fitz has re-emerged because he never really lost a step at all and he is still the guy he always has been…dependable and rock solid, an elite player who could be playing with the Broncos, Patriots, etc. To ignore using such a gifted asset at the cost of the playoffs/championship would be more costly than dealing with his contract/cap figure later. The important thing now is to use ALL of these guys and their skills in such a way as to make our offense better and something to be feared. Stanton seems to key on Smokey Brown and Fitz perhaps because he’s under fire for his decisions and completions are important not only because of their obvious impact on the game but also because sportscasters and some fans doubt him and now is the time he needs our trust and complete faith.
    BA’s plan for Ellington hasn’t really panned out either because we need a pounder and while Andre is an enormous talent and a scrappy guy, sometimes size does matter, just have to keep making adjustments to best utilize the resources we have (and they are many) so we can continue to win battles!

  51. By John The Draft Guy on Nov 14, 2014 | Reply


    CC has been amazing since coming back. It is almost like, I want to take out what happened on the rest of the league.

    Sacks, don’t let the ram game fool you. The rams QB is a third stringer who looked confused. Lets not forget in 10 dropbacks , Thomas was sacked twice for us in that 4th quarter. Put 6 sacks on Stafford, then you can breath.

    Cooper- when I said he is guaranteed 4 million, I was meaning in 2015. He’ll get every chance to earn a spot. I do think it would be wise to bring in a vet or two just in case.

  52. By John The Draft Guy on Nov 14, 2014 | Reply

    Scott H,

    I love fantasy football. I usually play but this year, the commish, who was my brother died in his sleep at 54. I was asked to play, but just thought it wouldn’t be the same. But nothing wrong with it. It is one of the reasons I got the NFL package to watch my fantasy players. I mean, why else would someone watch the falcons play tampa bay if not for fantasy??

    As for Fitz/Floyd, I could be wrong but the cards seem to use Fitz, Ellington and the TEs to work the ball underneath and have added in Jaron Brown. When they take their shots, it is Floyd and John Brown.

    I heard that BA has someone going deep on every play and the QB has the option to take the shot or hit someone underneath depending on what the defense does. The TD against the eagles was gutsy and everyone congratulated BA on the call, but it was a play Palmer had an option on. Their were guys open at the sticks but Palmer read the safety and took the shot.

    So, with Fitz being open underneath, Palmer has opted to hit him. Again, they have take shots at Floyd, but ever since the eagle game where he got hurt early, he seems to not have that second gear to go get the ball. I mean you see it with John Brown as he kicks it to a new gear to go get the ball but not floyd.

    We will see if things change with Stanton.

  53. By Kevin S Mesa on Nov 14, 2014 | Reply

    When the ball is going to eight or nine different receivers each game, you’re going to end up with some statistical anomalies over short periods.

    After 3 games this year, Floyd had 252 yards (including two hundred-yard games) and Fitz had 107 and people were asking why Fitz had disappeared from the offense. After six games Floyd was still ahead of Fitz in yards. Fitz has had two monster games and one good game since… which we should all be happy about, and not overly concerned that this corresponds with a drop in Floyd’s numbers. I do think it’s likely a given that long-term this team probably can’t afford Palmer AND Fitz AND Floyd AND everyone else we want and so with the emergence of Brown and the other guys we have, some tough decisions may need to be made.

  54. By clssylssy on Nov 14, 2014 | Reply

    I hate it when everyone starts equating yards with skill or completeness as a player. How a player is utilized (or not utilized) definitely is going to impact stats and if we base everything on stats then we will be shortchanging ourselves in the long run. Having Fitz and Floyd as a tandum gives us two BIG/STRONG/SKILLED options to also help block for our RBs, adds additional value and another dimension. Stats can be skewed by putting a player in a more supportive role (as Fitz was) but the important things is still how a player functions in helping the team achieve success. With some teams you get players who are so focused with their own stats and records that they become a disruptive force in the locker room and don’t last long with any team.
    This week we are facing a team with some big, physical defensive linemen and we are going to need to be able to matchup physically with them to open up routes for our rbs so they don’t get pancaked. I love that we have Fitz and Floyd to help out here as they have showed they can get the job done. Stats! …let’s not get blinded by the bling so that we can’t see the bigger gem. This game is MAJOR and will determine the road to the SB so it’s gonna take the BAND OF BROTHERS to PROTECT THE NEST and keep this thing rollin!

  55. By Dr. G. on Nov 14, 2014 | Reply

    Cards62 – – jtdg – –

    Cooper’s guarantee was $ 14,549,002 // 2014-2017. This does not seem on the surface as such a big contract, but for a rookie offensive guard, it is big.

    Darren – – It baffles me that all of it was guaranteed! Do you think ((20-20)) he would hold out? The rookie contracts can go 5 or 6 years with the franchise tags. ((probably never used on an offensive guard though, unless there was no need for it at another skill position))

    Keim must have thought, “Here’s a guy that can fix a spot and I don’t have to worry abut it for at least 4 years.” A good plan, when it works….Be well…

  56. By Darren Urban on Nov 14, 2014 | Reply

    Dr. G —

    RE: Guarantees

    Look at the contracts for the other top 10 picks. It’s not like Cooper is an anomaly. Once the CBA cut down (drastically) the overall money of the early picks, the give back was to guarantee a lot of that money.

  57. By Dr. G. on Nov 14, 2014 | Reply

    KevinS – – Your observations are astute regarding payroll and what happens next year. Keim knows Fitz will not renegotiate 2015, ((based on Darren’s postings)), and he will end up with another team to try to get a ring. If Fitz gets a ring here, he may have a brain cramp deciding what to do….still think he is gone.

    Floyd has indeed become a #1 WR. He may be dinged up a bit. Also, some of the balls thrown his way were not catch-able or the coverage was double. He has proven that he is the beast when he has decent opportunity. Even on jump balls, I have confidence that he can defend if necessary. We can’t make overwhelming observations with too small a sample…a la Fitz’s recent criticism…

    Bottom line in this blog…..not enough balls to go around…! Our WR core will see some changes in 2015…

    clssy – – Yep… Arians’ offensive plan to go to the air and over the top regularly has been stunted with his love affair for Ellington. I have said many games ago that Ells is the slippery runner, not the Bus up the middle. He is valuable to the team, but this last game ((28 yards)) clearly proves Arians needs a wake up call. He built this team to go to the air. The passing game needs to set up the running game, not vice versa… later

  58. By Dr. G. on Nov 14, 2014 | Reply

    Darren – – Yes, thank you…that helps to clarify justification. I am familiar with what the NFL and the NFLPA agreed to albeit not in the detail you may have. It makes better sense for the first 4 years; it was nuts before.

    I was just pointing to the $14 MIL for a guy who was sitting on the bench. It remains to question “all of it” being guaranteed; one would think a person could eek by on maybe $8MIL for the signing guarantee…esp. for a guard.

    Kudos again for all the detail you tend to….be well…

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