Rams, and the season, aftermath

Posted by Darren Urban on January 1, 2017 – 9:15 pm

That sound you heard from the direction of California Sunday night was the Cardinals exhaling. No, David Johnson hasn’t had his MRI yet, but there is optimism that the knee injury he suffered Sunday will cost him only that record of 100 yards from scrimmage in every game and nothing further. If his ligaments are intact – and Bruce Arians seemed to think they were – then he will recover in plenty of time for training camp. And at this point, that’s all that matters.

So in that regard, Sunday’s 44-6 beatdown of the Rams isn’t like the beatdown of the Eagles last season, which won a division but had an ugly hangover because of the Tyrann Mathieu ACL tear. Nobody wants any of that.

Johnson wasn’t moping or looking like disaster had struck after the game, so take that for what it’s worth.

You also take for what it’s worth the pounding of the Rams. Jared Goff is nowhere near ready to play quarterback, and certainly not behind that line he had today or with the receivers he has. Still, the Cardinals held the Rams to a crazy 2.1-yards per play today – that’s nothing – and had a sack party in the backfield.

Momentum doesn’t carry over from one season to the next. I firmly believe that (just as the NFC title loss didn’t carry over.) But confidence can. And this team has a lot of confidence going into the offseason.

Of course, there are a lot of things that need to be figured out in the offseason. But that’s to talk about for the next few months.

— The Cardinals will pick 13th overall in the draft.

— Arians confirmed earlier reports that offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin is set to have three head coaching interviews in the coming days. ESPN reported those teams as the Bills, Rams and Jaguars. Goodwin joked the other day of getting a couple of calls from CFL teams, but it was always expected that Goodwin would be getting interviews after interviewing with the Buccaneers last offseason.

Obviously, the Rooney Rule makes an impact with Goodwin, an African-American. But you can’t get a job without interviewing, and at some point, someone is going to decide Goodwin is the right man for the job.

— By the way, a major point in Goodwin’s favor – the amount of points the offense generated the last three games with his deep-in-the-depth-chart offensive line. Props to those players, but Goody can coach up an offensive line.

— Carson Palmer was wearing a glove on his left hand after cutting it on Christmas day and getting four stiches. Palmer joked he was saving orphans from a burning building. Whatever the reason, he said it didn’t bother him.

— Safety D.J. Swearinger again made a strong argument for the Cardinals wanting him to stay. A couple of big hits, a couple of nice tackles, a sack, an interception that was lost on a questionable Kevin Minter roughing-the-passer penalty.

— Chandler Catanzaro with a nice finish: 3-for-3 on field goals, 5-for-5 on extra points.

— Justin Bethel told me recently his foot – which has been injured basically since last year and never fully healed after he hurt it again in the offseason and needed surgery – is finally feeling better. So to see him play his best two games as a cornerback the last two weeks, including a 68-yard pick-6, is gratifying. Especially after Arians called him out after the Miami game.

— We’ll finish on this note: The Cardinals finished the season with a plus-56 point-differential. That’s something that usually translates into a playoff berth, not 7-8-1. In the NFC, only Dallas, Atlanta and Seattle are better. (AFC South winner Houston was minus-49!) But that’s how this season went. We move on to 2017.

Cardinals Rams Football

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Posted in Blog | 48 Comments »

48 Responses to “Rams, and the season, aftermath”

  1. By Brian R. on Jan 1, 2017 | Reply

    seems like yesterday i was waiting for Patriots @ Ari. time goes by so fast.

  2. By CARDS62 on Jan 1, 2017 | Reply

    Palmer only completes 50% of his passes and we lose our best player early and we win by 38 points? Great way to finish the season and hats off to our defense for playing great for all 4 quarters. I know the Rams offense is not good, but we made them look really bad, Ohio State bad, CC knows how to play during a contract year. I was hoping Michael Floyd did too, but of course he did not. Hope we can resign CC with our two outside studs, but I know it probably is not possible with our other needs. Hats off to our o line again for a solid game. Congrats to the defense for leading the league in sacks. My gosh you guys really got after the QB today. Very happy for Justin Bethel and Harlan Miller having poor seasons, but finishing well.
    Just praying for David Johnson right now and dreaming of a great 2017.

    Go Cards!

  3. By kauaicardsfan on Jan 1, 2017 | Reply

    Thank you Cards for finishing hard and Thank God DJ knee is okay!!
    Hopefully we can keep our core people in and pick up some good FA and Draft picks to complete the team from top to bottom!
    Looking forward to 2017’s team!
    Mahalo Darren and staff for the great coverage to keep us informed all year round!
    Forever a Cards Fan!!

  4. By vinma98 on Jan 2, 2017 | Reply

    Thank you Darren, Paul and everyone else on Your work in covering the Cards this season is appreciated. I read most of the blogs and articles on this site. I love this team and I appreciate all the “behind the scenes” people that make it work. Without you guys, we, fans, would be clueless and naive to whats going on. Thank you for being our personal insiders to the matters which can be misunderstood from the external reality. Thanks for being that conduit between the players, coaches, team and the fans. We will see you next year for what I believe will be a bounce back season!!! All love…

  5. By Eazy E on Jan 2, 2017 | Reply

    Thank God it’s 2017 and what a Blessing 2016 was! Nice way to finish although it means next to nothing for next season!!!

  6. By shannon robinson on Jan 2, 2017 | Reply

    As the Wolfman said last night, Kerwin Williams runs with the speed and decisiveness we love out of Cris Johnson. That picture of Kerwin smiling at the bottom of the pile just over the goal line was worth a million. How about Harlan Miller? Who expected that game day baller from the end of our draft class! Can’t say I knew anything about Mr. Ross until he started grabbing the ball lat night. I’m also happy for Justin Bethel who can tell you “there’s no success like failure.” The Cards worked really hard to give us a powerful offensive line and it almost worked. So here’s a tip of the Cardinals’ wing to Mr. Keim, BA, Coach Goody, and Mr. Zimmerman. We did get the D-line and the pass rush we bargained for (thanks again to my favorite Coach Tom Pratt). They are all working to solve the #2 CB dilemma.This was an exciting year and we saw a lot of great football from our Cards – my Best New Years Wishes to everyone who works in this organization. I’ll miss guys like Frostee Rucker, Evan Mathis, Cris Johnson and a few more guys cause we can’t keep everybody. What a joy to watch this team play tough, hard football.

  7. By Robert on Jan 2, 2017 | Reply

    never should have taken a chance with DJ playing in a meaningless game in order to set a record. He IS the future of this franchise. Its just like the star college early first round players deciding not to play in their bowel games in order not to potentially get hurt before the draft. Players like DJ don’t come around often so i just disagree playing him against the Rams, who have a history of causing our cardinal players injuries

  8. By Steve W on Jan 2, 2017 | Reply

    Tough season for the Cards and the fans, but it was good to see the team play hard and win big over the last two ‘meaningless’ games. As you said Darren, it doesn’t seem likely at all that momentum carries over into the next season, but I also have to believe their confidence might be helped just a bit.

    I really hope to see Fitz back next year, along with all the other Cards who have gone down with injuries this year come back healed and ready to have a post season with two more Ws than we did last year (or last, last year, I guess…)

    Darren, thanks for covering as always, and I look forward to watching how things play out in the off-season. Let’s hope the next season is one that sees us all cheering our Cards on to the Super Bowl. I know the team is hungry for it, as are all of us fans.

    GO CARDS!!!!

    Steve Weston
    Biggest Cards Fan in Virginia

  9. By joe holst on Jan 2, 2017 | Reply

    It was hard watching the Lions last night knowing they are playoff bound when the Cards are a much better team and capable of going deep in the playoffs . I think they are also better than several others as they were peaking as a team the last 2 games.

  10. By Scott H on Jan 2, 2017 | Reply

    Darren –

    Did you happen to notice, on the late TD pass to Fitz, did he KEEP the ball or flip it back to the refs?? This could be important….if he KEPT it, could that be a bad sign??

  11. By Darren Urban on Jan 2, 2017 | Reply

    Scott H —

    RE: Football

    Fitz has kept a lot of footballs over the years.

    That said, I do believe he kept it. But that might just be hedging his bet. Can’t hurt to keep it just in case.

  12. By Eric G on Jan 2, 2017 | Reply

    Good riddance to this season, whatever this season was. I can’t explain it other than majorly disappointing. Here are the headlines I want to hear this off-season,. assuming we have the cap space for all of these (I’m no wiz at that and not going to try):

    1. Larry Fitzgerald announces he is coming back for one more season.
    2. David Johnson’s knee suffers no major damage, will not require any surgery and recovery will take less than two months.
    3. Cardinals sign Chandler Jones to a 5 year deal.
    4. Cardinals sign Calais Campbell to a 4 year extension.
    5. Cardinals sign CB DJ Hayden, Darius Butler, Dre Kirkpatrick, or Stephen Gilmore.
    6. Cardinals re-sign DJ Swearinger, Tony Jefferson, Earl Watford, Marcus Cooper.
    7. Cardinals fire Amos Jones.
    8. Cardinals sign Cordarrelle Patterson (maybe we can do something with him)
    9. Cardinals sign a guard from FA.

  13. By Andy Kw on Jan 2, 2017 | Reply

    Eric G —

    RE: Offseason

    You sound like AZ has all of the money in the world but I can tell you right now that we don’t have the cap, according to the lengthy deals you want for Jones & Campbell. There is no way we can bring back everyone you listed but AZ will most certainly try. Bethel might have progressed enough the last two games that AZ might give him another chance to start. DJ Swearinger brings that fire and energy to this defense with his hard hitting physicality and mentality. If I have to guess, AZ brings Campbell, Jones, & Swearinger back but everyone goes elsewhere. I love Tony Jefferson but will be hard to bring back.

  14. By dynosoar on Jan 2, 2017 | Reply

    What a season. We were season leaders as a team (offensive, defensive, points, sacks), individuals (4000 yards from Palmer, David Johnson with yards rushing/from scrimmage and TDs, Fitzgerald 1000 yards, most receptions*, sack leaders in Golden and Jones).

    This type of numbers always produces playoffs and yet it didn’t. Not sure what happened (although special teams seemed to be a factor, missed snaps, missed field goals/extra points and that Seattle game with being blocked.)

    I have always loved Floyd’s big plays while groaning at his drops. It is telling to me that our only 40+ point games this season are two of the three games since his move to New England. He may or may not get his ring there. I hope not, but that’s a Patriot’s thing, not a Michael thing. I wish he’d have gone to another team that had SB potential (well, other than Seattle, Pittsburgh, NYG or the Cowboys, because they’re also at the bottom of the crumb list.)

    We finally have a new punter, I haven’t crunched the numbers, but he “seemed” better than Butler. It’ll be interesting to crunch the numbers.

    Darren, the punter situation over the season (with three) may be an interesting article to put into perspective what really happened vs. what we think happened. I know I am often surprised at what the numbers show vs. what I’m sure I saw during a game. Kind of the story of this season, the numbers don’t seem to jive with the final record.

    And here’s my final thought for the season and my wish for next season. David Johnson and everyone else that’s injured becomes healthy. Nkemdichi learns to play like Golden and Jones and lastly –

    Larry! Larry! Larry! Larry! Larry! Larry! Larry!

  15. By dynosoar on Jan 2, 2017 | Reply

    One last thought, the Cardinals never seemed to find their stride until it was too late. All teams must find their stride each season, some find it earlier and some later. Here’s to finding it earlier next season, preferably out of the gate.

  16. By Tradersbrain on Jan 2, 2017 | Reply

    What a frustrating season. We have been spoiled under Coach Arians with expectations of annual playoff appearances. Unfortunately, for this team, this year, the only time we saw their true greatness was when the pressure of delivering was long gone. Now let’s go win free agency!

  17. By mitchaz on Jan 2, 2017 | Reply

    Cardinals’ FA Thoughts:

    Top Priorities:

    1. DE Chandler Jones—will get the f-tag if long-term deal can’t be agreed.

    2. S D.J. Swearinger—his positional flexibility makes him more important to re-sign than Tony Jefferson.

    3. DT Calais Campbell—if the Cardinals offer him a deal similar to Michael Bennett’s, hopefully that will be agreeable to him. If he wants more than that, he will hit the market. The way Josh Mauro has emerged as a run stuffer, he could fill CC’s role and then the team could draft a player like Solomon Thomas to rush the passer from the inside.

    4. LB Sio Moore—pair him with Deone Bucannon and the defense gets a lot more sudden and athletic. Fua, Martin and Wright compete as backups.

    5. TE Darren Fells—the money should be right as he could be poised to have a breakout year. Gresham may be over-priced.

  18. By AndyM on Jan 2, 2017 | Reply

    I am going to write something that will not be popular: I think the search for a #2 CB is not at the top of priorities, that Justin Bethel reminded us of why he was projected to be that prior to this season. This is a Pro Bowl athlete that the Cardinals were very excited about a year ago. If his injury issue is abated, he can be a very good CB–he does not lack size, athleticism, instinct or smarts–it has been mostly a physical problem and in that regard is not entirely different than the disappointing year the Honey Badger had. Both players still need to stay healthy, though.

  19. By clssylssy on Jan 2, 2017 | Reply

    This year Keim brought back all the offensive players who had a TD last season and let our defense suffer. Hopefully, he has learned the importance of a strong defense and will try to bring back our significant playmakers from this year’s defense with priority on Swearinger, Campbell, Cooper, Bethel, Jefferson. In these last two games we have used guys in different positions out of necessity but with great success, and I have to wonder if part of our problem this year was being “stuck” in a certain mindset and afraid to try anything new and different until pressed to do so. I don’t know that I’m all that sold on Chandler Jones enough for a 5 year deal, as he seems to be a very inconsistent and moody player, Our offense seemed to improve when BA started using his TEs and, while Greshem has proved to be a valuable weapon, he’s a little too hot-headed for an experienced player but is another guy who took less money to play here again.
    Looking around the league at the teams who make the playoffs, most try to keep a certain continuity which I’m hoping we will learn from.
    So glad that we were able to finish strong and continue to play when there was nothing really to play for. I have a feeling that perhaps finishing strong after a season of adversity and disappointment will go further in helping us have the season in 2017, we were expecting this year, but were mentally battling a hangover from last season’s Championship loss. Great Job Cards!

  20. By Mike Lonergan on Jan 2, 2017 | Reply

    As a life long Cardinal fan,I admire their great team spirit and 60 minute intense effort every week.They are truly a great team.

  21. By uuiuuuuuuuuuu on Jan 2, 2017 | Reply

    Given a lot of variables, including Palmer’s advancing age and the fact that the Cards really, hopefully, should not be picking in the top half of the first round again in the next couple of years anyway, it seems to me that now is the time for the Cards to draft a potential qb of the future in the 1st round. It seems highly likely that as Palmer edges closer to 40 yrs of age, he may have no more than another year or so of playing effectively, and any qb coming in will need some grooming. That said, realistically it will also be unlikely to get the guy that we need at pick 13. There are simply too many qb needy teams in the top 12. Pick 9 might have been a different story, which is why I admittedly wasn’t rooting quite as fanatically as usual for Cards wins the last 2 games. Anyway, we’ll see. I’m trying to stay hopeful, but the scenarios I am seeing do not seem incredibly positive. Hopefully the organization will have a good draft this year. Thus far, the record of Keim and Co in that area has been poor overall, with a disproportionate number of busts and disappointments. I know that I and some others were screaming for the Cards to pick Carr a couple of years ago, and Dak last year. If they are somehow able to snag Watson, who I am sure will be a stud in the NFL (I’m guessing he doesn’t have all of the measurables that some seem to think are absolutely necessary) I for one will cease all criticism of the organization.

  22. By clssylssy on Jan 2, 2017 | Reply

    Guess you didn’t watch the Patriots game yesterday and see Floyd’s very impressive showing with a killer Fitz type block he made to allow Julilan Edelman to get open for a TD, then a nice TD of his own! Gotta say, he looked like he learned a thing or two while being with the Cards, and perhaps needed a change of scenery for incentive.
    Yesterday was a very good day for a number of ex-Cards to shine including DRC, who knocked out the Redskins and put the Giants into contention (again)!
    Always happy to see our alums do well after life in Cardinal land, as it feels like they learned their professional values and cut their teeth in our house!

  23. By Adam Smith b1723 fka DTL on Jan 2, 2017 | Reply

    Side note in off season:
    Drew Stanton should be challenged by Dysert. Have always supported Drew as a gutty winner. But he’s not really good and not the future. Hope someone beats him out despite my respect, fondness for him. If Dysert can step up, can have 2 QBs next year, save some $$ ? and maybe get lucky in draft. Just musings, I know BA loves Drew,

  24. By CardsNation on Jan 2, 2017 | Reply

    When I reflect on this year, talking about draft needs. It’s hard to come up with one. Talking about QB, Carson Palmer threw 26 TDS and 14 Ints with 61% completion rate and 4233 passing yards. That’s above average as a QB. Plus he was under pressure so many times this year and forced him to throw it away or interception. Yes, he is getting old but this year’s draft is not that great in term of QB.

    Even though we have three injured starters on our defense, ILB Sio Moore and Harlan Miller showed up. Our defense completely dominated the Seahawks and the Rams.

    offensive line:
    We faced two of the most dominated defensive line: Seahawks and Rams. Our offensive line held up and we scored 30+ponints in the last three games. I’m sure we can address this issue in free agency. Three starters were injured and one backup was injured.

    Special team:
    We finally have a punter and our Chandler Catanzaro was great.

    JJ nelson was making big plays every week. John Brown is coming back. I hope Larry will stay. Jaron Brown was good as well.

    Draft needs:
    CB, ILB, WR, OG.

  25. By creditcard on Jan 2, 2017 | Reply

    What a roller coaster season. Last couple of games have given me renewed faith. The Cards very well might have been playing tense at the beginning of the year, with all their expectations etc…

    I am in hopes most of the players return and are resigned. Big decision for Larry Fitzgerald — do you leave when you had a good year, or leave when the team has a good year. He gives me the idea — he is a team player — so I beleive we will see Larry in 2017-18 season.

    Good coverage by Darren and Kyle, keeping us fans informed and connected.

    Impressed with the usual stars (Fitz, Campbell, Peterson, Buchanan, Palmer) Impressed with rising star (Johnson, Swearinger, Golden Nelson), Anticipating new stars next yearto include but not limited to (Gunter, Niklas, Moore, Humphreys, Bethel, Catman)

  26. By CardsNation on Jan 2, 2017 | Reply

    I hate the Rams so much…

    Two years ago we were forced to start Drew Stanton because Carson Palmer was injured when he played the Rams, then they injured Drew Stanton and we had to start Ryan Lindley. Then this year, Carson Palmer had a concussion because of the Rams and cost us a victory. Then the final game of the season, they injured David Johnson- MCL. Oh my gosh, the Rams are dirty.

  27. By Eric G on Jan 2, 2017 | Reply

    Andy Kw –

    Like I said in the second sentence, I’m no cap wiz and I have no idea if all of those signings can be done, hopeful that they can be, but I have no idea. I do no that has us with $40,025,430 in cap space. So there should be plenty of wiggle room to get a lot of my list done. Again, no idea if it can be done, just put together a dream wish list.

  28. By dobie on Jan 2, 2017 | Reply


  29. By Steve on Jan 2, 2017 | Reply

    .Darren: When will you be posting your annual post roster breakdown about who you think is staying or going? Appreciate your writing this season, thanks again!

  30. By Darren Urban on Jan 2, 2017 | Reply

    Steve —

    RE: Roster breakdown

    I am planning on posting that Tuesday.

  31. By Scott H on Jan 2, 2017 | Reply

    Well, as much as there is SOME feeling that this was just like beating up on the Jets or 49ers ( in other words, beating up on a bad team ), I gotta say – this was THE most enjoyable time I’ve had watching the Cardinals all year. It was a pleasure watching this defense – even while missing a LOT of key players – tee off on the Rams from start to finish. THAT was a lotta’ fun.

    The injury to DJ looked horrific at first. That replay was Joe Theisman-esque. But I am SOOOOO glad to hear it is not serious. Love this kid and am SO glad he is a Cardinal.

    Probably thinking about it too much ( already asked Darren about Fitz keeping the ball ) but I could not help feeling like the late TD to Fitz may have been forced. Forced, perhaps, because maybe they wanted to send Fitz off with a TD in his last game??? Think about it…..the game was so far out of reach, so it’s not like we needed it to put the game away. During any other meaningless game and under the same circumstances, wouldn’t a player like Larry Fitzgerald been taken out of the game by that point???

    Somebody please tell me that, yes, I AM thinking about it too much!

    But it was nice to just ENJOY a game in what has been an awful season.

    What an AMAZING catch by Nelson on that one play! In real time, I thought it was an in-complete pass. When I saw Palmer trying to get them to the line for the next play, I had no idea why. Then, I saw the replay. WOW!

    And a very solid performance by the Cat Man. He was too erratic this year to feel sold on him going forward, but I was happy for him yesterday. He’s had a rough year.

    Some nice runs for Williams, too.

    Man, what has happened to Andre Ellington?? Anyone remember him?

    Finally, to Bruce Arians, please get some rest and take care of yourself, bro. No more nights in the hospital. Be well. Your season as a fill-in for Chuck Pagano was a GREAT story. But we don’t want to see it here.

  32. By NJAzCardsFan on Jan 2, 2017 | Reply

    Darren- How many Cards players ended up on IR this season??

    It is me or did the Cards start playing better once Floyd was sent packing?

    Happy New Year to all the Cards Fans/Players!!!

  33. By Darren Urban on Jan 2, 2017 | Reply

    NJAz —

    RE: IR list

    All right here:

  34. By georgiebird on Jan 2, 2017 | Reply

    Bethel’s game against the Rams should be totally dismissed. Goff and the Rams’ offense borders on minor league.
    And the 49ers’ played a good game against the Seahawks. The 49ers lost the turnover battle 0-2 and came close to beating Seattle in a game that had playoff implications.
    So as I said with the Seattle game- don’t overweight this game as we go forward.
    And what I’m saying with the Rams’ game- nice effort but just dismiss it.
    The 2017 season will stand on its own two feet.

  35. By Scott H on Jan 3, 2017 | Reply

    I just have never gotten this love people have for DRC. He is an OK player, IMHO, nothing more, nothing less. He is never anywhere close to anyone’s list of top DB’s in the NFL. He has a big game occasionally. And when he does, the DRC fans come out of the woodwork to proclaim how great he is and lament that he isn’t a Cardinal anymore. But it seems to me, this only happens very occasionally because….well, because his big games only happen very occasionally.

    One thing I DO give DRC is that in recent years, he has seemed to become a more physical player, better at tackling. I have always liked him, I just never got why some people are so enamored with him.

  36. By Scott H on Jan 3, 2017 | Reply

    clssy –

    RE: Floyd

    Oh, please, let’s not go there. What does it REALLY say about the character of a player ( a pro athelete ) when it seems like all he needed was a change of scenery for incentive? It says he is the type of player who needs an excuse for how he failed in one place but now wants people to believe all he needed was a change in what was around him to come around and “find himself.”

    Please. That is such crap.

    Please tell me, WHAT was Floyd lacking here in Arizona that he suddenly “found” ( in two weeks ) with the Patriots??? Here, he had top notch coaching, a first rate organization, a very good veteran QB to get him the ball, an offense that is a perfect fit for his skill set, and THE best example of a WR in Larry Fitzgerald he could EVER hope to have as a team mate. Did I miss anything???

    Seriously, what was Michael Floyd lacking for here??? The answer is NOTHING. That man had EVERYTHING he needed around him here to succeed. Except ONE thing – the heart HE needed to make it happen.

    Look, I don’t mean to jump all over you, here. But let’s NOT give Floyd the excuse of needing a change of scenery to find incentive. Because if he couldn’t find that here…..the problem was HIM. NOT his environment.

    Maybe Floyd will get himself together up there, maybe he won’t. But simply being a member of the Patriots isn’t going to magically “cure” Michael Floyd. He clearly has some serious problems and if HE doesn’t deal with them properly, then this will continue to be a case of wherever you are, there you go.

    But after the disappearing act that Floyd pulled this year – a year during which a strong performance from him may have changed the fortunes of this team – I find myself being seriously offended by any suggestion that he just needed to be in a better place to find some incentive.

    And let’s not give him too much credit for his block on the Edleman TD. Yeah, it was a damn nice block. But it was also Week 17 of the 2016 season. OK. Don’t ya think it was about time he showed up??

  37. By clssylssy on Jan 3, 2017 | Reply

    You are not alone in your thoughts about Fitz’s return. I too, seem to find “messages” in just about everything I read online, and have come to the point where I’m about done with football for the, who am I kidding? Following the Rams game I was hanging on every word, reading body language, etc. before I had the epiphany that sometimes a person gets burned out long before he looses his abilities to perform and being happy in life is really what it’s all about. Fitz has the world at his feet and has given so much to this organization, he deserves to be free to pursue other interests and different avenues that will offer a renewed energy for life. This season, as well as so many others, have been a drain on fans but even more on guys like Fitz; if we were disappointed, imagine how it felt for Fitz? The Cards without Fitz is like the Chiefs without Tony Gonzalez or the Packers without Favre to the hundred power! Again, I’m hoping for the best but expecting the worse. I don’t get the impression from what BA has said about involving himself in trying to get him to play another year, that Fitz has the vote of confidence from the Organization he deserves, and I find that the real tragedy in all of this, if that is the case. He has been a hero for this organization, and they will be the ultimate losers in so many ways. Somehow, that token TD (yes, that’s what it seemed like to many including sports casters) seems like so little for a guy who’s given so much. I just feel very grateful for having been a part of his NFL ride.

  38. By Kevin S Mesa on Jan 3, 2017 | Reply

    Clssylssy —

    Fitz doesn’t need a “vote of confidence.” The team knows that, Fitz knows it. As it is, the team gave him a salary ($11M for this year and next, if he plays) that most analysts (not just fans who want the team to keep Fitz at any cost) thought was more than he was worth. Now, I’m not ever going to use the words “Fitz” and “overpaid” in the same sentence, but the team has been very good to Larry throughout his career.

    The team wants him back for 2017, no doubt, especially with Palmer returning, Floyd gone, John Brown having the sickle cell trait, Jaron Brown being a question mark as he’s coming back from injury, and JJ Nelson being about as thin as a Ritz cracker. He’s going to be well paid if he comes back. It’s just a question of whether he wants to or not.

  39. By Kevin S Mesa on Jan 3, 2017 | Reply

    As far as the rest of the season goes, the most frustrating thing to me is that, as I expected, 9-6-1 would’ve been enough to make the playoffs. At the beginning of the year, when Philly started out hot (3-0) and at one point fairly far along into the season, all 4 NFC East teams were above .500, and Minnesota started off even hotter (5-0), people were worried that even 10-6 might not snag the final WC spot in the NFC. But, as almost always happens, teams regress to the mean… Minnesota finished .500, Philly below, and Detroit — a team that lost its last 3 games — backed into the final WC spot at 9-7.

    So we’re back to the fact that if Cat had hit two FG’s (vs. the Pats and Seahawks), we’re 9-7 instead of 7-8-1. Not sure if we’d have beaten out Detroit and Tampa in a 3-way tiebreaker because the conference records all would’ve been 7-5 and I’m too lazy to figure out the next tiebreakers. But still… 9-7 was good enough for the playoffs, and we’re not in the picture. Such a downer.

  40. By clssylssy on Jan 3, 2017 | Reply

    RE: Floyd
    Gee, it seems you know so much more about Michael Floyd’s situation than everyone else, including Larry Fitzgerald and Carson Palmer that you are in the position to hand out judgements. Must be rough being without flaws.
    Of course, I’m not suggesting that ALL Floyd needed was a change of scenery, but I do know people get burned out in their jobs and often don’t feel fulfilled in their employment situation–not the fault of the employer entirely, but in this day and age employers are more concerned with their profit/loss than employee job satisfaction. Many Fortune 500 Companies do however have EAP (Employee Assistant Programs) and recognize that job satisfaction and commitment really does impact performance in a positive way. The NFL is NOT in that category. As for what else Floyd could get from the Cards, who knows? It does seem that he wasn’t the only person whose productivity fell off this year or who lacked incentive and I have to wonder if the disappointing season we had and the lack of motivation early on from some very good players had to do more with some internal issues within the organization…who knows?
    I guess it’s always convenient to have someone to blame, and if it helps you justify your angry feelings, to blame Michael Floyd for our season, I guess he’s the designated scapegoat. But, “change the fortunes of the team”…PLEASE…that could be said for others too and our management; it’s a team sport. Interestingly enough, Fitz hasn’t kicked Floyd to the curb and, if anyone should feel anger and betrayal, it should be his teammates who understand the business a little better than the fans, and who were working for a ring.
    And, that block was awesome! It was Fitzgerald/Sherman all the way, lol! You’ll never convince me he didn’t learn that from our #1, and it made me proud!
    Hope you manage to get over being so seriously offended by something that should no longer be a concern and have a Happy 2017.

  41. By Scott H on Jan 3, 2017 | Reply

    clssy –

    Not sure what you are talking about at several points in your reply. Regarding what I “know” about Floyd’s situation……well, did you see the video of of him being arrested? Well, if ya did, it would seem obvious you are looking at a guy who has some problems. If that was not clear, I don’t know what to tell ya.

    Regarding the factors that I believe Floyd had HERE in Arizona for all the time he was here ( coaching, organization, QB, Fitz as a model to learn from )….OK, what part of that are you disagreeing with? And, do tell – what did Floyd find in NE that he didn’t have here? YOU seem quite sure of this, so please enlighten us.

    Regarding my saying that perhaps if we’d gotten the season from Floyd that many of us were expecting, perhaps our season may have gone better…..again, do disagree with that? I NEVER blamed anything on Floyd. I DID point out that he pretty much disappeared this year and expressed that I believe that was a ( = ONE ) factor in our season going wrong. Just as Palmer not playing well in many games was a factor. Just as our poor ST’s play was a factor. Just as injuries along the O-line was a factor. Just as Honey Badger never being all there at any point this year was a factor. My previous posts are permeated with commentary related to ALL these other factors.

    Again, I NEVER blamed Floyd for being the singular cause for how our season went.

    I just will not agree with ANY suggestion that what / all Floyd needed was a change of scenery. That was offensive to me as a Cardinals fan, so I said so.

    We’ll see how things go for Floyd going forward.

  42. By Scott H on Jan 3, 2017 | Reply

    clssy –

    RE: Floyd topic

    Two more thoughts from my end….first, among the many things that Floyd had right here with the Cardinals that he shouldn’t have needed to go elsewhere to find, he also had a great stadium – with one of the best playing surfaces in the NFL – that was filled to capacity for every home game. But you seem to feel he needed a change of scenery. And you wonder why that offends me? Really? Sorry, I didn’t realize the Cardinals organization was such a horrible place to be.

    Second, remember Cris Carter? HOF WR? Released by the Eagles, then went on to great things with the Vikings? OK. So, do you think what happened for him was a simple change of scenery, or do you think there must have been more to that? Well, there was. And it has nothing to do with my knowing so much more about it than anyone else. Cris Carter had a pretty serious substance abuse problem. It wasn’t public knowledge at that time but the Eagles knew it. They knew he needed help. And they knew they needed to part ways. Cris Carter then got HIMSELF together, and he resumed a career that was both long and distinguished. Simply going to another team, another city, wearing another uniform wasn’t what made things right in his life again. It was the work HE did in the areas of his life where HE had problems. And Carter himself has acknowledged ALL of this. It’s not what I think or what I know. It’s all fact, and one of THE best stories any NFL player can tell.

    So, let’s dispense with the belief in the magical healing powers of a change of scenery. And let’s recognize that most situations – especially where substance abuse is involved – require a lot more than that.

    And let’s ( hopefully ) agree that we hope Michael Floyd will get himself together, regardless of what team he is playing for.

  43. By clssylssy on Jan 3, 2017 | Reply

    Sorry that I have offended you and I do think you are over reacting just a bit. The reality of the situation is that this is all mute, in the past, and what Mike Floyd does doesn’t really have anything to do with the Cardinals any longer.
    Perhaps Mike feels more valued in his new setting, I don’t know. Certainly, he had wonderful teammates and friends here, but sometimes a person needs external validation from outside sources other than friends and loved ones they see everyday…people often have midlife or career crises. To have Tom Brady compliment you to national news, saying, “To come in two weeks after being in the same system for four years, like (Floyd) was, and then come in and play basically the whole game and make play after play…I think it just gives everyone confidence that he can establish a role for himself and that we can rely and count on him when it matters” (Marc Sessler Article on Bleacher Reports) is quite a compliment that would help soothe anyone’s self doubts, at least for the short term?
    I do agree with your hope that Floyd will get whatever help and support he needs to have a healthy life and successful career.
    Be well and hopefully, the Cards will have a better 2017. I do always enjoy your posts!

  44. By Scott H on Jan 4, 2017 | Reply

    clssy –

    And please don’t ever think I do not enjoy / appreciate your posts as well. I’ve always seen you as a passionate fan and have ALWAYS appreciated your willingness to express criticisms.

    Yes, I wish the best for Michael Floyd going forward, both in football and in life.

  45. By clssylssy on Jan 4, 2017 | Reply

    Eleven million/year sounds like a King’s ransom to most of us, but, in comparison to some other players, is rather mediocre…Kurt Cousins got about $20 mil on the franchise tag, and he’s not even that great a QB. Of course, I realize that pay scale is in part dictated by position however, if you consider all the other roles Fitz has filled for this franchise, and as the single constant leader in the locker room for thirteen years, the face of the franchise who has brought us respect throughout the league, I would say eleven million seems minimal. Plus, he’s a national treasure; how do you put a price on a national treasure without looking cheap?
    IMO, Fitz is the epitome of what every team wants their players to be, what every mother wants her child to be like when playing sports, and I feel very honored that he has chosen to stay with the Cardinals, quite possibly over attaining his dream of a SB ring.
    With players like Fitz after reaching a certain level, it’s not about the money (although that is a nice consolation prize when things don’t work out as hoped).

  46. By Scott H on Jan 4, 2017 | Reply

    Kevin –

    I agree with what you say about Fitz and how he has been taken care of, quite well, by the Cards organization. And I’m sure Fitz himself has no complaints.

    The organization has maintained that Fitz will be a Cardinal for his career and it looks like they are standing behind that to the end ( which I hope was not the 2016 season! ). In a age of pro sports where players seldom ever play for ONE team for an entire career, the Cardinals are making it happen. Or, at least, it looks like they are.

    They gave him an extension for 2017, seemingly assuring that of he plays at all, it will be here. And I believe they absolutely want him to. How much more of a “vote of confidence” could they provide??? At the same time they extended him, they extended the QB that keeps us in contention to be a SB contender. They have potentially put their future on hold by extending Palmer instead of drafting their QB of the future – all in the interest of trying to win NOW. Really, what more could they do???

    I may find fault with the Cardinals organization for some things along the way, but NOT for how they have taken care of Larry Fitzgerald over the course of his career. They have done what they needed to do, every step of the way, and that is no small thing. They have spared us the horror of ever having to see Fitz wear another uniform and for that, I am eternally grateful.

    Hate to sound corny, but Fitz and the Cardinals have been a match pretty much made in heaven. He is a too-good-to-be-true player whose desire to win a SB seems to have the limits of ONLY if he could win it with the Cardinals. He appears resigned to winning one here or not winning one at all. And as stated, the Cardinals have made keeping him here a priority AND they’ve stood behind it. Easy for teams to say that is what they want. It almost NEVER happens. But it happened HERE for this once-in-a-lifetime-player. And for all of us fans who were blessed to be along for this ride.

    I’m not ready for the ride to be over, but…..if it is to be, then I’m damn glad for the ride that was.

    It would just be SUCH a shame for his career to end on a losing season that fell SOOOOO far short of where its potential appeared to be. THAT would be hard to swallow.

    Give us one more year. Larry. There is still enough ink in the pen to write a happy ending to this story.

  47. By sggrange on Jan 5, 2017 | Reply

    Odd year.

    Thank you for the great work as ever to Darren and the team for the videos, pictures and excellent articles all produced in short order.

    I think we get spoiled by your work and thank you for THAT!

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