Thursday before the Chargers

Posted by Darren Urban on August 18, 2016 – 2:26 pm

The work in San Diego is almost over. The Cardinals have their preseason game against the Chargers Friday night, and to be frank, the attention has shifted from what the team might do this week and to what Bruce Arians might do after his health issues. The reality is that offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin was already set to call plays, and Arians had joked previously that he doesn’t have much to do during a game in those cases anyway. Still, all eyes are going to be on B.A. That’s only natural.

— Because of Arians’ illness, there wasn’t much discussed about the how the game will play out in terms of snap distribution, but the first units will probably get a chunk of the first quarter you’d figure. It always depends on how they perform, but maybe two or three series, depending on the number of plays. I’d expect this game to be a lot more Drew Stanton at QB, as Carson Palmer’s big third preseason game looms and the fourth game likely will be all Matt Barkley and Jake Coker.

— Another big game for CB Brandon Williams. Also curious to see what veteran Mike Jenkins can do now that he’s back on the field, albeit with a cast.

— Another guy to watch is DT Corey Peters, who returns to a game for the first time since blowing out his Achilles after just one preseason game in 2015.

— Not only were there no fights during the two practices between the Cards and Chargers, no situation really ever came close as far as I could tell. Don’t know if it was because Arians and Chargers coach Mike McCoy made such a big deal about no fights or if the Arians situation changed how practice was approached. Question is, does Friday night get chippy at all?

— Arians has said there are four inside linebackers fighting for one spot, which includes Chargers castoff Donald Butler. But you figure the Cards are going to have Deone Bucannon and Kevin Minter in there. I’m guessing Chris Clemons, who has been working behind Bucannon, likely is in. So that would leave Butler vs. Alani Fua vs. Gabe Martin vs. Lamar Louis. So again, a battle to watch.

— One more week of training camp to go. Four more open practices.


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7 Responses to “Thursday before the Chargers”

  1. By Scott H on Aug 18, 2016 | Reply

    Geez, seems like an awful lot of pressure on this Williams kid. It’s almost seeming like he HAS to be impressive because everybody else is hurt / recovering / not ready yet. That is a lot for a rookie. He had Amari Cooper last week….he has Keenan Allen this week….talk about a trial by fire. Hoping he comes out of this OK and better for it as opposed to having his confidence shot to pieces!

    Just stay healthy, fellas. No injuries and we win, despite the score.

    Am hoping to see a solid outing from Stanton. I want to see him play better than he did last week, last season against Seattle. Kinda feeling like we have to go back to 2014 to find the last time he played well…..

  2. By Richard S on Aug 18, 2016 | Reply

    It looks like the NFL Network will air the game 3 hours later than the actual start.

  3. By dynosoar on Aug 18, 2016 | Reply

    Always liked Alani Fua.

    Glad BA is back and it’s good to see Goodwin calling plays in pre-season. It’s brilliant as it gives Harold experience and doesn’t show a playcalling pattern other teams can exploit in the regular season (which helps for only a few games, but still, brilliant.)

    Looking forward to Williams and the O-Line play.

  4. By Marcelof on Aug 19, 2016 | Reply

    Here we go again,

    Many may say losing in preseason is ‘normal’, however any victory fuels players’ confidence, even during a simple preseason game. Let’s run ’em over, mercylessly. #gocards

  5. By clssylssy on Aug 19, 2016 | Reply

    Speaking of health issues…am a little concerned about John Brown’s concussion.
    I haven’t heard anyone comment on his condition as he proceeds through the protocols, and have to worry that he suffered a serious concussion as there is usually some official comment by now when a player is injured. Certainly I would hate to see him rushed back to the field prematurely and can’t help but remember that Kevin Kolb’s concussion was much more serious than believed by most fans.
    Anything new Darren?

  6. By Darren Urban on Aug 19, 2016 | Reply

    Clssy —

    RE: John Brown

    Nothing new. Still out.

  7. By shooter28 on Aug 19, 2016 | Reply

    I am glad it turns out coach Arians is just fine & its nothing serious at all, saying he will just need to watch what he eats & stay on a certain diet to avoid stomach flare up’s !!!! I am extremely happy its nothing serious though because coach Arians is the heartbeat of the team & in my eyes the best play caller in the NFL, Regularly calling the right play to beat a specific defensive look & he has Elite QB Carson Palmer n the offense playing at an Elite MVP Caliber level!!!!

    Up front along the Defensive Line I will be paying attention to Excellent NT/DT 6″3/305pd Corey Peters , AZ has an Elite top 5 D-Line and Peters is a big part of that . Healthy again Peters is going to be a beast , he is an excellent pass rushing NT/DT but what he really excels at is pushing the pocket getting pressure as well as collapsing the pocket allowing pressure n the QBs face. Peters is a very good pass rusher as well, he is extremely quick off the ball with a very fast 1st step & has extremely fast/heavy powerful hands with an arsenal of pass rush moves which is extremely hard for OG & Centers to deal with as they just are no where near as quick. I think Peters is going to put up 5-8 sacks this year especially when you consider the talent around him as AZ will have Elite & Excellent extremely disruptive pass rushing DE’s playing next to him in guys like Elite Pro-Bowl 6″8 Calais Campbell who is one of the games best 3-4DEs, Campbell is a beast and his sack total is definitely going to soar because now that he has Elite OLB Chandler Jones behind him, teams can no longer double team Campbell every single freaking snap, last time Campbell had an excellent pass rusher behind him was John Abraham n 2013 n Campbell had 9.0 sacks that year, Jones is FAR BETTER than aged 36y/o Abraham was & the combo of Campbell n Jones is outright lethal… Campbell w/ his elite length/power/speed/ athleticism will destroy OGs 1 on 1, Campbell wont have n e trouble putting up around 10+ sacks this season now that he cant be double-triple teamed every play. 6″4/300pd Elite Top-10 Talent DE/DT Robert Nkimdiche ( he would of been a top 5-10 pick if not for getting in trouble at the hotel in DEC) who is extremely explosive possessing elite length/power/explosivness/speed off the ball with extremely fast & powerful hands w/ an elite 1st step and an arsenal of pass rush moves, in this defense I expect him to have 6-8 sacks as a rookie but he is a 10+ sack per year All-Pro talent once he develops fully!!!!!!! AZ also has Big 6″5/305PDs of pure muscle w/ excellent length possessing 35in long arms w/ elite 4.79-4.81 speed (for a 305-310pd that’s flying) , possessing excellent quickness with an excellent 1st step but has Elite power/strength with extremely powerful/violent hands in pass rusher DE/DT Rodney Gunter. Gunter filled in as a NT ( Had never played it before and ranked as one of the leagues best ranking 17th of 82 DT/NTs as a rookie via Pro Football Focus playing the run a ton) due to Peters injury but now can play his natural position as a pass rushing 5tech DE off the edge, Gunter has 10 sack a season potential but I’d bet he has 7-8 sacks this year!!!!!! After playing injured all season long which is why he had only 3.5 sacks playing w/ a bad foot, 6″3/295pd excellent rotational pass rushing DE Frostee Rucker is now 100% healthy. In 2014 playing only 505 snaps ( to compare Calais played 1025 snaps) Frostee Rucker put up 5.5 sacks/14 QB hits & 33 QB Pressures, healthy Rucker is an excellent above AVG very efficient pass rusher, fully healthy again I expect him to have 5-7 sacks/35-40 QB Pressures. AZ also has a bunch of Pure Run-Stoppers in players like 6″5/310pd DE Ed Stinson, 6″6/310pd Josh Mauro is excellent vs the run but is also a solid pass rusher n very versatile able to play all along D-Line n at OLB, AZ also has 6″4/315pd Red Bryant whos an excellent run stopper as well as 6″3/315pd pure NT but can also play DE in Xavier Williams who is exceptional stopping the run but for a big man is also an excellent extremely tenacious pass rusher. Williams is already an excellent far above AVG pass rushing NT/DT n will see time playing this year for sure… Arizona is going to have an Elite Top-5 Defensive Line this season!!!!!

    Arizona now has an Elite outside pass rush as well after rebuilding it over the last 2 seasons starting with Elite 6″5/265PD Pro-Bowl OLB/DE Chandler Jones who is extremely long as well with 35 3/4in long arms n very long legs, has Elite Power, Elite Quickness/Speed & gets off the ball/snap extremely fast & is one of the best pass rushers in the game. Jones is a 12-15 sack per season type player!!!! AZ has an excellent beast of a #2 pass rusher with a extremely high elite non stop motor, elite power & athleticism with excellent quickness/speed who also excels versus the run setting a hard edge in 6″3/265PD Markus Golden!!! As a rookie Golden was the best highest ranking rookie OLB in the NFL via Pro Football Focus ranking 16th of 49OLBs ranked w/ a plus +6.7 pass rush grade & plus +4.7 grade stopping the run, credited with 7 sacks which was 2nd most among rookies n 45 QB Pressures which was the most among all rookies via PFF. Pro Football Focus credited Golden with 7.0 sacks while NFL Dot Com credited him with 4.5 sacks because their was 2.5 more sacks Golden directly caused but didn’t finish, since it was Goldens pressure that causes the sack they credit Golden with it!!!!!!…….AZ has an excellent 3rd pass rusher as well in 6″5/265pd Alex Okafor… Okafor only had 3.5 sacks/35 QB pressures struggling last season because he tore his Calf Muscle in week 2 and played all year long with a seriously torn calf muscle. Healthy in week 1 last year he had 2.0 sacks against one of the top LTs n the NFL & In 2014 he put up 8.5 sacks in just 12 games.. Healthy Okafor is an excellent very capable #2 pass rusher , he is a 10 sack per season caliber OLB, since he will be in a rotational role not starting I’d expect n would bet money he puts 7.5-8.5 sacks as a rotational OLB/DE n 2016… AZ has two excellent young backup/rotational OLBs as well starting with 6″6 now 260pd OLB Kareem Martin who is very long (35.5in long arms) with elite speed/quickness around the edge running a 4.65 40, he was drafted as a 5tech 3-4DE but switched to OLB and is starting to look really, really good as a pass rushing OLB.. Last Years 5th round pick 6″6/now 255pd OLB Shaq Riddick with his elite 34.5in arm length & elite athleticism w/ a 38in vertical is extremely explosive possessing elite speed/quickness running a 4.55sec 40 time, 4.18 20 yd short shuttle n 6.7 second 3 cone drill show his short area elite quickness/speed which is what pass rushing is all about, Riddick has look very good always around the QB in camp n got pressure/QB hits in this 1st preseason game n is very good versus the run.. He is going to rotate this year, the team really loves him….
    AZ has an Elite ILB as well whos an excellent pass rusher in 6″2 now 225PD (added 10pds of muscle to upperbody over offseason) Elite ILB Deone Bucannon!!!! Bucannon is ranked 5th overall among ILBs of 54 ranked via Pro Football Focus w/ a plus +7.1 overall grade, ranking 3rd in pass coverage among ILBs w/ a plus +6.3 overall grade, ranking 5th among ILBs Rushing the QB w/ a +5.7 overall pass rush grade n ranked 13th vs the run w/ a plus +2.9 overall grade ( though should be much better this year adding muscle now weighing 225pds to play the run better)…… Last season Bucannon put up 113 tackles, 3.5 sacks/33 QB pressures/17QB Hits, along with 3 forced fumbles, 1INT/6 passes defensed n 1 pick six Defensive TD. Bucannon had an All-Pro/Pro-Bowl caliber year though AZ had like 9 guys make the Pro-Bowl which is why he was snubbed I think…Bucannon going into his 3rd season is going to be even better this season so I definitely expect him to make the Pro-Bowl this year. Last Year was ILB Kevin Minters 1st season starting n though he had only 1 sack , he got a TON of pressure on QBs pressuring them 32 times, going into year 2 starting I definitely expect him to improve as well n finishing on some of those sacks.

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