Chargers aftermath

Posted by Darren Urban on August 23, 2015 – 12:11 am

Let’s be real — Bruce Arians would have liked to get a preseason win Saturday night, but he couldn’t have wanted extra football in the form of overtime. Injuries happen that late with tired bodies, and there is no upside of a fifth quarter this time of year. It shouldn’t have come to that anyway, of course, if Marion Grice doesn’t drop a wide open pass on the Cardinals’ previous drive, or if Phillip Sims doesn’t overthrow 6-foot-7 tight end Ifeanyi Momah soon after. Or if Logan Thomas and Momah don’t get crossed up on a pass where Momah was wide open in the third quarter, failing to connect on a pass that seemed like it could have been a touchdown.

In the preseason, these things get forgotten, however. In the regular season, Thomas or Sims would (hopefully) never throw a pass. So, with a nod to the football gods for letting us get out of this one in regulation time, my thoughts:

— Carson Palmer said he wanted to take a couple of hits. Not sure he wanted to be buried on two sacks and get whacked another time. But he didn’t break and that pass to J.J. Nelson was a thing of beauty. So was that touchdown dart to John Brown.

— If David Johnson really can perform like that in the backfield, and Andre Ellington — who had a very nice 11-yard run himself — stays healthy, the Cardinals are going to be fine running the ball.

— Chris Johnson out a week or two with a hamstring pull. He might not get any preseason carries now. You wonder where it might put him after David Johnson’s performance.

— It’s always good to be a young player on the bubble to be named by name by the head coach as playing well. So linebacker Alani Fua, cornerback Cariel Brooks and defensive end Josh Mauro, that’s a good thing.

— Arians also praised Sims, as he should. Sims did miss Momah late, but Sims looked incredibly cool in the pocket and patient. Arians said there is no leader at third quarterback between Sims and Logan Thomas, but Sims is making his push.

— After all the Rodney Gunter talk, it was Matt Shaughnessy out there in the starting lineup with Frostee Rucker and Calais Campbell. Gunter did play with the starting unit, however.

— The Cardinals are off tomorrow, and practice Monday before taking Tuesday off. They play next Sunday in Oakland.

— Arians screamed at the officials much of the game but at no time was it more noticed that late when he (and Patrick Peterson) kept yelling for some flag on Chargers’ defensive backs guarding Jaxon Shipley. That Cardinals cornerback C.J. Roberts was flagged for holding on what turned out to be the game’s deciding play on a pass that wouldn’t have been completed stuck in Arians’ craw too.

“Don’t ask me about officials. Please,” Arians said, after he was asked about the officials. “That’s why I’m hoarse. We need to relearn the rules they changed two years ago. This crew might need eight preseason games to get ready.”

That’s a good way to end it. G’night all.



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39 Responses to “Chargers aftermath”

  1. By Steve on Aug 23, 2015 | Reply

    Goodbye Logan Thomas, hello Phillip Sims.

  2. By Marlin on Aug 23, 2015 | Reply

    was at the game….Palmer looks very good. this offense is going to move the ball, control the ball, score points. looks like Butler as punter. “seam” area defense is worrisome.

  3. By Marlin on Aug 23, 2015 | Reply

    don’t see many teams running 2 pt conversions. maybe holding back schemes at the goal line. gonna be much more of it regular season.

  4. By Marlin on Aug 23, 2015 | Reply

    Cards need roster spots due to O-line injuries. They’ll keep 2 QB’s…..cut Thomas and Sims…..then sign Sims to practice squad. Logan Thomas ( as expected from the day he was drafted) is a bust. Arians is a great coach…..he needs to leave the personnel decisions to Keim. LT was Arians decision. Sims looks good.

  5. By Big Ken on Aug 23, 2015 | Reply

    I dunno Sims looked pretty good this week-again. He took some shots, but didn’t get rattled.

  6. By clssylssy on Aug 23, 2015 | Reply

    After seeing David Johnson catch fire against the Chargers, I’m betting Chris Johnson is not quite as confident…it’s never good when you have to “call in sick” the first day of work! Our O-line is a mess and the receivers were all but useless in protecting Carson and Drew which makes me wonder how many games we’ll be able to keep CP healthy and makes our backups even more important. Stanton did OK, but I thought he looked complacent, Logan Thomas wasn’t in long enough to see him “settle” and was surrounded by guys who didn’t seem to understand their assignment, Sims looked good and was fortunate to have Brittain Golden(who proved he is tougher than some of the guys twice his size) come back in. Of course we don’t know how they would have done had BA been calling the plays so a little hard to judge. Hope they can find a way to keep Stephan Taylor who adds a different dimension to the RB group. I have to say John Brown gave me flashes of Michael Floyd, making amazing catches when down the field but inconsistent and unable to hang on to the “meat and potatoes”. It seems our offense needs more veteran anchors as it often looked like a chinese fire drill and I was really feeling the loss of Darnell Dockett, Big Dan Williams and Antonio Cromartie on defense.
    The refs were the worst I can remember in recent years and I am still of the opinion that there needs to be more accoutability at the officiating level; perhaps they were learning their job too, we can only hope!
    Only two weeks to get the bugs ironed out and back to last season’s form, whatever that takes! Next week the Raiders and the thought of playing on that space that they use for a field makes me cringe…perhaps we should practice in the parking lot to learn how to fall 🙁

  7. By cards62 on Aug 23, 2015 | Reply

    Man I love coach already in mid season form going after officials.

    I really wish P. Rivers would have played so we would have a better feel for our starting defense, but we can not control that. I like our secondary but do not have an overall feel for our defense yet.

    We did well running the ball, glad to see you David Johnson, but our pass protection was poor.Will be shocked if Larsen does not get beat out for starting guard for the Saints game. Right tackle better improve as our season goes along.

    Last week I thought Thomas had a good game, but not so much this week and Sims really out played him, and Stanton has not looked good in either game. Really liked Stanton the first time Palmer was injured last year, but have not seen anything from him since his first couple of starts for us. Would love to see him look like Chase Daniels of KC when he enters the game for us.

    Nice catch by Nelson and no big plays but I still like how this Shipley kid runs around out there. Really like our receiving corps and if we move Shipley to practice squad I think another team with injuries will snatch him away from us.
    Hoping he can make our 53 man roster on special teams.

    Go Cards and now its time to get ready for the Oakland Raiders. Players remember lets stretch couple of times every day and be careful out there.

  8. By jeffy1951 on Aug 23, 2015 | Reply

    0-2 and I’m not even worried …… used to be much different. Cards are good – refs need work.

  9. By Patrick on Aug 23, 2015 | Reply

    Darren, what is up with the Cardinals field. It is definitely in preseason shape. There is no logo in the middle, the end zones are outlined, and the field looks patchy. Some parts look very worn. It looked playable but not really nfl looking,. Is it gonna look better during regular season?

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

    Patrick —

    RE: Field

    That’s what it’s going to look like when 90 guys practice on it every day for a month.

    Yes, it will look better.

  11. By Scott H on Aug 23, 2015 | Reply

    First, the first team offense looks very good. Palmer, very sharp. But my God, WHO blew the blocking assignments on BOTH free runs the Charges got at Palmer??? Whoa! That CANNOT happen. Looked to me like those assignments should have been for the RB’s but both were totally missed. Get that fixed, folks. Other teams watch tapes and they take note of these things.

    Clearly, Nelson looks like the man for returns ( so far ). He can obviously make some plays at WR, too.

    Actually, there WERE some other miscues when the first team was on the field. Palmer and Ellington not being on the same page on that one play. A few other things that looked a little sloppy. Though he’s just a kid, I LOVED seeing Palmer get on Nelson on the play RIGHT AFTER the big gain on the pass to Nelson. I WANT to see that from my starting QB.

    John Brown is an absolute GEM. Love this kid.

    But the best thing I saw was the play of DAVID Johnson. Not sure how he ended the night but he was basically averaging 5 yds per carry for most of it. NICE! We will need Iupati back for the running game to be at its best but it’s good to see Ellington and DJ looking as good as they do.

    As for CHRIS Johnson…..can we just freeze dry him and thaw him out if / when Ellington or DJ gets hurt? Can we just put him a glass case with a sign saying break only in case of emergency? I swear, I just can’t help feeling like we may NEED this guy at some point. I don’t WANT to need him, but….well, we all remember how last year went. It’ll really suck if we cut him loose NOW because we don’t need him NOW, then we end up needing him LATER when he’s not available anymore.

    Looking ahead, I know starters typically get extended playing time in the 3rd pre-season game. But we know Palmer is ready. I say give him the first quarter or so and that is it. Or, let him go until the first unit puts a TD on the board, then get him out and we’ll see him in Week One. Give Stanton some more work with the first team. We all know there is a chance he might have to be the man at some point.

  12. By Patrick Hoog aka Don't Take Losses on Aug 23, 2015 | Reply

    Good post, Urb.

    Keep Shaughnessy, Mauro? With Rucker, Gunter, Campbell, Redding, that’s 6, add Williams, that’s 7, can see Ta’amu cut, but Stinson also? 53 hard to reach, huh.

    Cards deep but lacking premier player at C and RT, and LG while Iupati recovers… Larsen surprised me, played commensurate with what is at stake (x penalty), but Sowell weak sub for Massie, Humpty Dumpty a year away and Massie, well. Thinking Watford needs to get a start, long look.

    Really enjoying this pre-season, we got a lot to work on. But Madden called it.

  13. By valour on Aug 23, 2015 | Reply

    Drew Stanton seems to have done really poorly these past two games. When he gets to the red zone, he chokes. Thinking back to last season, that was also his pattern — make a few plays, hit the invisible wall at the 20 yard line, and defer to Catanzaro.

    The way Logan Thomas and Philip Sims have played in the preseason, I’d feel much better about them being in the second and third roles. I’m not a quarterback or a coach, but as an observer, I think Stanton needs to have a couple of frustrating seasons as someone else’s franchise QB before he’ll be at the top of his ability.

  14. By valour on Aug 23, 2015 | Reply

    Drew Stanton seems to have done really poorly these past two games. When he gets to the red zone, he chokes. Thinking back to last season, that was also his pattern — make a few plays, hit the invisible wall at the 20 yard line, and defer to Catanzaro.

    The way Logan Thomas and Philip Sims have played in the preseason, I’d feel much better about them being in the second and third roles. I’m not a quarterback or a coach, but as an observer, I think Stanton needs to have a couple of frustrating seasons as someone else’s franchise QB before he’ll be at the top of his ability.

  15. By jaime on Aug 23, 2015 | Reply

    the officials did blow quite a few calls. One in particular that i really hated was ingram going to early offsides getting by Veldeer for a sack. Veldeer was right it was offsides.

  16. By shane on Aug 23, 2015 | Reply

    I know its only preseason but am i the only one who thinks that maybe bettcher should mix some more zone in this scheme.. Because i felt that it was getting pretty obvious what the cards were doing on D and were getting carved up and looked easy.. yes i know it was mostly the 3rd & 4th string guys. But in the regular season when were facing the Aron rogers of the world hes most likely going to carve up that man D kinda like Payton did last year. I just would like to see it get mixed up a little.. man is nice but it also is very risky and easy for the top Qbs to dissect not no mention i believe the cards only have on sack this preseason witch is also concerning.

  17. By Richard S on Aug 23, 2015 | Reply

    I liked Sims. The way he matriculated the ball downfield reminded me of Joe Montana, but then maybe Joe Montana wouldn’t fit into Arians preferred methodology for moving the ball downfield. Some really good players are going to get cut. I like Shipley too. The only bad part of the game (other than NFL Network showing the conclusion to the Eagles game with the 6th stringers playing rather than the Cardinal starters playing) was the pass protection. I mean if Palmer was sacked twice in his one quarter of play, that translates to an average of 8 sacks a game and I don’t think Palmer would survive very long with a ratio like that.

  18. By Dr. G. on Aug 23, 2015 | Reply

    Someone posted that Arians should keep Sims & Thomas releasing Stanton. This idea warrants serious consideration. If we must rely on the type performance we got from Stanton, we’ll be better served continuing without him. With an INT last night, he should be way, way beyond that now.

    Sims & Thomas will perform well as backups and can take the reins when Palmer passes the baton. Neither will survive the PS crew. Meanwhile, they continue to improve quickly. This cannot be said of Stanton, though he is a classy guy.

    Arians has unexplainable loyalty sometimes….later Cards Fans

    P.S. Darren…Did you say we could match an offer on our PS, and also that the player has a choice? Thx

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

    Dr. G —

    RE: PS

    If a player is cut and claimed on waivers, he has to go to the new team for at least three weeks. If he is cut and clears waivers, he can choose what PS he wants to play for. A player doesn’t have to leave a team if on the PS and offered a roster spot elsewhere; Often that’s why a team promotes a player unexpectedly from the PS because they are about to lose him.

  20. By NJAzCardsFan on Aug 23, 2015 | Reply

    Darren- When do the first cuts take place?

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

    NJAz —

    RE: First cuts

    The first cuts come after the third preseason game, down to 75 (the Cards currently have 88 on the roster.)

  22. By Dynosoar on Aug 23, 2015 | Reply


    who is it that’s related to BA? My sometimes faulty memory recalls it’s J.J. Nelson. Thanks.

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

    Dyno —

    RE: BA nephew


  24. By Steve on Aug 23, 2015 | Reply

    Darren: You mentioned in your article that after seeing David Johnsons performance, one should wonder where this leaves Chris Johnson in light of his being injured. Do you think he gets cut from the team?

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

    Steve —

    RE: Chris Johnson

    I’d think it’s way to early to think that. But he might be third on the depth chart.

  26. By dkerry5242 on Aug 23, 2015 | Reply

    Sims looks much more comfortable as a QB than Logan Thomas, even though they both played against second and third teamers. I don’t see Thomas as a future starter in the NFL.

  27. By TucsonTim on Aug 23, 2015 | Reply

    Wow, Keim is exceptional…we have a real running back for the first time in over a decade

  28. By TucsonTim on Aug 23, 2015 | Reply

    Field…and how well does grass grow in your yard at 115???

  29. By Dr. G. on Aug 23, 2015 | Reply

    OMG…Richard, matriculated? I thought I heard that for the last time in 2014 from Damian… He got it from ESPN..big time syntax error for football. As a pro writer, I like to see vocab improvement, but “”really,” “I mean,” “yaknow,” “I’m all,” “serusly,” “amazing,” “like,” “totally” trendy dudes in the media have begun this autopilot delivery. You are not alone in acclimating to this recent cool trend…later. I accept the opposable thumbs down if it helps some of us…

  30. By Credit Card on Aug 23, 2015 | Reply

    Disturbing: 6-sacks, DJ Humphrey’s play, and lack of holding a team at the end of a game.

    Encouraging: Cards’ ability to create mismatches on offense. Smoke and Fire will create no more than 7 in the box, with the backers deep with the Card’s TE squad. This will loosen defenses, and really help the running attack.

    Defense looks solid, hopefully to get Weatherspoon back. Brooks is a keeper. Marcus Golden can fill in on special downs and special teams. Gunter and Xavier Williams look like keepers.

  31. By John Stokes on Aug 23, 2015 | Reply

    Hey Darren, I wonder why Edwin Jackson aka Pound Cake isn’t getting any time? The guy flies around out there! It’ll be sad to see AZ lose out on a guy they didn’t properly review. He has the most tackles of all ILBs after two games, with the least amount of snaps. I watched his college game tape, the dude is a tacking machine. I really like that he does’t seem afraid to get in the trenches.

  32. By Darren Urban on Aug 24, 2015 | Reply

    John —

    RE: Poundcake

    They watch Jackson every day in practice. I’m confident they have properly reviewed him.

  33. By Jon Elder on Aug 24, 2015 | Reply


    Field has looked terrible since day one of practice. I remember, I was there. They actually tried to make it look better for this game by re-sodding a strip right down the middle. But somehow it just made the bad parts look worse.

    Maybe the other commented is right that it is the weather. Still, has it looked this bad in previous years?

    As long as it doesn’t contribute to injuries it doesn’t matter. I just recall our field looking pretty nice most years.

  34. By Darren Urban on Aug 24, 2015 | Reply

    Jon —

    RE: Field

    I disagree it looked bad from the first day of practice. I too was there, and I was there a few days before that for “QB” school.

    They will re-sod before the season I’m sure. But again, the pounding it takes for camp has consequences.

  35. By Lady B on Aug 24, 2015 | Reply


    If roster cuts were today: who would make your defensive list?

  36. By Darren Urban on Aug 24, 2015 | Reply

    Lady B —

    RE: Cuts

    To 75 or 53?

  37. By clssylssy on Aug 24, 2015 | Reply

    @Credit Card…
    You must have the Chiefs game confused with the Cards (they also wear red and white)..”encouraging, Cards’s ability to create mismatches on offense?” ” Defense looks solid?”…yep, that was the Chief’s game playing against Seattle! While this is only our second preseason game it’s hard not to compare how we are looking when viewing with teams we will be facing during the year and knowing they are on the same timeline as us. It’s amazing how some teams present as a fine tuned unit already (Eagles) some improved enormously in cohesiveness and talent (Titans and Jets) and some teams just continue to be solid and show why they are perrenial winners (Seahawks,Packers,Patriots,Ravens ..*Saints).
    For those who are ready to dump Stanton, remember how he came through for us when we were against the wall last year and remember this is preseason;
    for many of the Vets, they know the importance of “saving themselves” for when it counts and that this is really a time for the newbies. It took almost a half a season for our vets to learn Arians scheme his first season, so do we really want to entrust our season to a bunch of freshman still working on the learning curve?
    It we are to bag on Stanton then equal criticism should go to the Cat Man and Zasty…geez, talk about a cluster!
    I know we have the talent to do better than we have appeared in preseason so far but I am concerned about the prospect of playing in Oakland on that baseball field they use, given the magnitude of injuries sustained so far and would really be content to see none of our starters take the field who we know are going to start.
    While this may not be conventional, who really cares about this game in Oakland other than the guys trying out for a job? Sometimes you have to take care of your own and I see bigger things at stake in the season opener against the Saints!

  38. By Jon Elder on Aug 24, 2015 | Reply

    If the field looked good on the first day of practice, then my uncle and I must have had a ten minute conversation about a figment of our imagination.

  39. By Kevin S Mesa on Aug 24, 2015 | Reply

    People forget that by the time Thomas/Sims are playing, the opponent is playing guys most of whom will not be on an NFL roster.

    It’s a preseason game. You don’t throw out what you know about a guy from several years of history because of a quarter or so of play. Some of Palmer’s picks in early 2013 looked similar — like he was throwing the ball right to the opponent. Drew just didn’t get that one over the defender. It happens. Talking about releasing Stanton in favor of Thomas and Sims is ludicrous. Remember, Thomas was so bad that even though he was our #3 QB, he didn’t get to play when Palmer and Stanton went down — we had to go get Lindley instead.

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