Bettcher headed to Giants as Wilks builds staff

Posted by Darren Urban on January 24, 2018 – 8:21 am

New Cardinals coach Steve Wilks said Tuesday that he wants to have his coaching staff filled out by the Super Bowl (10 days from now) and already names are leaking out. Some could be holdover assistants from Bruce Arians’ staff. One will not be James Bettcher, the defensive coordinator who was among the candidates to succeed Arians. Multiple reports have Bettcher headed to the New York Giants as their defensive coordinator under new coach Pat Shurmur.

None of Wilks’ new assistants have been officially announced, but reports have Wilks potentially bringing Panthers linebackers coach Al Holcomb with him from Carolina to be his defensive coordinator. And, of course, Wilks is a defensive guy himself and figures to have a large say on that side of the ball.

As for Bettcher, Cardinals GM Steve Keim called him a “strong candidate” for the Cards’ job following Wilks’ press conference Tuesday.

“James Bettcher is a fantastic coach and he had a great interview,” Keim said. “He did a great job. I thought he did a phenomenal job with our defense. He’s going to continue to grow in this league.”

(The Browns, in announcing they hired Todd Haley as their offensive coordinator, also added a pair off Arians’ staff: Freddie Kitchens, who after 10 years with the Cards will be Cleveland’s running backs/associate head coach, and Amos Jones on special teams.)

Besides Holcomb, there have been reports of Wilks bringing in Ray Brown to coach the offensive line and David Merritt to coach the secondary. If Merritt’s name rings a bell, Keim mentioned it Tuesday during the press conference — noting that Merritt, a teammate of Keim’s at North Carolina State — was the one who originally introduced Keim and Wilks. Keim, of course, said Merritt was a Giants’ assistant coach, where he has been since 2004. With Shurmur’s arrival, he apparently is moving on. Another report has Don Johnson as Wilks’ defensive line coach.

Interviews for offensive coordinator are ongoing, Wilks said Tuesday.

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41 Responses to “Bettcher headed to Giants as Wilks builds staff”

  1. By mitchaz on Jan 24, 2018 | Reply

    I believe that in Steve Wilks, Michael Bidwill and Steve Keim got the best and most dynamic head coach in this year’s pool. Hands down. The majority of the other candidates are strong tacticians—but do they have the innate ability to motivate 53 men? Keim said that he and Michael Bidwill were focused on finding the right kind of leader, regardless of what side of the ball he has previously coached. Bidwill made a stunning point about Wilks’ football IQ and EQ (emotional quotient) as the decisive factors of this hire and the main reasons why Wilks separated himself from the field.

    Already, Wilks’ defensive staff is taking shape. He is bringing Al Holcomb, Carolina’s popular young LB coach, with him as his DC. The stalwart Carolina defense hinged on superb LB play and that should be the case in Arizona as they address the position in free agency and the draft. Keim’s first round draft picks last year, LB Hasaan Reddick already fits Wilks’ and Holcomb’s LB mode because of his speed and versatility. There is a decent chance that Deone Bucannon fits their mold as well, although Bucannon still needs to develop as a downhill tackler and cover ILB. A difficult decision needs to made about Bucannon’s $8.7M option.

    There are some good FA LBs on the market this year, some of which would seem to fit Wilks’ LB mode, such as Todd Davis (Broncos), Nigel Bradham (Eagles), Zach Brown (Redskins), Demario Davis (jets), Christian Jones (Bears), Josh Bynes (Cardinals), Preston Brown (Bills) and Kevin Pierre-Louis (Chiefs).

    What is extremely exciting is the thought of what Wilks will be able to do with the talent in the Cardinals’ secondary. Josh Norman has already notified Patrick Peterson that Wilks is going to take Peterson’s game to a whole new stratosphere. The hiring of Wilks comes at a perfect time for Peterson. Clearly, Wilks is going to have to address the RCB position through FA and/or the draft. Willks has said for years in Carolina that he prefers CBs with size, speed and run-forcing thumping ability. He had that in Norman and then they drafted for that two years ago when they added James Bradberry and Daryl Worley, both of whom check in at around 6-1, 210 pounds. Can Wilks turn around Brandon Williams who has has similar size and speed? Tramon Williams fits the bill and could be a strong FA option, albeit it he is turning 35 this year. UFAs who could be of interest: Bashaud Breeland (Redskins), Marcus Williams (Texans), Kyle Fuller (Bears), Ross Cockrell (Giants) and Patrick Robinson (Eagles).

    At safety, one would expect ballhawking thumper Budda Baker to thrive under Wilks and newly appointed safety coach Dave Merritt (who helped develop Landon Collins into an All-Pro in his second season, setting a Giants’ record for safety tackles with 125). That’s an instant match. Antoine Bethea is coming off one of his best seasons and is very excited to work for Wilks. The biggest question mark is what Wilks will want to do with Tyrann Mathieu, who fits Wilks’ nickel CB role to a tee, but perhaps not at $14M a season. If Wilks is able to convince the Honey Badger to rework his contact, expect Wilks to maximize Honey Badger’s strengths, which would mean no more reps at FS, a position that does not suit Mathieu’s skills set or instincts.

    Up front, Wilks has hired DLC Don Johnson to try to fire this group up. Wills vows to hire coaches who can “relate to different personalities.” Thus, could Don Johnson be the coach who brings Robert Nkemdiche, Olsen Pierre, Rodney Gunter and Xavier Williams into prominence? On the edge, Chandler Jones and Markus Golden should be very happy with Wilks’ aggressive style of play-calling via a variety of blitzes from multiple alignments. It is possible that Wilks may want to sign Carolina’s UFA DT Star Lotulelei to a multi-year contract.

    The Cardinals now face what should be the most important decision (other than hiring Wilks and finding their QB) of this off-season—who is going to be the OC?

    The good news is that former Cardinals’ tackle and Panthers’ OLC Ray Brown is joining the staff. In addition, the Cardinals denied the Seahawks permission to speak with assistant WR coach Kevin Garver who for the past five years has been a favorite of Larry Fitzgerald’s.

    But getting the OC selection right is of paramount importance.

    Rumor had it during the interview process that Steve Wilks wanted John DeFilippo to be his OC. However, since Wilks’ hiring there has been no mention of JDF—perhaps intentionally? DeFilippo could bring the same type of energy and excitement to the offensive side of the ball that Wilks and Holcomb will bring to the defense.

    Some pundits are saying that it would be best for Wilks to hire an OC like Mike McCoy who has previous head coaching experience—to be someone Wilks could lean on as he grows on the job. While such a thought is understandable, Wilks, having spent six years as Ron Rivera’s right hand man in Carolina will not need to lean on any of his assistants. Willks knows the ropes and he knows the pitfalls.

    Last year, the Broncos thought that their new defensive minded HC Vance Joseph could lean on newly re-appointed OC Mike McCoy, but six games into the season McCoy was fired because the offense was over-complicated and could not get on track. The question is—why would the Cardinals choose to put Wilks in a similar situation? Has McCoy since changed his offense and his modus operandi?

    The Cardinals interviewed Darell Bevell, the Seahawks’ recently fired OC. With Bevell there are seemingly more tangible positives. He knows the NFC West. He helped develop QB Russell Wilson to the point where Wilson led the NFL in TD passes (34) this year. When Bevell had a good OL, his rode a stud RB to prominence. Yes there was that infamous play call in Super Bowl L. But, Bevell also does something the Cardinals have not quite done very well in recent years—he runs a dynamic 2 minute offense. Perhaps the best in the league, next to the Patriots’.

    Problem is—Bevell is in Minnesota today interviewing for the Vikings’ OC job.

    Thus, if the Vikings hire Bevell and Wilks no longer has John DeFilippo to turn to, what next?

    Wilks said he wants to have all the coaches hired by the Super Bowl.

    But—this hire is too important to rush. Gather more candidates. Keep the phones open and take applications. Bidwill and Keim can cast their wide net on the remaining OC candidates. Explore the college ranks—it’s becoming vogue now to help young QBs assimilate into the NFL by adopting plays they were comfortable running in college, like the Eagles have done with Carson Wentz.

    Take the time—schedule more reservations at Steak 44—and get the right guy.

  2. By El Gallo on Jan 24, 2018 | Reply

    Good for Bettcher.

    A report says he had his choice to pick from the Giants and Titans, very interesting.

    Coach Buckner, what will happen with Buckner??
    Hope he’s one of the staff members being considered to stay in place with Wilks’ new version of 2018 Cards Defense.

    The pieces are slowly falling into place, next up offense.
    Exciting time, looking forward to Wilks’ brand of football, personnel and philosophies.

  3. By Scott H on Jan 24, 2018 | Reply

    So….the Cardinals had to give Bettcher permission to leave since this is a lateral move for him. Yes?

    Interesting….that he went from a strong candidate to be the HC here to leaving to take the same coordinator job somewhere else.

    But I guess it must have become clear after Wilks was hired that Bettcher was not in his plans. Guess that explains why Bettcher is making a lateral move.

    Nothing against Bettcher, I wish him well, but this isn’t really causing me any great distress.

    I am interested to see who our next D-coordinator will now be, though.

  4. By Darren Urban on Jan 24, 2018 | Reply

    Scott H —

    RE: Permission

    That’s if Bettcher was still under contract. If he was, yes, he needed permission.

  5. By D on Jan 24, 2018 | Reply

    I don’t blame Shurmur taking the NY job. He has a SB winning bridge QB and the Second overall draft pick, much different than here in AZ.

    Bettcher will love the personnel on D for NY. He’ll probably bring Buckner with him, hope they do well.

    Let the Rebuild may hope it’s a Re-tool but we need to get real on the holes on Offense, no one tool can fix the multiple needs/holes and don’t forget it takes time for players to learn a new offense and from new defense coaching.

  6. By forbessh on Jan 24, 2018 | Reply

    The one coach I want us to keep at all costs is Buckner, if at all possible.

    The guy is a leader and is hungry for success. It is arguable that he was the brains and the heart behind the successes of the D.

    His passion is contagious and he knows the pain from losing a close superbowl. He has a bright coaching future.

  7. By patrick on Jan 24, 2018 | Reply

    Not sure if accurate but Jurecki tweeted this:

    As for the Cardinals previous staff only two contracts expired special teams coordinator Amos Jones and Anthony Blevins coaching assistant/assistant special teams.

    18 coaches are still under contract. Coaches w/ new teams (Browns A. Jones, Steelers D. Drake, Giants J. Bettcher)

  8. By Adam Smith b1723 fka DTL on Jan 24, 2018 | Reply

    Wilks appears to have shades of BA Bad Ass demeanor but reports of his attention to fundamentals, discipline, accountability also auger for his success.

    So, who’s our QB, lol? My vote is for Alex Smith and some surprises.

  9. By D on Jan 24, 2018 | Reply

    Ray Brown, possible new OL coach for AZ has worked with both Mike Iupati and hot free agent to be, LG A. Norwell from the Panthers…

  10. By Joe C. on Jan 24, 2018 | Reply

    Darren, Can HB’s contract be reworked? Do you know any round numbers on that? i.e. If he has $20M guaranteed in the future already his rework would have to increase that right? Sometimes its better to eat the terms and get it over with if you don’t want to cut the player.

  11. By Darren Urban on Jan 24, 2018 | Reply

    Joe C —

    RE: Mathieu

    If you are asking if it is allowed, yes, any contract can be reworked if both sides agree.

    In terms of Tyrann specifically, I don’t know what will happen, if anything.

  12. By Dynosoar on Jan 24, 2018 | Reply

    First of all,

    I say ask JTDG to interview for the Offensive Coordinator. I’d love that and we’d get the offense we want. JTDG, you could also have more influence on the draft and that would be sweetness. Imagine the publicity JTDG could bring as a regular blogger turned OC made into a movie as we go to the Super Bowl with our new coach. (And lest anyone think I’m being sarcastic as I’ve over the years led ya’ll to believe I can be, I’m serious. We all know JTDG’s passion and commiment and ability to study on his own time and nail many things, what if, JTDG, you could do the same full time. How much could you contribute?)

    I don’t know how to go about it, but I’d love to at least see you John, have an interview. At least an interview with Steve Wilks and Steve Keim would be awesome!


    I agree with forbessh, I want to see Brenston Buckner stay on this staff. He has a defensive line that’s among the best (even though we see all it’s flaws, that line has had huge successes as well.) I love that when ever I see a big play, he seems to be right there congratulating the player(s) involved.

    I’d also love to keep Tom Moore. Not sure if he’ll stay in coaching with BA retired, but I’d love this.

  13. By forbessh on Jan 24, 2018 | Reply

    RE: Mathieu

    IF it was my money, no way I would keep him at $15 or 20M a year. He hasn’t delivered bigtime plays for 2.5years. He got paid and lost his hunger. I would say thanks for good memories and let him walk. Budda is playing better for much less $ and I would get a FA or talented impact rookie. Last year’s draft class are showing the way for other teams e.g. Lattimore, Fournette, Kamara, K Hunt etc.

  14. By jeffcardinalfan on Jan 24, 2018 | Reply

    it sounds like wilks plans to win right away instead of rebuilding. to me this means cards will go hard for free agent qb unless hes sold on gabbert. I would be happy if cards went with gabbert, put a good ol in front of him, signed a good #2corner, rreworked hb’s contract, drafted Rudolph at 15,cut/traded Gresham, let ati go, use comp picks to mve up to end u with bete picks for ol, wr, and lb. bringing in top lb and dt would be great but cards have to addres ol and wideout and 2nd corner first imo. my guess is that larry comes back IF he is told he will not be blocking as much.

    so far the only negative thought I have about wiks is that riveria allowed(even encouraged) excessive showboating which led to dumb penalties on panthers.
    whomever becomes oc is of course vitally important as will be rb coach-if they want to use ap and dj at the same time and if they could get ap to buy into it that would really take pressure off of qb.

  15. By Adam Smith b1723 fka DTL on Jan 24, 2018 | Reply

    Alex Smith
    #11 QB
    Kansas City Chiefs | Official Team Site
    Height: 6-4 Weight: 217 Age: 33
    Experience: 13th season

    TDS 26 INT 5 YDS 4,042 RTG 104.7
    This dude in his prime. 3 years $75M, 2nd rounder. Done.

    That’s all i have to say about that!

  16. By JTDG on Jan 24, 2018 | Reply


    A star guard is not overpaid at 9.7 million , so if Iupati could find his form again, that would be huge. He hasn’t played well since 2015, but if Ray Brown can revive him, that would be a welcomed situation.

    I think we both agree on Norwell, although, there are some really good guards in this draft too. Just not enough picks in the first two rounds.

  17. By JTDG on Jan 24, 2018 | Reply


    I am more of a DC guy than an OC guy.

    Yeah, I think Coach Wilks would take some heat hiring an ex-HS coach to be his OC. Even Darren might rip Wilks for that move.

    But seriously, this is a tough moment with the cards. Even card fans can’t agree. Do we trade up and get a young QB or do we bring in a vet and win now.

    Like most fans, I have mixed emotions on the subject.

    I think when you go young QB, you have to focus on players who can help the QB succeed. Defense is not a priority as you need to draft/sign some lineman and receivers.

    I think if you go the vet way and win now approach, you look for impact players to help you win right now. Maybe you keep Veldheer and Iupati another year, add a vet at guard and sign a vet at CB. Then maybe look for a difference maker in round one like a star ILB that is 6’5″ and 250 pounds who can run like a deer in Tremaine Edmunds or a stud CB in Denzel Ward, and then sign a QB like Alex Smith.

    I see merit in both camps. It is hard for some fans to take a step back in order to take two steps forward. It is rare to have a rookie QB win and if you trade up for one, it doesn’t make sense you sit him behind a vet.

    So, I will say, I am not a Keim fan, but he has a difficult situation, because either way he goes, he will get ripped by people on this board.

    To me, the worst thing Keim can do is go halfway with either decision. What I mean by that is, try and roll with the same line while drafting a QB, or bringing in a vet QB and not signing a CB2 or receivers. That, my friend, is unexcusable.

  18. By Joe C. on Jan 24, 2018 | Reply

    HB has $9.3M in dead money. Cap savings $4.8M. So unless you can rework him, which I don’t think is viable you keep him since you’re tying up 70% of his salary even if you cut him. 2019 is a little better. 2020 you can cut him. So you pay him this year and rework 2019 and 2020 if you want to keep him. Gresham is a terrible contract!

  19. By creditcard on Jan 24, 2018 | Reply


    Is Byron Leftwich (sp?) still on staff? If so, do you believe he would continue to be a coach in some capacity?

  20. By Darren Urban on Jan 24, 2018 | Reply

    Credit —

    RE: Leftwich

    I do believe he still has a contract, but Wilks has to interview for his staff. I wouldn’t be surprised if Leftwich is a possibility to stay.

  21. By georgiebird on Jan 24, 2018 | Reply

    A lot of guys worrying about HB’s contract and dead money. My question- how often are other teams calling trying to pry the HB away from the Cards.?
    My thoughts on the Cards after hiring a novice coach who inherits a major QB problem and a probable change in defensive scheme.
    1) take any offer for the HB
    2) give Larry a chance to get a ring elsewhere-
    3) see if someone is in love with PP and will pay a ransom to get him
    4) Give Keim one more year to get the draft right
    5) the West is the best Division in the NFL- small moves won’t work
    6) the West has all young QBs- Cards need one at any cost
    7) rather than patchwork moves -blow it up

  22. By Darren Urban on Jan 24, 2018 | Reply

    Georgie —

    RE: Fitz

    Why would they trade Fitz? I just don’t get this sentiment. You’ll never get the compensation to make up for what you would lose. Period.

    And again, as I have said a few times, if Fitz wanted to play elsewhere so much, he wouldn’t have signed a contract and let himself hit free agency.

  23. By Joe C. on Jan 24, 2018 | Reply

    And as far as trading HB, no one is going to pay him $14M. Which in a trade is what they’d be on the hook for for two years plus some more. I look at dead money because it is the key to many personnel decisions. Remember D. Washington? The Cards kept him all those years because cutting him was a bigger cp hit then keeping him. Gresham will count more against the cap next year if you cut him. So HB costs $9M if you cut him, $14M if you keep him. So for $6M a year you keep him. We don’t need a young QB at any cost, unless you want to be the Browns. Draft a bunch of depth and hope for 3 gems and find a decent QB in FA.

  24. By georgiebird on Jan 24, 2018 | Reply

    I understand your sentiment about Larry. He will go down as the greatest Cardinals player ever.
    Larry signed because he thought the Cards had a shot- it was a miscalculation on Larry’s part because the Cards had no shot and that’s with David and Carson. Palmer was in decline and I think the Cards odds to win either SB 51 or SB52 were about 33-1.
    Holding on to Larry is the equivalent to the Browns holding on to Joe Thomas as they get ready to draft another QB.#1.
    I agree, the Cards can never get back what Larry means to the Cardinals organization. The point of my post was to put together some pieces with HB, Larry and PP to be able to move up from #15 to land the top QB-in SK’s eyes. The division is too strong for a new and untested HC to compete given the other QBs in the division.
    And if the Cards are going after an existing QB, I think that Andy Dalton may make the most sense given that AJ McCarron may be ready to start and Dalton could be available with some creativity. Dalton is tough, can run and may need a change of scenery. I like Dalton better than the other guys mentioned – given a level playing field.

  25. By Darren Urban on Jan 24, 2018 | Reply

    Georgie —

    RE: Fitz

    With all due respect, signing that deal had little to do with any “miscalculation.” (And forgive me for playing this card, but I am closer to the situation than you.)

    Fitz signed the deal in part because the Cardinals wanted to make sure a deal was in place so they had certainty that if he did play in 2018, he wouldn’t be a free agent. And Fitz signed the deal because — wait for it — he doesn’t want to play anywhere else at this point.

    Fitz signed the deal for 2018 on Nov. 17. Palmer was already out for the season. Johnson was out for the season. There was already a chance BA and/or Palmer would retire. Not sure how Fitz would’ve not understood any of that.

    Your idea of adding pieces I understand. But even they did trade Fitz — which again, will never, ever happen — they won’t get anything for a soon-to-be 35-year-old who is not sure if he’ll play after the current year.

  26. By georgiebird on Jan 24, 2018 | Reply

    Thanks for your insight. I enjoy the back and forth.

  27. By Darren Urban on Jan 24, 2018 | Reply

    Georgie —

    RE: Back and forth

    Me too.

  28. By Dr. G. on Jan 24, 2018 | Reply

    Dynosoar – as for your creative fantasy, I’ll help you write the script…jtdg seems to do his homework as opposed to some plagiarism that appears here occasionally. ((But no Beliebers here))! ((Just kidding))

    jtdg – just one reply on your query about getting a FA QB and try to win now, or trade up for the young buck…. WE CAN DO BOTH! Smith and work a pick deal. Gonna be REDUNDANT until something happens. And surely agree, gotta fix the O-line.

    Darren, if you answered, I missed it. With Wilks saying he would have all coaches in place before the SB, does that mean he sees NO Pats or Eagles coaches he would consider… or maybe just showing Keim the “”let’s get to it work ethic?”” Can’t imagine no one there isn’t worth considering. Thanks

  29. By Darren Urban on Jan 24, 2018 | Reply

    Dr. G —

    RE: Coaches

    That’s how I interpreted it. But we’ll know when the staff is announced.

  30. By MartinK on Jan 25, 2018 | Reply

    Does anyone know if Darrell Bevell was offered the job? He would be my choice for OC. That man has caused us so much pain in the past…..

    Regardless, I believe there is great potential of Wilks capitalizing on team and player potentials that were not realized under a somewhat inflexible Bruce Arians system. For example, I would not be surprised if our offensive line play would hugely improve under a new coach that doesn’t expect them to hold up for eternities to go deep all the time. Sharp, aggressive line play instead of five big dudes wobbling around nervously before the snap because there are too many options and adjustments. Safeties not playing linebacker all the time and then getting injured. Fullbacks!? Rookies being treated respectfully and not being ridiculed in front of the media — so they can focus on learning?

    I am not trying to bash Arians who helped build up the Cardinals to an organization that players want to play for and we can be proud of. But there were limitations and weaknesses that new staff can capitalize on because they bring a set of new eyes and new approaches.

  31. By JTDG on Jan 25, 2018 | Reply

    Total Speculation,

    But is our OC coaching in the Superbowl ?

  32. By JTDG on Jan 25, 2018 | Reply

    Not sure if everyone / anyone is watching the Senior Bowl practices, But man can Josh Allen throw.

    I’m thinking, out of the 3 QBs, Allen has the highest ceiling. I think Darnald is a Franchise QB, and I think Rosen is a Jared Goff clone, But Josh Allen has a once in a decade arm with touch.

    I’m starting to believe the possibility of Allen going as the number one pick.

    I also think coaches are seeing Baker Mayfield up close and personnel. From what I am hearing, he is the Alpha Male in the room. Everyone gravitates to him. At 6′ and 216 pounds, he is small, but is making all the throws. Personally, he is not my kind of QB, but I am thinking he is doing enough to get drafted in round one.

    With Elway there and the Broncos are coaching one side, there is zero chance Josh Allen gets past pick 5. But do the broncos come away with a high enough opinion of Mayfield to take him at 5 if Darnald, Rosen and Allen are gone?

    As for other players and Cardinals needs;

    Michael Gallup is going to be a very good receiver in the NFL. He just is a solid player. Daeshaun Hamilton is also playing really well. DJ Chark of LSU is flashing, but the South team QBs are not slinging it like the North, so he is not getting the same chances.

    Guards Will Hernandez and Isaiah Wynn are future Pro Bowlers. Put Hernandez at RG and Wynn at LG and you have an instant run game. Love what I see from these two.

    Tackles Alex Cappa shows a nasty side, while Tackle Joe Noteboom has a huge wingspan and will be excellent as a RT.

    A surprising ILB has jumped out in Nick Deluca. This guy would be a solid ILB, while Tre Williams has flashed.

    Harrison Phillips looks like a defensive lineman who could help your team. Solid vs run and has pass rush ability

    The CBs are alright. The top guys are not here, but there are guys who can play.

  33. By JTDG on Jan 25, 2018 | Reply

    Dr G,

    Do Both;

    Us fans is why you can’t do both. Look at the Chiefs. Alex Smith played well right? Played so well, you want him here in AZ.

    But why do the Chiefs want to deal him? Because there is a pressure to get their first round QB on the field. He is the future.

    If we traded for Smith and , in some miracle, Josh Allen dropped to 15. Every fan is waiting to see this rookie take over. Every bad pass or INT that Smith throws, fans boo and call for Allen.

    As for Smith, he won’t want to be in that situation a third time, as it happened to him with Kaep, it is happening to him with Mahomes, why would he come here with a QB in waiting?

    Now, if you want to look at a 4th or 5th round guy to draft, sure, it makes sense. But the odds that 5th round QB becomes anything more than a back up are huge.

    I think Smith is more of a starter than stop gap. Stanton is a stop gap. Gabbert is a stop gap. Those are guys you play till the drafted QB is ready.

    Going with Smith means you gave up draft picks and paid a bunch of money so you can try and win now. (gotta believe that sounds like the Jags)

  34. By D on Jan 25, 2018 | Reply

    I would be okay with S. Bradford as the 2018 starter and draft a
    M. Rudolph or L. Falk in rounds 2 or 3.

    Bradford would be heck of a lot cheaper than A. Smith and K. Cousins and wouldn’t require giving up a Valuable 2nd Round draft pick.

    The knock on Bradford is staying healthy, hence fixing the O line is paramount.

  35. By clssylssy on Jan 25, 2018 | Reply

    Have also been watching the Senior Bowl some and was blown away by Hernandez. For QBs I like Darnold, I’m not as hyped on Mayfield as most as I think he’s something of a headcase who could suck the life out of an organization who wasn’t established enough and with enough other “alphas” in the room to keep him in line. I know BA was smitten with him but, in many ways, that figures, as he reminds me of Big Ben in a lot of ways–same ego, maturity level (at that age), same raw talent and skillset. almost a natural with a frat boy mentality.
    Mayfield would be ALOT of work in many ways but might be a really good fit with the Broncos (having Elway holding him accountable might keep his feet on the ground) Steelers, Patriots. I’m kinda liking Josh Allen but am concerned with accuracy issues that have been talked about. I don’t know how much of that is true, what’s your impression? I don’t want to get another guy who has a canon for an arm but can’t ever put the ball where it needs to go…accuracy is critical, IMO,
    I’ve seen Mayfield and Rudolph both play and kinda like Rudolph, I’m not that impressed with Rosen.
    If we take a QB, I would like to keep Stanton as he seems to be a good teacher and is solid, has a good football IQ, and would make a good “bridge” guy/mentor. I think he is satisfied with his role and understands the value of a quality backup, whereas, Gabbert doesn’t do a thing for me as far as leadership goes and embracing the importance of being in a supportive role rather than the star honcho…plus his accuracy is terrible. He seems like a good guy but doesn’t seem to have the necessary initiative/confidence. Whatever happens with the QB situation, will be dependant largely on who we can get for coaching staff on the offense. I think with the right people spending big bucks and draft picks would be counterproductive.
    The more I listen to Wilks, the more I really like his philosophy and way of doing things. i especially like his “culture of excellence” philosophy, his value for teaching and development, and ideas concerning accountability (we’ve heard that word tossed around so much in recent years that it’s practically lost any meaning).
    A month ago, I had lost interest in football and didn’t see much hope for the Cards as the 9ers and Rams were rapidly rising and the Hawks were cleaning house to bring a new freshness but, whoever we get on the offensive side of the ball, I believe will have the same core values and philosophy for achieving excellence and the team won’t be in the kind of trouble that seemed to be a foregone conclusion.
    I’m actually getting excited to see what’s around the next corner!

  36. By Dr. G. on Jan 25, 2018 | Reply

    jtdg – Re Smith, why? It’s called big $$$…plus he is 33…a couple years, maybe 3 prior to going fishing…give us time to get the QB pick and get him ready. If we roll snake eyes in 2018, he gives us another roll in 2019… Smith can get it done now…Fitz will not root for a rookie ((guessing))… How many Daks are around ever? No rebuilding!

    be well

  37. By Dr. G. on Jan 25, 2018 | Reply

    jtdg…actually Smith will be 34 in May for the 2018 season…later

  38. By JTDG on Jan 25, 2018 | Reply

    Dr G,

    We may be saying the same thing, not sure.

    If the cards bring in Alex Smith to win now and pay him big bucks for the next 3 years, and give up draft picks to trade and get him, I highly doubt they would want a highly drafted rookie sitting all that time.

    You either go with Smith and maybe a late pick QB who might have something down the road or you roll with a Stanton type and get your QB high.

    In today’s NFL, you just can’t do both.

  39. By JTDG on Jan 25, 2018 | Reply


    My impression of Josh Allen;

    From what I see, he is highly competitive. Has one of the best arms in a long time. Can drop the ball in a bucket 40 yards down the field. (see his bowl game).

    His throw in Senior Bowl practice 40 yards down the field hitting the receiver in stride brought ooohhs and ahhhs out of those watching and a jumping chest bump from Mayfield.

    The kid can throw the ball. So why does he have a lower comp %. ?
    A couple reasons.
    -First, the style of offense they run, pushes the ball down the field , forcing harder throws. Not a lot of high percentage throws.
    – Second, the talent at receiver is not NFL caliber. There were a lot of dropped passes.

    He also has great running ability. At 6’5″ and 240, he has speed and quickness you wouldn’t expect. Also, when he scrambles, he looks down field. He made throws on the run on target, hitting receivers in stride, down the field 30-40 yards away. A throw yesterday, he was scrambling and hit a receiver on the sideline 20 yards away without even squaring his shoulders, but instead a flip of the arm.

    I’m highly impressed with him, but I have been talking about him all year. It is tough, because I think Darnald is the top QB, but Allen is right there. I say 1A and 1B.

  40. By JTDG on Jan 25, 2018 | Reply

    Someone asked me on this board, maybe more than once, if I would trade Pat Peterson.

    My answer has always been, only if I could land my Franchise QB. I think Pat P is the best CB in football and do not subscribe to those who bash him.

    But, I think if Darnald or Allen were there at pick 3 with the colts or 4 with the browns, I would make that trade if those teams would. Straight up (well, I would actually throw in Mathieu too).

    The pick of Darnald or Allen is a Franchise changing trade. Then at 15, you could land a receiver, guard, or center.

    By the way, Daniel Jeramiah has said that Center James Daniels is the best center he has seen in the last 5 years. Allen and Daniels is a nice beginning.

  41. By clssylssy on Jan 26, 2018 | Reply

    Thanks for your take on Josh Allen, I had kinda wondered about the receiver quotient myself but hadn’t really heard anybody bring that up. Certainly we have see how a player’s production can be influenced by the person on the other end of the ball with Fitz having to endure some pretty lack luster QBs. I have to agree that Josh Allen and Darnold seem to be the two top guys but, I’m afraid it would take a minor miracle and some pretty fancy footwork to make that happen.
    Hopefully, the confidence and drive I see in our new HC will rub off some on the FO so that this draft can be the long awaited success!

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