Bettcher plays the two-minute game

Posted by Darren Urban on February 11, 2015 – 3:23 pm

The last three years, James Bettcher — now the Cardinals’ defensive coordinator — has watched every two-minute situation across the NFL. On Thursdays, Bettcher then took some time to sit down with Bruce Arians to go over those times. The idea was for Arians to talk to the team he was coaching about it, what teams did in those spots and how to respond. It was all about Arians’ quest for his teams to be well-versed in specific situations, something that has always been important to him.

But it gave Bettcher, whose dream has always been to move up the ranks as an NFL coach, to play a little what-if himself.

“I’ve had a chance to look at a lot of two-minute situations and call what I would be calling in those scenarios,” Bettcher said. “To look at how those games are managed, why people are successful in two-minute and why they are not. Just putting yourself in those situations as it’s gone along.”

The playcalling will be the one thing everyone watches with Bettcher. It’s not something anyone can get a handle on for a while. Bettcher echoed Arians’ belief in respecting the process, and the process says there is an entire offseason to get through before any playcalls are made in a game environment.

“The biggest thing everyone is talking about is experience, being able to call a game, making adjustments,” linebacker Lorenzo Alexander said. “Week to week, practice to practice, the way the schedule is set up, he’ll be great at that. We have to wait and see, through preseason and first couple of games in the regular season, just how good he will be.”


Posted in Blog | 26 Comments »

26 Responses to “Bettcher plays the two-minute game”

  1. By D on Feb 11, 2015 | Reply

    Appears Josh won’t be helping mentor Mr. Winston..

  2. By T.Stone on Feb 11, 2015 | Reply

    Darren, thank you for what you do. I would bet this is the worst time for your job. I will talk again when season is about to begin. I feel for ya. see ya in 5 monrhs

  3. By georgiebird on Feb 11, 2015 | Reply

    Sorry to see Josh get cut by the Bucs. He’ll always be known as the best Cardinals’ QB when it came to beating the 49ers. Different horses for different courses.

  4. By Andy Kw on Feb 11, 2015 | Reply

    -Our team needs to get younger and faster to improve. OLB John Abraham, DT Darnell Dockett, ILB Larry Foote, C Lyle Sendlein, OLB Lorenzo Alexander, TE John Carlson, WR Ted Ginn Jr, LS Mike Leach, OLB Marcus Benard, S Chris Clemons are almost 30 or over. Carlson, Alexander, & Ginn are example of guys that have disappointed as FA signees and would he wise for the Cardinals to cut them and have more cap space. Abraham & Foote are 34 or over. They bring good leadership but will not get any better. Dockett & Sendlein are guys that have been with us for a long time but have regressed in recent years. Leach is a consistent guy but we can find a cheaper option. Bernard and Clemons are decent as depth but are not needed. We need more cap space.
    -QB Ryan Lindley, RB Marion Grice, WR Brittan Golden, TE Rob Housler, OT Bradley Sowell, OG Earl Watford, ILB Kenny Demens, P Drew Butler are guys that the Cardinals had high expectations on but have disappointed. Lindley and Butler were major issues in 2014 so it is best to release these players. Grice, Golden, Watford, and Demens could make the practice squad.
    -We are likely to sign a FA RB which means at least one of these three (Stepfan Taylor, Kerwynn Williams, Robert Hughes) will be cut.
    -We need to restructure some contracts (Fitzgerald, D.Washington, C.Campbell, C.Palmer)
    -Resign guys to cheaper contracts to make more cap space (Drew Stanton, Jerraud Powers)
    -We need to make a decision: keep Cromartie or keep Tommy Kelly.
    -These are the main areas of concern: ILB, OLB, OG, C, RB, ST
    Mock Draft: 1) ILB Benardrick McKinney, 2)OLB Lorenzo Mauldin, 3) C Reese Desmukes, 4) WR Stefan Diggs (Secures our future at ILB, OLB, C & Diggs gives us a good KR/PR for ST)
    -To improve RB position, consider signing RB Roy Helu, RB Darren McFadden
    -We have to sign OG Mike Lupati to a huge contract.
    -We need depth at ILB position so Brandon Spikes or Colin McCarthy are okay.
    -We need more speed and pass rush at OLB position so maybe Arthur Moats.
    -Maybe we need more depth at TE, Jermaine Gresham.
    -Only consider if cut Sendlein & Dockett, Foote, & Kelly as potential resignees if they sign on a cheap but reasonable contract.
    -Resign Dan Williams and Sam Acho.

  5. By Coach K on Feb 11, 2015 | Reply

    Since the comments on this blog post seem a little thin, I might as well offer an updated mock draft to create some love and hate. LOL

    1. Cameron Erving, G-C-T, Fla St.
    Can play any position on line and play it well.

    2. Denzel Perryman, ILB, Miami
    Love this guys speed and intensity. Hits like a Mack Truck.

    3. David Cobb, RB, Minn
    Several really good Big backs this year, but this guy’s jump cuts are too good.

    4. Jeremiah Poutasi, G-T, Utah
    I am really warming up to this guy. Amazing light feet and movement skills.

    5. Eric Rowe, CB-S, Utah
    With Cro showing withdrawal symptoms from the Big Apple, it makes sense to get another bigger corner.

    6. James Vaughters, OLB, Stanford
    Pound for pound one of the most physically gifted athletes on the planet. Needs some coaching, but could be a steal in round 6.

    7. Sean Mannion, QB, Oreg. St.
    I’m sticking with the coaches son who may not have the biggest arm, but is clearly one of the most accurate QB’s in this class. My old high school QB at Ringgold threw the ball the same way, and he won a few super bowls…so I’ll take the accuracy over the big arm any day.

    7b. Cam Thomas, CB, Western Kentucky
    Small school guy with some interesting skills. Another potential steal with our bonus pick.

  6. By Black1137 on Feb 11, 2015 | Reply

    This season the cap salary is most important than anything. Without Larry we are weak. But however can survive.

  7. By Black1137 on Feb 11, 2015 | Reply

    Oh and Bettcher? “you bet cher”

  8. By azdesertrat1953 on Feb 12, 2015 | Reply

    James Bettcher DC for the AZ Cardinals in 2015.
    I see this as a HC, BA, who had been passed over for so long that the same thing was Not going to happen on his watch. He see’s something in the Man and the players are all for it, Bettcher has the same mind set, to put players into a roll that is for them to get better as a player.
    I like James Bettcher. He just sounds like a Players Coach, instead of the coach that Just coaches players.

    I have said it before, it is your Fault Mr. Michael Bidwill, your the one who made Steve Keim the GM.
    “THANK YOU!”

    GO CARDS!!!

  9. By Dynosoar on Feb 12, 2015 | Reply

    I see articles saying Denver may part ways with Peyton, do we enter the frenzy a second time if this happens. We have a much better O-Line. Would Carson take second fiddle?

    If not, I hear there’s another former QB who has a home in the Phoenix area. Haha. Sorry.

    But seriously, what happens if Denver lets Manning walk?

  10. By Darren Urban on Feb 12, 2015 | Reply

    Dyno —

    RE: Manning

    Peyton either plays for the Broncos or he is retiring. I don’t see him hitting the open market looking for a third team.

  11. By Dynosoar on Feb 12, 2015 | Reply


    “You bet cher.”

    Sarah? Haha.

  12. By Patrick Hoog aka Don't Take Losses on Feb 12, 2015 | Reply

    Bettcher is a BA clone. He’ll be good. Will need 3 new LB, 1 DL, 1-2 S and Bethel & Buc to step up, F.A. and Draft need to be good, again. We need Ss that can cover TE, tackle and hit… expect Cro is gone.
    Super Bowl 2016 or nothing at all, Dyno! Lol.

  13. By John The Draft Guy on Feb 12, 2015 | Reply

    Coach K,

    I like the commitment to Mannion. Your eyes told you he may not be so good but your heart says stick with him. I love it.

    Your draft isn’t bad. The only issue would be the lack of an OLB and a good cover ILB.

    Address is FA?? But who and how much?? Could you find a guard in FA for less money than an OLB ?

  14. By John The Draft Guy on Feb 12, 2015 | Reply

    Andy KW,

    Why would DWash reduce his salary? You cant cut him because of his dead money. I can’t see any reason he would do that.

  15. By Leeskicitizen on Feb 12, 2015 | Reply

    Coach K. and John TDG,

    I was thinking that a good investment in free agency would be Rodney Hudson from Kansas City. I’ve seen his highlights on the K.C. team website. He’s experienced, 25 yrs. old, light on his feet, and blocks really well in the secondary levels. That might leave the Cardinals the option of taking either a good ILB, DE or possibly even Cameron Erving (What a great offensive line that would be!). Improving the offensive line makes the biggest impact that ripples through the whole team this year.

    I’m pretty sure that Coach Bettcher wouldn’t mind a few more points on the board and fewer minutes on the field for his defense to work with in his first year.

    I really like the idea of Perryman and Cobb.

  16. By Andy Kw on Feb 12, 2015 | Reply

    If Steven Jackson is cut, we can get him for cheap. But I also love the idea of signing Roy Helu or Mark Ingram

  17. By jwoodaz on Feb 12, 2015 | Reply

    It seems that many posting today forget the depth we played to on roster this year. This is a very good team as is so to Improve on depth will be good if possible, with cap concerns, (which by the way it would be ridiculous to release Dockett, and he’ll be even better in 2016 and a fine way to keep our young line in check, and the leadership he can bring etc,) the team needs an edge rusher or two out of draft, along with a center to challenge Sendelein, or perhaps a talented dual position player for versatile line depth, lest we forget Cooper, Massie learned a lot this year and his fault to outside big fast rusher will begin to go away, We will get younger at TE also with Niklas back in the fold on better ankle. Fells gets it now, and we’ll see more of him too. Perhaps Housler finally gets to shine a la Graham style, what he was drafted for by the way, and Jaron Brown will move in smoothely to fill the Fitzgerald void if he must go, Fiscal sense over rules Sentimental worth in the end I’m afraid. Could be a series done on Keim’s struggle with that one. Calvisi, Blanco hint hint.To be able to get the stud rusher in first round would be cool, even if we move up a few places. Maybe a trade with Minnesota? My point I guess is that maybe we should try a draft for need first then Bpa after..In the end I suppose a rusher that is a line backer for Betcher would go a long way, and oh yeah no new kid could replace Mike Leach til he lets them, worth every penny…

  18. By JohnnyBluenose on Feb 12, 2015 | Reply

    I think Manning has played his last game of professional football. And anyhow, I think Carson Palmer would be a better choice to be our quarterback in 2015 than Manning…not that Manning would ever consider playing here.

  19. By Coach K on Feb 12, 2015 | Reply


    I have to stick with Mannion as a project because I feel he can develop better than some o the others in this draft not rated as first round talent. Ideally, a kid like Mariotta would be perfect for the Cardinals. Have him site a year or two behind Palmer and let him learn from B.A. and the QB whisperer. That would be an idea scenario. However, in this league, a kid like Mariotta is not going to fall that far with such a thin QB class.

    So I have to take the next best skill sets. QB Smarts and accuracy and put them above raw arm strength and foot speed. Like I said above, when Montana was in high school and at Notre Dame, he wasn’t known as a bomber. He was known for his timing and accuracy. He just threw a catchable ball exactly where it had to be placed. That’s what I see in Mannion. Field vision and the ability to put the ball exactly where it needs to go, when it needs to go. He simply understands how to compensate for his deficiencies by using superior instinct and timing.

    He got this from his dad the coach and that is a foundation of football knowledge compiled between his ears that cannot be learned in one year. It’s those instincts that are second nature. If drafted, he only needs to speed up what he knows already. Much easier to do than trying to teach a strong armed converted tight end the subtle, extemporaneous adjustments of ball placement when it has never been seasoned long enough to create a foundation of instinctive passing.

    As for your other comments on FA, I agree with you. It’s all about the money.

    I think one or two key FAA’s will be brought in with nice offers, but no more than two Blue Chip guys. The rest will churn from the bottom up. Something that Kime does very well.

  20. By John The Draft Guy on Feb 13, 2015 | Reply

    Coach K,

    Being that FA is all about the money, and provided we can’t get a Orakpo for 3-4 million, then it makes more sense to find Olineman, like Clint Boling, who will cost 3-5 million and draft the passrusher #1.

    As much as I like the idea of grabbing Erving, I just think it is harder to find a pass rusher. And once one hits the open market, you have to pay dearly to get him (see Ware) or you get lucky on a vet like Abraham for a short time solution.

    So, I just think that round 1 player has to be an impact player. An OLB who can sack the QB or and ILB who can take TEs and Back out of the passing game.

    So, if you changed out Erving for a OLB like Orchard or Vic Beasley, the rest of the draft would be good.

    I really think the cards should look for a trade partner and drop into the early second adding another draft pick. I think you can land any of these 4 in the first half of the 2nd round; ILB Kendricks, OLB Orchard, ILB Dawson, or DE Arik Armstead . then come back in round two , filling the other need inside or out with ILB Perryman, OLB Kikaha, DE/NT Carl Davis or ILB McKinney.

    As for Mariotta, I said it before and I’ll say it again, this reminds me of the 2005 draft where Rodgers fell to the Pack at 24 , who had a great QB already. He sat for 3 years behind Farve and the rest is history. Seeing Mariotta fall to 24 could very well happen and I could see the cards taking him and sitting him behind Palmer for the next two years.

  21. By Scott H on Feb 13, 2015 | Reply

    JTDG –

    RE: Mariotta

    Out here in the Philly area, THE topic of discussion is about how badly Chip Kelly would love to reunite with his college QB by drafting him for the Eagles. And I think there is something to this. Kelly is clearly not crazy about Nick Foles ( and I don’t blame him ) and the Eagles have nothing else at QB right now. There has been a recent re-structuring of power in the Eagles hierarchy that has basically made Kelly the man in charge. That tells me that if Kelly truly wants Mariotta, they are going to go all out to make it happen.

    IF the Cardinals were planning to land Mariotta, I’d say they better make sure they pick before the Eagles do. I think there’s no way the Eagles would let him get past them.

    And that’s not even counting the other teams that draft ahead of the Cardinals AND need a franchise QB. Shoot, the Buccs already have the #1 pick. How do they not take this kid???

  22. By Coach K on Feb 13, 2015 | Reply


    I hope you are right on Mariotta. I see the exact same scenario with what happened with Rodgers. It would be the perfect situation for Mariotta and the Cardinals.

    As for Cameron Erving and considering a pass rusher, I fully understand the need for a pass rusher in this pas happy league, but at pick #24, even of the receivers push some talent down, a big time pass rusher will be gone before pick 24 as I see only 5 guys at most that look to be elite talent.

    Ideally, it may be in the best interest of the team to move down to the bottom of round one and pick up and extra 3rd or 4th round pick. Or, out of round one completely and perhaps get a high third rounder and still get a guy like Erving late first, or early second round.

    Erving at center and perhaps a solid guard and tackle added to the roster would transform this offense and allow Palmer to perform surgery on defenses. I think its easier for the Cardinals to goo hard and heavy at offensive line this year in the first three rounds based on their position in the draft. This is exactly what Dallas did the last two years and had one o the best o-lines in the league.

    If I’m Steve Keim, I go Erving, Perryman and Josue Matias with my first three picks, and then take the best RB available, then grab yet another offensive tackle like Poutasi in the 4th. THat’s three possible starting o-linemen with the first 4 picks.

    That’s how bad we need to bolster this offensive line. Finish the draft taking the fastest, best athletes remaining for defense. I think we have enough talent on defense to scheme many different pressure packages without having an elite edge rusher.

  23. By John The Draft Guy on Feb 13, 2015 | Reply

    Scott H and Coach K


    I have heard all the same things about the eagles which makes it either the worst kept secret or a bluff.

    But Mariotta is not ready and will flop if forced to play in year one. This kid has some flaws but he has great character and work ethic. In the right situation, he could thrive.

    Kelly would know how to use him and develop him. The cards would sit him for a year or two. So either spot would be good. But if he went to say Tampa or Cleveland, this kid will flop.

  24. By John The Draft Guy on Feb 13, 2015 | Reply

    Coach K,

    It is hard to argue about grabbing oline man. I get it. I think we are in agreement that we need to improve the oline.

    I think the difference is how. I would rather see the team sign FAs like Clint Boling at G, and maybe Derek Newton RT.
    Then, maybe come back in the third and take another lineman.

    I think we both agree a RB needs to be drafted.

    I think he must draft an ILB and maybe two, but will he. I do think he needs to land an OLB also.

    I just like the trade down.

    Drop to the 2nd and have 2 second rounders.
    Here you can take NT Carl Davis and ILB Kendricks or Dawson.
    Or they can land Orchard and one of the ILBs or Davis.

    I think Perryman is a thumper like what Minter was suppose to be. And he is poor in coverage like Minter. Are we getting another Minter?

    But I do have to say, I like a couple of sleepers. (4-5th rounders)
    Zack Hodges is a project at OLB
    Davis Tull but not as an OLB but an ILB who can blitz.

  25. By Coach K on Feb 14, 2015 | Reply


    I could live with your moving down scenario. Makes perfect sense.

  26. By Scott H on Feb 15, 2015 | Reply

    JTDG –

    RE: Eagles / worst kept secret

    Well, keep in mind that Chip Kelly himself has said little to nothing about this ( other then general statements he has made about his ultra-high opinion of Mariotta ). The talk is almost entirely media-generated speculation, which is the inevitable after-birth of 24/7 media outlets and nowhere near enough actual news to fill the air time. Philly has NOTHING else going on right now. The Sixers / Flyers / Phillies all suck right now. These people have to talk about SOMETHING that offers them hope, ya know?

    BUT the recent re-structuring of power in the upper echelon of the Eagles organization cannot be over-looked here. The Eagles are clearly hitching their wagon to Kelly. That is evident by his being given ultimate authority while other individuals were let go. This basically constituted a major power struggle that was won by Chip Kelly. And I am assuming that the immediate direction of the team may have been THE issue that the players were taking sides over.

    Regardless, Kelly is now the man in charge. Hence, my opinion that if Kelly DOES want Mariotta, then I expect all-out efforts to be made by the Eagles to get him.

    I don’t think it’s a bluff!

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