Cardinals still blitz-happy under Arians

Posted by Darren Urban on July 13, 2017 – 1:15 pm

Bruce Arians kept his promise. The Cardinals acquired Chandler Jones last offseason (and were counting on Markus Golden taking another step forward as a pass rusher) and yet before the season he said he still wouldn’t be happy unless the Cards were blitzing.

“If we’ve got four good ones, why not send five or six?” Arians said then.

The Cards got what they wanted out of Jones (11 sacks) and Golden (12.5 sacks). But they also kept blitzing. Pro Football Focus has the numbers (and a couple of gifs for examples). NFL teams blitz an average of 30 percent of the time, PFF says, and about 38 percent in obvious passing situations. The Cardinals in 2016? Blitzing nearly 41 percent of the time (and 41.4 percent on first downs.) PFF makes the point that, in blitzing, it gives teams less chance to double-team when blocking. But in the end, Arians just likes to bring the pressure. It’s the defensive equivalent of the deep shots B.A. likes to take on offense. What, you thought because B.A. is an offensive guy that “No risk-it, no biscuit” was restricted to offense?

It’s also followed the change in DC from Todd Bowles — who blitzed a lot — to James Bettcher. With the addition of rookie inside linebacker Haason Reddick (who played a pass-rushing defensive end at Temple) and a healthy Tyrann Mathieu, there seem to be more blitzing options heading into 2017.

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25 Responses to “Cardinals still blitz-happy under Arians”

  1. By D on Jul 13, 2017 | Reply

    Guessing C Jones will be double teamed more this year without CC demanding attention inside which is one of the many questions marks for 2017:

    – who will step up on the DL…(Nkemdiche, Gunter, X. Williams, Peters)
    -health of the Badger
    -CB opposite of PP
    -keeping Palmer healthy
    -swapping OT. (everyone talks about Humphreys need for a big year, but I would say he has at least a little history at Left, JV has none at Right)
    -what WR will step up besides Fitz
    -can D Johnson come close to his 2016 success in 2017 at RB now that most Def will focus on him
    -RG and LG need to improve from last year
    -Phil still have a active/consistent leg
    -Health of the team
    -Health of BA.

  2. By Craig on Jul 13, 2017 | Reply

    I don’t see why it’s a forgone conclusion that Stanton sticks around. He hasn’t shown to me that he can win games. I would cut him for Gabbert and put Knight on the PS.

  3. By shooter28 on Jul 13, 2017 | Reply

    craig- Do you even watch Cardinal games?? In the games Stanton has been called upon to start (not come in during mop up duty n throw the ball around where he is making crazy risky throws that ended up picked because AZ Is winning by 20+ points ), In the games he has started from start to end Stanton is 7 wins/3losses as a starter with 1,835 passing yards w/ 9TDs to 5INTs in his starts with a 7.9 YD/AVG per pass and a QB Passer Rating of 78.1….
    How can you put out such utter non sense that isn’t true but is also just BS when u say “Stanton hasn’t shown me he can win games”, Are you freaking serious or just not paying attention?? Stanton has been an excel #2QB when called up to start when u need him for a few weeks, he is an excellent game manager who will give ure team an excellent chance at winning .

  4. By shooter28 on Jul 13, 2017 | Reply

    D – Guessing C Jones will be double teamed more this year without CC demanding attention inside which is one of the many questions marks for 2017:
    – who will step up on the DL…(Nkemdiche, Gunter, X. Williams, Peters)
    -health of the Badger
    -CB opposite of PP
    -keeping Palmer healthy
    -swapping OT. (everyone talks about Humphreys need for a big year, but I would say he has at least a little history at Left, JV has none at Right)
    -what WR will step up besides Fitz
    -can D Johnson come close to his 2016 success in 2017 at RB now that most Def will focus on him
    -RG and LG need to improve from last year
    -Phil still have a active/consistent leg
    -Health of the team
    -Health of BA.

    Chandler Jones will not be doubled team, Arizona has faeerrrr to much pass talent on the field for a team to double Chandler Jones. For one 1st round pick DE Robert Nkimdiche w/ the elite rare blend of athleticism/explosivness/power/hand speed is going to wreck interior O-Lines now that he is fully healthy with a full understanding of the defense, Guards struggle to get their hands on him, matched up 1 on 1 he would destroy an OG,6″6 Josh Mauro is excellent all around & 3rd year 6″5 305pd Rodney Gunter has always been a beast vs the run & taking up space/blocks, this year Arians is going to finally let him the leash to hunt QBs, which is great news because at 6″5/305pds with 35.5in long arms has an absolutely nasty get off/1st step of the ball & with rare elite power he just bully guys at the line, Gunter will be a 5-6 sack guy & 6″4/290pd DE Frostee Rucker is an excellent top notch interior pass rusher as well when healthy, he had a badly sprained high ankle he play thru all year last season. Now healthy he is good for 40-45 QB Pressures & 3-5 sacks, Rucker is very good.2nd year player 6″5/295pd w/ elite speed off the ball/1st step/elite power/athleticism/power, the team is extremely high on him and believes he could be a Michael Bennett type pass rusher good for 5-8 sacks this year, the hype behind him is real.
    Chandler Jones was drawing double teams last year and winning, but he will be just fine this year he won’t face n e more than normal as Arizona is going to have a very solid very good defensive line, esp if Nkimdiche becomes the Pro Bowl caliber 7-10 sack DE the GM think he is. And if Jones was doubled, that would only make it far easier for other D-Linemen like say DE Rodney Gunter with Markus Golden behind him with pass rusher ILB/OLB Hasson Reddick as a third pass rusher. AZ has an Elite pass rushing front 7 , they can hurt u in several ways.

  5. By shooter28 on Jul 13, 2017 | Reply

    Arizona is going to be that much more lethal this year running the blitz given the personnel/players they have added.
    Arizona still has an excellent top notch defensive line, but Arizona now has one of if not thee best LB Core in the NFL with Elite OLBs Markus Golden & OLB Chandler Jones who were the NFLs most productive pass rush duo, OLB Jarvis Jones is an excellent rotational OLB who is a beast vs the run excels in pass-D, like Arians pointed out Jones may not get the sack everytime but he will cause a ton of sacks getting the pressure this his teammate finishes, in this defense he is easily good for 4-5 sacks a year…. AZ just drafted the biggest, fastest, most athletic LB in the draft w/ elite athleticism/speed/power/explosivness (4.49-4.51 40 37in vert-jump, 133in broad jump showing insanely rare explosiveness/speed for his size) in 6″2/239pd OLB/ILB Hasson Reddick who was the 2nd most productive pass rusher in college football via PFF, As Reddick 21.8 pass rush productivity grade ranks him 2nd behind only Derek Barnett and Reddick had the best grade off the left side. In Arizona Reddick will be a 3 down ILB, but he will definitely play a big role pass rushing both from inside & at OLB/DE, where he excels drawing comparisons to Von Miller, he will be a 12+ Sack year player, is a monster versus the run on the inside & even better in pass defense as a former DB. AZ also of course has Premiere Elite ILB 6″2/225 Deone Bucannon who ranks as the best pass covering ILB to come out of the 14 draft & ranks top 5 both in pass defense & rushing the passer, now finally fully 100% this year (bad ankle last year) he will be far far far better & Arizona signed excellent pro-bowl SS 5″11/209 Antoine Bethea to take over Jefferson’s old role versus the run. AZ has Elite All-Pro FS/CB Tyrann Mathieu fully 100% healthy and back to form which is a massive upgrade as a healthy Mathieu is a luxury AZ didn’t have last season. Healthy, Hungry and Determined Mathieu is the best in the game, this kid is going to be a force this season. Arizona also drafted one of the best top safety’s in the draft who had a mid 1at round grade in 5″10/200pd Budda Baker who is an absolute BEAST, Very violent hitter flys down hill full speed with bad intentions on his mind, elite both in pass coverage & run stoping in college and he played in an almost identical secondary scheme compared to AZ so he is almost plug and play, and o’ya Baker’s skill set Matchup with Bethea’s, giving AZ a ton of versatility,

    Arizona’s defense is going to be extremely good this coming season, the Cardinals will have a top 5 defense again especially with a lockdown secondary on the backend loaded with the best pure shutdown CB in the NFL in Patrick Peterson, Mathieu is the games best slot CB though Baker can also play SCB, Bethel is massively improved & is an above average #2CB , At Safety Mathieu is even better, S/CB Budda Baker is as good as they come with extremely high chances of becoming an All-Pro with the same skill set as Mathieu’s, SS Antoine Bethea still one of the tops playing at a very very high level , rotational 6″1/210pd (4.27spd) Tyvon Branch is an excellent rotational coverman …. The Defense is loaded from top to bottom, AZ had a top 10 offense last year & were 6th in points per game scoring 26.9PPG despite missing a ton of starters, with everyone back fully healthy and an excellent line in front of Palmer they easily should have an explosive top 5 offense.

  6. By JTDG on Jul 13, 2017 | Reply


    As much as I want to agree with you, to say Stanton won’t stick because he can’t win games, and then to say Gabbert would stick doesn’t make sense.

    Gabbert is 9 and 31 over his career. He has a 56% comp ratio. Not sure why Gabbert is being thought of as an answer.

    BA better do a lot of whispering to fix him.

  7. By Scott H on Jul 14, 2017 | Reply

    Craig –

    RE: Stanton

    Yeah, you say that….and yet the FACT is that Drew Stanton has a winning record as a starter for the Cardinals. Oh, but you would cut him for Gabbert, right? Good thing for us the coaches are making the personnel decisions and not you.

    You say he hasn’t shown you that he can win games. So….you just happened to miss the games he played in that the Cardinals DID win? Because that would have been most of them. Way to pay attention.

  8. By Scott H on Jul 14, 2017 | Reply

    Not related, but…..good lord, it just seems to get worse for Michael Floyd. I hear that he is now making claims that the incidents where he tested positive for alcohol were, in fact, due to his drinking a certain kind of tea that had alcohol in it and he didn’t know. Um…..really?? And you drank so much of this “tea” that you passed out at a stop light???? Man, that must be some cup of tea, huh?

    Is this what they mean by going from the sublime to the ridiculous???

    I see where Mike Zimmer is making it clear that if he finds out Floyd lied to him, he will cut him. I think the fact that that discussion is taking place at all kinda tells ya where this is probably going.

    Man, what the heck happened to this guy???

    I wonder if he is still feeling all that love the Patriots showed him…..

  9. By Scott H on Jul 14, 2017 | Reply

    …..and right on cue, Floyd is suspended for 4 games. Which, really, was pretty much expected. So….the Vikings have a player the head coach doesn’t really believe he can trust and now he’s suspended for a quarter of the season. I’m actually wondering if he’s going to be released before I even finish this post. Do they really need this???

  10. By clssylssy on Jul 15, 2017 | Reply

    And…according to PFT ranks the Cards didn’t even crack the top 20, sitting at #22…not exactly “elite”! And that’s because we lost our season opener to the Patriots??? Actually, I think it has more to do with our front office’s inability to see the forrest for the trees, or be accountable for anything!

  11. By Craig on Jul 15, 2017 | Reply

    Hello everyone that’s commented. Love it. Love all the enthusiasm for the Cardinals. Yes I watch the games. Been watching them for 22 years. To me a back up quarterback is your quarterback of the future and a 33 year old who has mediocre stats and yes a few wins is not the quarterback of the future for the Cardinals. It has to be Gabbert or Knight. Lately Stanton has be overthrowing receivers. Just my opinion.

  12. By Scott H on Jul 15, 2017 | Reply

    craig –

    Still there?? So…

    Drew Stanton is 6-3 as a starting QB for the Cardinals….and Blaine Gabbert ( courtesy of JTDG ) is 9-31 as a starting QB for his career.

    And….you would cut the guy who WINS two thirds of the games he plays in for the guy who wins doesn’t even win one game for every three he loses…..

    The question of why you aren’t working in an NFL front office? ANSWERED.

    Dude, with that logic, you aren’t even fit to run a fantasy football team.

  13. By Craig on Jul 16, 2017 | Reply

    Scoot H –

    Guess we will just have to wait and see who impresses this preseason.

  14. By AndyM on Jul 16, 2017 | Reply

    In terms of the Stanton v. Gabbert stats: apples and oranges. There is an old expression that there are “lies and statistical lies”. A young QB who plays for a lousy team rarely has good stats. I think Stanton is an above-average back-up and Gabbert still has significant upside. But what we on this forum think is meaningless. We will see what BA chooses. He seems to know what he is doing.

  15. By clssylssy on Jul 16, 2017 | Reply

    Blaine Gabbert is considered one of the worse QBs in the league and what Keim was thinking, I can only imagine was “practice dummy”.
    Craig, lol, backup QB=QB of the future? Really, how often do we see that? I can only assume you have a kinda dry sense of humor and are trying to wake folks up to get something going. Good one, LOL!

  16. By clssylssy on Jul 17, 2017 | Reply

    I read where Kurt Cousins turned down the $53M offered by the Redskins which would have made him the highest paid QB in the NFL, so apparently he doesn’t plan on staying with Washington another year (unless they tag him again). So, it would see that the 2018 QB horizon may be improving in all kinds of ways!

  17. By JTDG on Jul 17, 2017 | Reply


    Two things –

    Cousins was franchised in 2016 and now 2017. He can not be franchised again.

    One would have to think, if he leaves Washington at the end of the year, he will go to his old coach in San Fran.

  18. By JBeecham on Jul 18, 2017 | Reply

    Stanton is 6-3 as a starter for the Cards, but I wouldn’t claim that his play was responsible for those wins… the majority of the time the defense got us those wins in spite of Stanton’s poor play. In 2016, he had a 39.6 completion %…. 39.6%!!! He averaged 4 yards per attempt. The 1 game he won for us last year was against SF (Palmer in concussion protocol) & Drew went 11-28 for 124 yds passing… do those sound like the stats of a starting NFL QB against the worst team in the league?

    Gabbert hasn’t been better in the NFL, but he’s played on garbage teams in Jax & SF. I’m interested to see what he can do in the pre-season on a good team. He was drafted 10th overall in 2011 so he was highly rated at the time. If BA is the QB whisperer like he claims in his book then he should be able to turn Gabbert into a potential QBOTF. We already know what Stanton is… a sub-par backup with accuracy issues who locks on to his 1st target, but he can game manage & let David Johnson & the defense win the game for him. I’m willing to give Gabbert the chance to be #2 because I think he has the chance of being the better backup QB. I don’t know if he can beat Stanton in a dance contest though.

  19. By JBeecham on Jul 18, 2017 | Reply

    Stanton 6-3


    NYG – Win (25-14) – 14/29 for 167 yds, 0 TDs, 0 Ints (1 rushing TD & 4 FGs)
    SF – Win (23-14) – 18/33 for 244 yds, 2 TDs, 0 Ints
    Denver – Loss (41-20) – 11/26 for 118 yds, 0 TDs, 0 Ints
    Detroit – Win (14-6) – 21/32 for 306 yds, 2 TDs, 2 Ints
    Seattle – Loss (19-3) – 14/26 for 149 yds, 0 TDs, 1 Int
    Atlanta – Loss (29-18) – 24/39 for 294 yds, 1 TD, 2 Ints
    KC – Win (17-14) – 15/30 for 239 yds, 1 TD, 0 Ints
    Rams – Win (12-6) – 12/20 for 109 yds, 0 TD, ) Ints (4 FGs)

    SF – Win (33-21) – 11/28 for 124 yds, 2 TDs, 0 Ints
    Rest of 2016 (4 more games) – 8/20 for 68 yds, 0 TDs, 3 Ints

    Those have to be the worst stats for a 6-3 QB in NFL history.

  20. By clssylssy on Jul 18, 2017 | Reply

    I totally agree…Cousins will go to SF, didn’t mean to imply that he would come here, just that 2018 is going to be a better year for the QB market as predicted and possibly better. You are right though, I had forgotten he was franchised in 2016 so thanks for setting me straight.

  21. By Brendan on Jul 18, 2017 | Reply

    I agree with Craig. Stanton is NOT the QB of the future. You all are comparing records. There’s a reason Stanton is not a starting QB in the NFL. You have to remember that Gabbert has put in terrible situations with awful teams. Compare records all you want Gabbert has a real shot at being the Cardinals QB2.

  22. By Scott H on Jul 18, 2017 | Reply

    JBeecham –

    OK, so you’d rather look at stats instead of wins and losses. Yeah….that’s brilliant, huh? Note to BA – tell Stanton not to worry about winning games. He needs to get his stats up.

    And to others, WHY do you continue to evaluate Drew Stanton in terms of a QB of the future???? That is SOOOO ridiculous. Where does that even come from???? Look, get this straight – Stanton is the BACK-UP QB. He is going to continue to be a BACK-UP QB. I don’t think ANYONE is thinking in terms of Stanton as our QB of the future. So….why does it even come up?

    And for what it’s worth, good back-up QB’s have a very real and valuable role for teams in the NFL. It helps to have a back-up QB that can win games for you, which Stanton has clearly shown he can do, for anyone who has been paying attention at all. Sorry, JBeecham, if his stats weren’t good enough for you. But beyond that, they also become like coaches on the sidelines during a game, seeing things that others may not. They also tend to be good teachers / mentors to other guys on the team. In those respects, I’ll bet Drew Stanton is probably about as good as it gets in the NFL right now.

    Blows my mind that fans of this team regard him like he’s not even worth a warm six pack.

  23. By Big Ken on Jul 18, 2017 | Reply

    Blitz happy- I’m dig’n it !

  24. By Scott H on Jul 19, 2017 | Reply

    For those who want to look at nothing but Stanton’s stats from the games he played in – most of which the team WON – did anyone bother to look at what we were getting from our running backs in those games??? Because as I recall, we were pretty beat up at that position during that stretch of games Stanton played in in 2014. For many of those games, we had nothing but a completely worn down Andre Ellington, who was very in-effective at that point. As I recall, he wasn’t even able to finish the season. So….broaden the view and recognize that Stanton wasn’t getting a whole lotta help.

    Makes me crazy when I hear people say that it was our defense that won those games, not Stanton. Yeah? Hmmm…..then, how come we were so bad and so hopeless after Stanton went down? Why didn’t the defense keep winning the games for us after that?

  25. By clssylssy on Jul 20, 2017 | Reply

    BA is a creature of habit and likes to stick with what he know as…he knows Stanton and most importantly, Stanton knows, EXACTLY how BA thinks, what he expects, and therefore what his job is as backup QB. A quality backup who knows the offense, the skeme and the job is like having the best insurance for extending the run into the postseason that a team can have. BA may have been a “QB whispherer” at one time, but these days his focus and energy is more spread out and the idea of his transforming Blaine Gabbart into a franchise QB of the future is totally unrealistic, MAYBE, he can become a decent backup down the road but there’s too much to learn for that to happen this season under the best of circumstances. Stanton has intangibles that can’t be measured by stats, like leadership and the confidence of the players. Gabbart doesn’t have the arm or the accuracy of a QB of the future and those are two elements he’s a little far along in his career to acquire. Stanton has demonstrated he is capable of stepping in a winning games which is HUGE with the players.
    There is no shame in being a quality backup QB, and guys have had successful careers in that role, often as starters early in the season while the “future” is learning the job (Brian Hoyer is a good example). Fans have a tendency to minimize and overlook the value of a good supporting cast (such as linemen and Special Teams) which is what sometimes separates the winners from those always on the cusp.

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