Broncos — and preseason — aftermath

Posted by Darren Urban on September 1, 2016 – 11:32 pm

It’s late, it’s the fourth preseason game, and the reality is not much can be said until final cuts are made. So this aftermath will be short and sweet. There were some “stars” Thursday night — Elijhaa Penny ran the ball really well — but then you hear Bruce Arians talking about Stepfan Taylor being one of the core guys on special teams and you remember that many of these roster spots have already been determined, the process of seeing all these guys over offseason workouts and an entire training camp and three previous games.

(Still, if a guy like Penny isn’t picked up on waivers, I can’t see how he wouldn’t be on the practice squad.)

I tweeted late in the game that if I had a do-over on my guess at the 53, it’d be that Lamar Louis would make the team. He’s impressed, and more importantly, Arians keeps talking him up. We’ll see. Special teams is the key to these final couple of spots, Arians stressed, and Louis is playing well in that area.

— Special teams will be impacted with the short-term loss of linebacker Kareem Martin. Martin hurt his MCL and Arians said they are hoping he’s only out two or three weeks. You have to wonder, if fellow linebacker Tristan Okpalaugo hadn’t gotten hurt earlier (it was announced as a right knee; Arians said after it was a hamstring) and was still playing if Martin even would have been on the field. Bad luck all around.

— In terms of outside linebacker depth, if Martin is down, Arians said Alani Fua can play outside as well as inside. And if anyone was unsure if Fua was going to be on the team, there’s your answer.

— Earl Watford had never played left tackle in a game. Now he has. Could the Cardinals go with just three backup OL right now — center Evan Boehm, perhaps guard Cole Toner and Watford, who can play every position? Watford can play all five positions and will be the sixth offensive lineman.

— The Cardinals have run the ball very, very well all preseason. Bodes well.

— Robert Nkemdiche played well, in different spots, and was in on a sack late.

— Not a great night for the top cornerbacks. Justin Bethel sat out because of his foot. Brandon Williams didn’t have one of his better games, but it was better than Cariel Brooks, who was in position to be the fourth cornerback and did not play well at all.

— Nice pick-6 by ILB Gabe Martin late in the game, but I’m not sure it was enough to make the team. Would they keep Martin over veteran Chris Clemons?

— I don’t expect cuts to be announced before the weekend, even though Arians was talking about hard decisions being made Friday.

— Finally, a 59-yard field goal by Chandler Catanzaro, which would have been the second-longest in team history had it been in the regular season (Jay Feely booted the 61-yarder against Buffalo in 2012). Will Cat Man have chances like that in the regular season?






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29 Responses to “Broncos — and preseason — aftermath”

  1. By Marcelof on Sep 2, 2016 | Reply

    Well, I’ll have to agree with JTDG as he has been insisting Williams ain’t ready enough to start right now.

    Chills down the spine for Cardinals’ fans opposite to PP.
    Cards must bring someone in to, at least, compete with Williams, give this kid a challenger. If he’s got the tolls – as it’s been widly reported – He’ll succeed.

    How much damage can this weak spot cause in Cardinals’ odds on their way to Superbowl LI?

  2. By clssylssy on Sep 2, 2016 | Reply

    Wow! Now that’s what I’m talking about and that’s what Cards fans have been expecting since preseason started. It’s not been so much about the W or the score (at least for me) but more about the ENERGY, the TENACITY, and the EXECUTION of skiils as a team. Apparently, when your future is on the line it iights a fire and I am only sorry that some of these guys waited until the 11th hour to showcase the talent we have been told is there, Sadly, some of these guys won’t be suiting up again because, as well as they play last night, the reality is that some will haven’t performed consistently enough for the numbers to justify the spot and we can only hope that they will get signed or pass through waivers and make the PS. Steve Keim’s job just got a little bit harder!
    I have been one of Barkley’s biggest critics and he came out and played as well as many starters around the league. I really hope that we can keep him but, I know he’ll get signed somewhere, and career wise, it might be to his advantage to get a shot on an active roster some place rather than a PS spot here. It would make me sleep better knowing we had QB insurance but that is purely selfish.
    I love our RB room right now but would love to hang on to Penny but doubt he’ll pass through waivers. Who knows how long Ellington will stay healthy and again, I love insurance at this position. As physical as we are playing, we are going to having injuries here and having Penny available would be the kind of depth we need.
    The Cat-man stepped up and now we know he can do it. I was still being WOW’d
    by the Bucs kicker who nailed a 50 yarder in the rain after working with a sports psychologist and was hoping the Cards would consider employing the same, guess Cantazaro read some of the rumblings amongst the fans and decided it was time to impress!
    For a game that I wasn’t sure I would watch, it turned into the pleasant surprise of the summer and I can now feel I can believe BA in his assessment of the depth of this team’s talent. Now we just have to go out and do it for real!

  3. By TucsonTim on Sep 2, 2016 | Reply

    Wow. Not one word about Barkley. Did he take your parking spot?

  4. By Darren Urban on Sep 2, 2016 | Reply

    Tucson —

    RE: Barkley

    Here’s what I would have said: Barkley played better. Arians didn’t exactly rave about him after. Feel confident it didn’t change his situation — I don’t see him making the 53, and we’ll see about the practice squad.

  5. By TLT fka DTL on Sep 2, 2016 | Reply

    Cards now matched ’85 Bears at 1-3 pre (Bears went 15-1);

    Best played (by Cards) preseason game I ever saw, amazing how our 2nd and 3rd dominated same for defending SB Champs; Cards after early mistakes by Cariel and Matt went 38-7 on Broncs,

    Kareem Martin can play, at a high level, Riddick has a Predator body, late bloomer, hope makes it to PS;

    OL unreal, ran the ball at will, 3 straight games, but to see 2nd unit so dominating, unreal;

    Penny, wow, but Kerwyn did it in reg season, still too many ahead of both, and Taylor, Sp Teams as Urb noted, so…PS;

    Nkemdiche, lol…

    Go Cards.

  6. By Jacob on Sep 2, 2016 | Reply

    Would a cat be a Cardinal fan or Panthers fan cats are kinda like panthers but
    Cats like to eat Cardinals there for they would be a cardinal fan

  7. By joe holst on Sep 2, 2016 | Reply

    They will more than likely keep Shaq Riddick on the roster with the injuries, ..Elijhaa Penny reminds me of ex-Cardinal Marcel Shipp, he will be practice squad bound with Kerwynn Williams let go. I think they put CB Cariel Brooks on practice squad and pick up a veteran off the waiver wire. They also only need 5 Wr’s and 3 Tight ends with the RB;s ability to receive, the Defense will probably be heavy with players for the first couple games anyway,

  8. By John The Draft Guy on Sep 2, 2016 | Reply

    Alright, I went to the game last night and was so happy I did. Not because the cards won, but because the way the players played.

    It was how football was meant to be played. Players left everything on the field and if/when released, at least they can say they did everything they could to make the team.

    Matt Barkley thought he was back at USC. What a great showing for him. He made one pass into a window, before the receiver was there, that was as good as it gets. I don’t think he makes the team, but I do think he deserves a look by someone else. I think the thing I liked best is his calm in the pocket. Guys where all around him and grabbing his legs and he made great throws down the field. Sorry Scott H, he did a very good job.

    Elijhaa Penny was a beast. The guy hit the hole hard and had a game he will always remember. It goes to show you the talent level in the NFL when a guy like this will get released.

    Marquis Bundy and Jaxon Shipley – Both these guys turned in very good performances. Bundy’s catch down the sideline was “Fitz-like” . They both are good enough to play, but unfortunately, this team has the Browns, Fitz, Floyd, Nelson and Golden. Too bad, but way to shine when given your chance.

    How about Gabe Martin’s pick six. Or Marquis Christian coming up and sticking his helmet in to ball carriers. Lamar Louis on a KO return ate up the blocker and made a big tackle.

    How about the offensive line. Antonie McClain was down field blocking, I saw great push a few times out of Boehm, Cole Toner played excellent. Wetzel and Crisp held their own. When you have a 100 yard runner and a QB who threw for 260+ yards and a few TDs, the oline is doing their job.

    Yes, most of the guys I listed will be cut, but I have to say thank you for playing your hearts out and giving card fans a great game to watch.

  9. By John The Draft Guy on Sep 2, 2016 | Reply

    OK, Now for the bad.

    — Not a great night for the top cornerbacks. Justin Bethel sat out because of his foot. Brandon Williams didn’t have one of his better games, but it was better than Cariel Brooks, who was in position to be the fourth cornerback and did not play well at all.”

    This is the understatement of the year. This is a disaster out there.

    Watching in person you realize Brandon Williams is bad out there. His technique is horrible. You either play on top of the receiver or you bump and run staying on the hip of the receiver. He did neither. He seemed to , not only lose the ball in the air, but the receiver too. It was like watching a HS CB out there. No, if one of my corners had that bad of technique, I would have pulled them. He looks bad. I mean very bad in person. When you watch live, you see how turned around and lost he gets. I’ve seen him 3 times live now and he is not an NFL starter. Not at this point.

    What is the worst part, Lynch looked to pick on Williams when he was out there. A starting CB out there with back ups and they pick on you???

    Selling me Williams smells like the Levi Brown is an Elite Tackle all over again.

    Cariel Brooks – at least he has some technique, but he just has no ball skills. You have to be able to make a play on the ball. Just covering someone isn’t good enough in the NFL. QBs throw that ball.

    Bethel wasn’t good last year and he is going to play with an injured foot all year?

    I guess I would put Honey Badger out at CB. Sure he is small, but he has ball skills off the chart and quick feet and hips. His technique is solid. Either that or you will have to play a safety over the other CB at all times. But doing that opens up the middle for TEs and guess who is coming to town.

    Keim, you blew it. You have 10 days to figure out where and how to find a CB. This was glaring as a huge need all off season. How did you not address this??? Unacceptable.

  10. By shane caudill on Sep 2, 2016 | Reply

    john the draft guy,

    i think i speak for most when i say we don’t really care about your mini GM hat long essays.. i would save your breath and your fingers there probably both worn out by now .

  11. By Dr. G. on Sep 2, 2016 | Reply

    Brooks needs to enroll in Refrigeration School…he’ll be happier there.

    Penny made the case that he is better than 52 others. Huge error to let him get away…he can learn special teams…it’s not quantum physics Coach. He’s another big back that will add to our weaponry…blocking too!

    As for Barkley, I would be tempted to keep him over Stanton. He showed if given opportunity, he is at least a serviceable backup…age is a big consideration here. Stanton will never be “the man.” At least, Barkley has a shot. You can’t hate him.

    Now, on to the ugly part of the business…more surprise cuts, ‘cuz I know Keim will add a FA or two…. later, Cards Fans.

  12. By Dr. G. on Sep 2, 2016 | Reply

    Cards Posters – – If you stop using “speech to text” and do some typing instead, we’ll be more inclined to read your shorter interesting points…most readers will skip the ramble… Sorry, I want to read everything, but sometimes just too too…later

  13. By Dr. G. on Sep 2, 2016 | Reply

    Shane – yeah, astute… To disagree with jtdg, BA won’t use HB as a regular CB. He is much too valuable as our roaming ball hawk…

    Looking forward to seeing how Garoppolo has developed. Our wrecking crew will be his baptism by Cardinal Fire…be well.

  14. By erik on Sep 2, 2016 | Reply

    Regarding JTDG posts being too long, I disagree. I often find them to be among the most interesting and informative posts.

    I have for a long time thought that JTDG is actually an alias used by Darren Urban. I know Darren has to keep the editorial stuff out of his articles, so I think posting under a different name is just a way for him to get his opinions out without being punished for it. Again, just a crazy theory of mine…

  15. By Darren Urban on Sep 2, 2016 | Reply

    Erik —

    RE: JTDG

    I can assure you John The Draft Guy is very real.

  16. By debeezy on Sep 2, 2016 | Reply

    @ shane caudill – He’s a regular poster on this blog and I think I speak for everyone when I say people like reading what he has to say. Don’t be a debbie downer because you don’t want to read it.

  17. By erik on Sep 2, 2016 | Reply


    That is exactly what you would say if you were posting under an alias.

    Hahaha, just kidding.

  18. By John The Draft Guy on Sep 2, 2016 | Reply

    Shane Caudill,

    So you are a maybe on getting my newsletter ?


    Very funny

  19. By shane on Sep 2, 2016 | Reply

    lol i know hes a regular poster on this blog .. im also a regular reader of every blog that Daren puts up … also a regular reader of the comment section & honestly all i see form this JTDG guy is a bunch of negative uninformed over reacting . This dude should wait for the actual season to start before judging considering he usually ends up being wrong. This is a free country and he has the right to post his feelings but when there continually negative and mostly always an over reaction, i would rather not see this man comment on every little mistake or (what he thinks are mistakes) acting like hes steve kiems successor lol

  20. By James samuels on Sep 2, 2016 | Reply

    Last year Bethel played with a fractured foot and still played very well by pro football focus. The 3rd preseason game that Bethel Played was a guy rusty and practiced only one week prior to that game.
    Let’s Believe the Cards are doing the right thing in signing Bethels Extension and hope Justins pain in his foot goes away.

  21. By Scott H on Sep 2, 2016 | Reply

    Geez, how crazy has this pre-season been?? Our high-powered starters on offense couldn’t get out of their own way, then the guys who won’t even be here this season ( well, many of them ) blow the roof off last night. Not sure what to think, but….onward.

    Somehow, I am very happy for Barkley and the way he played last night. I have not had one nice word to say about him all along ( and still don’t think he is an NFL QB ), but…good for him.

    Damn, how ’bout that 59 yard kick from the Cat Man??? WOW!!! Man, what a leg!!!

    Sorry we never saw that kind of firepower from our first team offense, but….I have to believe that we will come opening night.


  22. By Richard L on Sep 2, 2016 | Reply

    I think Drew Stanton should get cut and barkley make the team. More upside with Barkley to take over after Palmer retires 2 years for Barkley to learn and progress Stanton is as good as he is going to be. Move on Cards.

  23. By Scott H on Sep 2, 2016 | Reply

    RE: They should cut Stanton

    Folks, it’s not happening. If they were going to move on from him, they could have done that after the season. They didn’t. They re-sighed him. BA loves him. He’s not being cut, nor “should” he be. Besides, why cut a player that clearly would have trade value??? What sense does that make???

    Now, a trade…..that’s a different story, but I don’t see them doing that, either.

    Not that I know ( I seldom do ), but I said this before last night happened – I didn’t think Barkley was going to do anything last night that was going to change the course of things. He is going to be released and will either be picked up elsewhere or he may make it to the practice squad here. But barring an injury to either Palmer or Stanton in the next 24 hours or so…..he is not going to be on this roster.

    Glad he had a nice performance last night, but bottom line – it was the first time I’ve ever seen him play anywhere decent since he entered the NFL and it was against players who probably aren’t NFL players, either. That does not suddenly make him a better option than Drew Stanton.

    Besides, NO ONE can do a crazy side-line dance like Stanton when we put the game on ice in Seattle! We need an encore this year, Drew! 🙂

    PS – Now, watch them cut Stanton……nothing would make that more likely than me saying they would never do that.

  24. By Scott H on Sep 2, 2016 | Reply

    JTDG –

    I have to echo your concerns for the CB position. This is not going well. And, of course, when a valid concern is pointed out, it gets more negative ratings than positive ones. Don’t ya love it?

    Anyway, thanks for be willing to say it when you see it.

  25. By Kevin S Mesa on Sep 2, 2016 | Reply

    Count me amnog those who always enjoy the thoughtful posts by JTDG and anyone else. I don’t care how long (or short) they are.

    At least he’s not getting worked up about how the sky is falling because our veteran, MVP-candidate QB from last year who’s played about a half of preseason football hasn’t looked good.

  26. By CARDS62 on Sep 2, 2016 | Reply

    Shane – JTDG has posted on here for years and his posts are very insightful and interesting. He is not negative, but he is a realist and he loves our Cardinals as much if not more than any other fan on this site. A lot of us enjoy playing GM on this site like we enjoy playing fantasy football. We know we are not always right but we do it for fun and debate, and by the way JTDG is usually right like he was on J. Cooper and our CB position this year.
    I do like what you said about this being a free country and remember Shane you decide what you want to read or not read and all comments start with our handles so if you wish to skip post and save your very valuable time feel free to do so, and you can also feel free to give us thumbs ups and downs.
    Do not ever say you speak for many on our board as you only speak for yourself, and if there is a vote it is not even going to be close JTDG is staying and you are being voted off of Cardinal Island.

    Go Cards lets beat those Patriots

  27. By Big Ken on Sep 3, 2016 | Reply

    They wouldn’t cut Stanton. He’s the veteran and team bandaid.

  28. By Scott H on Sep 3, 2016 | Reply

    Our veteran MVP candidate QB played three games that were anywhere from shaky to horrible at the end of last season. But I’m guessing you saw those seeing as one of them was the NFC title game. That one was kinda important.

    Point being, I’m basing my concerns much more on that than just his pre-season appearances. I’ve been clear about that. I’f you’re going to react to my concerns, at least understand all of what they are based on.

  29. By Scott H on Sep 3, 2016 | Reply

    I never got the whole thing about posts ( from JTDG or anyone else ) being too long. It should be about quality, not quantity.

    And as someone pointed out, what you choose to read or not read is up to you. If long posts are not your thing, move on.

    It’s like a buffet – take what you want, leave what you don’t. But don’t take things you don’t like and then complain because you had to eat them.

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