Levi to IR and moves to get to 75 on roster

Posted by Darren Urban on August 24, 2012 – 3:56 pm

The Cardinals have trimmed their roster to the requisite 75 by cutting 12 players today, in addition to waiving injured fullback Jared Crank (neck) and running back Thomas Clayton (knee) and putting on injured reserve tackle Levi Brown, which officially ends Brown’s season. The Cards had until Monday to make the moves. The cut to 53 players must come a week from today, the day after the Cards close out the preseason with a game against Denver.

The 12 released were:

— DE Landon Cohen

— WR Gino Crump

— S Eddie Elder

— WR Tre Gray

— CB Marshay Green

— WR Jaymar Johnson

— FB Reagan Maui’a

— LB Marcus McGraw

— LB Zack Nash

— CB James Nixon

— K/P Ricky Schmitt

— LB Paul Vassallo

On a side note, defensive tackle Ricky Lumpkin was fined by the NFL $21,000 for hitting a defenseless player in the head/neck area, in this case, Raiders quarterback Matt Leinart. It’s a hefty sum for a guy who has yet to collect anything more than a practice squad paycheck in the league. (Kicker and NFLPA player rep Jay Feely informs us the fine is not collected unless Lumpkin makes a roster.)

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The list of Not-Dressing for the Hall of Fame game

Posted by Darren Urban on August 5, 2012 – 3:56 pm

There is no inactive list technically for the preseason because there doesn’t have to be any inactives, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be guys who will not dress. Most are injury related. Some we knew about, some we didn’t. Don’t Didn’t know the details on every injury, but I’ll try to track them down when I can know I do. Don’t expect any to be serious:

— CB Crezdon Butler (hip)

— DT Darnell Dockett (hamstring)

— DE Nick Eason (He isn’t here; His mother has been very ill, as he has pointed out on Twitter)

— CB Marshay Green (hamstring)

— RB Javarris James (abductor strain)

— TE Jeff King (PUP — quad)

— LB Zach Nash (ankle)

— RB Beanie Wells (PUP — knee)

— RB Ryan Williams (patella)

— WR Stephen Williams (hamstring)

— S Adrian Wilson (calf)

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A Hollywood star comes to practice

Posted by Darren Urban on August 2, 2012 – 5:58 pm

The lone practice Thursday afternoon had an unexpected side story — a celebrity fan. Movie star Channing Tatum was on hand watching the workout, thanks to a long-standing friendship with safety Kerry Rhodes. Not unexpected was the stir it created. Tatum’s appearance in Flagstaff had reached across the internet earlier in the afternoon, with people trying to confirm if Tatum was indeed there. After practice, Tatum spoke with coach Ken Whisenhunt, a handful of Cardinals player wives on hand took a picture with him and players were bombarded with questions.

As a team, “we kept our composure,” deadpanned quarterback John Skelton.

Rhodes and Tatum both grew up in Alabama, and met through Rhodes’ sister. “He’s like my brother,” Rhodes said. “We’ve known each other for a while. He’s blown up and done such a good job, I’m proud of him.” Tatum appeared on the season’s first edition of The Big Red Rage, which Rhodes hosts on Arizona Sports 620.

The players have seen their share of celebrity. “We’ve got Larry Fitzgerald and that’s pretty high-powered,” Rhodes said. “But I don’t think Larry can do the strip-tease Channing could do in ‘Magic Mike.’

In the end, Rhodes said, he was just happy to energize the crowd and maybe even bring out a few more fans, “because at the end of the day, it’s about the Cardinals.”

— S Adrian Wilson, CB Marshay Green, RB William Powell and WR Stephen Williams all were out of practices with unknown injuries. CB Crezdon Butler (hip) and RB Javarris James (abductor) remain sidelined as well. RB Ryan Williams took another rest day.

(Here’s a picture of Tatum, Whisenhunt and Rhodes, courtesy of media relations man Mark Dalton.).

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Seahawks aftermath

Posted by Darren Urban on January 1, 2012 – 11:32 pm

There was frustration late in regulation after the Cards’ offense couldn’t generate any movement right before the two-minute warning. In three plays, the Cards couldn’t gain a first down and could only burn 12 seconds off the clock. The defense was exhausted.

But they huddled up and rallied. The Seahawks weren’t going to score again, not in regulation, and certainly not in overtime. That’s how the defense was the last half of the season. “I think we’re gonna be pretty good,” safety Adrian Wilson said.

There was no question the end of Sunday’s season finale win was about Larry Fitzgerald but it was also about that defense, overcoming two big plays against it – the 61-yard pass that beat Marshay Green and the 48-yard Leon Washington run, both for TDs. If they can secure defensive end Calais Campbell with a long-term contract (he will be around in 2012 regardless), if they can get another pass rusher to help out the linebacking corps, if they can get Greg Toler back healthy and re-sign Richard Marshall, you have to like where the defense is going – especially after seeing where it had been.

— I’m not going to go on and on about Larry Fitzgerald, even though I could. One catch for two yards in the first half, and then to finish 9-149? That one-handed catch in OT was amazing, but, being on the field and seeing that first 26-yarder he had in overtime, the one that looked impossible to grab in between two defenders, that was the kind of play that leaves you speechless.

“I see it every day in practice,” Wilson said. “That’s Fitz. It’s not uncommon for him to make a pinky catch or an over-the-shoulder, one-handed with people dragging all over him.”

— Fitz has now played the Seahawks 16 times in his career. His stats? 102 catches, 1,371 yards, 10 touchdowns.

— I was impressed Fitz admitted that, in the past, he would have sulked had he only had one catch in the first half. They can’t have that from him, and he knows it. Another reason they had no problem giving him the huge contract before the season.

— Quarterback John Skelton was asked about having a chance at being a starter in 2012. “I hope I do. That’s for the coaching staff to determine. … Kevin (Kolb) and I have a great relationship, we push each other and we always help each other out. We will see what happens.”

Whiz will be asked about it tomorrow, but I’m guessing Skelton will have a chance to fight for the job, while Kolb will be, officially, the No. 1 heading into the offseason.

— Skelton missed too many throws Sunday, his biggest bugaboo. You can’t miss the throws when they are there.

— The Cards finally got an interception on a well-designed scheme that made it easy for Marshall to make a pick. But if linebacker Daryl Washington had just been able to hang on for the one that would have prevented a field goal – “I was looking at the end zone,” Washington said. “I don’t even really want to even talk about it” – then maybe defensive coordinator Ray Horton wouldn’t be trying to focus on getting more turnovers this offseason.

— Washington played a really good game, however. He had 11 tackles, including a couple for loss.

— Cornerback Marshay Green gets in his first NFL game, and he’ll be remembered for getting on the wrong side of Ricardo Lockette’s catch. Green felt he got a little unlucky on the catch, and Lockette did make a nice play to concentrate on making a bobbling grab. Why Green? “We just wanted to make sure with Patrick (Peterson) he didn’t get tired and have fatigue with his Achilles (injury),” coach Ken Whisenhunt said. “We had the extra corner up so we had a rotation.”

— Todd Heap and Chester Taylor each scored their first touchdowns as Cardinals in the final game of the season. Assuming Ryan Williams comes back as expected, I don’t see Taylor on the roster next season. Heap is signed and I’d think, in the end, he’ll be back, but I don’t think it’s a lock, depending on the progress of Rob Housler.

— Good to see Vonnie Holliday play well. I’d think they’d like Holliday back if he wants to come back. Great in the locker room. And as he noted himself, it looks like he’s got a little bit of football left in his 36-year-old body.

— Running back LaRod Stephens-Howling played a solid game, with 93 yards on 21 carries. He was effective at the very end plowing up the middle as the Cards set up field-goal range. At his size, he can’t do that all the time, but there were times during the season he looked like he passed up some chances because he wanted to bounce it outside.

— It got pretty chippy out there against Seattle and it looked like a playoff berth was on the line, not just 8-8. There were seven total personal fouls/15-yard penalties called in the game. “Division games, around the league, they are more physical than the rest,” said Cardinals tackle Levi Brown, who drew one of the flags when he shoved a Seattle player to the ground for tangling with Skelton after a play. “You see them twice a year. Once you see a team and those guys over and over, you learn to not really like those guys.”

OK. The Cards wrap up first thing in the morning. We’ll talk more then.

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Keith to IR; Green up as Peterson insurance

Posted by Darren Urban on December 31, 2011 – 11:01 am

With the status of cornerback Patrick Peterson uncertain — Peterson will be a game day decision — the Cardinals covered their bases Saturday by promoting cornerback Marshay Green from the practice squad. To make room for Green, the Cards officially put tackle Brandon Keith on injured reserve. Keith had already been declared out of Sunday’s game.

Green was on the roster for the final six games of 2010 as a rookie, but was inactive every week.

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Friday before the Ravens

Posted by Darren Urban on October 28, 2011 – 4:07 pm

The question was about quarterback Kevin Kolb taking “heat” – or too much of it – given the way the first six games had gone. Coach Ken Whisenhunt shook his head, although his answer wasn’t just about Kolb.

“I don’t think anybody can take too much heat when your record is where it is,” Whisenhunt said. “We have to be very clear about it. Our expectations are not to be where we are as a team. We are disappointed. It hurts. We hurt all the time, because we want to be good. We want our fans to be proud of our team. We haven’t done that.

“Criticism is justified. That’s this game. If fans weren’t out there caring then we’d be concerned. All I’ll tell you is that we are working hard and we that we believe we are going to get it fixed.”

Getting it fixed this weekend in Baltimore is a major task. The time change shouldn’t be an issue – I write this at 30,000 feet on the flight east on Friday – although playing better is. I remember the last time the Cards played in Baltimore/played the Ravens. That was the 2007 visit, in which Kurt Warner had his initial “Wow, maybe he’ll have a rebirth” thoughts has he shredded the Ravens splitting time with Matt Leinart (Anquan Boldin, coincidentally, had 14 catches for 181 yards that day too).

— Given that Whisenhunt acknowledged Monday that the fear was that running back Beanie Wells was done for the season when he first hurt his knee last weekend against the Steelers, it’s amazing to me he was able to practice as much as he did this week. I thought there would be three DNPs, and instead, Beanie got in a pair of improving “limited” showings. Will he play Sunday? I think he is about as truly “questionable” as a player can get – which is 50/50.

— Speaking of questionables, I can’t see how tight end Todd Heap doesn’t make it back on the field. He downplayed going back to Baltimore, but at the same time, admitted it’s hard to not carry the knowledge of playing his former team. (Plus, Heap made a big deal this weekend by taking out a full-page ad in the Baltimore Sun newspaper.)

His former Ravens mates are looking forward to seeing him too. “The love is always going to be there off the field,” Baltimore linebacker Ray Lewis said. “Of course, once you put on a different colored jersey, here we go again. If the ball comes his way, and it just happens I’m there, I might tap him on his shoulder a little bit.”

— Speaking of carrying the knowledge of playing his former team, I don’t believe for a second Anquan Boldin is treating this like any other game.

— And speaking of Heap, he was at the center of that 2007 game. The Ravens won that game by kicking a field goal right at the end of the game after Heap made an impressive catch – and somehow held on when Adrian Wilson absolutely blew him up on a hit (pictured below). Wilson was flagged (I still don’t think it should have been a personal foul given the rules at the time, although these days, it might be) and the Ravens got 15 free yards toward their field goal.

— It was the story of Ravens tackle Michael Oher that was immortalized in the movie “The Blind Side.” The Cardinals have their own tie – practice squad cornerback Marshay Green is close friends with Oher, having played together in college at Ole Miss.

“He was one of the first people I met and ever since then we’ve been tight,” Green said. Green spent a ton of time with the family, including Oher’s adoptive parents Leigh Anne and Sean Tuohy. Then, the movie came out.

“It was crazy,” Green said. “I had spent my whole college career with the guy, we joked around, all kind of stuff, playing video games — I never thought it’d be a movie.”

— Given the Ravens’ status as the No. 1 defense and their own offensive troubles, this is a huge game for the Cards’ own defense. Darnell Dockett declined to speak this week – he is from the Baltimore area and it’s safe to say this game means a ton to him – but he did tweet at one point, in part, “I gave 6 games to give the other cats some now its time to give 90 a run.” Not sure if that means Dockett is getting more free reign or what, but he will be one to watch Sunday.

On to Baltimore.

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Cards cut Talley for Taylor, plus practice squad

Posted by Darren Urban on September 5, 2011 – 11:47 am

The Cardinals released DE Ronald Talley today to make room for RB Chester Taylor on the roster. Also officially announced were yesterday’s roster moves: Adding CBs Lindsey and Butler, cutting Spach and Sturdivant (Spach went to the Rams today, apparently).

The Cards also started building their practice squad: Holdovers CB Marshay Green, WR Isaiah Williams, T D.J. Young and DT Ricky Lumpkin, along with C Ryan Bartholomew (late of  Baltimore) and WR Brandyn Harvey (late of the Falcons). Both were undrafted.

More after practice.

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Undrafted limbo

Posted by Darren Urban on April 24, 2011 – 5:00 pm

The draft comes in a matter of days — 5 p.m. Thursday night in Arizona — and every year, hundreds of draft hopefuls wait to get a phone call. This year, because of the current lockout and the uncertainty of when it will be resolved, there might be a little more stress come Saturday in those last couple of rounds.

Everything during the draft will be normal, generally. Players will be picked, players will  be interviewed. Assuming a player is still game, a first-rounder will still do some sort of press conference. Once Mr. Irrelevant is selected, however, and the draft ends, all the players drafted fall into the same spot as all the current NFL players, and contact with teams ends until a new labor agreement is reached. That has, of course, included new contracts (which is why free agency hasn’t begun). That means no rookies can sign a contract either. That doesn’t mean much for draftees — I mean, they already know what teams they will play for.

The post-draft stampede for undrafted rookies, however, won’t be happening. At least for now.

Last year, the Cards ended up keeping a bunch of their undrafted signees. Think of all the guys who made the team in one way or another last season who were undrafted: receivers Stephen Williams and Max Komar, cornerbacks A.J. Jefferson and Marshay Green and quarterback Max Hall. All left big enough marks in the offseason work to gain a foothold for training camp. Will such guys get that chance this offseason? They won’t even know what team they are playing for for the time being.

“Once the draft is over, that’s when it becomes very strange,” ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay said. “Not signing guys, not being able to coach these guys, having them in for OTAs, getting them accustomed to the playbook, that will hurt all these rookies and all these teams counting on these rookies contributing. The undrafted free agents, not even being  able to sign those guys until it is over … it hurts the percentages of those players coming in and making an impact.”

Again, we don’t know what the summer will hold, or when things are resolved. If a labor agreement is reached soon enough, things might not end up that different, other than adjusting what month things happen. In the meantime, this year’s Stephen Williams, whomever it may be, will have to wait and see. That can’t be easy.

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Hyphen, Patrick, Porter sit UPDATE Spach out

Posted by Darren Urban on January 2, 2011 – 12:43 pm

UPDATE: TE Stephen Spach hurt his left calf in warmups — after inactives came out — so he can’t play today. Jim Dray is the lone tight end. It’ll be interesting if long snapper Mike Leach gets a chance to play a little tight end today. It’s an injury that obviously hurts.

LaRod Stephens-Howling won’t get a chance to add to his NFL-leading kickoff return yardage today. He’s one of the Cards’ inactives, still nursing his hamstring injury after pre-game work showed it to be a no-go. Andre Roberts will return kicks in his place. And as expected, LB Joey Porter (tricep) will sit again, with O’Brien Schofield playing in his place. Tight end Ben Patrick (hamstring) is also sitting out after testing his leg out pre-game. The rest of the inactives:

  • QB Derek Anderson (third QB)
  • CB A.J. Jefferson
  • CB Marshay Green
  • LB Gerald Hayes
  • C Ben Claxton

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Porter, Hyphen among inactives

Posted by Darren Urban on December 25, 2010 – 4:04 pm

As expected, linebacker Joey Porter (tricep) and running back LaRod Stephens-Howling (hamstring) are both inactive tonight with their injuries, while Derek Anderson is set to be the third quarterback. O’Brien Schofield starts in Porter’s place, and it will be interesting to see if the Cards use more 4-3 looks tonight — Gabe Watson is active while Gerald Hayes and Curtis Gatewood join Porter as inactive linebackers. Andre Roberts will return kickoffs with The Hyphen out.

The rest of the inactive list:

  • CB A.J. Jefferson
  • CB Marshay Green
  • C Ben Claxton

As a reminder, the roof is open tonight as well.

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