Work ethic and Friday before Washington

Posted by Darren Urban on December 2, 2016 – 4:41 pm

It’s been a week of criticism and accountability, of players meeting and talk of needing just one win. And as Bruce Arians talked for the final time before the last-gasp-for-now Washington game Sunday about such things, he veered to a message that wasn’t really asked about but something he clearly wanted to say.

“I love this team’s work ethic,” the coach said. “I never have to bitch about work ethic. They come to work Wednesday through Saturday. It’s a shame it hasn’t all shown up on Sundays, but I couldn’t ask any more on the field and in the classroom than what they are giving.”

Ultimately, the talk during the week is just talk. Something else that keeps popping up when Arians – and players – speak about everything that’s happened this week: No one knows what it all means until Sunday.

It doesn’t mean all is right with the win, or that it was a disaster of a week with a loss. But the on-life-support playoff hopes need a win to make sure they don’t head to the morgue, and it doesn’t get much more desperate than that. The Cards are working for that. Arians is sure of it. But that’s not really been a complaint all season. Just the results.

— There’s been speculation that the pounding Carson Palmer has taken this season could influence him to retire after the year. That doesn’t make a lot of sense to me, since he’s talked often about playing as long as he possibly could, and just said last week how much he still enjoys the prep during the week and game days.

But I asked him if indeed, the added hits could play a role in him deciding to retire.

“I don’t know,” Palmer said. “I’ll have to let you know, if I get there. If I get there.”

— I’m glad Fitz acknowledged he always knows where he is when it comes to stats because if he had said he didn’t, those who have been around him would’ve known otherwise. Look, Fitz desperately wants to get a Super Bowl title – the one thing he doesn’t have. But yes, the numbers have always been very important to him. He’s not catching Jerry Rice. He might not even catch Tony Gonzalez. But he’s had an amazing career.

(Yes, you can only imagine what it could have been with a good QB situation from 2010-2012, or a more steady situation in 2014, but we play the Cards we are dealt. He did have a huge 2011 season, though, when John Skelton just started throwing it to him down the field over and over.)

— How much does Josh Norman cover Fitz Sunday? And exactly what will be Patrick Peterson’s duties when he is on the field?

— Arians was asked about the lack of production from the draft class. The coach said they were all picks made for the future, with a deep and veteran roster. He noted that only injuries forced Brandon Williams into the lineup early this season.

“(The class) was more guys we felt we could develop and not need right away,” Arians said. “Hopefully that’s every draft from here on in.”

— Don’t forget there is a toy drive at Sunday’s game. Bring an unwrapped toy or donations to any stadium entrance.

— In case there was uncertainty about bringing Tyvon Branch back from IR, the uncertainty of Tyrann Mathieu as we go along probably should clear that up. Plus – and importantly – Branch plays special teams.

— David Johnson needs one touchdown to reach 14 this season. No Cardinal has done that since Roy Green did it in 1983.

— Washington is feeling good about itself. Their offense, even if Jordan Reed isn’t going to play, has moved the ball. This is not a simple game. Seeing how the Cardinals react to the events of their week – and the spot they are in at 4-6-1 – is intriguing. We haven’t been here in the Arians era. Everything is new.


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10 Responses to “Work ethic and Friday before Washington”

  1. By Scott H on Dec 2, 2016 | Reply

    I look at this team vs the 2008 team and I feel like I see a vast difference between the two in that all-important component of leadership.

    2008 – Warner, Berry, Wilson, Dansby, Boldin, Dockett, even the Edge

    2016? I just don’t see it. Not saying we have NO leadership. But I am saying we don’t have enough.

    And nowhere is the disparity more apparent than at the QB position. Sorry, but it made me sick ( and still does ) when our QB came out and said that he liked where we were when we were, in fact, nowhere near where we should have been. That was just….weak. I’ll say it for the last time – you don’t come out and make that comment unless you are ready to put the team on your back and carry them. Palmer made that comment and then continued to play poorly as the team continued to lose.

    Warner, I feel, would have pointed out that the team has not played as well as it should be and he would have challenged the team to play better. And we know he was capable of taking his own game up to another different level to lead the way.

  2. By Jon Elder on Dec 2, 2016 | Reply

    Let’s be honest, this idea that the Cards were hoping to have NONE of their draft class on the field this season is complete and utter BS.

  3. By shannon robinson on Dec 3, 2016 | Reply

    The National Football League has so many rules that diminish their own product for no apparent reason. Baseball has a 15 day disabled list that allows injured players to return to their teams on a continuing cycle. The NFL teams now have about 300 guys on Injured Reserve. Can you imagine our joy if we didn’t have to choose only one of our best players to come back off injured reserve? Who of all our fans wanted to tell CJ2K to sit down? In the NFL logic, does this give San Francisco a better chance if some of our best players are stuck in IR? So many Rules and Regulations that are creating what I call “government football.” For that matter what’s the logic in not suiting up 53 each week? What I’d like for Christmas is Chris Johnson and Tyvon Branch playing.

  4. By mitchaz on Dec 3, 2016 | Reply


    1—BA’s public shaming of the players. None of the recent Super Bowl winning HCs (Carroll, Belichick, Kubiak) hang their players out to dry publicly—and for good reason.

    2—BA’s public critiques of the players may cause free agents to think twice about playing in AZ.

    3—BA will want Harold Goodwin to succeed him as HC. Goodwin is over-rated. His offensive lines are consistently sloppy and lazy in their technique and frequently blowing assignments.

    4—BA conceding that he no longer expects anything from rookies—well, guess what—rookies compose 1/8th of the 53 man roster—thus, it is mandatory that they contribute, especially on STs, which, because of BA’s and his staffs’ slow development of rookies, is one of the major reasons why the Cardinals’ STs are awful.

    5—BA’s offense being so complicated that it took Carson Palmer a whole off-season and 8 games his first year to understand and feel somewhat comfortable in. This does not bode well for bringing in any new QB, does it?

    6—BA’s insistance on using “zero” protection, spread formations regardless of who the tackles are and regardless of the fact that Floyd, Smoke and Nelson (despite being in the system for 4,3,2 years respectively) have never learned how or shown an ability to disengage from press coverage and gain quick separation—and to compound matters—all three of them are frail and tentative catching balls in traffic.

    7—BA’s and Carson Palmer’s play calling in the red zone—defies any semblance of logic, like repeatedly trying to throw fades to John Brown and becoming pass happy when they have David Johnson at RB.

    8—The painfully slow tempo of the offense—plays coming in late, late breaks from the huddle, having still to call plays off a wristband, chasing the play clock down to 2 seconds every play, snapping the ball on first hut 95% of the time—talk about giving the defense a head start.

    9—The painfully slow attempts to run a two-minute offense and playing with an obvious sense of urgency when behind.

    10—BA’s insistance on having buddy, apprentice coordinators.

  5. By texascard on Dec 3, 2016 | Reply

    With great respect i disagree. Wr are notorius for not being nfl ready. So if wr has a slow start (and im not saying this of williams as much as wr in general) then we are right back into keim draft pr nightmare. Palmer is a big if in 2017 and if he and new wr dont mesh early then we will rerun 2016. And no guarantee the next qb will be any good so wr may be wasted on him in 2018 and beyond. If you take a playmaker at inside linebacker then he will be consistent for years to come and that will help the team get through some of growing pains of new qb play (at some point palmer will retire). I just feel that dline is exposing the fact that we dont have a playmaking and dominant mike. D wash screwed us so bad on this part of d. If we can put a very good def back on the field and upgrade punter then we can win field position and win games with offense we have.

  6. By texascard on Dec 3, 2016 | Reply

    The idea of drafting players every year with the idea of not playing them and doing some kind of annual draft development is the single stupidest thing ive ever heard an nfl head coach or gm say. Embarrassing Coach.

  7. By georgiebird on Dec 3, 2016 | Reply

    Bottom line- the talent on the Cardinals is vastly overrated. Except for David, there’s not a young player on the Cardinals that another team would break the bank to get. Golden and Jones are decent LBs but not in an elite class. And as most people realize, PP is a cover corner and not much of a tackler. Larry is an aging star and still one of the top two players on the team.
    So please, tell me about all these talented players who are or were going to take us to the playoffs. And feel free to include injured players and their all-pro credentials.
    BA is having a bit of a down year but he is still a top 5 HC in the NFL. You can’t get blood from a stone.

  8. By TucsonTim on Dec 4, 2016 | Reply

    Wednesday BA spoke to the DC media. Among other things, he was asked how he intended to attack the Redskins secondary and his answer:

    “We won’t change anything. We don’t change anything that we do because of who is on the other side. We just do what we normally do and see if they can cover us.”

    A BRUTALLY HONEST answer I’m afraid and thus you have the 4-6-1 Cardinals. Undoubtedly 2-8-1 if not for playing the completely dysfunctional 49’s twice.

    The formula for beating the Cards was well established last year. Rush 4, play 2 deep safeties, strong A gap pressure and right side stunts, and don’t worry too much about David Johnson, because no matter how well he plays, Arians will JUST DO WHAT WE NORMALLY DO.

    BTW folks take it for it’s worth. Arizona is 2-4 at home against the spread. Washington is 4-1 on the road. Only 3 teams in the NFL are worse against the spread than the Cardinals.

  9. By TucsonTim on Dec 4, 2016 | Reply

    Stop bashing Palmer. He’s getting killed week in and week out and gets up bloodied and still tries to make another play. The problem isn’t Palmer.

    Think of Max Hall every time you want to bash Palmer.

    Maybe he’s not the guy to take a team to a super bowl, but he can win a lot of games. We’re not winning because of our inability to grow and adapt to how other teams play against us.

    One more thing. This accountability ####. It starts at the top. When Amos Jones is your life time appointment to special teams, you have no business talking about the players accountability. Coaching accountability first!

  10. By Scott H on Dec 4, 2016 | Reply

    Tuscon Tim –

    Um….why do we have to think about Max Hall any time we want to bash Palmer? Know what? Why don’t YOU think of Kurt Warner when YOU feel others are being too harsh on Palmer. That is every bit as valid.

    Palmer was an MVP candidate last year. And he is a former first pick overall in the draft. Oh, but all the sudden, MAX HALL is the measuring stick that Palmer gets?? Really? How did we get THERE??

    C’mon, man. If we’re gonna use Max Hall as our reference point, then a WHOOOOOOOOLE lotta QB’s that are never going to win a SB suddenly become a lot more preferrable. But it doesn’t mean you’d want them to be your QB, does it???

    Sorry, but Palmer deserves the “bashing” he is getting this year.

    And, yes an un-deniable portion of the problem IS Carson Palmer.

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