Friday before the Raiders

Posted by Darren Urban on August 11, 2017 – 3:02 pm

Finally, some starters.

It could be quick for either of the units against the Raiders. As in years past, if the Cardinals carve up Oakland for an 80-yard touchdown drive on the first possession, or the defense forces a couple of quick punts, I could see Bruce Arians sitting down his main guys. To me, this game is important for the offense and the collective confidence. Carson Palmer sat out Wednesday and Thursday practices, so I’m curious to see how that comes together – especially since the receiving crew, beyond Fitz, has been up and down and injured in camp thus far.

Defensively, it sure seems the confidence is there. Robert Nkemdiche is breaking out. Tyrann Mathieu is full-fledged Honey Badger-y. And Palmer and Bruce Arians believe this has been Patrick Peterson’s best camp yet.

Peterson, as usual, is thinking big.

“If you want to be remembered somewhere where you can be forever – which is Canton – those are the things I can control, make sure to continue building up my résumé,” Peterson said (pictured here with Cardinals Hall of Fame cornerback Aeneas Williams).

Some other things to think about before the Cards get to a second preseason game, and the Raiders play their first:

— The players in particular I want to watch in the game, even if it is for limited time: CB Justin Bethel, LB Haason Reddick, DT Olsen Pierre, G Evan Boehm, RT Jared Veldheer, WR Jaron Brown and all three QBs: Palmer, Drew Stanton and Blaine Gabbert.

Some played last week, some did not. Veldheer still hasn’t played right tackle in a game. Seeing Bethel under the lights is important. I want to see how Gabbert follows up with his impressive debut and how Stanton responds to all the Gabbert discussion.

— Arians again praised Stanton all week. I also thought it was interesting to hear Arians speak about Stanton and his hits and misses in practice:

“There has been an interception or two, some are not his fault,” Arians said. “Sometimes when you are running with those twos and threes, guys aren’t where they are supposed to be and you try to force one. I do like that, see if you can get it in that window and see if you can or can’t. No big deal if you throw a pick.”

Dunno if that applies to preseason games as well.

— Punter is something to watch as well. Arians said he wanted to see more from either Matt Wile or Richie Leone (preferably both, but one is enough). I’d guess they will split the punts again. If you can’t punt well at University of Phoenix Stadium – where this and next week’s games are – that’s a red flag.

— We’ll get to see Kerwynn Williams get run as a return man. We know Williams can return kicks OK. How he will do on punts – and whether he could manage that job with T.J. Logan out – is what is in the spotlight.

— Two weeks of training camp left at the stadium. As of now, seven practices are scheduled to be open to the public: Monday through Thursday next week, and Monday through Wednesday the week after.

— Finally, for those who are looking for my constant in-game tweeting, that will drop off quite a bit in the preseason. For the next four games, with Paul Calvisi in the radio booth doing play-by-play, I will be on the sideline as the reporter for the radio broadcasts on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. (And for those who don’t like my constant in-game tweeting, you win!)

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22 Responses to “Friday before the Raiders”

  1. By Scott H on Aug 11, 2017 | Reply

    Hey, Patrick… ’bout thinking about a SUPER BOWL right now, worrying about Canton later? I would prefer those priorities.

    And, my God, are we REALLY worrying about our punters AGAIN?????? WHY is this so hard??? Maybe if this were more of a priority – and I don’t know how it couldn’t be after several years with a below average punter and seeing the impact of that – it would not have to be another of our many question marks as we are now into the pre-season.

    I am very concerned about the injuries among the WR corps…..I swear, why is Fitz the ONLY guy we can count on every year??? And what the heck are we gonna do when he’s gone??? No, there will be no one who has that level of skill but….how ’bout just some guys that can stay healthy enough to get on the field??

  2. By Jon Elder on Aug 11, 2017 | Reply

    Just read an article with Fitzgerald today, saying how the team winning 10 or more games is far more important to him than him logging another 100 receptions.

    Than an article today with Patrick Peterson once again bigging himself up, talking about how great he is, and referencing Canton.

    Kind of says it all about the difference between these two superstars in my opinion

  3. By Darren Urban on Aug 11, 2017 | Reply

    Jon (and everyone) —

    RE: Fitz vs Peterson

    Stop. First of all, Fitz already knows he’s had a Hall of Fame career. It’s a lot easier for him to say that. Go back and look at Fitz quotes earlier in his career. He talked a lot about wanting to get to the Hall. No one wants to mention that now. Warner used to bring up the Hall of Fame too. Do not think that all these guys don’t think about it.

    Also, do you know one of the reasons Fitz wants to win a Super Bowl? Because that’s the one thing missing from his resume — something that would solidify his gold jacket (although he’s got one coming anyway, I’d think).

    This idea that Peterson should be shamed for wanting to be in the Hall of Fame is silly. If he plays at a HoF level, that helps the Cardinals, no?

    Also, he was asked about it. It’s not like he brought it up on his own. And it was in context of saying what he can control, which he said was working hard to continue to play well.

  4. By aschatte on Aug 11, 2017 | Reply

    @Scott H – I have been harping about the special teams since the Hall Of Fame Game…they just seems to be something a miss either in coaching from Amos or they just dont have a right players, which has been a constant history. The WR corp seriously looks week, other than Fitz – Why the heck didnt we try to get a WR in the free agency boggles the mind – other than Fitz everyone in the team looks either injured or coming from injury and extremely shaky. We might have to use our TE in play as much as possible – cant expect DJ to be a WR every game as well. Seriously concerned with the whole constant issue at Special Teams – There are still question marks at CB2 as well. I may be concerned for nothing if everything clicks but who am I kidding – I still count on us to go 9-7 though, maybe I am bit too generous

  5. By Jon Elder on Aug 11, 2017 | Reply

    Fair enough Darren. The thing is from my perspective, its just not an isolated incident at all. Its a constant issue.

    Who can forget that whole preseason that was all talk and war of words between Peterson and Sherman? Peterson proceeds to go out and have the worst season of his career (I know it was the diabetes, but all his talk really made him look ridiculous). You think Fitz would have done that stuff or engaged another player that way about who was greater? Be honest, he would not have.

    Peterson is always talking about himself. He’s NOT the same as Fitz, they are two different people and there is just not a comparison in terms of how Peterson conducts himself versus Fitz (or Warner for that matter).

    Warner and Fitz are champions and leaders on the field (hopefully Fitz finally gets that ring this year to make it official).

    PP is cool and a great player, but he should listen to himself and how he comes off sometimes. Its just not a good look

  6. By Darren Urban on Aug 12, 2017 | Reply

    Jon —

    RE: PP/constant issue

    I just amazes me how well Peterson has played, and he doesn’t get in trouble and he’s a husband and father and yet fans want to pick at him (you aren’t the only one). His teammates like him. He’s not messing with the locker room like Sherman can.

    The Peterson/Sherman thing was what, two years ago? Who cares?

    You know what isn’t a good look? What Ezekiel Elliott is accused of doing. You know what isn’t a good look? What Daryl Washington did.

  7. By Don on Aug 11, 2017 | Reply

    You didn’t mention Nkemdiche, there is no question he is physical and disruptive but does have the mental capability to get results against seasoned vets. Going into this season my 2 biggest concerns is our receiving corp and our O-line. I sure hope DJ can play, can’t ask for a better litmus test than Mack.

  8. By mitchaz on Aug 12, 2017 | Reply

    The difference between Fitz and Peterson is that Fitz plays tough and takes pride in doing the dirty work even though he, for example, would prefer not to have to block in the box as much as he is asked to, especially at his age.

    Peterson, on the other hand, is a reluctant tackler and return man.

    Fitz leaves it all out on the field. Peterson does not.

  9. By Marlin on Aug 12, 2017 | Reply

    I agree with Scott H about special teams and especially the punters. Worrisome. Punting = Field position. Anyone who played the game knows how important that is.

  10. By Ryan on Aug 12, 2017 | Reply

    The two Greatest AZ Cardinals CB’s, I love Pat P’s focus on being the best, right now in my book if he keeps its up there will be zero doubt of him getting to Canton.

    But, first we need a Super Bowl Trophy

  11. By Rick Chancellor on Aug 12, 2017 | Reply

    Sit all vets and starters after 1st series . Just let the young guy place. We are too thin everywhere it seems. Injuries kill us every year. Play the guys you are going to cut or need some tape on.

  12. By andystandsup on Aug 12, 2017 | Reply

    You know what isn’t a good look? What Ezekiel Elliott is accused of doing. You know what isn’t a good look? What Daryl Washington did.

    And what Fitz was accused of early in his AZ career.

    Peterson will be the face of the franchise as soon as next season. Might as well get used to it.

  13. By Scott H on Aug 12, 2017 | Reply

    Darren –

    I value what you say, as always, but here’s the thing – you are giving us the player’s perspective on this whole thing. And that’s fine.

    I can only come at it from a FAN’s perspective. I was a fan before Larry Fitzgerald or Patrick Peterson were even born. And ya know what? Ya know what is missing from MY resume? A Super Bowl.

    I don’t begrudge any player’s desire to want to be enshrined someday at Canton. But out here, as a fan…..look, all I can say is that I’ve been witness to Cardinals players going into the HOF. And it’s great when it happens. But I know that experience. I DON’T know how it feels for my team to win a SB. So…..yeah, maybe I do get a little sensitive in regard to anything sounding like a player’s individual achievements are being put ahead of a championship.

    BUT I don’t “shame” Patrick Peterson for what he wants for himself.

  14. By Darren Urban on Aug 12, 2017 | Reply

    Scott H —

    RE: Super Bowl

    I get that. It’s fair.

    But I ask you — or anyone else — how is what Peterson is saying/approaching the game costing the Cardinals a chance to win?

  15. By Coach K on Aug 12, 2017 | Reply


    Last year I traced four losses connected to special teams.

    Do you feel enough has been done this year to correct the flaws?

  16. By Darren Urban on Aug 12, 2017 | Reply

    Coach K —

    RE: Special teams

    To be seen. Like adding Dawson. Still need to figure out punter. Returns hurt when Logan went down, although the effort was made. Coverage? I think that will be better. But special teams is the one spot where you can’t really know for sure until games. You can’t really practice full-tilt.

  17. By Jon on Aug 12, 2017 | Reply

    When Peterson appears reluctant to tackle that is an example of his approach hurting the team. Luckily he’s a great cover corner. But put him out in a space with a big RB and forget it. Its on to the next play.

    Also who was comparing Peterson’s attitude to spousal abusers? C’mon….the stuff about Elliott and Washington has nothing to do with anything.

  18. By Darren Urban on Aug 12, 2017 | Reply

    Jon —

    RE: Comparisons

    I’m saying people find reasons to be grumpy about stuff and there is no reason to be … those were examples about why I’d understand why someone would be grumpy.

    And if we’re talking about nothing to do with anything, what does Patrick mentioning Canton and his tackling have anything to do with each other?

  19. By Scott H on Aug 12, 2017 | Reply

    Darren –

    It isn’t! AND being part of a SB winning team never hurts anyone’s chances when it comes time for HOF nominees to be named. So….let’s win that SB for the good of Patrick Peterson, myself, and Cardinals fans everywhere!

    And above all others, for Larry Fitzgerald. I just get so sad at the thought of people passing by Fitz’ bust in the HOF, years down the road, and saying “Man, it’s such a shame he never got a ring…”

  20. By Jon Elder on Aug 12, 2017 | Reply

    The connection between Canton talk and Peterson’s tackling is that at times it can seem like Peterson is playing for his own glory first. If it comes down to taking a chance of getting hurt versus saving a TD….sometimes I wonder about what Peterson is thinking of first in those moments.

    We saw how far Larry would go in those moments to save the game for the team the last time we were in the SB. I just don’t see Peterson streaking down that sideline in spite of all the odds in that moment.

    Peterson is a great player, but he’ll never be a legend.

  21. By Darren Urban on Aug 12, 2017 | Reply

    Jon —

    RE: Peterson

    We’ll see. I have a feeling you’ll change your mind if he’s made 12 Pro Bowls in 14 Cardinals seasons.

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