Wednesday before the Hall of Fame game

Posted by Darren Urban on August 2, 2017 – 2:01 pm

Well, here we are. A game is about to be played and we just got to August, and there is still about a month’s worth of training camp to go. Still, once the games arrive, things get into more of a rhythm, work for a week and then a game, and so on. The players like it when we get to that point (and so do writers.) This game is a little different, of course. There is only so much you will get out of your main guys in any preseason game and of course, in this one, Bruce Arians already said there will be no starters. All about the young guys. Makes sense. The starters barely play in the first preseason game normally — and that game is still more than a week away.

This is about the young guys, as Arians said. Seeing what happens when the lights go on. Even last weekend, at the Red-White practice, which was still just a practice but had 25,000 in the stands, one particular rookie struggled with things he hadn’t previously struggled with. That’s the power of “under the lights” that coaches always talk about. There have been plenty of players who have looked good in the offseason and in camp and then looked different in preseason games. That won’t get you on a roster.

— It’s early but we’re already talking about injuries. Cornerback less so, especially with the signing of Tramon Williams and the return of Justin Bethel to practice. But inside linebacker will be interesting. Karlos Dansby was never going to play, but he’s nursing a sore knee. Gabe Martin is out for a while with an Achilles problem. Newly-signed Philip Wheeler is sidelined with some sort of leg issue, which shouldn’t be long, Arians said, but it will almost certainly keep him out Thursday. Of course, Deone Bucannon is still on PUP.

Rookie Haason Reddick will play (one starter who will be out there; I’m guessing there might be a couple of others), but Arians doesn’t want it to be long. One guy to watch is Scooby Wright. Wright has had a solid offseason of work. He’s good on special teams. If he can make a push in these preseason games, he’s got a good chance to make the roster.

— There’s a lot of talk about Blaine Gabbert and his start Thursday, but there will also be a half of play for undrafted rookie QB Trevor Knight. Knight is a major longshot, but he’ll have a couple opportunities. Thus far, Knight in camp has been the Knight people know from college — good athlete, can run, inconsistent with accuracy.

— This will become a growing storyline as we go, but while the starting offensive line is all but set, those backup spots on the 53-man roster are not. There are a lot of guys who are fighting for a place. I want to see Cole Toner, who is basically the backup center, in a game situation. Rookie guard Dorian Johnson, and rookie tackle Will Holden are third string trying to move up the depth chart. Unknowns like tackle Givens Price and guard Kaleb Johnson, both current second-stringers, who want to provide the upset by sticking around.

— Of course, all the draft class tends to get your attention. I do like what I have seen from safety Budda Baker. It’s tough, because of his stature, you’re always going to compare him to Tyrann Mathieu and Mathieu is having a great camp as we go. But you can see why the front office was so enamored by Baker.

— Don’t know how much Robert Nkemdiche we will see, but I am anxious to watch him against another team. He’s looked very good thus far.

— I will be staying in Canton for the Kurt Warner Hall of Fame induction. I have a big Warner story posting Friday morning which I think you’ll enjoy, and all our Warner coverage — including a series of videos from our sit-down interview — can be found by clicking here on our Warner Hall of Fame page.

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Posted in Blog | 15 Comments »

15 Responses to “Wednesday before the Hall of Fame game”

  1. By triing4wishes on Aug 2, 2017 | Reply

    It’s great to see the “day before” emails from you again Darren, one of the best signs that football really is back!

  2. By joe holst on Aug 2, 2017 | Reply

    Arizona 24 Dallas 21

  3. By Richard S on Aug 2, 2017 | Reply

    I hope the injuries in this game or few and not serious.

  4. By CARDS62 on Aug 2, 2017 | Reply

    Oh man we are going to be watching football in a little over 24 hours. I know it is only HOF game, but its football and its our Cardinals.

    Thanks Darren for all the reporting. Getting excited about hearing how well some of the young guys are playing and of course the Honey Badger.

    CB, both of our lines, backup QB, and special teams are what I am focusing on this preseason. I must admit the one area I am upset the most over is our CB position. We have known what a huge area of concern this is since last season and very very little has been done to upgrade the position. This will cost us the season.

    I like John Brown and Nelson, but worry that they can not make it through a season because of their lack of size. Will be happy if just one of them will be able to play in each game in 2017.

    GO Cards and give us a good game tomorrow.

  5. By mitchaz on Aug 3, 2017 | Reply

    One of the many players i am excited to see play tonight is WR Chad Williams. BA recently stated that Williams has to get “in better condition.” Once again, BA is trying to stress to the rookies the work ethic it takes to be a good pro. Williams possesses the size, speed and hands to be a star.

    I think BA is trying to push him to the next level because Williams could wind up filling Michael Floyd’s role as a starter in the offense, with Smoke and Fire coming in on 3-4 WR sets.

    Don’t know if any of you saw an interview Chad Williams had after one of the college All-Star games where he said he worked so hard at Grambling that if he had to do it all over again he wouldn’t want to. It was a strange thing to say, and I imagine that it basically came out differently than what he meant. It likely was hyperbole. Just the same, Williams needs to know that the work only gets harder in the NFL and BA is sending that message loud and clear.

    What has impressed me about Chad Williams off the field is his outgoing, engaging personality and the fact that upon signing his contract the first thing he did was buy his mom a car with AC (oh the things so many of us take for granted).

  6. By Jacob Hewitt on Aug 3, 2017 | Reply

    Will running back TJ Logan be playing in Hall Of Fame Game?

  7. By Darren Urban on Aug 3, 2017 | Reply

    Jacob —

    RE: Logan


  8. By Adam Smith b1723 fka DTL on Aug 3, 2017 | Reply

    The always pleasant,easy to listen to Al Michaels on 98.7 podcast had a Kurt Warner story never heard before.

  9. By Scott H on Aug 3, 2017 | Reply

    Yes, I am ready for some football….even if tonight ain’t really gonna be that! Yes, a game will be played by guys wearing Cardinals uniforms and yes, there will be a lot to watch with interest in regard to certain players ( Gabbert, Reddick ) and position battles, but….a real game, it will hardly be.

    And that is OK.

    And it doesn’t even matter! It’s football. Of course, we’re gonna watch!

    I can honestly say I don’t give a rip what the final score is.

    It is so awesome to hear that 25,000 fans are attending these practices. Last Sunday, I went to an open practice for the Eagles ( my daughter wanted to go, it was free, why not, ya know? ) and the media out here made such a big deal about an estimated 23,000 fans attending. And of course, they think the Eagles have the greatest fan base in the NFL, so they think that doesn’t happen anywhere else. Um….WRONG! But the fact is, the Eagles ARE recognized as having rabid fans that are always out in force. So, if they are drawing 23,000 fans to an open practice and the Cardinals are drawing at least the same, maybe better, it says a LOT about the fan base that has taken root out there in the Phoenix area. That still does not get recognized as it should be, but….who cares what the rest of the world thinks?

    BTW, I have my tickets for the game out here when the Cards come to town on Oct 8th and I can’t wait. It will be my daughter’s first Eagles game, and ( sadly ) maybe my last chance to see Fitz play in person. I will be wearing the colors and hoping to see Fitz torch the Eagles like he ALWAYS does!

  10. By Richard S on Aug 3, 2017 | Reply

    The 49ers have waived wide receiver Bruce Ellington,

  11. By JohnnyBluenose on Aug 3, 2017 | Reply

    Scott H….you’re a brave man opting to wear your Cardinals jersey in Philly. I know that you know that Philly fans are not nearly as hospitable as the Cardinals fans are at our home to the opposition. Good luck.

  12. By CARDS62 on Aug 3, 2017 | Reply

    Hey Scott H

    I am going to the Colts game in Indy Sept. 17th and I am looking into the Philly game which I believe is Oct. 15th. I have been looking online for tickets on NFL site and SEATGEEKS . Tickets with fees look around $200 to $250 each. Can you let me know any seats to stay away from, and of course a great place for Philly Steak & Cheese Sandwiches?

    To all Cardinal Fans
    Enjoyed game tonight especially first half. Blaine G. looked very strong, A qb that actually throws the ball to the TEs I almost fainted, and even ran a QB sneak instead of passing from the half yard line almost fainted again. Offensive line looked good especially pass protection, TEs looked good, TJ looked good on returns and at RB hope his wrist is fine, punt team looked okay as did kickoff coverage.
    Our kicker in the first half was just awful. I think all of our cheerleaders have stronger legs. I know he will not be on our squad, but just awful.
    Defense not a good game but few of our young guys stood out which is a positive. Robert N,. Riddick, and Bubba Baker looked good and will definitely help our D this season. Our CBs especially Williams are a huge problem. I am glad he had the interception but he did not look good against no name no arm QBs. I do not want to see him in our nickle package, dime package, or even quarter package if we have one. Special teams is all Williams better play this year or our secondary is toast. We have to get CB help. Thank you Dallas for keeping to pound this home. Dallas ran the ball well in the second half.I know against our backups, but still something to keep an eye on/
    I choose to focus on the positives from this game and pray the front office wakes up and gets us some cornerback help in the next couple of weeks.

    Go Cards!

  13. By Scott H on Aug 4, 2017 | Reply

    Cards62 –

    Hey, man! If you are coming to Philly, I’d love to know where you will be at the game! Hey, we are gonna be out-numbered in hostile territory….gotta have each other’s backs. Keep in mind, I’ve only been to this stadium ONCE, so I really don’t know good seats, bad seats, etc. Really, with most of these newer stadiums, there really aren’t any bad seats.

    And out here, they are called Cheesesteaks and when you order one, you gotta say either “wit” ( = with ) or “witout” ( = without ) for the onions. Personally, I always go “wit.” THE place to go is Steve’s Steaks but Pat’s and Geno’s are also CLASSIC cheesesteak places in Philly. Also, at the game, be sure try the crab ffries at Chickee’s and Pete’s. Just look for the longest line you see anywhere and that will probably be it!

    Enjoy the game out in Indy as well. Hope you get to see Andrew Luck and not Scott Tolzein!

  14. By Scott H on Aug 4, 2017 | Reply

    JohnnyBlue –

    Hey, ya gotta wear the colors. As long as you’re not being obnoxious, I think it goes OK, even in Philly. I went to the game here last year against the Vikings….saw a fair amount of people wearing Vikings colors and I didn’t see anyone being harassed. So….we’ll see! Maybe I’ll wear the Pat Tillman jersey. Only a real….I can’t even say the word, so fill in the blank, would give someone wearing THAT jersey a hard time, ya know?

    Tell ya what, I doubt it could be any worse than the jerks I encountered out in Seattle. Went to a game there in 2010, which was pretty bad because both teams were pretty bad then ( Max Hall started the game and was SO bad, they switched to Derek Anderson, so….enough said, right? ). The Seahawks won 22-10, thanks to five FG’s, and I encountered some real jerks as we were leaving the game. Just plain rude and obnoxious.

  15. By CARDS62 on Aug 6, 2017 | Reply

    Thanks Scott. Cheese Steak got it!

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