Keeping Palmer in, and not letting up

Posted by Darren Urban on September 30, 2015 – 12:43 pm

The Cardinals had built a 31-7 halftime lead over the 49ers, but Bruce Arians was blunt with his team, and was willing to share his message to the broadcast reporters who checked in with him at halftime.

“If you relax, I’ll be looking for new players,” Arians told his players. “Keep your foot on their throat.”

It’s a message that often has to be repeated in games that have gone extremely well in the first half. That’s not necessarily unique to Arians. But it underscores the Arians mentality — and underscores why, in the last two weeks as the Cardinals have easily put away both the Bears and 49ers, starting quarterback Carson Palmer has played all but three snaps.

There is concern — and it’s fair — from the outside wondering if Palmer, so valuable to this team’s chances, should be coming out when the Cardinals have the game in hand. Part of the issue is that Arians, not unlike many coaches, has a different perspective of when a game is in hand.

“That’s the way I coach, the game is never over until it’s over,” Arians said after the Bears game.

The last time the Cardinals played in Chicago in 2009, they also built a big lead and then-coach Ken Whisenhunt decided to put in backup quarterback Matt Leinart. Leinart threw an interception and Whisenhunt actually put Kurt Warner back in after just one series, with the Bears cutting the lead to 13.

Against the 49ers, Palmer’s last drive was conservative in terms of Palmer’s exposure. On a 13-play touchdown drive — which consumed a big part of the final 15 minutes — the Cards ran it 10 times. The only pass play that wasn’t a quick throw was Palmer’s pass to tight end Jermaine Gresham at the outset of the drive. If the Cardinals do manage to get a big lead against the Rams Sunday (and most of the time, this will be moot because usually games are close week to week), perhaps Palmer comes out. But maybe he doesn’t, with Arians choosing to not let up at all. He doesn’t want his player relaxing, and I’m guessing Arians doesn’t think he should relax either.

Jim Tomsula, Bruce Arians


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Posted in Blog | 29 Comments »

29 Responses to “Keeping Palmer in, and not letting up”

  1. By Patrick Hoog aka Don't Take Losses on Sep 30, 2015 | Reply

    “No brakes on that car?” “Way to commit soldier!” Penguins of Madagascar III

  2. By BillyJack on Sep 30, 2015 | Reply

    Darren, given that the Rams seem to be QB killers, do you think HG has considered maybe using 2 offensive lines and 1 receiver on some packages?

  3. By Steve on Sep 30, 2015 | Reply

    Darren: How would you compare this Cards defense to the one that went to the Super Bowl with Clancy Prendergast as the D-coordinator?

  4. By Darren Urban on Sep 30, 2015 | Reply

    Steve —

    RE: Defense

    I think this defense is deeper. Better overall in the secondary.

  5. By clssylssy on Sep 30, 2015 | Reply

    Now that’s what I’m talking about. Keep your foot on their throat and don’t let up until the Lombardi is safe in our house!
    Can’t wait to see the various run game packages that BA’s puts together with Ellington back and Johnson & Johnson reved up and firing on all cylinders. That’s what’s known as extra pepper in the gumbo:)

  6. By sbrown on Sep 30, 2015 | Reply

    to relate to something ASU Coach Grahm said a few years ago… “left lane and hammer down” !

  7. By D on Sep 30, 2015 | Reply

    Any extensions brewing on upcoming UFA’s? The later we get into the season the more $ agents will be looking for….

  8. By Darren Urban on Sep 30, 2015 | Reply

    D —

    RE: Extensions

    Nothing on the horizon right now, as far as I know.

  9. By georgiebird on Sep 30, 2015 | Reply

    Let’s get one thing straight. CP was not injured by the Rams last year -it was a non contact injury- in the Rams’ game.

  10. By georgiebird on Sep 30, 2015 | Reply

    Don’t agree about keeping Palmer in the game. This was a good game to put Barkley in the game late and see just what he has even if just for running plays and maybe an occasional pass. Just a little something to justify his roster spot.

  11. By Darren Urban on Sep 30, 2015 | Reply

    Georgie —

    RE: Barkley

    Barkley was inactive.

  12. By Tucsontim on Sep 30, 2015 | Reply

    Rams and Patriots lead the NFL with 13 sacks. Two thirds of the other teams have less than half that many. Only 7 teams have given up more yards on the ground than the Rams. Pretty straight forward game plan I’d say.

  13. By Bay Area Bad Boy on Sep 30, 2015 | Reply

    I like the coaching message. Full steam ahead. !!!!!! No need to let up.

  14. By billyb on Sep 30, 2015 | Reply

    Lovin the cards and BA’s never let up attitude, but when palmer goes down w/ 3 minutes left in a game and we’re up by 30, BA will need a foot up his *#(@. Sorry, but leaving the franchise in for meaningless minutes is asinine.

  15. By georgiebird on Sep 30, 2015 | Reply

    Sorry on Barkley- Can’t let the facts get in the way of a point to be made.

  16. By Scott H on Sep 30, 2015 | Reply

    Oh, please, we do NOT need to see Barkley. It serves no purpose. And, frankly, I don’t want to see his roster spot justified. IF some late game snaps are going to go to anyone, they go to Stanton. Period. They go to the guy who will actually have to lead this team if anything happens to Carson. If Barkley can’t justify his existence here by operating at the level where he is, then he has no business being on the field during a REAL game.

    Damn, that’s the most annoyed I’ve been in weeks!

    I am 100% behind the mindset of the head coach. Backing off….taking it easy….coasting to the finish line….these really cannot be part of the mindset of a football team. All of the preparation up to this point, from the first moment of the first OTA, is to get players prepared to do battle for 60 minutes, to go all out for 60 minutes. to go to the whistle on every play. And if the coaches are doing their jobs and the players are truly on board, that is what everybody relates to. Maybe later in the season, it might be more practical to think about having some guys come out later in a game, but….no, not now. Start strong and go strong to the finish line. Just because Palmer is in the game, it doesn’t mean he’s gonna be dropping back to throw and taking hits he shouldn’t. I’m very confident we will NOT see that.

    Speaking of later on….wow, I just realized how our schedule lays out. 3 of the first 4 at home and 3 of the last 4 at home. I like that, but….man, that means we have a 2-6 home-to-away games ratio in between. With the bye somewhere in there, of course. Hope these guys are up to being road warriors!

  17. By desertpirate on Sep 30, 2015 | Reply

    I completely trust BA. Lest we forget, he’s the one that engineered the Steelers victory over us in the Super Bowl! Now he’s OURS!!

  18. By Jon Elder on Sep 30, 2015 | Reply

    There is “it ain’t over till its over”, and then there’s basic math.

    I like Arians mentality, but Palmer clearly should have been pulled.

  19. By dkerry5242 on Sep 30, 2015 | Reply

    If Iupati is healthy he needs to play. The run game must take over this week against the Rams. We don’t want to put Palmer in a situation where he has to pass and have the Rams tee off on him.

  20. By sbrown on Sep 30, 2015 | Reply

    Scott H –
    the road trips really start next week, Cards go to Detroit, then to Pittsburgh home for Monday night vs Balt then back on the road to Cleveland.

    After all of that , finally to the bye week for the Birds.

    We will see what kind of road warriors the Cards can be in this part of the schedule

  21. By Tucsontim on Sep 30, 2015 | Reply

    Bold prediction:

    Chris Johnson bests his single game rushing record of 228 yards and sets a new Cardinals record for most yards rushing in a single game.

  22. By clssylssy on Oct 1, 2015 | Reply

    Even missing important pieces, I have been especially impressed with our offense and it’s ability to protect Carson, that has allowed him not only to go uninjured, but also has allowed him time to check his options and thereby being successful in moving the ball downfield. I love the physicality of our receivers and now our backs are getting in there too, such that we have more of a united front offense that teams aren’t use to seeing. The addition of Chris Johnson has been a real difference maker and I could see him being the “Come Back POY” (Carson getting MVP?) with the kind of play we have begun with. This offensive front is going to be especially important this week in denying St.Louis any sacks (they are tied with the Patriots as current leaders) and allowing the Cards to continue piling up the points. BA and Coach Goodwin have done a masterful job of making do with the resources at hand up to now but this week will be a real test of how we’re going to look against some of the tougher teams on our schedule. I’m loving the competition within the “No Fly Zone” at getting plays and look forward to more of what we saw last week in the weeks to come.
    I totally agree with Scott that real winners don’t coast but rather keep their foot pressed to the excellarator so as to leave no doubts about the outcome, and can’t wait to see what a healthy 0-line and amped up RB group (hardly seems possible)
    can do against an old nemesis who think they are better because they beat the Seahawks and have something of a thuggish rep. We need to school the Rams in how a real quality team with class can dominate with superior talent and intellect. LET’S PROTECT THE NEST, START STRONG, PLAY SMART AND WIN WITH HONOR.

  23. By Bill Camp on Oct 1, 2015 | Reply

    I like the mentality of “don’t let up” in a game, but that can be conducted without playing the starters on every down. This morning’s paper talked about the great rotation used by our defensive line to keep everyone fresh both throughout the current game and for the long season. Yet, our same Cardinals have a different approach when it comes to the offensive line and quarterback. They play virtually every offensive down. We have great depth on offense, and we will be better in the latter part of the season if the starters aren’t banged up too badly and the reserves have had a chance to get actual game snaps.

  24. By Victor Sanchez on Oct 1, 2015 | Reply

    @georgiebird – Palmer may have had his injury on a non-contact play but he took several hits in that game. Many were completed passes but he got roughed up pretty good. It wouldn’t surprise me if he got hurt on one of those other hits.

    Palmer like Warner is giving his receivers every last second to break open and it is leading to him taking some hits post pass. Let’s hope the rehab holds up and he can continue to stay healthy!

    Go Cards!

  25. By Scott H on Oct 1, 2015 | Reply

    Hey, the reality is that any player can be injured on any play. Offense or defense, starter or back-up, whether a player is coming back from a major injury or never missed a game….doesn’t matter. They’re football players. Injuries are gonna happen. And they happen ( often! ) on plays where there is no contact.

    Palmer is just as likely to go down during the first 10 minutes of a game as he is during the last 10 minutes. If that’s true, then shouldn’t we be just as concerned about him STARTING every game???? Yeah, I know that sounds ridiculous but….really, he’s at just as much risk then as he is at any other time.

  26. By Chuck 1 on Oct 1, 2015 | Reply

    I’m reminded of the game several years age against the Rams.
    The Rams’ defense was all over Max Hall to the point that I think that his helmet was turned sideways and his face was bloody. ???

  27. By Chuck 1 on Oct 1, 2015 | Reply

    Add: Max Hall & the Rams vs. this week:
    Luckily, our O-Line is vastly better.

  28. By Scott H on Oct 2, 2015 | Reply

    Chuck 1 –

    I remember a game that Kolb played against the Rams a few years back where he was beaten like a rented mule. The Cards were 4-0 going into than game, then totally collapsed after that. Add in the two games last year, where we lost a QB in each one, and…..yeah, we’ve had some rough games against the Rams.

    And, no , I don’t need anyone to remind me that Palmer was hurt on a no-contact play. Nevertheless, neither Palmer or the Cards offense was having much success against the Rams D up until that point. That seems to get forgotten.

    And the game we played against them later on ( Stanton started but did not finish ) was a battle of FG’s. Games between these two teams do NOT lend themselves to shoot-outs!

    Perhaps the Cat Man will be the hero on Sunday??

    The way Palmer has been playing and connecting with Fitz, I feel like no defense really scares me right now. But that said, this seems like a good week for the run game to come up big. Keep the pass rush at bay and control the clock. Seems like a good week to get DJ a chance to pull the wagon. If we back the pass rush off by running effectively, the shots down-field for the big plays will be there.

  29. By Robbird on Oct 2, 2015 | Reply

    I thought the same thing last week when we were crushing the 49ers. Why the hell is Palmer in there!?!? Then saw that NE crushed Jacksonville and Brady played the whole game. There must be something to this. No mercy.

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