Documenting a season with the Cardinals

Posted by Darren Urban on March 21, 2016 – 2:15 pm

It isn’t unusual for an NFL Films crew to show up in Tempe a couple of times a year, gathering practice footage or working on a piece. But last year, the crew didn’t leave. Some of the faces changed, sure — when you are embedding with an NFL team, that’s a bigger job than for just one group of three or four. But someone was around all the time, in the offseason, at training camp, through the regular season and playoffs (and a week in West Virginia). Sometimes they were even on the Cardinals’ charter flight.

And now, the reason is out there: “All or Nothing,” an eight-episode series on Amazon, is coming.

(There is no set date of when the release will be. That’s still TBD.)

It’s a massive logistical undertaking. It’s unusual for a pro team, for sure, and certainly for an NFL team, but team president Michael Bidwill liked the idea and pushed for it from the top. He couldn’t have picked a much more intriguing season for which to do it. A franchise record for wins, Tyrann Mathieu’s big season and subsequent knee injury, Carson Palmer’s MVP push, Larry Fitzgerald’s renaissance, Dwight Freeney’s midseason arrival, five primetime games. I’ll be interested to see how they manage to break down eight episodes. Clearly there’s enough to do even more.

People talk about distractions, but since nothing will air until after the fact, last season isn’t impacted by the series (unlike, say, “Hard Knocks.”) Also, once the crew was in place, it never seemed that overbearing. Cameras were installed in offices and meeting rooms, used remotely from a “control room” set up in the facility so no one would be bothered.

Even as someone who is pretty embedded myself, I’m looking forward to see this inside view — views I don’t get to see either.


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11 Responses to “Documenting a season with the Cardinals”

  1. By Joachim on Mar 21, 2016 | Reply

    We just keep getting fed good news!

  2. By D on Mar 21, 2016 | Reply

    Hope this doesn’t lead to Hard Knocks…if I remember, BA isn’t a fan of that…

  3. By NJAzCardsFan on Mar 21, 2016 | Reply

    I hope they leave out the playoff game against the Panthers…. That was to ugly to watch more than once….

    Darren- Any news on R Johnson/Freeney/Powers?

  4. By Darren Urban on Mar 21, 2016 | Reply

    NJAz —

    RE: News

    If there were news, I’d let you know. Promise.

  5. By Scott H on Mar 21, 2016 | Reply

    I know we were all looking forward to a happier ending, but….I’m sure this series will be great stuff.

    I was REEEEEALLY looking forward to another official NFL Films 2015 NFC Champs DVD that would have gone on the shelf right next to the one I have from the 2008 season. That was the one I wanted for my collection, so I could watch it over and over again.

    Didn’t happen, but this run ain’t over yet!

    I don’t think the Cardinals have to be a better team this year than they were in 2015. 2014 & 2015, unfortunately, followed a similar pattern – the Cardinals were as good as anyone ( ANYONE ) in the league for 13 weeks of the season….then, they just fell off. 2014 was certainly easier to explain, but….the results were the same – a team that seemed to be limping into the playoffs and was just not playing with the fire that it had earlier on.

    For 2016, they don’t need to be better. They DO have to avoid peaking too early and not having their best when they need it. HOW you coach a team to do that, I have no idea. But unless Palmer’s finger really WAS more of an issue that anyone will say, they need to figure it out. The 2008 team found itself right at the end of the season and played their best DURING the playoffs. This 2016 team needs to be able to do the same. Get to the post-season any way you have to – then turn it loose.

  6. By rod on Mar 21, 2016 | Reply

    Thanks Darren, I can’t wait to see the inside stuff I’ve never seen of my favorite organization!!

  7. By SeeingRed on Mar 21, 2016 | Reply

    Been AWHILE since posting but….I thought I wouldnt be able to watch any sports news after the Carolina letdown but to see how the sports media has treated the Cards shows just how much the perspective of this organization has flipped….of course we have to keep winning to remain relevant let alone considered a model franchise…I couldnt be happier with the resigning of CJ. Someone I knew wanted to be here and is A PLAYMAKER to compliment the other Johnson who is just awesome…but injuries happen and Ellington has yet to show he can stay healthy for all the talent he has. I like to believe Ive had good instincts when its come to the Cards..particularly in last 4 or 5 years. I was hoping like hell they would hire Keim as GM, then I was hoping BA would be available and the Cards would have the wisdom to hire him….PLEASE resign Floyd!! I was happy as hell when we drafted him and hes only maturing and getting better…Id like Powers back and RJ but at the right price….I love RJ’s mind but he’s not a “rangy” or even physical (consistantly) as I’d like in a FS.Positions I’m holding breath on…CB, Center, RT Tackle…(will/has Humphries grown up? Honey Badger….Please get healthy and come back. My personal opinion is we lost our edge when he went down. Fact. He’s heart and soul. Thats how you play the game…pissed off!!! (or savage) 🙂

  8. By EricG on Mar 22, 2016 | Reply

    Oooooooh man, I cannot wait to watch this. Especially going to be interesting around week 13 when Honey Badger went down again.

  9. By clssylssy on Mar 23, 2016 | Reply

    After having five prime time appearances last season in which the Cards were victorious, don’t know that much can top that for great PR and thrilling exposure for the masses seeing the Cards in a positive light. I guess any opportunity to be the focus of an inaugural series is complimentary however, not sure how it differs that much from Hard Knocks in that both are slick, carefully edited and skewed “reality” shows of “behind the scenes” looks at NFL teams. ( I see the Rams will be doing Hard Knocks which the Cards dodged the bullet by making the playoffs)
    I totally agree with Scott regarding the expansion of the International Series and am a little disappointed in Michael Bidwill’s rubber stamp of the Commissioners various agendas. Rather than sending our players to Communist China in 2018, I would challenge the Owners to cut ticket prices so that American families can afford to attend our games as families.
    I wouldn’t have as much problem with some of the rule changes IF the referees had a better command and understanding of the rules and games weren’t decided on calls that were later determined as incorrect but unchallengeable.

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