Cards bring back Ali

Posted by Darren Urban on January 13, 2011 – 3:22 pm

The Cardinals have re-signed fullback Charles Ali for 2011. Ali was with the team over the offseason, but got hurt early in training camp while trying to battle for the lone fullback slot and was waived. So he will give it another shot. He’s the lone fullback under contract for 2011 at this point. Nehemiah Broughton, who continues to show up daily to rehab the knee he blew out in the preseason, and 2010 starter Reagan Maui’a both are free agents heading into the offseason.

Apropos of nothing, there is nothing new today on the search for a defensive coordinator. Not sure if anything will be going on tomorrow either, but if there is something to report, I will (and if you are looking for immediacy and don’t already go here, try or look at the Twitter feed on the right side of the blog page).

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Broughton probably done

Posted by Darren Urban on August 28, 2010 – 9:16 pm

Coach Ken Whisenhunt said fullback Nehemiah Broughton, who would have been the starter and probably the lone fullback on the roster, likely tore the ACL in his left knee. The team will do further tests, but if true, he is done for the season. It makes for a bind for the Cards. Do they keep current backup Reagan Maui’a? Do they bring back Charles Ali, who was the backup earlier in camp before getting hurt and cut?

UPDATE: The Cards can’t bring back Ali. He was released through an injury settlement, and the Cards wouldn’t be able to bring him back until October.

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Cards bring Maui’a back once again

Posted by Darren Urban on August 9, 2010 – 7:58 am

Reagan Maui’a is back once again.

The fullback was released right before training camp when rookie linebacker Daryl Washington signed. The Cards already had Nehemiah Broughton and Charles Ali at the position and that was enough. But then Ali hurt his hamstring Friday and was going to be out “a couple weeks,” coach Ken Whisenhunt said Saturday, and that was too long for a team already short at the similar tight end position. So the Cards waived-injured Ali Monday morning and re-signed Maui’a, who was also with the Cards last camp, was cut, and then brought back this offseason.

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Williams, Grimm and Whiz

Posted by Darren Urban on August 3, 2010 – 12:37 pm

Not only did we get coach Ken Whisenhunt for a lunchtime presser today, but also Russ Grimm — the man is going into the Hall of Fame this weekend — and newcomer Dan Williams. Bits and pieces from all (although I will have Grimm and Williams stories up later today):

— Williams passed his conditioning test, although Whisenhunt said he was told by Justin Casey — the Cards’ front office man who drove Williams up to Flagstaff — the Williams must have brought up the test “at least 25 times” on the two-and-a-half hour ride. Williams was fine, and he weighed in at 325 pounds, which is actually a little lower than his max allowed weight.

— Grimm is set to leave after the night practice tomorrow to go to Canton for the Hall of Fame induction. He has to stay through the game Sunday night, so he will have to return next Monday. I’m sure he isn’t thrilled having to be gone that long, but duty calls, and you’re only inducted into the Hall of Fame once.

— Whisenhunt said he likes the work he has seen from fullback Nehemiah Broughton and fellow FB Charles Ali is in the mix, but the Cards are also using tight end Dominique Byrd in the backfield some and Whiz likes how that has looked. If Byrd can do well there, it would go a long way toward helping him stick on the roster.

— Whiz, asked about Brett Favre, you know, if Favre really is retiring, what his thoughts were. “We talked about this last year,” deadpanned Whisenhunt. The coach talked about how much respect he has for Favre, noting “I know (retirement) is a decision he has to make. This game and this league will miss him if he doesn’t play.” Whiz was then asked if that meant he was one of those out there that thinks Favre still hasn’t made up his mind. Quipped Whisenhunt, “Like I said, we had this conversation last year.”

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Have Cards Broughton in a fullback?

Posted by Darren Urban on May 26, 2010 – 4:41 pm

In the Kurt Warner years, a fullback wasn’t featured much of the time on offense, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t used. (I have to say, I had a soft spot in my heart for old I-45 a couple years ago — Terrelle Smith). Smith was gone in 2009, opening the spot for another veteran Dan Kreider. Krieder too is gone and the Cards are searching for his replacement.

They may have added him while Kreider was still on the roster. The team signed Nehemiah Broughton in January off the practice squad of the New York Giants, right after the regular season ended but while the Cards were still practicing (and would be for another two weeks). That was good enough to convince the Cards to keep him around.

“It’s a position that is hard to find guys,” coach Ken Whisenhunt said. “Nehemiah has good size (at 6-foot, 255 pounds) and is very athletic. He came in and worked hard for us. I am excited to see how he develops because obviously, it’s a position where we need someone to do it. You are looking for someone to step up and he’s got a little bit of a leg up because of the work he did with us last season.”

Right now, fullback is one of the positions difficult to evaluate. That spot hits, and no one is hitting in shorts. Whisenhunt said the goal-line drills in Flagstaff are one of the proving grounds for those players. “I would like to see what happens in games, what happens in training camp when the pads go on,” Whisenhunt said

Broughton took almost all the reps in minicamp because Reagan Maui’a was hurt. Afterward, the Cards also brought in Charles Ali, who had been with the Browns most recently. The Cardinals figure to need a quality fullback, given the retirement of Kurt Warner and the assumed increase in the running game.

“I just want to play football and make this ballclub,” Broughton said. “Coaches make those decisions. … But I am very confident in my abilities.”

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Cardinals sign FB Ali

Posted by Darren Urban on May 7, 2010 – 1:26 pm

Continuing to mine one-time Browns (it’s probably not a coincidence guys like Derek Anderson and Rex Hadnot are here with Director of Pro Personnel T.J. McCreight having come from Cleveland) the Cardinals have signed fullback Charles Ali to a one-year deal Friday. The team needed another body at the position after talks to bring back Dan Kreider fell through. Ali joins Nehemiah Broughton and Reagan Maui’a on the roster as blocking backs.

At 6-foot-2 and 255 pounds, Ali has been in the league since 2007, playing two years in Cleveland before going to Baltimore last season briefly after playing for New York in the UFL. The Ravens brought him back after the season. He was released by the Ravens in April.

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