Keim: Speed good, protection not as much

Posted by Darren Urban on August 24, 2015 – 8:11 am

The Cardinals enter the dog days of training camp with one final week at University of Phoenix Stadium beginning today. And as GM Steve Keim talked about the Cards’ most recent performance, there was no eye-popping news — which, in a preseason where injuries are usually the biggest news, Keim noted correctly that coming out relatively healthy was the top story.

Otherwise, Keim’s thoughts when talking on the “Doug and Wolf Show” on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM:

— He likes the weapons on offense, with the speed at receiver and the versatility at running back, “if we can protect Carson,” Keim said.

“There’s no question in my mind there are some concerns,” Keim said.

Keim said the offensive line messed up a couple of times on combo moves from the defense. Watching the game back myself, it definitely looked like backs Andre Ellington and David Johnson at least once each (and possibly more) missed on chances either to pick up a blitzer or help chip block, one of the reasons there were multiple hits and six first-half sacks by the Chargers.

“It’s one thing to be beat physically, but to blow assignments mentally is unacceptable,” Keim said.

— Keim said he thinks new defensive coordinator James Bettcher is “doing an excellent job,” noting all the blitzing the Cards have done. It did seem like the Cards blitzed almost every play in the last half of the fourth quarter.

— Another Keim shoutout for undrafted rookie defensive tackle Xavier Williams. I will be shocked if Williams does not make this roster.

— Keim thought, other that one sack allowed, that right tackle Bradley Sowell played “pretty good” as a starter. D.J. Humphries, not as much. “He’s a guy on one play looks exactly like the first round pick we selected” and others, not very good, Keim said. “The bottom line is his consistency.” The Cardinals want more — much more — from Humphries. But Keim noted it’s still very early in Humphries’ process. (In other words, he’s not close to a bust.)

— Natural praise for running back David Johnson after that performance.

— There is no leader for the No. 3 quarterback job, although Keim said “Phillip (Sims) looked really patient and poised in the pocket.” I don’t think we’ll ever hear that one is ahead of the other one, not before a decision is made. Keim said both still aren’t consistent enough. And there is still the chance the Cards carry only two QBs on the 53=man roster.

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28 Responses to “Keim: Speed good, protection not as much”

  1. By D on Aug 24, 2015 | Reply

    Humphries looks like a project and not a first round draft pick. We’ll see what happens, but Sowell is a journeyman. I feel more confident with Massie at RT
    Massie’s first game could be against Card killer’s St. Louis Ram’s DLine..luckily at home..hopefully he is ready.

    Going forward the next few years, let’s see the progress of Humphries versus B. Jones, CB that Dallas drafted at 27 whom the Cards could have groomed in case Powers leaves via free agency after this year..

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

    D —

    RE: Humphries

    At least you said the next few years. We’ll see how Humphries does. I know for a fact the Panthers, who were picking right behind the Cards, were likely going to take Humphries if the Cards did not, so it’s not like this team dramatically reached for the guy. He’s raw. Give him time.

  3. By EDijkstra on Aug 24, 2015 | Reply

    Sims seems like a natural to me, more so than any of the other QBs. I want him to stay for his potential.

  4. By clssylssy on Aug 24, 2015 | Reply

    Protection should be the priority…thought we learned that painful lesson last season! After seeing the TD made by the 300 pound 9er Nose Tackle, as well as the size of most of our opponents, I don’t put much faith in our receivers doing anything to help protect our QB, and if Carson has to run for his life, he won’t last long! Speeds nice as is a thrilling aerial game, but it all starts with the 0-line and front seven!

  5. By jaime on Aug 24, 2015 | Reply

    come on O-Line step up!!! You are the backbone to this team!!!! Without you guys playing elite all that speed we got means nothing. Smoke and fire might as well be molasses and ketchup.

  6. By Fred on Aug 24, 2015 | Reply

    Sims clearly is the leader at number 3 QB. Humphies is not ready for the NFL, hope he gets better. D Johnson look real good out there .

  7. By BigBobDiesel on Aug 24, 2015 | Reply

    People jumping ship already?

  8. By Patrick Hoog aka Don't Take Losses on Aug 24, 2015 | Reply

    On 98.7 coach said Watford will get full week at RT… nice. Also said will try Humph at LT backup, Watford got a needle in ankle out 1 day…

    X Williams makes team, still trying to bend mind around Stinson getting cut, or Mauro or Matt S…


  9. By D on Aug 24, 2015 | Reply

    Of course Darren, we all should keep a level headed approach to these draft picks, after year 3 we usually know what kind of player they will be.

    I am just surprised how Massie is not even discussed by the team. Is it because they are upset with his suspension? Is it because he is in his last year of his deal and his replacement is on the roster? Being a fan of this team for 22 years, we all have seen way worse OL starting for this team than Massie. He plays like a 4th round pick.

    There were some really good things coming out of that game. Palmer and his WR’s look like they are on the same page, the WR’s are fast, deep and probably the most depth this team has had since they have been in AZ.

    D. Johnson got better as the game went on and gives us fans hope that maybe the Cards have found a every down back that can move the ball 4 or more yards by running it.
    The DLine has good depth, and I have a feeling X. Williams could be the player rotating with Gunter as NT. Taamu looks like a long shot making the 53. I think I saw Shaughnessy playing nose tackle in the game. J. Mauro played well. I would like to see more pressure from Golden K. Martin at OLB. I think Woodley is done, have not seen anything positive from him.
    Weatherspoon better get on the field soon because it appears the Cards have some young ILB’s that may make the team. Fua and Kirk have flashed.

    I think most surprising thing to me during the game was that our dependable Mike Leach snapped the ball too early..didn’t think I would have ever expected that to happened.

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

    D —

    RE: Massie

    As of right now, there is no suspension. Not officially. Nothing has been handed down.

  11. By Jimbowan on Aug 24, 2015 | Reply

    If the Cards are smart they will at least put LT on the practice squad. I still think Stanton is a decent qb to call on if CP gets knocked out, but LT is a disgrace as a qb. DS is totaly exlpedable. IMHO cut DS and LT, devote all second team snaps to PS and he will grow and grow. Oh, and get my second favorite qb some lasic please. He may not be book smart (and who knows maybe he is), but the young man has exceptional football skills.PS has turned his adversity into a strength, that alone (at least to me) shows his can to win at the NFL level. In the end, in Keim I trust.

  12. By JohnnyBluenose on Aug 24, 2015 | Reply

    From what I have read it seems that Humphries is not ready to contribute in a meaningful way this year. Part of his problem seems to be a lack of maturity. Humphries came out of college one year early and the Cardinals probably were not counting on him this year but were looking at him to start next year. Above all else this year we must keep Palmer upright. If we manage that we will be hard to beat. Keep going.

  13. By clssylssy on Aug 24, 2015 | Reply

    Given Massie’s blood alcohol, his arrest that the team was aware of, isn’t the team entitled to a reasonably swift decision regarding any penalty/suspension or “due process”? Or, is the Commissioner, being the ultimate high executioner, able to cherry pick which players/teams get a decision and who is left hung out to dry? Can you even confirm if Massie has been to court yet, or, is this too considered “confidential” (actually it would be public record I think). These issues become highly suspect to fans when so much IS written in the media to get a headline but then, when it comes down to information we want to know, i.e. “is he going to be part of the team”, everyone uses the CBA to hide behind. This may be an issue that you can’t speak to but perhaps maybe somebody like BA or Keim could comment on their thinking as they proceed in the dark …or, is this going to be another “Ask Daryl” situation?

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

    Clssy —

    RE: Massie

    I don’t know how this is going to play out. If Massie is suspended, they will announce it.

  15. By Scott H on Aug 24, 2015 | Reply

    I am not buying the suggestion that the team will only carry 2 QB’s on the 53-man roster. Really, I don’t see how they do that. It seems foolish. I mean….we all saw it last year and it would hold true for probably every team in the league – if you are down to your 3rd QB, you are probably done. Finished. Screwed.

    BUT we also saw the folly of having a 3rd QB who was NOT ready to step in and play when needed. That resorted to the desperation move of bringing back Lindley because – probably more than anything else – he had some familiarity with this offense.

    That scenario can’t play out again. Just my humble opinion, I think there NEEDS to be a 3rd QB on this roster from day one so he CAN be familiar with the offense, so we MIGHT have a fighting chance if he needed to play.

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

    Scott H —

    RE: third QB

    If you have a QB on the PS from day one, he’d get the same work as a third QB on the roster.

  17. By Richard S on Aug 24, 2015 | Reply

    A lot of Jerry Rice touchdowns came on short passes across the middle where he just turned on the burners. Not sure you want to send fire over the middle though as he might get creamed.

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

    Drew Stanton is totally expendable!? Tell that to last season.

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

    Some of you are too easily impressed by what happens in preseason games. Lots of third and fourth QB’s look good in preseason games. I remember a few years ago people saying they loved what they saw from Lindley in the preseason… and a few years before that, our project Skelton.

  20. By BigBobDiesel on Aug 24, 2015 | Reply

    Has Logan Thomas dressed too many games to be placed on the practice squad?

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

    BigBob —

    RE: PS

    They changed a rule last year so he is eligible.

  22. By Scott H on Aug 25, 2015 | Reply

    Darren –

    And a QB on the PS would be able to work with the first / second team units, at least some of the time? Asking because I really don’t know.

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

    Scott H —

    RE: PS QB

    He could but he wouldn’t. One thing everyone should understand — once the regular season starts, the No. 2 QB barely gets any first-team reps. The 3rd stringer is basically scout team. When Kurt was QB, he fought to take every single first-team rep.

  24. By Scott H on Aug 25, 2015 | Reply

    Darren –

    I know I asked, but I guess I really wouldn’t expect a 3rd QB to get many first team reps, if any.

    That said, and despite all conventional wisdom, this team can’t just ignore the lessons of last year.

    Maybe my biggest concern, overall, stems from how it played out with them keeping Thomas / letting Lindley go only to be forced to admit later that Thomas wasn’t ready and going back to LIndley. That showed poor judgement.

    So, whoever the 3rd QB is going to be, he needs to be the guy they will trust to take over if need be.

  25. By Daniel Thompson on Aug 26, 2015 | Reply

    I know what I seen, Sims looks A LOT better than Logan ever looked. Sims threw some beauties, nice tight spirals and lead the receivers pretty good…all in all I thought he played excellent……….too bad our guys can’t catch.

  26. By Daniel Thompson on Aug 26, 2015 | Reply

    Put Logan Thomas at TE

  27. By clssylssy on Aug 26, 2015 | Reply

    RE: 3rd String QB

    I would think that we should have learned something, not just last season because of the sad way that our playoff run came to an abrupt stop, but also the “Kolb years” when we were without a QB and were forced to rely on a rotating QB system (that might have worked had other areas of the team been able to make up), and countless years beyond that. I have been following the Titans, who find themselves in a somewhat unique situation with three QBs who could be starters, and Coach’s Whiz’s remarks to the press that he wasn’t planning to trade anybody because of the importance of having quality backup at the position; got the impression he was speaking for bad experiences! Nonetheless, it seems that in Arizona we don’t do anything much in the way of player development when they are backups or on the practice squad. When something happens like last year, fans expect the 3rd stringer or PS QB to just set in and flawlessly pick up the reins and then want to ride the guy out on a rail when he fails, when perhaps it was the system that failed. Every team has injuries and the PS is theoretically suppose to be a training ground of sorts to prepare future talents for that next step. We are rich with talent and those making the practice squad should be the cream of the crop. Perhaps an emphasis on player development should become an important part of our program so these young talents don’t just curdle while on the shelf, and should the need arise, we have a Brock Osweiller or a Zack Mettenberger to plug in?

  28. By Kevin S Mesa on Aug 26, 2015 | Reply

    I understand what you’re saying, Scott H, because of what happened last year to our playoff-bound team, but all this focus on the 3rd QB is (at least by historical standards) misplaced. Yeah, we had 4 QB’s that one year because of injuries and the fact that they were all terrible, and last year we had to use our 3rd, but if you look at the NFL in general, for most teams, the 2nd QB never plays, much less the third one. And no 3rd QB is going to be that good, no matter how much practice time or whatever we give them. We HAD a 3rd QB on the roster last year and Arians didn’t even think he was good enough to play — we had to get Lindley instead.

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