Keim: Peterson’s value/injury, and rookie help

Posted by Darren Urban on November 23, 2015 – 8:13 am

Before Patrick Peterson got hurt Sunday night, he was once again playing excellent cornerback, making life very hard for Bengals start wide receiver A.J. Green. Then he hurt his ankle, and General Manager Steve Keim said Monday morning on his appearance on the “Doug and Wolf” show on Arizona Sports that he had no new news and that Peterson was getting an MRI. But just listening to Keim, it drives home the critical nature of having Peterson — or potentially not having him — in the lineup.

“Last year, some of the concerns with Patrick … (were) issues with consistency,” Keim said. “A lot of it had to do with playing weight. He came back in phenomenal shape. Now his level of consistency, he’s taken to a whole different level.” And that’s even putting Peterson in “some really tough positions” on an island so the defense can do things elsewhere on the field.

If Peterson can’t go, the most likely scenario is Justin Bethel stepping in to the lineup and the Cardinals using former Arizona State corner Robert Nelson Jr., who has been on the roster but inactive the last two games. Nelson played for the Browns a little last season.

Other Keim thoughts from the win over the Bengals:

— The storyline that excited Keim the most (perhaps not all that surprisingly) was the big game from the rookie class. Led by J.J. Nelson and Markus Golden, the draftees were good, and that’s with No. 1 pick D.J. Humphries still inactive.

— The turnaround in the game started with Carson Palmer, Keim said, but he also said the Cardinals’ offensive line finally starting matching the intensity and physicality of the Bengals’ defensive line in the second half.

— Keim noted that defensive coordinator James Bettcher did a nice job dialing up some pressure on Bengals QB Andy Dalton, but it also left the Cards susceptible to mismatches — notably linebacker Kevin Minter trying to cover quick running back Gio Bernard. (That didn’t go so well most of the night.)

The Cardinals are talented, and Keim has noticed all the national analysts suggesting the Cardinals might have the most talented roster in the league. But “all I see is holes,” he said. “Areas where we need to improve, where we need to get better.” Not shockingly, those start up front — a better pass rush, and more consistency in pass protection.

— As for the national attention that’s beginning to build, “you have to embrace it when you consider where we’ve come from,” he said.

— The record of 8-2 is nice, Keim said, but it’s nothing right now.

“We haven’t arrived,” Keim said. “We haven’t won any championships yet. Last year was a great lesson for us, starting 9-1 and having things crumble away.”

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46 Responses to “Keim: Peterson’s value/injury, and rookie help”

  1. By D on Nov 23, 2015 | Reply

    Overall a great win.

    The good: Palmer’s rebound in second half. The off tackles keeping the pressure away most of the night. (I did remember seeing Larsen embarrassed by Akins)
    The depth of the WR Corp is very impressive. M. Golden appears to be getting better every game. K. Minter is great blowing up players when blitzing. D. Bucannon is a special player.

    The bad: Losing Peterson is big. Maybe not against SF but the Cards need to keep a better record overall than GB. I think they match up better against the Panthers than ARod in GB in Jan. Minter shouldn’t be in coverage. I would like to see David Johnson get some more carries, I think he provided a spark when CJ was getting stopped at the line of scrimmage. I think I was more upset at that call from BA on 3rd and 1, a run up the middle when Cincy stacked the box on the Cards last possession. They need to get that first down, run more clock and make good teams use their timeouts. The turnout versus a Tom Brady or A. Rodgers most likely wouldn’t been in AZ’s favor like last night against Dalton.

  2. By joe holst on Nov 23, 2015 | Reply

    Jerraud Powers is a weak link, he has been getting beat a lot. They used to struggle covering the tight ends now it is RB’S. The interior o line is getting beat too much and Massie is struggling. The Runnng needs to get back on track as well. I am nbeing nit picky but if you want to look at “holes” then these are most of the glaring issues.

  3. By bobby62914 on Nov 23, 2015 | Reply

    D.J. Humphries – What’s the deal? It’s not like Conrad Dobler and Dan Dierdorf are on the offensive line.

    I don’t think it’s fair to call him a bust but everyone, including Humphries, must be disappointed.

  4. By Marlin on Nov 23, 2015 | Reply

    Even if PP and Frostee and Floyd and Coop are out at SF……..we can still win that game if we stay focused. I’m a little worried about the following week at the Rams….protecting Carson. They took another top QB out this week! When is the league going to recognize that Fisher and Williams are bad guys???

  5. By NJAzCardsFan on Nov 23, 2015 | Reply

    Darren- With Redding and Rucker out, any chance Dockett gets the call…????

  6. By Darren Urban on Nov 23, 2015 | Reply

    NJAZ —

    RE: Dockett

    First of all, don’t know what Rucker’s status is. Second, I doubt it.

  7. By grabling on Nov 23, 2015 | Reply

    This team need another corner, Powers struggling every game.

  8. By Robert on Nov 23, 2015 | Reply

    Really proud of the do they provide excitement..not to long ago we were 2-8..3-7 this time of year. Now we are still complaining and if i didn’t knopw our record it would sound like we were under 500..anyway Darren, why doesn’t Weatherspoon Play? I mean Buchanon and Monter need a break right? The RT is not playing like a pro bowel RT and Lupati, {thank god he is OK} is playing just OK..If they don’t shore up their OL in time for the Rams game, Cardon will be knocked out.Back to Cooper..he appears to be real injury prone. PP will miss this and the next weeks games. Surprided they didn’t ice his anle down, WHY was that? Cards have best top to bottom wide receviers in league. I also like Bethel at CB and think we can survive with him agaisnt SAn Fran

  9. By Kevin S Mesa on Nov 23, 2015 | Reply

    D —

    I’d like to see David Johnson get the ball more too, but he seems to be a fumbling machine. He fumbled again on one of his few touches this game, but fortunately we recovered (I think Massie). There was one game where he fumbled two kickoffs trying to get a running start, but luckily he was able to corral them. And I think I can recall at least one or two other fumbles.

  10. By Bay Area Bad Boy on Nov 23, 2015 | Reply

    I’m worried about Powers as well, but if you think about it. Teams are not going to throw at PP. So Powers will get picked on. They way to stop it is for him to step up. He does get beat a lot, but he is also making plays. No corner is perfect and all corners get beat. If Powers can sharpen up some of his techniques he will be fine. Going to the game on Sunday, Can’t wait to see my boys put it on SF. Go Cards !!!!!!!!

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

    First, the schedule for the next 3 weeks doesn’t include any stud WR’s like Green or a top-notch passing attacks. While PP’s shut down ability may not be a necessity during that time…..we’re certainly a better team with him on the field. I hope / pray the injury is nothing REAL serious. But if he needs to be off the ankle and rest for a couple of weeks, we should be OK. I mean, if we NEED Patrick Peterson to beat San Fran….the rest is rhetorical.

    But next week DOES scare the heck out of me because of the let-down factor and we all know what that means. The schedule can be cruel sometimes. For the last 2 weeks, the Cardinals have had to prepare for heavy-weights and the motivation was built in for both. Both were Sunday Night prime-time games. One was against a hated division rival and NFC bully that HAD to be conquered for this team to be considered legit. The other was against an AFC powerhouse, a team with a better record and, best of all, a team that did Carson Palmer wrong a few years ago. There was bad blood. We KNOW he wanted to beat them. Another dragon slayed.

    Now what? The 49ers? What is there to get up for here? Where is the dragon to be slayed, the demon to be conquered? There really is none. I loved that the last two games have been against teams that seemed likely to bring out the best in the Cardinals, that we knew were going to make the Cardinals play UP to their level. That was very good for this team. But now? I fear the let-down, I really do.

    Playing a good, solid game this week against the 49ers will be no less impressive than anything we did against the Seahawks or the Bengals.

    Going into THEIR game against San Fran yesterday, the Seahawks had the motivation of having their backs against the wall and knowing that a loss could maybe end their season. Plus, they had just been pretty soundly beaten in their house by the Cardinals. They had all the motivation they needed. Honestly, OUR situation for this week against San Fran is more perilous. because games like the last two we just played….that takes a lot out of a team – probably even more so when they are wins.

    We got beat up a little last night against a physical team and this coming game has no obvious dragon to be slayed. Teams get tripped up in these spots every year. I hope we don’t.

    As for Rucker, Redding, Peterson, Floyd, Iupati…..hoping for good news. One of THE best things about the 2015 season so far has been NOT hearing the “next man up” mantra every day. I really don’t want to start now.

  12. By georgiebird on Nov 23, 2015 | Reply

    As I have said the Cardinals vertical pass defense has been bad for a long time. PP’s play has improved 10 fold but he still gets beat but the passes have been bad and PP has escaped giving up the big play.
    The pass rush has been very good but the inability to finish the play has been obvious. Dalton escaped about 10 pass rushes yesterday and I still don’t know why. Our guys seemed to be falling over one another or they seemed confused. The penetration against a very good Bengals OL was very good but the ability to finish was what hurt the Cards.
    Powers is not ready for championship football. He will get torched again if changes aren’t made.

  13. By John The Draft Guy on Nov 23, 2015 | Reply

    Scott H,

    SF Game;

    Come on man. They hate SF. This has been instilled in the cardinals. This is their chance to give the niners what they gave when we were down. Plus, it is a divisional game. Foot on throat time.

    As for Peterson, I suggested in preseason that PP is to the defense as Palmer is to the offense. OK, not really, because Palmer is playing like an MVP. But the point is, this becomes a different defense without him. Bethel was doing a lot of grabbing and banging down the field and I am surprised he didn’t get flagged more.

    The Bengals went after him and if Dalton throws a few passes with air on them, they win that game. (which I see why Bengal fans get upset at Dalton. He makes some great passes, but at least 3 times, he had big plays and threw the ball on a line instead of putting air under it)

  14. By BIGAL on Nov 23, 2015 | Reply

    Sure hope PP & Frosty are OK??? Darren please let us all know as soon as you hear something??? OK…elephant in the room…& if PP is out any amount of time we have problems…If J Powers is truly not healthy then he needs to sit down til he is! He is getting exposed more & more each week! The better the team… the more they go after him! So…next week vs 49ers who is next man up? I believe I’m
    hearing Robert Nelson Jr…We need to find out if he is ready or not? Since Powers
    has played thru supposed injury??? It tells me they are yet confident in Nelson?

  15. By Dynosoar on Nov 23, 2015 | Reply

    I can’t find what QBs have been injured playing the Rams and if this is more or less than the average of QBs injured against any other team. It does seem like every time I turn around another QB has been injured playing the Rams. And they’re big name QBs.

    I worry about Palmer. Does he have another knee injury recovery in him?


    is there any report out there to see what QBs have been injured playing the Rams vs. other teams? (As a side, the injury to Palmer last year was non-contact, so any report worth it’s salt would need to separate any and all QBs injured by non-contact).

    I’ve been Googling and searching different NFL type sites and haven’t found anything. Thanks.

  16. By Darren Urban on Nov 23, 2015 | Reply

    Dyno —

    RE: Injuries

    Other than pain-staking research, no, I don’t believe that exists.

  17. By DTL aka Patrick Hoog on Nov 23, 2015 | Reply

    “We haven’t arrived” Keim said it, but BA, the locker room all reflect it. Like it.

    Heard Urb’s pregame analysis of PP driving to game, well detailed analysis.

    Go Cards.

    PS: Nice… when we lost momentum and Cin tied us, when we went down to Seattle after 2 strips, I didn’t feel the anxiety as in past years. BA, CP bring so much to the table…we know its not over until its over… Betch blitzes, BA goes for the win, players love guys who coach to win… me too!!

  18. By BIGAL on Nov 23, 2015 | Reply

    Well, hopefully one positive reality comes out of this that I’m pretty sure we all want to see go ba-bye…NO MORE PUNT RETURNS FOR PATRICK PETERSON!!! Too much risk involved!

    JTDG… I have agreed w/your statement all along since camp…Because of how they use him…what he does… & this season has returned to what we all new wasn’t right last year but didn’t know why @ the time? I believe your statement is correct! “PP is every bit as important to this defense as Carson is to the Offense.” Its been much the same almost anywhere the Revis island has landed…I mean were not talking Prime Time here…but there are maybe a handful of upper teir CB’s in this league that take out the top WR’s in this league w/no double or over the top help! That is what allowed/s Todd Bowles & now Betcher to have another man free-available for Blitz schemes & other packages…Just think about how often we get to see the Honey Badger blitz off the edge…A healthy PP provides that!!! As well as so many other schemes we’ve seen them run on defense the last few years!

  19. By DTL aka Patrick Hoog on Nov 23, 2015 | Reply

    “…They don’t pay all that money to watch us peter out at the end.” Lol, Larry Fitz.

  20. By Judge Knot on Nov 23, 2015 | Reply

    I have to agree with BIGAL, I was always nervous with PP on the returns, blessing in disguise. Get well Mr. Peterson, we need you. The Rams are my real concern. I too am concerned with injuries from that game. I’ll take the win over the Seahawks, but I was more concerned about injuries. The Rams have a running game that’s going to be a challenge. They are a spoiler type team.
    The last seconds of the Bengals game was magnificent! I’ve been saying the Cards should go tempo while CP is at the helm. Last season I noticed Dallas substituting their D line every snap. Let’s take it to ’em and wear out the opponents defense. And we have the rotation to do it. Just sayin…..

  21. By Perry matherne on Nov 23, 2015 | Reply

    Dear patrick,get well soon cuz we love you man!

  22. By Credit Card on Nov 23, 2015 | Reply


    BTW nice informative articles — good balance.

    The Cards are testing my weak heart. These games are certainly exciting.

    The offensive has multiple weapons and if they pull a complete non-turn-over game conceivably they could score 50+ points.

    I am concerned about the defense, especially rotation with inside linebackers I noticed both Minter and Buchanan with hands on hips during the 4th quarter. This is a true sign of fatigue. Seams to me, they should rotate Weatherspoon and Fau in the game periodically, so that the two starting ILB are fresh throughout the game.

    Great play by Massie in the 4th qtr. Rookies did step it up. Nelson, of course, and Golden, but also Gunter. Guinter was pushing the entire pocket back into Dalton. Doing that stops a running attack, and helps others get sacks. Not an easy thing pushing three interior 300 pounders backward.

  23. By Scott H on Nov 23, 2015 | Reply

    JTDG –

    I disagree. I think the “hate” any team has for another is based on how competitive the rivalry has been RECENTLY or revenge. IF there is something to get revenge for. Hate ( your word, not mine ) exists for the Seahawks right now because they have kicked our tails with regularity in recent years and have done so en route to division titles and NFC title games and Super Bowls. THEY have had what we want. The 49ers??? My turn – c’mon, man. How can you hate a team that is just so….BAD right now?? Hell, they don’t even have Harbaugh over there on the sidelines anymore, poppin’ a blood vessel every 2 minutes. What can you hate about them right now? Boldin? That is water WAY under the bridge at this point. Dockett? Yeah, maybe…if he ever made the team. They’re pretty irrelevant at this point.

    Which is exactly my point – I fear the let down because there is just nothing to get up for with the 49ers right now. Oh, I sure hope they find something. But….after you’ve just played the Seahawks and the Bengals? Good luck.

    Yeah, they’re a division rival, but….these teams are in very different places right now. The Cardinals have a bigger picture to think about now. The 49ers are a mess and it ain’t getting any better any time soon. That can result in the bigger team over-looking the smaller team and falling into the trap.

    Bottom line, the Cardinals do not need their A game to beat the 49ers. But there is still a game to be played, so you still gotta focus for 60 minutes. I hope it DOES go more the way you see it, I really do.

  24. By mitchaz on Nov 23, 2015 | Reply

    in my opinion, it is time to elevate WR/PR Jaxson Shipley from the PS to the 53 man roster. BA even mentioned him in his post-game presser. Shipley is a good punt returner—with great hands and quick feet. Peterson should be given a week to rehab the ankle. It’s a good time to give Justin Bethel some added PT.

  25. By krehbieo14 on Nov 23, 2015 | Reply


    The Cardinals defense is near the top in the NFL. The pass rush was excellent with multiple blitzes, pressures and sacks. The secondary performed admirably. When’s the last time Peterson has been beaten or given up significant yardage to a receiver? Yes, having PP leave the game put added pressure on Powers and Bethel. Powers has been hurt and it has obviously affected his play. To say he is not ready for championship football is unfair and inaccurate. Although the Cards made their fair share of mistakes against a top tier team, I have to wonder if we watched the same game.

  26. By Richard S on Nov 23, 2015 | Reply

    RANK TEAM* RATING Win margin on neutral field Homefield 3 point advantage
    1 NE(5) 101.19 5.89 2.89
    2 KC(10) 98.96 6.32 9.32
    3 ARIZ.(13) 98.1 15.11 12.11
    4 CAROLINA(17) 97.4 6.22 3.22
    5 GBAY(1) 96.17 7.84 10.84
    6 CINCY(14) 96.11 8.49 11.49
    7 SEATTLE(2) 95.55 1.32 4.32
    8 DENVER(4) 95.3 -5.89 -2.89
    9 PITT(9) 94.23 -1.32 -4.32
    10 INDY(3) 92.78 4.95 7.95
    11 BUFF(15) 92.64 -6.32 -9.32
    12 GIANTS(19) 92.03 5.17 2.17
    13 DALLAS(6) 91.18 -6.22 -3.22
    14 PHIL(7) 90.5 5.51 2.51
    15 MINN(23) 90.14 0.98 -2.02
    16 HOUSTON(16) 89.36 3.52 6.52
    17 BALT(8) 89.18 6.72 3.72
    18 ATL(21) 89.16 -0.98 2.02
    19 JETS(24) 88.79 0.17 3.17
    20 MIA(11) 88.62 -0.17 -3.17
    21 CHICAGO(26) 88.33 -7.84 -10.84
    22 TAMPA(29) 87.83 -4.95 -7.95
    23 RAMS(22) 87.62 -8.49 -11.49
    24 WASH(28) 86.86 -5.17 -2.17
    25 NO(12) 85.84 -3.52 -6.52
    26 OAK(32) 85.53 3.17 0.17
    27 DETROIT(18) 84.99 -5.51 -2.51
    28 JAX(30) 84.12 0.54 3.54
    29 SD(20) 83.58 -0.54 -3.54
    30 SANFRAN(25) 82.99 -15.11 -12.11
    31 CLEVELAND(27) 82.46 -6.72 -3.72
    32 TENNESEE(31) 82.36 -3.17 -0.17
    11/14 in week 11 correct.
    KC with 30 point win displaces AZ at #2 in rankings.
    After week 11, 104/160 65.00%
    Initial ESPN power rank in parenthesis after team name.
    Cardinals week by week rating 13/12/7/5/5/3/3/3/3/4/2/3
    Despite the prior weeks bad picks, the system was only 1 correct pick
    less than Boomer Esiason on Inside the NFL last week and several correct picks
    ahead of Michael Irvin. Az expected to win by 12 this week. It is hard to believe Minnesota will lose to Atlanta, but that’s what the system predicts. The reason KC jumped ahead of Az this week was that they exceeded expectations last week while AZ underperformed their 5 point expected win margin.

  27. By Dr. G. on Nov 23, 2015 | Reply

    Bird Gang – – Just one not-so glaring observation;; Palmer proves to be one tough man among the giants. To wit – he has returned from a major injury and surgery long before what is realistic, especially to play as well. Palmer’s determined work ethic to get back into action surely sets a mark to be admired among his peers. ((serious leadership))

    We know, in most cases of ligament tears, it takes until the 2nd year back to be physically and mentally ready to rock on… He is our MVP right now, and if he maintains this improbable effort, myriad records are in the offing…to include the age factor approaching 36…still young…but not for the NFL. Cards Fans, this year can be very, very special even more so than now. Be well…

  28. By Garrett on Nov 24, 2015 | Reply


    I know this is a bit off topic but why is Larry Fitzgerald no longer a captain of this team?

    -just curious if that is a team call or a coaching decision

  29. By Darren Urban on Nov 24, 2015 | Reply

    Garrett —

    RE: Fitz

    Players vote. And Fitz wasn’t a captain last year either.

  30. By John The Draft Guy on Nov 24, 2015 | Reply


    I think Credit Card above thinks you are Fair and Balanced with your article.

    Hmmm., Fair and Balanced.

    I think I know where you can get a job if you get tired of this. 🙂

  31. By Kevin on Nov 24, 2015 | Reply


    So many positives with this team on both sides of the ball. We are well on our way to a division title and a playoff run. The biggest glaring question in my mind that no one seems to talk about is our redzone defense. Last year we were amazingly good at stopping teams and holding them to 3 once they got inside our 20. This year it seems as though every 3rd down in that area is completed for a TD. I would love to see some statistics on that and I am just curious if either Bettcher or BA have addressed it.

    I understand that man coverage is our strength but it always appears as though the QB knows exactly where to go with the ball inside our 10. (See Josh MCcown or Dalton’s two td’s to Eifert) It is something that can possibly bury us in the playoffs. Our red zone defense td-fg % difference this year compared to last year must be staggering. Comments?

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

    Kevin —

    RE: RZ defense

    I will try to look that up.

  33. By Chuck 1 on Nov 24, 2015 | Reply


    I didn’t see Bill Bidwill in the SkyBox @ the game.
    Was he there?

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

    Chuck 1 —

    RE: Bill Bidwill

    I do not know the answer to that.

  35. By Chuck 1 on Nov 24, 2015 | Reply

    Richard S.,

    Thanks for putting all the effort into your system and providing it to us.

  36. By dkerry5242 on Nov 24, 2015 | Reply

    Kevin Minter is weak in covering a back out of the backfield. I liken Minter to former Card LB Ron McKinnon. He made a lot of tackles; but they were always after a back gained five (5) yards. He was never a run stuffer. Both are slow to pick up backs out of the backfield and often miss tackles when trying to run them down.

  37. By John The Draft Guy on Nov 24, 2015 | Reply

    Talking about Bill Bidwill, I had no idea he served in the military. He was a Navy man I believe.

    I liked the salute to the staff ect before the game.

  38. By vandyman on Nov 24, 2015 | Reply

    Hey Darren. Do you think there is any way the birdz look at Kaepernick? Strong arm, big body, dying to be coached, could get him cheap… I’ve been hating him for years, but isn’t he the kind of QB Arians is looking for?

  39. By Darren Urban on Nov 24, 2015 | Reply

    Vandy —

    RE: Kaepnernick

    I don’t see it, but I’d never say never.

    As for the kind of QB Arians is looking for — B.A. likes the big guy who stands in the pocket. Kap has proven to be anything but that.

  40. By Scott H on Nov 24, 2015 | Reply

    Garrett –

    Just to weigh in on the captain thing….I guess it surprises me, too. But the players choose, so…so be it. Fitz is clearly a leader on this team, we know that. You know the other WR’s look to him for a model of how to do….pretty much everything. I am just SOOOO glad he is still here! If he were playing like this for another team right now….it would be hard to endure. AND I don’t know that we would be quite where we are. He is STILL the best WR on this team. And given the talent we have there, that says something.

  41. By Chuck 1 on Nov 24, 2015 | Reply


    Has there been info that Mr. (Bill) Bidwill is ill?

  42. By Darren Urban on Nov 25, 2015 | Reply

    Chuck 1–

    RE: Bidwill

    Not that I have heard.

  43. By krehbieo14 on Nov 25, 2015 | Reply

    Chuck 1

    He served at the homeless dinner yesterday, so I’d say he’s fine. I believe that NBC scanned him and Keim at the game.

  44. By Darren Urban on Nov 25, 2015 | Reply

    Krehbieo —

    RE: “Fine”

    That was Michael at the dinner, not Bill.

  45. By krehbieo14 on Nov 25, 2015 | Reply


    Whoops. My bad. Happy Thansgiving!

  46. By Kevin S Mesa on Nov 25, 2015 | Reply

    Re: Fitz and captainship:

    I have no way of knowing this, but it’s possible that he’s let the other players know he doesn’t want/need it and perhaps even lobbied for it to be Palmer from among the “skill” players on offense. He’s been a captain before, everyone knows he is a leader, but maybe ceding the “captainship” of the offense to Palmer is the right way to go.

    I think Veldheer is our other offensive captain. Last year we only had one captain on offense (Palmer). The year before it was Fitz and Palmer (in his first year with the team).

    The great thing about the Cardinals is that I don’t think anyone on the team would get offended by not being voted a captain.

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