Broncos/CJ and Spoon aftermath

Posted by Darren Urban on September 3, 2015 – 10:52 pm

Sean Weatherspoon as he noted the exact date when he had last played in an NFL game: Dec. 22, 2013. It took him a little longer to get back out there than he wanted – and the same goes for Chris Johnson – but there they were Thursday night. They didn’t play like superstars but they both played well, and that’s exactly what the Cardinals needed to see after aborted training camps for both.

Everyone can bag on preseason games if they want, but the two vets were exhibits 1 and 1A of why they are always a necessity for someone. Said Johnson, who hadn’t played in a game since last season and only had a handful of practices with the Cardinals with a bad hamstring, “I don’t think I needed to start the season not getting reps because I did it one time before and I just didn’t feel right the first game.”

Better yet, Bruce Arians said he expects both Jermaine Gresham and Troy Niklas to return to practice this week, so the feeling is that the Cardinals should have more tight ends available than just Darren Fells and Ifeanyi Momah. If Gresham does indeed return, it’ll turn out that those three vets signed on one-year deals – including Weatherspoon and Johnson – should be available for the opener against the Saints. And that’s what the Cardinals want to hear.

— Both Johnson and Weatherspoon said they need to work on their conditioning. “I’m just thankful to be part of the team and get a chance to go out there,” Weatherspoon said. “It’s good to make some hits, takes some hits.”

— Chandler Catanzaro missed two extra points but Arians didn’t even let the question come up. “No, I’m not concerned about Cat Man and the missed extra points,” Arians said in his opening remarks, saying the question didn’t even need to be asked. I’m sure Catanzaro knows it can’t happen again, but as Arians said, at least it was in a preseason game.

— There were two penalties called on rookie tackle D.J. Humphries on back to back drives, but both were iffy. The false start might not have even been that much of a move. And the holding given to him was apparently on No. 64, Cameron Bradfield, and the officials just messed up the number.

— I thought Earl Watford held up at right tackle, and I fully expect him to be the right tackle starter going into the regular season.

— Rookie wide receiver Jaxon Shipley had 11 targets and nine catches (for 58 yards) and continued to push the best he can. Still, I don’t see him as more than the practice squad right now. He’s not cracking the top five. Same goes for inside linebacker Gabe Martin, who was working hard on defense all night.

— On the flip side, the way Alani Fua was used, I’m guessing he’ll make the 53 at inside linebacker.

— Markus Golden played well at outside linebacker and if Golden isn’t starting early in the season, I wouldn’t be shocked to see him get to the starting lineup at some point this year.

— He only had three carries, but Stepfan Taylor’s powerful run for 12 yards up the middle made an impression. Maybe he can be the Cards’ short-yardage guy over Robert Hughes, which could open a roster spot if the Cards only want to keep four running backs.

— I thought Phillip Sims came around. I thought Logan Thomas played better. I still think we are talking about the likelihood of carrying two quarterbacks, meaning Sims or Thomas would have to be practice squad. But we’ll see if, after the Cards watch the tape, they are convinced to do otherwise.

— Arians was asked if he was happy the preseason was over.

“Extremely,” he said, as a grin crept over his face.

You can’t see it, but I have a similar grin. Let’s get to the regular season.

Stepfan Taylor, Josh Bush

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24 Responses to “Broncos/CJ and Spoon aftermath”

  1. By don on Sep 4, 2015 | Reply

    mission accomplished for pre season game 4
    seen everything i was really looking for . CJ showed explosion . Witherspoon was sticking his head in the pile . Riddick , Golden showed up .the third stringers finally showed us why they were in camp. Shipley is the possession receiver every team can use . hope we keep Thomas… really like what Sims brings . but Thomas has played well . his upside is still thru the ceiling . hope Mr. Irrelevant is ok .. landing on IR to start the season might be a good thing . everyone looks healthy . fired up for the opener .. just wish we could carry 63 active LOL some really good players getting cut …
    GO CARDS ! ! !

  2. By Davemaham on Sep 4, 2015 | Reply

    I just don’t see the Cards keeping only two quarterbacks. There’s no guarantee that either of these guys make it through waivers to become practice squad eligible. And I don’t see the cards taking that chance. Thomas will be on the 53 squad, at the price of a tight end or running back. Hopefully, Sims will make it through waivers and make it to the practice squad.

  3. By Scott H on Sep 4, 2015 | Reply

    VERY good to see Weatherspoon and CJ finally on the field. Weatherspoon still gets no nickname, however, until he plays in a few regular season games!

    Man, I love this Shipley kid. He has the look of a Wes Welker type. Shame for him that he is here, on a team so deep at WR. Great for the Cardinals, unfortunate for Shipley. Would love to see him land on the PS. I expect to see him making some plays for somebody, somewhere this year.

    Anxious to see what they do at QB. I want to see Sims stay here. I must say, Thomas HAS looked better this year and has made a case for himself. Good for him. I like Sims better, but….hopefully, they can’t make a bad choice here.

  4. By Scott H on Sep 4, 2015 | Reply

    Wow….the next game we look forward to will be for REAL!

    Just a random thought….it will be nice to NOT have to deal with Jimmy Graham when we play the Saints in a week but it will still be interesting to see if the Cardinals will be better against TE’s ( finally ) this year. Because we WILL have to see Jimmy Graham TWICE later on against the Seahawks.

  5. By clssylssy on Sep 4, 2015 | Reply

    That was one of the better preseason games I have seen in awhile from the Cards, perhaps because of the impressive efforts made by new guys trying for a job–now that’s what I’m talking about! Maybe if we had that kind of competition on a constant basis(from everybody) to earn and keep positions, we would be perrenial contenders–it works for the Seahawks!
    It’s a shame that we can’t keep both Sims and Thomas but, I think Thomas clearly pulled ahead in last night’s competition and maybe showed us some of what BA saw in him from the beginning. He seemed cool,composed and unflappable and demonstrated good judgement, making good reads and a quickness getting rid of the ball. I like the fact that he is bigger which perhaps gives him an advantage in seeing down the field, and is mobile, but Sims was poised and just didn’t have good protection. Thomas had the advantage of a year in the league under his belt, although at the same time many fans had a closed mind to him because he wasn’t a turnkey QB as a rookie…neither was Brock Osweiller but sometimes that old school philosophy for molding and grooming a future franchise QB pays off! I really hate to see both of these guys go as I don’t know what the future holds for Stanton after this year and Palmer’s health is always a question mark. Clearly Drew has demonstrated his value to this team and is interchangeable with Carson, which is what you really want in a backup.
    The young defensive guys were a joy to watch, as were the receivers who were in there giving a valiant effort even knowing the odds were slim in making the team because of the depth of the receivers room. The TEs continue to be thin and it’s too bad we can move a receiver into that group, as I have a real problem of just “giving” a job to Greshem, who hasn’t shown us anything but how he can take up space, when their are guys actively working their tail off to contribute to this team.
    I like Taylor and Hughes because they are a different dimension to the other backs and are more physical; Chris and Andre are OK at getting the job done but our ground game doesn’t match up with some of our peers in the West. It was good to finally see Weatherspoon on the field but I’m still not convinced that he will earn his spot, seems to be pretty entitled and lacking the motivation to really earn his place.
    BA may not be worried about our kickers but I sure am; they haven’t shown us anything so far and this is a business where constant improvement is critical rather than living off previous performances.
    It’s going to be a difficult cut but the guys who don’t make the 53 have had good preparation for a future some place else. GOOD JOB GUYS AND GOOD LUCK!

  6. By Jerry on Sep 4, 2015 | Reply

    I don’t see how they can keep Hughes over Kerwyn Wiiliams. Williams is quick, deceivingly powerful, and nearly always gets positive yardage… a touchdown! Hughes carried twice for 2 yards. No brainier!

  7. By Darren Urban on Sep 4, 2015 | Reply

    Jerry —

    RE: Hughes/Kerwynn

    They may keep neither.

    Problem with Williams — they have that back already in Ellington and Chris Johnson.

  8. By Patrick Hoog aka Don't Take Losses on Sep 4, 2015 | Reply

    Agree, was best last 6 quarters from reserves I’ve seen. Looked like the first unit, deeply talented, great coaching showing. Loved this preseason, this group of 54-87, bravo.

  9. By Patrick Hoog aka Don't Take Losses on Sep 4, 2015 | Reply

    Wondering if Zaro misses Zasty as holder?

  10. By Darren Urban on Sep 4, 2015 | Reply

    DTL —

    RE: Butler as holder

    Butler was Cat Man’s holder the majority of Catanzaro’s rookie season.

  11. By Kevin S Mesa on Sep 4, 2015 | Reply

    Wow, Dockett released by 49ers.

  12. By John The Draft Guy on Sep 4, 2015 | Reply


    Can’t agree more about the QBs. Thomas is playing better the last two weeks and I thought he outplayed Sims last night.

    But neither are future starters. I just don’t see it. Keeping two QBs just makes sense to me and from what I am hearing, BA thinks the same way.

    I do have to say, when I saw Riddock and Martin as our two OLBs, I could see what they like about them. Long rangy, athletic guys. Loads of potential, but at this level, they will need to produce. It will be interesting to see their futures develop.

    Shipley showed enough tape to make it on a NFL roster, but I agree with Darren, as much as you like him, it is a numbers game.

  13. By All day on Sep 4, 2015 | Reply

    I’m still not a Sims fan. Thomas is the guy whether it’s practice squad or 3rd string. Loved what I saw from C.J and Weatherspoon can’t wait till they help us out it real games. I’m upset we don’t get to keep Shipley. He’s a baller leave it at that. But there is a chance we keep a sixth guy but not likely.
    Darren- Dockett was just released by the 49ers. Do you think the cardinals would have any interest in bringing him back?

  14. By Scott H on Sep 4, 2015 | Reply

    Wow, anyone seen the news yet that Double D was cut by the 49ers? Seems a sad end to that career, it it is indeed over. I am not even entertaining any thoughts of him coming back here w/out knowing why the Niners didn’t want him anymore.

    Seems the Cardinals knew what they were doing, as much as it was hard to see him go.

  15. By jasonc on Sep 4, 2015 | Reply

    Here is my take on the Thomas-Sims battle:

    They both played well this preseason so it’s understandable why BA hasn’t said one is ahead of the other. In watching Sims he looks cool and poised, but he hasn’t really thrown the ball downfield with accuracy and consistency. He dinks and dunks and he has been fortunate with as many scoring drives as he has had. He reminds me of a game manager type QB like an Alex Smith. Logan Thomas doesn’t appear to be a poised as Sims, but when he gets into a rhythm he looks elite…a game changer who can make amazing throws. If you were looking for a guy you thought you might have to start this year….I think Sims is safer. If you want a guy to take over for Carson….you have to stay with Thomas.

    I understand the business of releasing both in hopes they can sign at least one of them to the PS freeing up a roster spot, but I hope they continue to build Logan Thomas..

  16. By Coach K on Sep 4, 2015 | Reply

    Darren, I have to change my opinion of Thomas. He has surprised me and I think his upside is much higher than Sims. I could see Sims as a valuable practice squad player. I’m sold on Watford at right tackle if Massie has to sit.

    I’m hoping Iupati and Massie will be ready for game four.

    Defense looks solid and deep.

  17. By djmixmode on Sep 4, 2015 | Reply

    Lets not forget Thomas has a year on Sims. Last night Thomas was by far the better QB, based on stats alone. 9/10 for 116 yds + a TD? Granted Sims looked pretty good all preseason, he was playing against 2nd and 3rd string defenses. I’m kinda wanting to see a battle between Stanton and Sims. I would put Thomas as the backup to Palmer and Sims on the practice squad and let go of Stanton. I am one of the many fans who think Stanton doesn’t have a place on this team. I think a lot of people who support him give him too much credit for his wins last year. Those people fail to realize that it was our defense that won us those games after Palmer went down. But then again, that’s probably why I’m not a coach in the NFL.

  18. By mitchaz on Sep 4, 2015 | Reply

    Kerwynn is not the same type RB as Ellington or D. Johnson. Between the tackles he hits the hole faster and is more eager and willing—as he is on kickoffs, like the 35 harder he sprinted versus the Broncos. On the flip side, he is not as nearly talented catching the football as 38 & 31. But K. Williams has carved his niche as an inside runner and kickoff returner.

  19. By djmixmode on Sep 4, 2015 | Reply

    It appears based on Sims recent tweet that he was let go.

  20. By the way..Dr. G. on Sep 4, 2015 | Reply

    Jasonc…good post on QBs… Thomas is the heir apparent though jtdg presses his illogical opinion in the face of his performance even with rookies. He has rare facilities.

    The Spoon is a brute…stay healthy, my man…good work last night…

    Thomas? Some fans have a bias here. He WILL be a starter//star some day. Please compare him to Osweiler? Not even close…Logan has more potential than any backup in the league.

    CJohnson …shows the RBs how to get it on…bravitus maximus..!

    JJ…what can I say about Logan and you creating the 1st highlight reel for 2015?

    After some of my concerns, I feel great about this season. I still want to query PP about getting totally juked by rookie Amari Cooper…

    The Saints are 0-1 after next week…Go Cards…!!! Thanks again Darren…

  21. By John The Draft Guy on Sep 4, 2015 | Reply

    Dr G, Jasonc;

    Is BA illogical ?? Because, from my understanding and from what Darren posted above, he is thinking of keeping 2 QBs.

    Lighting a fire under Thomas? Maybe. But that is sad the coach has to threaten cutting you to get you motivated.

    Is it logical to think Thomas or Sims are the future when your head coach might cut them both? Fans are trying to justify their believe while ignoring what the coach and GM are saying. I would say the coach isn’t high on you if he is saying I might keep 2 QBs.

    So, let me ask you this, if BA cuts him, will you blast BA for not knowing QBs ?

    I believe Keim and BA are looking at, if I had to get to my 3rd QB, who is safer and who could make waivers and be on the practice squad? That would be Sims. I believe Thomas will be picked up on someones roster and be a 3rd guy somewhere.

    The big question is this, does SK and BA feel they have seen enough from Thomas that he could take Stanton’s spot next year? If they have, they will keep him. If the answer is no, look for two QBs

  22. By jasonc on Sep 4, 2015 | Reply


    I agree with you and I never said Thomas was the QB of the future. I stated that between the two Thomas has shown a higher ceiling of potential. Like you’ve said many times, if he was reaching his full potential he’d be competing for the back up spot with Stanton not competing with Sims. It was my sentiment that Thomas continue to be built whether that was on the 53 or PS. With the Barkley trade it looks like the Thomas experiment is probably over.

  23. By John The Draft Guy on Sep 4, 2015 | Reply

    Yes Jasonc,

    Curious trade for Barkley. Not sure what to make of it.
    Obviously, SK or BA or both saw something in Barkley to go get him.

    No doubt Thomas has the potential. But there is something missing.

    I am now in the world of Fastpitch club softball coaching and I have a girl with speed, power, just everything you want, but was sitting on the bench for another team. I just picked her up a couple days ago. She is my Logan Thomas. Hopefully, I can find the issue and help her reach her potential.

    It is tough to answer why some players potential never gets fulfilled while others go on to great things.

  24. By BIGAL on Sep 4, 2015 | Reply

    Well now that the QB projects are over & we have a new one, another USC QB,
    almost curious? I really want to talk about Jaxon Shipley, they must find a way to keep this guy & I don’t mean on the PSquad either! Cause he’ll get vultured there!

    Scott H agree w/you, think I stated it in last nites blog…”he reminds me of a young Wes Welker” & most won’t like this but even tho JJNelson had the two big plays in the preseason, I would venture to bet that Shipley had the most Receptions by far & still had the most total yards all while playing the least! This guy is a chain mover…a drive continuer…a 3rd down converter! He is exactly what this team has lacked…give him to Carson & see what happens! I swear if I get to keep 2 of 3, out of Shipley, JJNelson, & Jaron Brown…honestly I might cut JJ. yes he’s fast…he does catch the ball well, however I’m concerned about how slight of frame he is…when the real games start I believe he will get shut down in press coverage…remember where you heard it…he had the fastest time @ the combine yes, so why didn’t any other teams take him? And if they can’t deal w/cutting the 5th Rnd pick then cut Jaron Brown he was undrafted anyhow… Shipley would round out this core group nicely! Keep him please! says Carson Palmer…

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