Keim: Optimism for Ellington

Posted by Darren Urban on September 14, 2015 – 8:06 am

There still isn’t anything concrete on the right knee injury of running back Andre Ellington, but General Manager Steve Keim said Monday during his appearance on the “Doug and Wolf” show on Arizona Sports 98.7 that Ellington told Keim he “felt pretty good” and that the Cardinals are optimistic it is not a serious injury. Ellington is getting an MRI this morning.

Other Keim thoughts following the Cardinals’ 31-19 win over the Saints:

— Keim said he continues to be excited about the playmakers the Cardinals have, and after watching the video, said he thought the offensive line “played excellent.”

— There were things that didn’t go as well, Keim acknowledged. They were the obvious ones. The substitution issues weren’t good, and twice a defender failed to peel off and cover a running back leaking out of the backfield and it turned into a long pass. Plus the screens by the Saints were much too effective.

— Keim said if he had to give out a player of the game, he personally would split it between the two 2013 offensive line draftees: right tackle Earl Watford and right guard Jonathan Cooper. Watford for stepping up into his new position. “If you watched the game on tape you’d be proud of the way he played,” Keim said. Cooper for playing “at the level he played.” Keim noted it was Cooper’s peel-back seal block that bought Carson Palmer time to throw that touchdown pass to John Brown. “I couldn’t be more proud of Coop because he’s been through a lot.”

— As for punter Drew Butler, “I think Drew would like to have one of those punts back but I think he responded well,” Keim said, noting the final kick that pinned the Saints inside the 5.


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29 Responses to “Keim: Optimism for Ellington”

  1. By jaime on Sep 14, 2015 | Reply

    please tell Palmer not to run the ball up the middle and go in for a hit/slide. talk about a stressful halftime thinking he was hurt…

  2. By Patrick Hoog aka Don't Take Losses on Sep 14, 2015 | Reply

    Result perhaps expected, but you never get there the way you might expect. Love our Cardinals, so much to build upon.

    Saw replay last night, NO dirty player rammed his elbow into Larry’s groin, put his shoulder into it, then got up, all after the play. Larry was in excruciating pain on sideline. Please ask management to send that tape to NFL, dirty, dirty, dirty. This does not happen by accident.

  3. By John The Draft Guy on Sep 14, 2015 | Reply

    Oh Stevie,

    There are so many people you could praise and so many players did a nice job. From Palmer to Peterson, lots of praise. And if not for a ball thrown a little out front of Larry, he would have posted 100 yds in the game (still the leading receiver with 87 yards). What a great find Fells was, as he turned out the best card TE performance since Rob Awalt many, many moons ago.

    But you want to give a game ball to cooper??? you got to stop trying to praise your draft picks as if it is a way to justify them.

    I will say you can point at a few plays by cooper, but overall, he will grade out poorly. Game ball ??? Even Darren’s last post said coop started off rough.

    Not John Brown or Honey Badger. Not Rashad Johnson and his very nice pick. Not even Bechler for his first win as a D-Cord. Nope, his game ball is to a guy who will grade out as our lowest offensive lineman for the game so he can say, look I made the right pick.

    You’ve done such a good job with building this team that you got to stop trying to justify one or two players.

  4. By Patrick Hoog aka Don't Take Losses on Sep 14, 2015 | Reply

    PS: Watched David Johnson TD replay over and over, lol, oh my!

  5. By krehbieo14 on Sep 14, 2015 | Reply

    Of course, you’ve got to justify your never-ending “draft bust” prediction for Jonathan Cooper.

  6. By dkerry5242 on Sep 14, 2015 | Reply

    Given Ellington’s history of being injured the Cards should make a play to extended CJ’s contract a couple more years.

  7. By Steve S on Sep 14, 2015 | Reply


  8. By Corgon on Sep 14, 2015 | Reply

    The Badger is allright! The Badger is back! What an effort from TM at this game. Excellent job, it was good to watch.He was everywhere! Keep on going Ty, this will be a great year for you!

  9. By John The Draft Guy on Sep 14, 2015 | Reply


    Please go back and watch the game. Just focus on Cooper. If you can honestly say (and I mean honestly) he should get the game ball, I’ll stop talking about him.


    I called Minter a bad pick, but said on the last post, he was one that stood out to me in the game. I call it like I see it. Cooper was OK for 75% of the plays. Maybe 80%. But Game Ball ???

  10. By mal on Sep 14, 2015 | Reply


    I agree — Honey Badger is back! That little guy led the team in both tackles and passes defended.

    It seemed like there were three #32’s out there.

    Darren and everyone said he was a star of the pre-season. It carried over.

  11. By jeffcardinalfan on Sep 14, 2015 | Reply

    this game played out pretty much as expected with the exception of poor d against screens…ba plz fall out of love with fire and just tell carson to throw it to larry!! great to see larry play well-he is still the heart of this team…ba plz lose the running plays right up the middle for ellington(we r all hoping his injury is not serious)…I guess I’m just a dummy-we have 3 rb’s with blazing speed-y don’t we run outside? see running inside on draws or if we have spread formation but the inside runs have got to b reduced if we want ellington around all yeare…d seemed a bit conservative in first half. my opinion for this year has not changed since training camp…if carson is protected offense can b great and d will have to continue to blitz to get qb pressure…with a healthy iupati n continued decent play from Watford we got a chance to b superbowl bound…early prediction for Chicago-both Johnson’s( chris and david) steal the show n a cards win!

  12. By jeffcardinalfan on Sep 14, 2015 | Reply

    forgot to mention the honey badger…as u all saw he was all over the field making plays…very few safeties have been able to dominate an nfl game…hb could end up being in the elite group of lott, Harrison, palumala(spelling?) and woodson. not to mention our guy Adrian!!

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

    I’m glad there is optimism for Ellington’s return in the short term. But my overall optimism for Ellington in the long term? Questionable. At best. He started last season dinged…only got more dinged as the season went on….wasn’t even useful the last couple of games he played because he was so limited….he starts training camp with a bad hammy….and can’t make it through Week 1 without another injury.

    You can call me negative….or you can recognize that those are just the facts. I need to see more of Ellington before I can really buy into him. Potential? Hell, yeah. Loaded with it. Able to stay on the field? No. Not yet.

    Hopefully, the Johnson brothers can carry us ( and then some! ) and give Ellington the time he needs to heal.

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

    Butler? I said I would give him a few weeks before I rendered any judgements. But ALL of the kicks count, not just the last one or the best one!

  15. By Darren Urban on Sep 14, 2015 | Reply

    Scott H —

    RE: Butler

    And not just the first one, or the playoff ones.

  16. By Jason on Sep 14, 2015 | Reply


    If you would’ve listened to the interview Wolfley asked him specifically about his “Bloody Knuckle” player of the game. I believe he said a trench player offensive or defensive lineman. Keim even said it was Cooper for his ability to persevere through adversity and even with the rough start played well and Watford for stepping up and answering the bell.

    Cooper and Minter are finally healthy and playing well….maybe you should start pulling for these guys.

  17. By John The Draft Guy on Sep 14, 2015 | Reply

    Scott H,

    Correct me if I am wrong, but I only remember 3 punts by Butler.

    The first was a poor punt. No way around that.
    The second was a nice punt with good hang time. Returner basically got no yards.
    The third was a huge reason we won, dropping it inside the 5.

    Lets say that went into the endzone, the saints start on the 20. They might not have been so conservative with play calls. Maybe they would have went for it on 4th down. You don’t know how that would have changed the game.
    What I will say is making Brees go 97 yards to win was a whole lot better.

    I’d rather have that guy come through in the clutch.

  18. By John The Draft Guy on Sep 14, 2015 | Reply


    I did your work for you. A breakdown of the offensive line in the first half.
    A plus play, is a great block to free someone, a minus play is when you missed the block or held. the rest are when he did his job.

    There was around 30 plays in the first half on offense.
    Cooper had 7 negative plays and 3 plus plays and 20 plays he did his job.

    Negative plays.
    First series , 4th play, called for holding.
    10th play, wiffs completely on his block, his guy tackles Ellington for a loss
    Second series , 2nd play, cooper is late reacting to a stunt. His guy pressures Palmer.
    3rd series, 2nd play, gets away with a hold as ball is run to other side.
    3rd series, 5th play, on Ellingtons TD to opposite side, Copper wiffs on two guys. Cooper is standing in end zone.
    4th series, 1st play, pulling on a toss. never gets there (although part of the reason was TE was driven back , messing up timing) the play is a 3 yard loss.
    5th series, 2nd play, is beat off snap with swim move, Palmer steps up to avoid rusher.

    Positive plays;
    first series, 9th play, peals off as Palmer scrambles and makes key block for completion.
    first series, 12th play, again peals off and makes key block giving Palmer time to hit John Brown for TD.
    Third series, 1st play, cooper pulls and makes great block to free Ellington for big run (the one AE came out of his shoe)

    While watching cooper I saw blocking;
    Watford have 3 negative plays
    Fells have one negative play
    Grisham have one negative play
    I did not see any negative plays from Sendlein, Larsen, or Veldheer.

    So, I see cooper either good or great on 77% of the plays, while missing on 23%. Maybe one could argue a couple, but I would say he graded the lowest.

    Game Ball???

  19. By jasonc on Sep 14, 2015 | Reply


    For the record PFF rated Watford as the third highest on our team Sunday behind Carson and Mathieu.

  20. By Credit Card on Sep 14, 2015 | Reply

    Fells played a good game. Aside from his catches, Fells can really block.

  21. By james bell on Sep 14, 2015 | Reply

    The Detroit lions have “Megatron””but the cardinals have “optimus prime””his name is Darren fells,,,#85!!!move over Megatron!!!!there’s a new transformer in town!!!AND HE’S AN ARIZONA CARDINAL!!!💪

  22. By Richard L on Sep 14, 2015 | Reply

    Whew…..For a minute there I thought Keim was going to give the game ball to Troy Niklas

  23. By Scott H on Sep 15, 2015 | Reply

    Darren / JTDG –

    OK, fellas, relax! I said I would render no judgements at this time, and I didn’t. It was one week. Butler didn’t lose his job, nor did he make the Pro Bowl based on Sunday. I get it.

    I just said that all the kicks count. And they will. Is that not reasonable?

  24. By John The Draft Guy on Sep 15, 2015 | Reply


    I actually said he stood out to me on the last blog. I thought he played well in his role and gave him his due. He is flowing to the ball and making hits. Watching the game live at the stadium, he stood out. I would not be surprised to see more Minter and Weatherspoon sets after their performances.

    I didn’t watch play by play for the second half but I did see less pressure from the outside. Woofley said they gave him help. I don’t know if I saw a lot of help. For a guard, turned tackle, I thought he played well. I think some of his drive blocking was excellent. He gave up no sacks although he as beat a few times.I think there is something there.

    So, if I understand what you are saying, he gets a game ball because he struggled but persevered? Why not point out the player who excelled ? In this “everybody gets a trophy” world, why not give a game ball to the 3rd year , first round pick who struggled but persevered. I guess the expectations have dropped from probowler to a guy who keeps going after starting bad. Auugh.

    I also thought 2 undrafted guys played really well. Tony Jefferson seemed to be in on every tackle. Fells was open all day. Two great finds.

  25. By Kevin S Mesa on Sep 15, 2015 | Reply

    Holy cow, I didn’t know until just now that Drew Butler is the son of former Bears (and Cardinals, if I remember right) placekicker Kevin Butler.

  26. By Kevin S Mesa on Sep 15, 2015 | Reply

    Or that Butler was 2nd in the NFL last year in punts downed inside the 20.

  27. By clssylssy on Sep 15, 2015 | Reply

    I see that the game balls went to Fells on Offense and PPeterson on Defense (OMG, GeorgieBird …R-E-L-A-X) who did a great job holding off Brandin Cooks however, IMO, it should have gone to the Honey Badger who was everywhere and was a VERY unnerving and disruptive presence for Drew Brees!

  28. By jasonc on Sep 15, 2015 | Reply


    It’s not what I’m saying….it’s what Keim said in the interview. If you want to speak about Keim’s comments maybe you should listen to the interview before you misrepresent what was said.]

    It’s around minute 34 if you don’t want to listen to the whole thing.

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