Where there’s Smoke, there’s defiance

Posted by Darren Urban on January 27, 2017 – 12:09 pm

It was not a great season for John “Smokey” Brown.

He got a concussion in training camp, basically wiping out his preseason. He never quite looked like himself once the season started, but it wasn’t about the concussion but issues related to his having the sickle cell trait, which caused leg problems and robbed him of his quickness and speed. He ended up having his worst year as a pro (39 catches, 517 yards, two scores) as coach Bruce Arians said going into the offseason Brown and the team would continue to look for ways to manage Brown’s status and get him back to where he was in 2015 when he was a 1,000-yard receiver.

Clearly, Smoke feels he can get back there. He posted on Instagram “They counted me out after 1 down season,” which certainly is a message of irritation if not anger. These are the kinds of things a player says and does when he is motivated to prove others wrong. The Cardinals need Brown. They needed him this past season, but they definitely need him next year, with no Michael Floyd (and, at this point, with Larry Fitzgerald’s status TBD.) It certainly sounds like he feels like he can maneuver his way through his sickle cell issues and be the player he has already proven he can be on an NFL level. Which would be great for everyone involved.


Posted in Blog | 25 Comments »

25 Responses to “Where there’s Smoke, there’s defiance”

  1. By Tommy on Jan 27, 2017 | Reply

    Why don’t interview him in person and use an instaChat post as the source for speculation

  2. By Joe on Jan 27, 2017 | Reply

    Ty Montgomery of the Packers also has sickle cell trait. He had an excellent season,maybe the Cards can get advice from Packers staff? just an idea

  3. By Darren Urban on Jan 27, 2017 | Reply

    Joe —

    RE: Sickle cell

    I know Brown is not the only player to have to deal with it.

  4. By steve on Jan 27, 2017 | Reply

    .Just read about the disease and learned that it is somewhat benign in regular individuals but that it in athletes sickle cell deprives their blood of oxygen and slows down their performance as a result. It can also be fatal to athletes during extreme workouts,

  5. By clssylssy on Jan 28, 2017 | Reply

    After all the uproar over Special Teams, and BA’s steadfast position that there would be no coaching changes, I was rather shocked and dismayed by the news that the Cardinals were not renewing Stump Mitchell’s contract, yet were not making other changes. Our running backs have flourished under Mitchell and for the first time in forever, we’ve actually had an impressive ground game. I think this will be a huge loss for the players, as well as the fans, and is another major loss for a team that appears as if it could be dissolving before our eyes.
    Thank you Stump Mitchell, you will be missed!

  6. By shannon robinson on Jan 28, 2017 | Reply

    I’ll always check to determination – and you can see it. Good for you Smoke, and a tip of the Cards’ Wing to those trainers and doctors that are designing with you the Comeback.

  7. By mitchaz on Jan 28, 2017 | Reply


    Where did you learn that the Cardinals were not renewing Stump Mitchell’s contract?

  8. By mitchaz on Jan 28, 2017 | Reply


    Mike Jurecki tweeted that he’s hearing it was Stump’s decision to leave and MJ speculated it’s because Todd Bowles wants him in NY.

  9. By steve on Jan 28, 2017 | Reply

    Darren: Arians mentioned before the season ended that all his coaches would be back, why did he decide to not keep Stump Mitchell around? Mitchells agent said Stump wanted to stay with the Cards.

  10. By Darren Urban on Jan 28, 2017 | Reply

    Steve —

    RE: Mitchell

    I do not know for sure. I was under the impression it was Mitchell’s call. I had not heard that about Mitchell’s agent. Where did you see that?

  11. By dan on Jan 28, 2017 | Reply

    With this high altitude in Arizona its gonna be tough on him……yeah right.

  12. By dan on Jan 28, 2017 | Reply

    Maybe we should trade him to a sea level team and blow Smoke. Have them take the bait…….trade him. Everybody wins.

  13. By dan on Jan 28, 2017 | Reply

    Bad move by Stump, Bowles will be fired next season for sure.

  14. By steve on Jan 28, 2017 | Reply

    Darren: I read the post by Josh Weinfuss over on ESPN, on the Cards team page.

  15. By Patrick on Jan 28, 2017 | Reply

    Regarding Yuma in cardinals territory. This is what fox sports Arizona said.

    We will have to look into that and let you know what we find out. This all falls under the NFL’s Territory guidelines that the league creates.

  16. By clssylssy on Jan 28, 2017 | Reply

    Josh Weinfuss (Bleacher Reports) 23 hrs …Twitter
    “The Cardinals and former running backs coach Stump Mitchell parted ways because Arizona decided not to renew Mitchell’s contract…”
    (I have an app on my phone that sends me an alert when something of interest happens) This came after it was announced that Byron Leftwich is taking over as QB coach.

  17. By Don on Jan 28, 2017 | Reply

    My understanding is Brown and trainers have been talking to many people,athletes with the trait and Dr’s for ways to deal with it. Seemed like there was a small improvement at end of season, my hope is he can have it under control this season and be as good as before. We need him. I was surprised to hear about Stump and wondering why Amos is still here. I don’t care what BA says when you have good players yet the whole unit under-preforms that is on the coach. If coaching players to preform at their best isn’t a coaches job then what is?

  18. By mitchaz on Jan 29, 2017 | Reply


    Could you start a Senior Bowl thread?

    Would love to hear your thoughts and everyone’s thoughts about the prospects.

    Daniel Jeremiah of NFL Network said today on twitter that he thinks QB Davis Webb (Cal) is a good fit in Arizona. Would love to hear what people think about that and players like TE O.J. Howard, LB Haasan Reddick, WR Zay Jones, etc.

  19. By Darren Urban on Jan 29, 2017 | Reply

    Mitchaz —

    RE: Senior Bowl

    To be honest, other than what you guys have written here, and looking at some Twitter stuff, I haven’t given any attention to the Senior Bowl. I usually don’t start getting into draft names until we get closer to the combine.

  20. By Big Ken on Jan 29, 2017 | Reply

    RE: Stump I’ve been reading that Coach Bowles is looking for a OC. Maybe Stumps the man.

  21. By Darren Urban on Jan 29, 2017 | Reply

    Big Ken —

    RE: Stump

    It wouldn’t shock me if Stump ended up on Bowles’ staff.

  22. By JTDG on Jan 30, 2017 | Reply


    I put this on the next blog but then I saw your Senior Bowl thread comment.
    Here is my two cents;

    Watched the Senior bowl 2 years ago and watched a small school RB from Northern Iowa tear it up. I thought he looked like a high 2nd rounder, maybe even a 1st rounder, but then the so-called experts gave all the reasons he should not be picked that high. David Johnson was drafted mid way in the 3rd round.

    This weekend, I watched the 2017 version of David Johnson. From little Eastern Carolina, comes Zay Jones. This guy is a very good receiver. Over the next month or two, people are going to pick him apart, but for my money, this guy is a late 1st rounder or early 2nd rounder.

    Zay Jones was the best player at the Senior Bowl.

    Other guys I noticed that would be fits for the cardinals;
    RB Kareem Hunt
    Guards/Center – Dion Dawkins, Dan Feeney, and Tyler Orlosky
    ILB’s – Haasen Riddick and Alex Anzalone
    Kicker – Zane Gonzales
    DE/DT – Montravious Adams
    Punt returner/RB/ Slot receiver/ Kick off – Donnel Pumphrey
    DE – Carlos Watkins (liked him before this week, and he was a standout in practice but didn’t play much)
    TE – OJ Howard
    WR Josh Reynolds

    -I really like Donnel Pumphriey as a late round pick. I think he could be the answer to our punt and kick offs. He could be that “scat back’ at times also.

    – Alex Anzalone could be a nice special teams guy and push Bucannon and maybe take over in 2018 at ILB.

    – Riddick is a bit of a project moving from DE but he is athletic and tough. He could be a force taking over from Minter. There are several LBs in this draft I like better though.

    – I would take all three of the OL I mentioned above. I also like the two DL.

    – OJ Howard would be a nice pick up but he is a first rounder .

  23. By clssylssy on Feb 1, 2017 | Reply

    Looks like Big Ken called it and Stump is Coach Bowles new running back coach.
    Again, our loss is somebody else’s gain (sigh)…

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