Cards know they have to tackle better

Posted by Darren Urban on September 16, 2016 – 10:13 am

It doesn’t get much more simple in the game of football than tackling. And the Cardinals didn’t do it well enough against the Patriots to open the season. Blame the lack of work in the preseason, blame a practice environment in the NFL that doesn’t really allow pros to practice true tackling. But it has to get better. Truth be told, I believe that even with everything else staying the same from that night, even with the Brandon Williams mistake and uneven offensive play, that if the Cards had tackled better, they would have won.

“The tackling overall was an issue for us,” defensive coordinator James Bettcher said. “There were runs that got out on us that if we made the tackle on first hit … we had them at about 95 yards after contact and that’s too much. We haven’t had that in a while around here.”

Patrick Peterson missed a tackle on a third down that was notable (although the Patriots were already in field-goal range and the way Gostkowski was kicking, were going to get the field goal they eventually made anyway. It burned time but in the end I’m not sure that made a difference.) Tyrann Mathieu missed a couple tackles. Deone Bucannon did not play the way he was capable. Bettcher and coach Bruce Arians talked about a loss of leverage in getting in the right spots and that happened too often — the Cards losing the edge. Even Justin Bethel missed a couple of tackles on special teams.

On a night when the Cards played some zone with the idea that you tackle and keep a team short of the sticks, wayward tackling doesn’t work out all that well. “We were kind of rusty on our tackling,” said safety Tony Jefferson, who was one of the players who didn’t look that way.

I’d expect it to be different this week, given the emphasis the Cards have had. It’s crucial that it improves.


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14 Responses to “Cards know they have to tackle better”

  1. By JohnnyBluenose on Sep 16, 2016 | Reply

    I think it would also help if we brought some of the attitude that Boldin and Dockett played with while they were here.

  2. By John The Draft Guy on Sep 16, 2016 | Reply

    Tony Jefferson is the best tackler on the team. He showed that again by leading the team in tackles and (I dont have the stat) I would think tackles for loss also.

    This is a team player, when you did nothing wrong, but you say, WE. This is a guy I think they need to extend his contract.

  3. By Amir on Sep 16, 2016 | Reply

    Sorry, other teams have the same type of limited preseason and training camp work but they came out sharp and well prepared in all phases. So, not buying this excuse.

    This team was simply not ready to play on Sunday night, no matter the amount of lip service given.

    They were not mentally into it or, perhaps, thought with their key players out, this game will be a walk in the park win.

    Hopefully, they learned a good lesson for the rest of the season. As BA said, you gotta bring passion, energy, and mental presence to every game otherwise you may get your butt kicked.

  4. By Laz on Sep 16, 2016 | Reply

    Tackling was just one of many things that didn’t work week one. I think the same argument could be made that if we did one of those other things (i.e. efficient running, stretch the field passing, sustained drives, pass rush, coverage, etc.) that we likely would have won the game. Bottom-line the TEAM need to play like champions every week, every game, every play if they ultimately want to be champs. I think they can but if so it needs to start this weekend.

  5. By D on Sep 16, 2016 | Reply

    UNLEASH THE BADGER!……and Hell and Pain will come with it….

  6. By SeeingRed on Sep 16, 2016 | Reply

    Agrre with Johnny BN- attitude is everything. Nothing replaces playing angry, whether its offense or defense. We have a couple with that attitude…Badger and Floyd but its week one and even they weren’t as “nasty”. PP-love the guy but is too nice…helping up receivers who just made a first down on you (the D)? really? RK (forgot how to spell his name) was supposed to bring some nasty and I literally didn’t notice him…again, one game in I get it…but the sense of urgency better be there for the entire organization because you’ve painted everyone in a corner with a All or Nothing mantra. The Cards simply weren’t ready because they treated the preseason as if it didn’t matter to the starters. Coaching staff too afraid of someone getting hurt but now you see what happens…you have to have preseason again in the regular season. SMH

  7. By Scott H on Sep 16, 2016 | Reply

    D –

    I think if the Badger had more to give right now, we would be seeing it.

    General –

    Yeah, the tackling was really bad last week. I would not have expected that from our defense. I don’t even know what that is, but it clearly has to involve a lack of focus. So…they better bring it this week. There was no excuse for not having it last week. Not having it 2 weeks in a row? No. NOT acceptable.

    What was also SO not acceptable was the Pats 10 of 16 on 3rd down conversions. Are you kidding me??? That is bottom of the league bad. If that’s not who we are, then….we need to see it. Now. This week. They wanted us to give them a week to get it together, so…..they’ve had a week. If there are not notable improvements, there will be real cause for concern.

    I think Bettcher needs to have answers this week. And he’s not the only one. I saw where today the Bills fired their offensive coordinator after only one game. No, I’m not suggesting that OUR offensive coordinator should get the same! BUT our special teams coach? If we are as bad on Sunday as we were last week? Yeah….I think that would be cause for someone to lose a job.

  8. By Scott H on Sep 16, 2016 | Reply

    Saw Tyrod Taylor hitting some big plays last night to WR’s that have speed to burn. It ain’t getting any easier after this week.

  9. By TLT on Sep 16, 2016 | Reply

    Painful as it is, watched more of Cards Pats tape, just to see what happened to certain guys who seem to disappear. Noticed a couple things,most noted my raeders earlier, still hard to take. Caveat is that on any single play anybody can simply get beat and look bad doing it, and otherwise play well:
    1) Saw the play $LB got hit and Edelman fined, but he seem to get pushed around and be out of position a lot (noting part of job of DL is to keep OL off our LBs);
    2) Minter seemed to over-pursue, be out of position;
    3) Watford manhandled (by Allan Branch, I think, who admittedly is a load);
    4) Tyrann actually made more plays than I thought;
    5) Where in the hell was Niklas?
    6) John Brown, either out of sync or not right.
    7) Nkem was really pushed around, a couple times;
    8) Okafor (and others) pushed around by Martellus Bennet;
    7) Everyone knows, Special Teams as bad as ever, what happened?

    Either Pats a lot better than us (beating us w/o top 5-6 guys), and/or we’re just not very good. game pretty small sample, so like Sando said, no panic.

    Fwiw, Go Cards, TB a legit test.

  10. By Dr. G. on Sep 16, 2016 | Reply

    We have some who bring it every game and still take blame so it looks classy.

    But, if you have a supposed “shut down corner,” that can’t tackle, and get beat like a drum by guys like Julio Jones, that definition is flawed. PPXXI seems to always get a pass…oh, that error didn’t matter anyway….total BS.

    It matters when your team mates see what you do and get false praise and even brag without good reason… The Cards do not have a player with that title…period…

    “Team” is what it takes…we just need to play like it….. Go Cards..!

  11. By Dr. G. on Sep 16, 2016 | Reply

    Another thing that bears attention:: the Pats used a quick 3-step drop primarily…thus avoiding any blitzes with ease, and using short and crossing routes to make us look inept at best. News flash- – Blitzing is not effective against that…what else you got? How about well defined Defense tuned to the team up next, and flex when needed…. One style makes you vulnerable…

  12. By TucsonTim on Sep 17, 2016 | Reply

    Systemic tackling issues = attitude and preparation issues. Pretty simple

  13. By Richard L on Sep 17, 2016 | Reply

    Cards need to play a 4-3 defense instead of a 3-4. They don’t have the linebacker talent for 3-4 and we are deep at defensive line. Minter and Buchanon just can’t match up. Pats exploited that.

  14. By Richard L on Sep 17, 2016 | Reply

    TLT –
    Niklas is a bust. They keep talking him up but he is a bust and a waste of time and energy. They need to cut him. Make room for extra CB

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