Friday before the Chargers

Posted by Darren Urban on August 21, 2015 – 10:53 am

Is it me, or does it always seem to be this way about this time, where everyone is just so ready to have football games that count and instead there is still so much time left on the preseason schedule. The Cardinals still have a week left at University of Phoenix Stadium for training camp, three preseason games and another nine days before they even have to have first roster cuts. Yet so much has happened — including the harsh news that Corey Peters is out for the season, which covered up the less-harsh-but-still-harsh Mike Iupati injury news — it just feels like it’s time for the regular season.

But it’s not.

— The Cardinals will play their starters about a quarter against the Chargers, and let’s be real, everyone will cross their fingers on Carson Palmer’s uprightness on every play. The first offense looked so good in the first game. Let’s see how game two goes, with Ted Larsen in the mix at left guard. Another part to watch there is Earl Watford and how much time he’s given at left guard after playing right guard all camp. Can he make inroads to possibly get on the field? It’s year three for Watford. Eventually, he’s going to run out of time to show he belongs in the starting lineup, and Iupati’s injury opens a door.

— I am interested to see Andre Ellington’s work a week later. He looked very promising in the first game. We are supposed to see Chris Johnson, but after he came off the field Thursday with a leg wrap, it’s possible his preseason debut will be delayed.

— Peters, by the way, was officially placed on injured reserve Friday. The Cardinals have two open roster spots.

— We definitely are going to see David Johnson for a good portion of two quarters in his debut. I know he can catch, and I think he’ll be fine there in the games. What I want to see is how he does running the ball.

— Jermaine Gresham ended up not playing last week. Does he make his debut? Bruce Arians didn’t say Gresham wasn’t going to play last week either, so that’s a wait-and-see. Seeing more game time for Troy Niklas, and the continued development of Ifeanyi Momah at tight end are other things I’d to which I’ll pay attention.

— If it turns out that rookie Rodney Gunter can do the job as a starting nose tackle, that will make his tremendous story all the better. (And quite the opposite of first-round tackle D.J. Humphries, although I thought Humphries did OK in the first preseason game, even though Arians clearly wants to see more in practice.) But I also agree with the vets like Calais Campbell who note that the Peters’ injury will be filled by committee. The plan all along was to have all these defensive linemen so there would be a steady rotation. That hasn’t changed.

— I don’t think the Cards will look for a free agent defensive lineman or free agent offensive lineman — at least not at this point — because of the injuries. I do think they will continue to scour carefully what’s out there, both in free agency and once teams start making cuts, to add another cornerback. This is a big game for any cornerback not named Peterson, Powers or Bethel.

— With a game on “Sunday Night Football” next week in Oakland, there is a funky start to the final week of camp. The Cards are off Sunday, practice Monday but then are off again Tuesday. They finish Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, but the Friday schedule has been adjusted to the morning (Check our camp page for details.)


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Posted in Blog | 27 Comments »

27 Responses to “Friday before the Chargers”

  1. By Scott H on Aug 21, 2015 | Reply

    Shoot, I’ve BEEN holding my breath every day for Palmer and I expect to continue doing so every day going forward. We’ve seen how far we fall without him. The fates have truly been cruel to Carson Palmer. And the Cardinals have endured their fair share as well over the many decades during which I have been a fan. C’mon, up there…..isn’t about time to send a little good fortune our way????

    ALL I want from this game is for no more damn injuries.

  2. By Patrick Hoog aka Don't Take Losses on Aug 21, 2015 | Reply

    Ta’amu looks nearly 4 bills. Recall he and Dan Williams stuffed Goal line Offenses with impunity. He doesn’t appear to have the quickness he showed with that stoutness back then. At his weight, he’s not going to get in shape to help is my bet…but wish he would.

    Rodney Gunter a kinder, gentler Ndamukong Suh? He’s looks like he might manhandle even the best, in time… Betting on long stellar career for Rod.

  3. By krehbieo14 on Aug 21, 2015 | Reply

    BA has been raving about Watford’s camp experience saying he needs to find a way to get him on the O-line. If he can’t beat out Larsen, what does that say?

  4. By tkm on Aug 21, 2015 | Reply

    –if we can’t run the ball,carson will be watching games from his sofa after week 7.2 yard average will not cut it,and we are once again basement offensive line,sadly this is just the reality.larson will become starter again and he was on line last year when we couldn’t run the’s bad luck when these injuries occur when we think we got the right guy,but the run game is going to be UGLY.if carson makes it thru the season he should get 10 million check.

  5. By Fred on Aug 21, 2015 | Reply

    I cant understand why player cant stretch out for 10 minuets, to reduce injuries,before practice . better stretch and loose, than tight and torn, I just hope no one gets hurt Saturday or the rest of camp. I still think were in good shape to start the season, Hope we pick up some more good players so we have depth at all positions.

  6. By PotAsh on Aug 21, 2015 | Reply

    I know I asked this about practice, but what’s the policy on cameras with changeable lenses for preseason games?

    Is it the same “if you don’t need a monopod you should be ok” policy?

  7. By Darren Urban on Aug 21, 2015 | Reply

    PotAsh —

    RE: cameras


    Fans may bring personal still-photo cameras to capture the special moments from their visit to University of Phoenix Stadium. Feel free to ask any stadium staff member to snap a picture of your group. The following items are not permitted inside the stadium: Video cameras, mono/tripods and professional cameras with zoom lenses greater than 200mm or larger than eight inches in length. Please note video recording by any device is prohibited within the stadium and Sportsman’s Park, without prior written consent of the Arizona Cardinals.

  8. By Dr. G. on Aug 21, 2015 | Reply

    Hey Darren – – Yeah, everyone is ready! As for Palmer, there is this old axiom that when you worry about getting hurt, it takes your mind from your natural coordination…e.g., when the moms hover and try to protect their kids and keep them from sports, dirt bikes, field activities, and contact games, the LESS their coordination will develop as natural protection. The kids will get hurt more often when they are too careful.

    Last season, Palmer looked forward to the 1st contact hit….so he could move on and let his naturally developed defenses come into play. HE WILL BE OKAY, save for some weird incident unforeseen.

    I really look forward to David Johnson and Logan Thomas getting on the field; I think these two men can be some of our future…be well..thanks…

  9. By erik on Aug 21, 2015 | Reply

    I agree about Watford not being able to beat out Larsen. What gives? I read he was practicing at the Right Tackle spot as well, but he is not even mentioned in that discussion. I thought Humphries played well from what I saw. Just seems strange that they wanted to get him on the field so bad and then, given the chance, they appear to be choosing a different route. I’m hoping it is still early and he will be given a fair shot. I understand, from a coaching standpoint, why you want the heady veteran out there. But from a fan standpoint, I have seen both Sowell and Larsen play and their play does not excite me or give me much optimism. I want to see Watford finally get on the field and show what he can do.

    In regards to stretching, I am certainly no trainer, but all of the research today is showing that static stretching before a workout does not offer any benefit. Football is a rough sport but I am confident these athletes know what they are doing with their bodies. Injuries happen. It is why there are 90 people playing in training camp.

  10. By Andy Kw on Aug 21, 2015 | Reply

    I’m interested in seeing Josh Mauro at OLB. He could surprise us so can’t wait to see him play on Saturday. Don’t forget Matt Shaughnessy can play OLB as well. This is versatility at its finest.
    -Riddick & Woodley, I doubt they will make the team.

  11. By Credit Card on Aug 21, 2015 | Reply

    It is way early in the year and career for Rodney Gunter. If I made a hip-shot prediction of who Gunter reminds me of, and that is a young Michael Strahan (same type of frame, quickness, strength etc..)

    Those of you who are upset that Watford cannot beat out Larson, keep in mind Watford has been playing multiple positions. This is the NFL where everyone is good, and timing and coordination with those around you, becomes the difference. Give Watford time at 1 position — he’ll become that starter at that position.

    Card fans — We’ll be Ok, despite the two injuries last Tuesday.

  12. By Richard L on Aug 21, 2015 | Reply

    Will the real Johnson please stand up

  13. By Credit Card on Aug 21, 2015 | Reply

    The 4th cornerback appears to be boiling down to two undrafted rookies from the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, Cariel Brooks and CJ Roberts. (Adams State Vs. CSU Pueblo) If Brooks or Roberts makes the team, the other will probably be upon the practice squad.

    This means, Xavier Williams and either Brooks or Roberts both come from small schools as well as being UDFAs making the squad. Coupled with small school draftees such David Johnson, JJ Nelson, and Rodney Gunter, would equate to 5 or 6 rookies coming from small school programs.

    This is a great testimony on a very good Cardinal scouting department. Being able to seek talent from non-traditional programs, and trusting their data.

  14. By PotAsh on Aug 21, 2015 | Reply

    Fantastic. I couldn’t find that info when I looked, so thanks for that.

  15. By Darren Urban on Aug 21, 2015 | Reply

    PotAsh —

    RE: Game info

    For future reference:

  16. By Patrick Hoog aka Don't Take Losses on Aug 21, 2015 | Reply

    How do all of Larsen, Sendlein, Sowell, Watford make team…assuming Veldheer, Massie, Iupati, Cooper, Shipley, Humphries are locks. If Larsen can’t beat out Shipley, how can he beat out Watford? This makes no sense…If Watford is so good, how can he not be 1st man up at RT and LG, as the Elephant in the Room suspension of Massie looms (yah, the one Urb reluctantly slides across in veiled manner…). Btw, the same kind of math still looms on D line

  17. By sbrown on Aug 21, 2015 | Reply

    last week BA gave a list of players not playing in the KC game,
    did he list anybody not playing against SD ??

  18. By Darren Urban on Aug 22, 2015 | Reply

    sbrown —

    RE: Not playing

    He did not. We’ll have something before tonight’s game, although that will likely be incomplete too. Last week, Powers and Gresham didn’t play and it was never said.

  19. By don on Aug 22, 2015 | Reply

    leg wrap .. is that coach speak for . experienced veteran . in the best shape of his life. has a hamstring issue ? camp cupcake indeed …. isn’t Mauro a little slow for OLB ? don’t know what his 40 time is . but thought he looked like a 3 toed sloth out there ..

  20. By brinnc on Aug 22, 2015 | Reply

    Not sure what gives with the interior line, why not Cooper at LG (he starred in college and looked very good as a rookie in preseason before he broke his leg) and insert Watford at RG (again natural position was dominant in college at RG, albeit for a small school) then LarsEn (yes its spelled with an E) float as #2 both LG & RG. Like Sowell does at Tackle, then when Iupati returns, Cooper moves back to RG and Watford to bench, but then again there is a reason I have never coached above High School volunteer position coach! LOL!

    Dr G
    I’m with you on Logan Thomas, he is our franchise QB of the future, even with limited snaps due to the CBA, he has looked so much better than rookie year, looking for big leap forward in Sophomore season!

    Andy Kw,
    You nailed it, I cant see Cardinals keeping Riddick, hasn’t practiced a minute and he is converting to an OLB, practice squad at best, if he clears waivers, if he is claimed I wouldnt be the least bit upset, looks to be one of the sick bay commandos, Woodley being a veteran has a better shot at making roster but I don’t think he will, wouldn’t be shocked if he is included in first round cuts!

    Credit Card
    I’m a small school and Undrafted Free Agent scouting nut, to the point of obsession, hours upon hours of reading and watching what video I can find on these guys, I have binders full of scouting reports and articles, including my own scouting reports and rankings, and no, counseling wouldn’t help me!!
    Cariel Brooks was one of my favorites, I was shocked when he wasn’t drafted, and delighted when I saw he chose to sign with our Cardinals, he is one of those hidden gems!! I wasn’t surprised when BA/SK drafted JJ Nelson, bought I was admittedly wrong about Nelson, I never dreamt he would get any snaps at WR, just to small and didn’t really have crisp routes at UAB, (again there is a reason I have never been paid to coach! LOL! ) With Nelson excelling at WR I think Jaxon Shipley has a good shot at KR/PR, (another player I was shocked to see go Undrafted, figured name alone would get him drafted, I sure hope he makes the final roster, put Shipley and Nelson back on KR together who does the Kicking team focus on?? Shipley will also surprise quite a few at WR, hopefully the Staff won’t waste his talent and use him on both special teams and at WR!! Would love to see Nelson and Shipley “stacked” on one side with Smoke and Fitz on the other, one of those 4 is scoring everytime they employ them in a 4 wide set! (3 of the 4 could be world class sprinter and Fitz is Fitz, just one of the all time greats when it comes to NFL Receivers!) Nuff said!!

  21. By Andy Kw on Aug 22, 2015 | Reply

    Here is my guess for the final DL & OLB to make the 53 man roster:
    -Calais Campbell, Frostee Rucker, Cory Redding, Rodney Gunter, Ed Stinson, Alameda Ta’amu
    -Alex Okafor, Lorenzo Alexander, Markus Golden, Kareem Martin, Matt Shaughnessy*

    *DE to OLB

    Cut: OLB LaMarr Woodley, OLB Shaq Riddick (PS), DE/OLB Josh Mauro (PS), DT/NT Xavier Williams (PS, doubt he clears waivers)

    Now that I’m thinking about it, we had rare speed, athleticism for a NT in UDFA Bruce Gaston last season, 4.95 40 time at 6’2” 308lbs. With his combination of strength at 34 reps of 225lbs and vertical jump of 34 inches, impressive for a big defensive linemen, Why didn’t we keep him? Wanted him to be drafted by the Cardinals but we signed him instead as an UDFA but we still couldn’t keep him, signed by other teams from our Practice Squad.

  22. By krehbieo14 on Aug 22, 2015 | Reply


    What’s the word? Will C. Johnson seen any reps tonight? Thanks.

  23. By Darren Urban on Aug 22, 2015 | Reply

    Kreh —

    RE: Chris Johnson

    I’m guessing we won’t know until much closer to gametime.

  24. By Jim Koch on Aug 22, 2015 | Reply

    I personally didn’t think Ta’amu looked too heavy. But aren’t run stuffing NTs supposed to be anyway? Dan Williams wasn’t exactly svelte. Im intrigued by the idea of Mauro at OLB. He showed me a great motor last season when he saw action. But its true I’m not sure if he’s too slow to play that position. I would really like to see Gresham play. I actually started to forget he was on the team. Also would like to see CJ2K. Really excited to see what David Johnson can do after he played well in camp this week.

  25. By Jim Koch on Aug 22, 2015 | Reply

    I also feel that if Watford can’t show enough that he should start over Larsen then its time to cut ties with him and give Steen or Halapio a shot at his roster spot. He’s had enough time to prove his worth. Was impressed more with Shipley than Nelson as the returner last week and I wanna see him given more chances at it tonite. I think Riddick has enough potential that he should be stashed on IR this season. If no one steps up and shows they can pass rush the next 2 wks, namely Woodley, how bought bringing in Dwight Freeney on a 1 year, low money deal.BA had him in Indy.

  26. By Mark on Aug 22, 2015 | Reply

    What wrong with Jermaine Gresham? Is he expected to play soon?

  27. By Darren Urban on Aug 22, 2015 | Reply

    Mark —

    RE: Gresham

    Still not ready after his back surgery. Soon I’d think.

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