Cards benefit from Fells’ basketball departure

Posted by Darren Urban on March 19, 2015 – 4:25 pm

The (real) opening of March Madness Thursday was a good time to break out the in-season Zoom episode of tight end Darren Fells, who spent a bunch of years away from the game of football playing first college basketball (no NCAA tournaments for him) and then pro basketball overseas. A couple of years ago he realized he would like to try his hand at football — he notes he wanted to be in a more physical game — and now he’s morphed into a feasible option for the Cardinals at tight end.

Fells actually looked pretty decent near the end of the season when he got a chance to play. The Cardinals and coach Bruce Arians really like 2014 second-round pick Troy Niklas (assuming he can stay healthy). John Carlson figures to be an option, and something could happen in the draft. The Cardinals are going to want four tight ends, given that Arians likes to use two at a time and, as the Cards proved in each of the last two seasons, injuries happen.

Fells should be in the mix. At 6-foot-7 and someone who has already admitted he likes the physical part of the game, Fells still must learn. You don’t play in college and the learning curve is a little more steep, and in football terms, Fells is still very young. He’s not going to be a Antonio Gates-type of basketball-player-turned-tight end. But if he continues to develop, he’s one of those down-the-roster finds that can really help a team become a contender.

Darren Fells, Pomare

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17 Responses to “Cards benefit from Fells’ basketball departure”

  1. By jeffy1951 on Mar 19, 2015 | Reply

    I thought he looked surprisingly good when he got to play last year and his height (like Graham) is a real advantage to a QB that can consistently get the ball to the target and at the right height.Having maintained his ‘athlete’ status even if it was as a hoopster, I think he might make a surprisingly good T.E.

  2. By Bcobb on Mar 19, 2015 | Reply

    Jeffy1951, I’ve thought the same for a while now. I don’t think people realize what he can be capable of. Obviously there’s no guarantee he blossoms and becomes great but I’ve always expected big things from him

  3. By sbrown on Mar 19, 2015 | Reply

    we could see it on the field, the more Fells played, the better he looked. Now with another off season to work on his skills, I think SK might have another great find for the roster.

  4. By Andy Kw on Mar 19, 2015 | Reply

    Let’s trade out of the 1st RD and get a 2nd & 3rd RD Picks from the New Orleans Saints.
    2) ILB Stephone Anthony (Clemson)
    2) CB Byron Jones (Connecticut)
    3) DE/OLB Danielle Hunter (LSU)
    3) RB David Johnson (Northern Iowa)
    4) WR J.J Nelson (UAB)
    5) DE Lyndon Trail (Norfolk St)
    6) NT Terry Williams (East Carolina)
    7) OLB Josh Shirley (UNLV)
    7) TE Clay Burton (Florida)

  5. By Coach K on Mar 19, 2015 | Reply

    I really like Fells. The great thing about him is, he is learning the tight end position from pro coaches, instead of college coaches. So he has no bad habits to break. His upside has got to be unbelievable.

  6. By Dr. G. on Mar 19, 2015 | Reply

    Until BA adjusts his thinking to use our TEs as primary Offensive weapons on some schemes, it matters not to speculate whether we might develop a Gronk or Gates type player. We will never know…going into 3 years now.

    I observed a potential weapon in Fells late last season, only to have that little rush subside knowing that Coach would use him as a blocker most of the time or an outlet if the WRs are covered.

    Not to be cynical, but as a loyal Card fan, I would like to counter some of the weapons other teams will employ to try to defeats us. Why not add this weaponry to our arsenal as well. Seattle did not obtain Graham just to block!

    Be well, Cards Fans

  7. By georgiebird on Mar 19, 2015 | Reply

    Because of his immense talent, Fells will amaze with the things he can do. But because of his inexperience, he will also disappoint with the things he doesn’t do. He could be a feast or famine type player.
    With the Cards recent failures at TE, Fells is worth the gamble. At his age, he has to be ready to produce now- his development years have come and gone.

  8. By red2616 on Mar 19, 2015 | Reply

    I LOVE Fells. Big, Plays tall and long, physical and can block and catch. He will be better next year! I can’t wait until he clicks and he is one of rat top 3 TE’s in the NFL. I’d dump Carlson now. Housler should have been gone last year. Nicholas and Fells plus a back up will be awesome!!! This whole team is looking good and better than before. Replacing Cromartie (Powers and Bethel?) is my only concern right now. Everywhere else and we are #1 in the NFC!

  9. By red2616 on Mar 19, 2015 | Reply

    Fells is good and will be DAMN good. I am talking top 3 in the NFL. He is big, plays long and is physical. Great blocker and can catch. Housler gone is good. Nicholas is ready to start and Carlson can be cut. He dropped WAY to many. Fells will be awesome.

  10. By Big Ken on Mar 20, 2015 | Reply

    I’m a big fan of Fells too. I think you’ve got to give kudos to the Cardinals coaching staff for recognizing his potential and his development. Now if the can just morph Logan Thomas into a QB.

  11. By D on Mar 20, 2015 | Reply

    I am a little surprised that Vegas has given the Cards better odds as of late as 25-1 to win the SB. Granted the offseason has just begun, and the draft is a month away but let’s look at the Cards roster as of today:

    Kept Larry F. Added Mike Iupati and AQ Shipley
    Loss: Lyle S, P. Fanaika

    I think the biggest thing is hopefully a healthy Carson Palmer.

    On paper you could say an improvement from last year if Palmer is healthy.
    (if a solid RB is added then a Great improvement from last year)

    Defense: Loss: T. Kelly, D. Williams, CRO, Acho, Benard, Docket and L.Foote.
    Added: Spoon, Redding, Peters, Woodley.
    The biggest loss is T. Bowles.
    On paper it appears that the defense may have taken some big hits, especially with the loss of Bowles and CRO.

    On paper to date you could say the Cards have appeared to taken a step back based on personnel from last year to today.

    I think the biggest factor in the improvement of odds from Vegas is BA. Like many in NFL circles believe, Arians can win you 3-4 games by his coaching. His last two years records with the injuries to the team is proof that he is a very good coach.

    The Rams and Seattle have appeared to improve and SF has taken a big step back. (although the loss of 2 OL from Seattle is a big deal)

    The Cards need the best draft from Mr. Keim and company to reduce those odds even more..

  12. By Patrick Hoog aka Don't Take Losses on Mar 20, 2015 | Reply

    So you’re saying no chance of Housler return? Any explanation offered (not that I expect one from BA/Keim)?

  13. By Darren Urban on Mar 20, 2015 | Reply

    DTL —

    RE: Housler

    I do not expect Housler back. I think his time has just passed.

  14. By James J on Mar 20, 2015 | Reply

    Fells has the potential to be a big playmaker but now we need the playbook to make it happen. IMO, a better all around player than Housler who couldn’t even block an exit on bingo night. 🙂

  15. By Thomas russo on Mar 20, 2015 | Reply

    Can you tell me if we’re signing Washington to MLB this year or is he still a problem child this year?

  16. By Darren Urban on Mar 20, 2015 | Reply

    Thomas —

    RE: Washington

    He is still suspended. He can’t be reinstated before May.

  17. By Cody Zarr on Mar 21, 2015 | Reply

    Coach K,

    That is actually a really good point. I hadn’t even thought about that before you mentioned it but it makes a lot of sense. I’ve never coached a grown man before, but I’m sure it’s harder to break bad habits than it is to create good ones.

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