D-Line wants to earn the shake and the apple pie

Posted by Darren Urban on May 25, 2017 – 3:49 pm

Brentson Buckner is a guru of the defensive line, and the way he phrases things to get across his point is gold for a writer. Buckner was known as a great quote as a player, and it hasn’t changed. Talking to him about Robert Nkemdiche, the Cardinals’ defensive line coach provided his philosophy about teaching young players. Fortunately, it was after lunch, because otherwise, it would have left me hungry.

“I’m not going to chew their food up and then give it to them,” Buckner said. “I’m going to teach you how to chew it yourself, because when you chew it yourself, you’ll be more satisfied.

“Now, I’m not going to give you a whole bunch to eat. I might start you with the little person’s plate. The older guys, they get the big daddy plate. But the little guys, they start with the Happy Meal. Then I’ll move you up to the quarter pounder with cheese, and before you know it, you can get the nuggets, the Big Mac, the shake and the apple pie. Because guess what, you can chew it and swallow it yourself and it won’t overwhelm you. Know what I’m saying?”

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46 Responses to “D-Line wants to earn the shake and the apple pie”

  1. By JTDG on May 25, 2017 | Reply

    OK Darren,

    We know about the guy from Montana body slamming a reporter. This really isn’t about that (no need for anyone to talk politics).

    But it made me think of Ryan Leaf going nuts on the reporter in the locker room. I’ve seen coaches flip desk and of course, my favorite, ” come after me, I’m a man, I’m 40.”

    This leads to this question, have you ever (or Kent for that matter) ever asked a question, where you thought the player was going to lose it ?

    Anderson was pretty mad but was up on a stage. But wouldn’t it have been a lot more tense if he was in the locker room and Kent asked that?

    Just curious.

  2. By Darren Urban on May 25, 2017 | Reply

    JTDG —

    RE: Anderson/blow up

    I’ve never really had a player close to losing it. I’ve had a coach angry at me before, but never to the point where it was anything more than yelling.

    Not sure if the Anderson thing would have been a lot different. Maybe if it was one-on-one. But one of the reasons I thought Derek got so mad was because he was being called out in front of everyone. If the question happens in the locker room one on one, maybe the pressure isn’t as much. He probably still gets mad but maybe not as loud.

  3. By andystandsup on May 25, 2017 | Reply

    Thought Somers broke his glasses one year after a player pushed him. Maybe Super Bowl season..???

  4. By Darren Urban on May 25, 2017 | Reply

    Andystands —

    RE: Glasses

    I don’t recall that one.

  5. By Scott H on May 25, 2017 | Reply

    Damn….I would like this picture more if the big man, Calais Campbell, were still in it. But….those days are over. For better or worse, we’re going to find out soon what life without him is like.

    Onward. I just read the piece on Nkemdiche, and ….OK. It says all the right things. It sounds like he’s worked hard to shake off the disappointment of last year. And it sounds like he took it upon himself to do that. I like it. But it’s too easy to say all the right things at this point, when real games and real game pressure aren’t there yet. So….we will know when that time comes.

    Man, it’s hard to see that #90 and not think of Double D, isn’t it?? But as I’m saying that Campbell is the guy we are really going to miss this year, it is actually Double D who I hope this Nkemdiche kid will more resemble. Hey, he’s wearing the number. so….why not?

    A significant contribution is needed from this kid this year if this defense is going to be what we need it to be.

  6. By JTDG on May 25, 2017 | Reply

    I never watched the “All or Nothing” show until they started showing it on NFL network.

    I am now through 4 shows I believe. It is a very interesting show and an inside look to things fans have no idea of. Here are a few things I have picked up on in the first 4 shows.

    1. Mike Iupati has some really cute kids. and one of my favorite lines was when the cards ran on a 3rd and short to the right side and got stuffed and Mike’s wife in the stands says’ ” They should have ran behind Mike.”

    2. Playing QB in the NFL is really tough. Some of the ints Palmer would throw, BA would say what were you thinking, and Palmer would have a blank look, almost like, I don’t know. The best one was on a screen play, BA tells Palmer on the time out, if it is not there throw it over everyone. Palmer goes out and throws it right to a defensive lineman. BA is going crazy on the side line saying I just told him not to do it.

    3. Palmer is the perfect leader. While coaching, I always told my team leaders, I will chew out a player, your job is to pick them back up. Several times you see BA ripping into the offense and then Palmer picking the players back up. Love it.

    4. Ted Larsen was very close to being cut. Lucky the call went against the Bengals or Larsen would have been cut after the game. BA doesn’t mess around.

    5. Larry is not a leader. He just isn’t. Great player? Of course. One of my favorites of all time and I think he is the GOAT of WRs over Rice. But leader?

    6. Peterson doesn’t seem to be the cheerleader type, but when he says something , the team listens. It was impressive when he called the defense in on a day off by just saying, Defense will be here at 11 tomorrow after BA gave everyone a day off.
    He also subtly got on Campbell when he was going over film and pointed out the defensive line and felt they weren’t listening. I didn’t know he carried that much juice.

    7. Michael Bidwill may not make decisions daily about the team, but he is involved watching and asking about the thoughts behind certain moves. Got to believe Michael has a good grip on what is going on with the team.

    8. Coach Buckner could care less who you are and how many pro bowls you have or how much money you make. His coaching style is simple; perform or get the heck out. There are no secrets with him. If you are a no nonsense hard working player, you would love playing for him. Since this show is about 2015, I can’t imagine what Buckner has said about Nkemdichi, but I would think if Nkemdichi doesn’t get going in 2017, Buckner might pack him bags for him.

    I am enjoying the show.

  7. By michael on May 25, 2017 | Reply

    I thought Somers’ question was pretty unfair. He had no context, just a shot captured on TV. He could have asked what made him laugh but instead asked him if he thought it was appropriate to laugh at that time. My guess was that Lutui recognized his QB was down and was trying to cheer him up, as any good teammate would do. Just my guess, I wasn’t there. And neither was Kent Somers. He could have tried to get more context on the matter by asking Anderson about it, but instead, he framed it how he wanted to to illicit a response. That’s a shame.

  8. By Darren Urban on May 25, 2017 | Reply

    Michael —

    RE: Anderson

    Kent wasn’t there. So he asked the questions — questions, by the way, that were partially sparked by all the fans alerting Kent (and me, by the way) on Twitter saying how angry they were Anderson was laughing in that situation.

    Also, the main reason Kent continued the questions was because Anderson said he wasn’t laughing. And that simply wasn’t true.

    I’m not sure why you say Kent doesn’t try and get context — that’s exactly what he tried to do. Listen again:

  9. By joe holst on May 26, 2017 | Reply

    How many sacks did this group collectively have last year? 5 maybe? Scary, I wanted Malik Mcdowell or Jonathon Allen from Alabama was avail at #13 when they were on the clock. They will need at least 20 sacks from these guys to make the playoffs.

  10. By clssylssy on May 26, 2017 | Reply

    Sir, I gave you more credit than to judge our players on the basis of a movie. I love reading your very knowledgeable and insightful posts but, did you every stop to think that “ALL OR NOTHING” was a carefully edited microcosm of the life of a football team and not the whole story? Some people have different styles of leaadership and lead by example rather than being loud and showy; the cerebral academic vs the cheerleader type. A team really needs both or else you having people running into one another competing for the spotlight which is counterproductive.
    I binge watched ALL OR NOTHING the first time and found it wonderfully entertaining. I also inderstood that it was a giant advertising tool for the organization and was editied to give a certain spin and highlight the new faces of the franchise. It was a fun, nice beginning but beyond that, was actually like an incomplete essay in which you got the “ALL” but didn’t finish the ending, e.g., “OR NOTHING”.
    It should be interesting to see how the Rams get portrayed. It’s hard for me to imagine that there will be much to work with as they lack our cast of colorful characters and there’s only so much that can be done to dress up Greg Williams and Jeff Fisher.

  11. By Darren Urban on May 26, 2017 | Reply

    Clssy —

    RE: Edited

    Wait — are you implying the show was edited to make Fitz look less like a leader, or lesser than “the new faces?”

    Please tell me that’s not what you are saying.

  12. By Scott H on May 26, 2017 | Reply

    JTDG –

    Great stuff, man. I have yet to see this program ( gotta be honest, I’ve been staying away from NFL Network because I find so much of their programming simply un-watchable ) but your observations are making me feel like I really need to. I really enjoyed those.

    I have never believed that Fitz was really a leader. And that has been OK with me. He doesn’t have to be a leader to be the great player / teammate / employee of the Cardinals organization that he has been all along. Leaders have to emerge based on internal qualities that they just have for whatever reason. Some guys have it, some don’t. That is OK.

    But while Fitz may not provide outward leadership ( if that makes sense ), I believe he is DEFINITELY a player you could learn a lot from just by watching him. In that regard, as a passive leader, he could be a tremendous presence for the other guys. His sense of how to carry himself – in all situations – is absolutely exemplary. You couldn’t ask for better.

    BTW, I agree with you in that in terms of WR’s and the discussion of GOAT, I see no reason why Fitz isn’t RIGHT THERE in that conversation with Rice or anyone else. By Jerry will always be the choice of the masses because he played for a glamour team that was always on, always playing in primetime, and they won multiple SB’s. Without at least ONE SB win on his resume, I think the masses will continue to overlook Fitz and his true greatness. And I think that is a shame.

    Also, look at the QB’s Fitz has played with vs Rice getting the benefit of having Joe Montana and Steve Young for most of his career. Please. That alone puts Fitz FIRMLY in the conversation. Fitz maintained his greatness and productivity as truly bad QB’s came and went. There is no guarantee that Rice is able to do that to the extent that Larry Fitzgerald did.

    I hope to see you at Canton on the day of Fitz’ induction. I know I’ll be there.

  13. By clssylssy on May 26, 2017 | Reply

    No, what I believe I said was that leadership comes in all forms and certainly most fans know that Fitz is not a media diva. Obviously, the organization wanted to highlight some of the other future “faces” (a logical marketing strategy as we all know Larry’s days are numbered) and give them their props.
    So, that”s NOT what I was saying.

  14. By Darren Urban on May 26, 2017 | Reply

    Clssy —

    RE: More editing

    OK. Just FYI, it was NFL Films that edited the series, not the team. Their call on the storylines. And if you think they didn’t want more Larry in it (or that the team was against that), you are mistaken.

  15. By JTDG on May 26, 2017 | Reply


    You are not going to find a bigger Larry Fitzgerald fan than me. I think his play speaks for itself. Larry should get his name in the ROH the day he retires. He has meant so much to the team and the fans.

    I have always seen Larry as hard working , harder than anyone, but a fun loving guy too. If you ask him something, I am sure he will help you the best he can. If you followed his example, and did what he did, then, yes, he is leading that guy. But that isn’t a team leader.

    A leader holds players accountable to be ready to play. A leader picks you up when you are down and pushes you to get the best from you. Leaders do not have to be the best player. A leader takes the heat for others and takes on the media so a player who made a mistake doesn’t have to. And yes, a leader isn’t always a cheerleader. I don’t see Pat P or Palmer as cheerleaders.

    I see those traits in Palmer. I saw them in Cory Redding (who I forgot to mention). I love Brentson Buckner and he has those traits.

    Pat P could say every year, I did my job. the other DBs blew it and he would be correct. But he always is saying we need to improve. We need to cover better. Then he pushes his guys in many ways to get better.

    Larry is awesome. I just do not see him grabbing Brown or the new kid Williams and jumping on them for running the wrong route and causing Palmer to throw an Int. Palmer will. BA will.

    Tell me if I am reading this wrong since you have an insiders view.

  16. By Darren Urban on May 26, 2017 | Reply

    JTDG —

    RE: Analysis

    This is fair.

  17. By clssylssy on May 26, 2017 | Reply

    Re: Robert Nkemdiche & the D-line
    I recently read an article quoting Cory Peters as saying it would take the entire D-line to make up for the loss of Calais Campbell. Their combined stats didn’t even equal those of Calais last season. So, I hope fans aren’t expecting Robert to come out and be Aaron Donald (which would be amazing but a little unrealistic) or the 6″8″ Campbell. We have some good talent on defense but may be a little iffy without Buc healthy and the new guys still inexperienced and trying to master the learning curve. From the sounds of your article, it sounds like this group will be a work iin progress and I can only hope they are fast learners. I think RN got a bad rap last season from Ariansand this is going to be uphill sledding just to overcome the stigma.

  18. By michael on May 26, 2017 | Reply

    Darren, thanks for the video refresher. I remembered it differently, but glad to have seen this link and your ote. You’re absolutely right. DA sure could have handled that better. a simple “that was just Deuce try to cheer me up and be supportive”


  19. By lacardinalsfan on May 26, 2017 | Reply

    What a great Friday discussion,loving this thread comments. Urban you are ready to respond today!!!

    Man I remember being PISSED seeing Anderson laughing, I was one of the fans “alerting” you and Kent about how mad I was. The line of questioning was reasonable and quite frankly timid compared to what I would have said. Guess that’s why I will never be able to do your job Urban. lol

    Now back to the actual thread topic. Love this line from Buckner, may use it with my kids:

    “I told him, ‘Robert, you don’t have to be anything but the best Robert Nkemdiche you can be, and I’m cool with that,’ ” Buckner said. “If you give me 100 percent of Robert Nkemdiche – not what people expect you to be – give me what you can give me, your honest 100 percent, I’m going to be cool.”

  20. By clssylssy on May 26, 2017 | Reply

    JTDG, Scott, Darren…
    I respectfully disagree with you, and consider Larry an important leader based upon the Gold “C” on his jersey (voted upon by his fellow players) as well as things other players have said about how he has helped and influenced them, be it schooling them on the importance of diet and taking care of themselves (John Brown), helping them with routes, etc., the more cerebral and teaching side of leadership. Carson (the other “C”) of the offense is more the visable cheerleader. FWIW, Patrick comes across to many as a diva and IMO, isn’t near the leader that Dwight Freeney or Cory Redding were–they were sort of quiet statesmen like Fitz. One of the major criticisms of the defense last season was a lack of leadership, I guess b/c of the loss of Freeney and Redding. Nonetheless, just as “it takes a village”, I believe it’s important to have leadership at all levels and of varying types. We need our Larry Fitzgeralds, our Chris Johnsons, Calais Campbells,Dwight Freeneys, Cory Reddings,Pat P’s, etc I honestly have never heard Fitz, when asked about the team, answer except to say “we” …”we” need to work better as a team, “we” didn’t bring our best effort, etc, he has never deskilled or called out another player in public, which is how good teachers and leaders lead.
    And, I don’t for a second doubt that you are big Larry Fitzgerald fans–you obviously are real football connoisseurs.
    We, as fans, don’t know for sure anymore than what we perceive so I usually go with what the players have to say.

  21. By JTDG on May 26, 2017 | Reply

    Scott H,

    For all those reasons you mentioned is why I place Larry over Jerry Rice.

  22. By JTDG on May 26, 2017 | Reply


    Your right , fans miss all the behind the scenes stuff.
    Reporters have a better insight, which is why I asked Darren if I was perceiving things correctly..

    Look, if you are playing with a HOF player, you would be an idiot not to adapt his training, or diet habits . I never said he wasn’t influential . I said he influences players one on one and makes a difference.
    If you think he is a great leader, hey, that is your opinion.
    I just do not see him as a team leader.

  23. By Richard S on May 26, 2017 | Reply

    Sonny Randle the Cardinals best 19th round draft pick ever died today at age 81. I do remember that name when the Cardinals moved to St. Louis.

  24. By Hammy on May 26, 2017 | Reply


    Larry not a leader??? You are definitely entitled to your opinion but that doesnt make it valid. Larry is a great player of course and how do you know he is not a leader? Watching “All or Nothing” on NFL Network? A leader is defined as: the person who leads or commands a group, organization, or country. Larry Fitzgerald leads by his play on the field and by his excellent work off it. Walter Payton Man of the Year award winner! That sounds like a leader. Multiple thousand yard receiving numbers. Sounds like a leader. A player who respects his teammates, never criticizes but encourages his team sounds very much like a leader. You dont have to be the loudest voice in the building to be a leader.

    Larry Legend a leader on and off the football field.

  25. By Scott H on May 26, 2017 | Reply

    clssy –

    You’re saying that you disagree with me / us, but….what exactly are you disagreeing with??? I believe that Larry is more of a quiet leader who leads by the example he sets, across the board. I said that I believe Larry IS a trememdous influence / example / inspiration / to anyone around him who cares to ( wisely ) tune in to what he has to offer.

    Again, what are you disagreeing with? Did you read my post??

    What I DO NOT believe that Larry is is the type of assertive, out-spoken leader who calls team meetings and calls people out when they aren’t holding up their end, etc. He’s not that guy. I think we would all agree on that.

  26. By mal on May 26, 2017 | Reply

    Some of the greatest team leaders are those who lead by example.

    Those who keep their head down and mouth shut, and grind it every play of every day for an entire career.

    When Larry makes huge play after huge play near the end of a game and does one of his primal screams, he pumps up the whole team. He leads. They follow.

    How can the face of the franchise not be a team leader, just simply by how they got to where they are?

    Tell BA or Carson that Fitz is not a leader, see what they say.

  27. By JohnnyBluenose on May 26, 2017 | Reply

    JTDG….I may be mistaken, Darren would know, but I do not think Larry was chosen to be one of our captains last year or perhaps for a couple of years. Maybe this lends credence to your stating that Larry lacks leadership qualities. Or maybe he just did not want to be a captain and let his teammates know. Regardless, I tend to agree with you although no one can deny that Larry is always there to congratulate someone for making a big play or scoring a touchdown. I always thought Boldin was a better leader than Larry. On an unrelated topic, I doubt that neither you nor many of our readers watched last night as the Ottawa Senators lost game seven in double overtime to the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Stanley Cup play-offs. It has been a long time since I have seen a team play as hard as Ottawa did in that series. If our Cardinals had played with half the grit, determination. spirit and togetherness last year as the Senators did this year there would have been no stopping them. Every one of the Senators is a leader and is accountable. I think leadership was sorely missing in the Cardinals locker room last year. I also think a lot of the players began to tune out the coaches. Not winning may have contributed greatly to that. We really do need an attitude adjustment this year. If someone arrives at training camp this year by helicopter, as happened last year, I will not like our chances of bettering last year’s disappointing record.

  28. By clssylssy on May 26, 2017 | Reply

    Hammy, very well stated.

    Scott…I believe that’s what I said. I disagreed with you and JTDG’s opinion that Fitz wasn’t a leader but merely an “influence”. Yes I read your post and perhaps I misunderstood you. I think Hammy and Mal got what I was saying. And, remember when Fitz use to hold his football “camp” in Minnesota where he had the guys stay at his lake house and practiced running routes etc, at the University facility. His camp wasn’t just Cards players but fellow colleagues from around the league I realize but that certainly seems like something a leader would do and may be why he is so respected by other players and coaches throughout the NFL.

    JohnnyBluenose…the big Gold “C” on Fitz’s jersey means Captain (as voted by his teammates multiple times) So, yes, you are wrong in that regard. The other offensive Captain was Carson and the two Defensive Captains were Patrick and the Honey Badger…Special Teams was not memorable possibly Bethel?

  29. By Darren Urban on May 27, 2017 | Reply

    Clssy —

    RE: Captains

    I think Johnny’s point was that Fitz isn’t always named captain. He wasn’t a captain in 2015, for instance.

  30. By mitchaz on May 27, 2017 | Reply

    I don’t know about you, but I am very excited about the upcoming pre-season games.

    There is no question in my mind that last year’s lackluster and lethargic pre-season set a poor tone for the regular season. Sure, the ultimate object in pre-season games is not necessarily to win the games, but it is to play fast and efficiently.

    This year, I am guessing that BA and the coaches will treat this pre-season much differently. They will want to play these games with some renewed energy and enthusiasm.

    The things that excite me the most are:

    1. Getting a good look at QBs Gabbert, Dysert and Knight.

    2. Seeing how the tackle flip with Humphries and Veldheer looks — and seeing whether Boehm is indeed the front runner at RG.

    3. Watching what could be a highly effective 2nd team offensive line of LT Will Holden, LG Dorian Johnson, C Cole Toner, RG John Wetzel and RT Ulrich John. Even the 3rd string offensive line will be interesting to watch: LT Givens Price, LG Kaleb Joseph, C Lucus Crowley (Daniel Mulyer), RG Tony Bergstrom, RT Jonathan McLaughlin.

    4. Getting a good look at the RB and WR depth — very anxious to see Elijah penny, James Summers, T.J. Logan, Chad Williams and Krishawn Hogan in particular.

    5. Seeing how ell TEs Niklas, Momah, Valles, Seals-Jones play.

    6. Seeing how improved Robert Nkemdiche, Rodney Gunter and Xavier Williams are.

    7. Seeing how well Haason Reddick can play at $LB and getting a good look at Scooby Wright as the backup to Karlos Dansby at the Mike LB.

    8. Seeing if we have backup edge pass rushers in Jarvis Jones, Kareem Martin and Cap Capi.

    9. Watching how the young depth in there secondary shakes out, with the likes of Brandon Williams, Rudy Ford, Elie Bouka, Sojourn Shelton at CB and Budda Baker, Harlan Miller, Ironhead Gallon and Drico Johnson at safety.

    10. Seeing Phil Dawson as the placekicker and watching the competition at punter between Matt Wile and Richie Leone —and seeing which players emerge on STs and in the return game with Logan at KR and whomever emerges as the punt returner.

    I am hoping that this is a very spirited camp and that all 5 pre-season games are fun to watch.

    What’s great for the Cardinals (especially in a year with 5 pre-season games) is the new rule that teams can keep the roster at 90 until the final cuts. This will allow them to the flexibility to keep all the players fresh heading into Week 1.

    Man, what a fast and furious couple of days it is going to be when the rosters are trimmed from 90 to 53. It may very well be an auspicious time to be in the early half of the waiver wire pecking order if they want to claim a couple of players.


  31. By clssylssy on May 27, 2017 | Reply

    Read it again carefully. “”I do not think Larry was chosen one of our Captains last year, or maybe for a couple of years”. Wrong
    I did not say he was chosen a Captain every year but he was a Captain (with a Gold C) last year and had been voted a Captain multiple years,
    It’s no big deal, he leads quietly by example as well as behind the scenes individually, which is part of what makes him a legend!
    I do appreciate your patience with us allowing to having these sorts of exchanges during a down time of the year when everyone is getting buggy waiting for football.
    I think a good fan base enjoys exchanging ideas and opinions and can do so in a
    civilized manner; thanks for giving us the venue to vent. As I have said before, if we didn’t care passionately about this team we wouldn’t bother to show up except during the season.

  32. By Scott H on May 27, 2017 | Reply

    clssy –

    I hear you. Really, I think we AGREE more than we don’t here. The problem with any discussion of leadership is that it is going to mean different things to different people. We’re all going in different directions, but no one in the discussion is WRONG in their own view of what a leader does. So, we all see Larry doing what he does ( leading, inspiring, influencing, etc ) in different ways. And it’s all good. He is a class act of the first order, a world class WR, and he’s is a future HOF’er. And on those points, I’m sure we all agree.

    Ya know what I think would be really amazing? And I’m serious about this – I think it would be really amazing if some of us ( the regulars here, the Fitz fanatics ) met up at the induction ceremony in Canton when Larry goes in. I definitely plan to be there! Would love to meet some of the faces that go with these names I see here every day.

    Any guesses as to who we think will introduce him? I’ve wondered about that….his dad, maybe? I thought Denny Green ( may he rest in peace ) might be a possibility until his passing. Even wondered about Kurt Warner…but I wouldn’t bet big on that one. So sad that his mom won’t be there…but I know she’ll be looking down on her son with pride.

  33. By steve on May 27, 2017 | Reply

    Darren: You have mentioned to us before that you try to hit the gym everyday, do you ever give in to temptation after a workout and double down on a couple of big macs, fries and a shake?!

  34. By Darren Urban on May 27, 2017 | Reply

    Steve —

    RE: Working out

    Don’t get me wrong – I’m far from perfect when it comes to being disciplined.

  35. By clssylssy on May 28, 2017 | Reply

    Yes, I agree, we agree more than we disagree on stuff and even when we don’t agree, I love the back and forth echange with you, JTDG, Hammy, Kevin, Mitchaz, and others who regularly show up and jump into the discussion. I know I must seem like an antagnost but, it’s kinda in my DNA to look for weaknesses so they can be addressed and made stronger; the strengths usually speak for themselves.
    I grew up in a Chiefs family and those fans are REALLY harsh; even when they are making the playoffs nearly every year as in the decade with Marty Shottenheimer, most fans will say, “we suck” when speaking amongst themselves, as hoisting the Lombardi is the only true validation of a good season! Although I’ve been here over twenty years, I sometimes forget “I’m not in Kansas (City) anymore”! (When BA made the statement to that effect he sounded like a typical student of Martyball).
    I think you have a GREAT idea for meeting up at the Fitz induction in Canton. I’m sure there will be quite a contingent of the Birdgang faithful on hand and it would be a memory of a lifetime–who knows where we will all be in another six or so years? It wouldn’t surprise me to see Chris Carter introduce him or maybe Kurt and Aneas, possibly even Michael Bidwill. Well, that’s still a few years off hopefully.
    I don’t know if others appreciate what a good blog Darren runs on the site and how fortunate we are to be able to come and talk Cardinal football. Especially in the offseason, whether we agree or disagree it’s kinda a glue that keeps us all together and focusing on Cardinal football. And, I love seeing new people show up from all over and jumping in–GOOD STUFF!
    IMO, it takes differing perspectives to keep things real.

  36. By Joe Cardea on May 28, 2017 | Reply

    Darren, When Fitz is done with this contract in two years (I think) if he still has the will to play but is showing signs of age, do you see him doing a team friendly deal and staying on as a third option? I would have thought he would have retired/moved on once he wasn’t the first option, but he seems to have adapted to moving inside and while he is still the first option it seems that’s not by plan. Wordy post, I guess to narrow it down, he’s not getting another $20M contract, will he keep playing if he’s offered $7-$10M or is he done when he doesn’t command top contracts?

  37. By Darren Urban on May 29, 2017 | Reply

    Joe —

    RE: Fitz

    1) Fitz’s current contract expires after the 2017 season.
    2) It’s tough to answer the second. A lot goes into it. He made $11M in 2016 and for this year too.

  38. By Scott H on May 29, 2017 | Reply

    Joe / Darren –

    Just to chime in on that question….I just don’t see money becoming THE issue if Fitz decides to play beyond this year. Sure, he would always want to be paid fairly. Who wouldn’t?? No NFL player is going to play for free. IF he is going to play beyond this season, it is not going to be for money. He doesn’t NEED another 8-10 million to pad his retirement fund. He’s made plenty of money during his career, he’s not the type to spend lavishly on cars, jewelry, and going out to strip clubs, ya know? I get the feeling his money is being well managed. AND Fitz is a guy who can – and will – continue to earn beyond his playing career. ANY one of the media outlets / networks that does a lot of programming during football season would be happy to have him the minute his career is over.

    I really believe that if Fitz decides to play beyond 2017, I believe he will be reasonable about the money and I believe the organization will be willing to accomodate him with a contract that is reasonable. Because I think we know that Fitz is intent on ending his career here. The organization wants him to end his career here. Why would that change now??

    I would be beyond shocked if we saw a situation of conflict between Fitz and the organization that led to his leaving to play elsewhere.

    BUT….anything is within the vast realm of possible.

  39. By Darren Urban on May 29, 2017 | Reply

    Scott H —

    RE: Post-career

    Fitz isn’t doing TV when he retires. I just talked to him about that the other day, although I knew he wouldn’t. When it’s over — next year or beyond — Fitz is going to drop off the NFL radar.

  40. By Scott H on May 30, 2017 | Reply

    Darren –

    RE: Fitz not doing TV

    Well, thanks for clarifying that. Gotta say, that kinda surprises me a little. No, Fitz would not be the type of clown that Deion Sanders or Michael Irvin is ( honestly, I can’t even watch or listen to either of them because they HAVE become such clowns ), but….there are plenty of other former players that do the media thing without going over the top, ya know?

    Kurt Warner, for example.

    Do you think golf is gonna be a big part of his future?

    What about coaching, at any level? No? He has a son, doesn’t he? One wonders if Fitz might want to be involved in coaching if the son takes to playing – even in a different sport.

    Geez, I don’t want him to fall completely off the radar….would be nice to see him around the Cardinals, ala A-Dub, even if only once in awhile.

  41. By Joe C. on May 30, 2017 | Reply

    My take on Fitz is first, he’s only playing if he sees the Cards contending. He’s not playing for money alone. Second, I don’t know him, but I don’t think he’s playing without a competitive contract. Darren, that $10M he’s playing on now is on the backside of a frontloaded contract isn’t it? I know I would play for free, but he’s a pro, it has to hurt getting hit, he’s going to want meaningful compensation for the risk. That and the third or fourth receiver is a prime special teamer so you lose something giving up that slot to an aging veteran. But he’s Fitz and you keep him as long as you can. I’d like to see him keep playing if we’re contending.

  42. By Darren Urban on May 30, 2017 | Reply

    Joe C —

    RE: Contract

    The 2017 year on his contract was added, for $11M, last training camp. He had been signed through 2016. It was the single year extension.

  43. By Joe C. on May 30, 2017 | Reply

    Thanks Darren! I guess that answers that question. If only we had Jay Cutler for next year!

  44. By clssylssy on May 30, 2017 | Reply

    I’m not surprised that Fitz will be walking into the sunset when football is finished. Fitz is a modern reniaissance man, still in the prime of his life with the world at his feet. He’s going to leave the NFL at the top with little wanting (except maybe that SB ring). I have no doubt that whatever he decides for the next chapter of his life he will approach with the same hunger and thirst for excellence that has driven his football career.
    There comes a time when we need new challenges to keep things fresh and I’m excited for him . Golf is great as long as it’s for relaxation and is not work. He’s made his money, I see him doing something totally for the satisfaction it brings, away from the limelight.
    This is going to be a very different Cardinal team without him.

  45. By Darren Urban on May 30, 2017 | Reply

    Clssy —

    RE: Fitz

    It will be away from the limelight. But satisfaction won’t be his only motivation. Never discount the money. Not with Fitz.

  46. By clssylssy on May 30, 2017 | Reply

    In or out of the limelight is good with me and I’m all for people getting paid for their efforts based on merit. Money is a form of validation and reward for a job well done. What people choose to do with their money is up to them but based on Larry’s many philanthropic endeavors, I wouldn’t expect him to do anything that would compromise those satisfying works.
    I bet you don’t mind getting paid either!

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