Anderson remains inactive

Posted by Darren Urban on December 19, 2010 – 9:30 am

Quarterback Derek Anderson (concussion) remains sidelined today, meaning the Cards will have just two QBs: Starter John Skelton and Richard Bartel. The rest of the inactive list looks familiar, including veteran linebacker Gerald Hayes on the bench:

  • WR Max Komar
  • CB A.J. Jefferson
  • S Hamza Abdullah
  • CB Marshay Green
  • C Ben Claxton
  • DT Gabe Watson

For the Panthers, cornerback Chris Gamble, who has fallen out of favor with coach John Fox, is inactive.

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Gerald Hayes, Derek Anderson both inactive

Posted by Darren Urban on December 12, 2010 – 12:46 pm

The Cardinals have put on the inactive list, and it carries one slight surprise: linebacker Gerald Hayes is out as a “healthy scratch.” So my thought Friday that Daryl Washington would get more defensive work comes true in a big way. Hayes has struggled of late, so I am sure they want to get Washington’s speed on the field. Quarterback Derek Anderson is also inactive (and not the third quarterback) due to concussion symptoms. So the Cards have just two QBs today.

The rest of the list for the Cards, who are wearing all-red today for the first time this season:

  • WR Max Komar
  • CB A.J. Jefferson
  • S Hamza Abdullah
  • CB Marshay Green
  • C Ben Claxton
  • DT Gabe Watson

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Toler, Campbell return to lineup

Posted by Darren Urban on December 5, 2010 – 12:47 pm

Defensive end Calais Campbell (ankle) is back in the lineup today for the Cardinals, meaning he will start again and putting DT Gabe Watson back on the inactive list. Cornerback Greg Toler (foot) is also back playing, sending CB A.J. Jefferson to the sideline.

The other inactives include:

  • WR Max Komar
  • QB John Skelton
  • S Hamza Abdullah
  • CB Marshay Green
  • LB Reggie Walker
  • C Ben Claxton

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Toler, Campbell inactive

Posted by Darren Urban on November 29, 2010 – 5:10 pm

Cornerback Greg Toler (foot) and defensive end Calais Campbell (ankle) are inactive for tonight’s game, no big surprise. Michael Adams and Alan Branch will start in their place. All the other guys listed as questionable this week are active and will play.

The rest of the inactive list for tonight:

  • WR Max Komar
  • QB John Skelton
  • S Hamza Abdullah
  • CB Marshay Green
  • LB Reggie Walker
  • C Ben Claxton

The key 49ers out are T Joe Staley, reserve CB William James and K Joe Nedney.

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Talkin’ practice on Thanksgiving eve

Posted by Darren Urban on November 24, 2010 – 2:30 pm

Derek Anderson was doing his weekly press conference with the media after practice Wednesday when, at one point, he was asked about scoring on the opening drive for a second straight week and then basically stalling the rest of the game.

It could have been many different topics to generate the response the quarterback gave. “It’s the same things we have been doing, hurting ourselves,” Anderson said. “Honestly, I’m sick of talking about it just as much as you guys are sick of talking about it.”

Anderson couldn’t have been more accurate.

— Practice ended a little early Wednesday since the Cards will have an extra practice this week because of “Monday Night Football.” They will also have a shorter workout tomorrow and be freed after practice (instead of having meetings) so they can have Thanksgiving with their families.

— Because the game isn’t until Monday, coach Ken Whisenhunt didn’t have to release an injury report today. We will have that come out tomorrow (and I will blog about the updates as soon as it comes out, around noon).

— Don’t ask Larry Fitzgerald to get involved in the Twitter back-and-forth with the 49ers, although he’ll get in his verbal jabs during the game. “We talk a lot of trash out there,” Fitzgerald said. “I don’t do the Twitter wars. That’s not my thing. … It’s better (on the field). No one else has to know about it. You can say what you want and you don’t have to filter it either.”

What? Fitz would use words that – gasp – have to be filtered in public?

“If someone says something to me, sometimes emotion gets the best of you,” Fitzgerald said with a smile.

— Injuries to cornerbacks Greg Toler (foot) and Michael Adams (undisclosed, but he was banged up Sunday) were a reason the Cards brought cornerback Marshay Green to the active roster, but it was also a reward for working so hard all season. Green, who has spent the season playing both ways on the scout team (Green was a receiver in college for two years before flipping to the other side of the ball), admitted it’s been a “long year” waiting. But he doesn’t want to give up double duty, if Whisenhunt is OK with that.

“I like to play offense and defense,” Green said. “If coach Whisenhunt wants me to go out on offense, I’ll be the first one to say, ‘OK, cool.’ Whatever they want.”

— It doesn’t hurt Green that he has a teammate like Adams, who like Green carved out his place by first doing the job on the practice squad. “Michael kind of set the table for Marshay,” Whisenhunt said.

— Green does have return skills, but Whisenhunt reiterated that he is “very pleased” with Andre Roberts as a punt returner, so that isn’t changing.

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Cards bring back Komar, promote Green

Posted by Darren Urban on November 23, 2010 – 11:55 am

The Cardinals shuffled the roster today, including making the expected move of putting linebacker Will Davis on injured reserve with his broken leg. The Cards also cut running back Alfonso Smith, who became redundant with the expected return of both LaRod Stephens-Howling and Jason Wright.

With two spots open on the roster, the Cardinals re-signed wide receiver Max Komar and promoted cornerback Marshay Green from the practice squad (and it will be interesting to see if Green manages to get some work with the Cards’ cornerbacks struggling). For now, the Cards will have an opening on the practice squad.

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Deuce gets creamed — and his spot back

Posted by Darren Urban on September 6, 2010 – 12:59 pm

Deuce Lutui still has to fend off Rex Hadnot to stay the starting right guard, but Lutui is the guy for now, coach Ken Whisenhunt said. So everyone wanted to talk to Lutui after practice today, and while Deuce was holding court in front of the cameras, fellow O-lineman Jeremy Bridges nailed him in the face with a shaving cream pie.

(I think everyone should have known the “pie” was shaving cream, although Deuce admitted after, “I thought it was a cream pie until I started licking my lips.”)

It’s been a long offseason for Lutui, taking criticism from everyone because of his weight. He shrugged it off. “It’s not the first time I’ve been called fat before,” Lutui said. He insisted he was working out on his own and was thinking about other things, like working on his U.S. citizenship, so “It’s not like I was just standing in one place.”

“I came back in shape,” Lutui added. “Maybe not the weight they wanted, but I passed the condition test.”

He said he was surprised Reggie Wells was in his starting spot when he returned, but he kept working with the backups and the starters. Lutui played a lot in the preseason, deep into games unlike previous years, but he was OK with that. Now Wells has been traded and Lutui has his job back. “I just became that hungry dog, fighting to get my position back,” Lutui said, adding it helps him if he is in a constant battle to fight for his team. But he also never thought he’d be anything but a starter.

Among other things as the Cards returned to practice today:

— No injury report, because the Cards don’t need to put one out yet. Whisenhunt did say WR Larry Fitzgerald is still on pace to to return although he is working on his conditioning after missing so much time. I am guessing that won’t be an issue. RB Beanie Wells’s knee “is not 100 percent,” Whisenhunt added, and “we will see how he progresses during the week.” I still think Beanie plays.

— The Cards are slowly putting together their practice squad. None of the players reportedly claimed yesterday were here yet, but I still expect all three to show. G Tom Pestock, T Herman Johnson and WR Isaiah Williams were brought back to the practice squad, so there are five spots left. I still think CB Marshay Green is a possibility.

— Speaking of Green, Whisenhunt was asked what it was about fellow undrafted rookie CB A.J. Jefferson that kept him on the squad. Many, including me, thought Green was ahead of Jefferson. But Jefferson got the nod. It doesn’t hurt that A.J. is 6-feet, plus there were a pair of plays Whisenhunt noticed. One was Jefferson’s raw speed when he chased down a Redskins’ kick returner. The other was a deep pass Jefferson defended and “didn’t panic” on, which can happen with young corners. My guess is that Jefferson will still be a project.

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Nothing official, but Cards making moves

Posted by Darren Urban on September 5, 2010 – 7:58 pm

The Cardinals haven’t been releasing any info officially today, but as the NFL churns after final cuts, the Cards have apparently done a couple of things, like cut CB Marshay Green, LB Pago Togafau and FB Reagan Maui’a and claim three players who were released: former Giants FB/LB Jerome Johnson, former Browns CB Brandon McDonald, and former Packers LB Cyril Obiozor.

Excellent work, Sando.

It looks like Johnson was a college linebacker who the Rams (last year) and the Giants converted to fullback. It will be interesting to see if that’s where the Cards want to go with veteran free agent fullback Tony Richardson (cut by Jets) out there and also fullback Owen Schmitt (cut by Seahawks). I could see them thinking about putting a claim in on Schmitt. McDonald had eight interceptions the past three seasons — which included 27 starts — and is the veteran cornerback the Cards were long expected to grab about this time. Obiozor was an undrafted guy last year who went from college defensive end to 3-4 linebacker on the Green Bay practice squad. He is a work in progress.

I am surprised about Green, if for no other reason, I thought he was ahead of fellow undrafted CB A.J. Jefferson, who remains on the team. Of course, Green is sub-5-foot-10 and Jefferson is 6-foot, and you always wonder if that impacts. I could see Green coming back to the practice squad.

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Titans aftermath

Posted by Darren Urban on August 23, 2010 – 11:29 pm

Obviously, the storyline coming out of Monday night’s game is the quarterbacks. It’s always the quarterbacks.

There’s nothing I can write to convince people who already believe Leinart is an epic fail that’s it could be otherwise. He connects with Stephen Williams on that bomb down the field – and Williams was easily open – everything is different. Leinart has his one bomb, the Cards move the ball a little, etc. But that didn’t happen, and it’s fair to argue it was on Leinart to get the ball there (coach Ken Whisenhunt did note Williams didn’t run the greatest route).

So where does that leave the Cards – and by extension, us?

Probably right where we were before. My guess is the Cards will break down the tape, see the Titans bringing the house (and Leinart under heavy pressure nearly every play), see the running game providing no support, and figure with a better game plan, Leinart would have been OK. Had Derek Anderson been awesome perhaps that’d change the dynamic, but aside from Anderson’s 37-yard pass to Williams – which was a nice pass – Anderson had a lot of the same issues and Leinart.

All I know is that I’m happy there is another game relatively quickly. Nothing been decided yet, and it takes games to push that progress.

Among the other things here late in Nashville:

— The defense looked solid early, forcing two three-and-outs to start the game. They just want to continue that. “It was decent, the thing is, the coaching staff was expecting us to sustain that passion we were playing with,” safety Adrian Wilson said. “I thought we did pretty well, but we have to do it every series.”

On the next drive, safety Kerry Rhodes took a bad angle on the Titans’ first big pass play (30 yards) and CB Trumaine McBride was beat on the next play for 28 yards, setting up the first TD. Still, the Cards are probably generally happy with where the defense is right now, especially when – again – game-planning is at a minimum.

— Linebacker Daryl Washington didn’t flash as much as the first preseason game. Who did? LaRod Stephens-Howling had some nice runs and he continues to look like a Pro Bowl special teamer. I thought linebacker Stevie Baggs made some plays, and the fact he afterward was lamenting the few assignments he missed is a good sign of focusing on getting better.

— I am interested in seeing what the analysis is on the offensive line. Very difficult to see what was happening since the Titans were bringing the kitchen sink early on. I don’t know what the assignments were or who was supposed to block who, but Tim Hightower lost four yards on his first three carries. One replay showed tackle Levi Brown looking to block someone but, given the circumstances, he couldn’t get his hands on anyone. Again, as Whisenhunt said, there were opportunities but the Cards couldn’t execute.

“This is the time of year where (coaches) are going to look to see who will win the one-on-one battles,” center Lyle Sendlein said. “When they are blitzing people, us up front, everyone has a man they have to block. Outside, you have to win routes and the running backs have to pick up players and the quarterback has to get the ball out.”

— Finally, the leap of Lavelle Hawkins over cornerback Marshay Green was ESPN’s top play of the night, but man, it’s hard to get on Green. It’s not like Marshay dove at the guy’s ankles and Hawkins went over. Green actually came almost all the way up on his 5-foot-10-ish frame and Hawkins still cleared him (Sure, Green could have extended his arms for the trip, but I’m trying to stay positive here). It was just a great individual effort. And made for a nice picture.

Talk to you tomorrow. (Today?)

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And .. we’re .. just .. about .. done

Posted by Darren Urban on August 20, 2010 – 5:45 pm

The Cardinals held their last afternoon practice of Flagstaff, much to the delight of the players. They don’t hold much love for this place, and it’s all because training camp is here. They moved through their work pretty quickly — coach Ken Whisenhunt shut it down about 30 minutes early — and will have a final practice tomorrow morning.

— The injury list didn’t change. Still out were WR Early Doucet (abdomen), WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee), LB Gerald Hayes (back-PUP) and LB O’Brien Schofield (knee-PUP). LB Reggie Walker was suited up, but his sore hamstring continues to limit him, it looks like.

— One man on hand to watch practice was Danny White, the former Arizona State and Dallas Cowboys quarterback who has been one of the most successful coaches in Arena Football League history (his Rattlers beat Kurt Warner’s Iowa Barnstormers for the Arena championship in 1997, Warner’s last AFL game). White was there to watch his nephew Max Hall, who is battling for a quarterback job. If you are Hall, not a bad resource to have in the family. “I didn’t teach him a thing,” White insisted.

— A great moment: Steve Breaston made a catch and broke to the sideline nearest the crowd on the close field. DRC angled over (remember, no tackling) and the two burst into a short sprint, and when they did — stride for stride — Breaston let out a loud unmistakable Breaston laugh. The crowd loved it. These two have engaged on again and off again since DRC’s rookie year about who is faster. They each claim they will race to determine it once and for all. And they never quite get around to racing.

— I have mentioned rookie WR Andre Roberts many times, mostly because he has had trouble consistently catching. So it’s only fair to talk about it when he has a good day. He looked solid today. In three-receiver sets, he was running with Breaston and fellow rookie Stephen Williams. With the injuries to Doucet and Fitz, Roberts should get plenty of work Monday night.

(And as a quick P.S. to the Roberts thing, this was safety Adrian Wilson on his Big Red Rage radio show this week, taking about going after any rookies in preseason games: “No, but the kid from the Citadel we got, the third-round pick? I think all of us are gonna jump on him if he don’t start catching the ball. Period.”)

— Safety Rashad Johnson made another nice play today, picking off a John Skelton pass.

— Rookie cornerback Marshay Green (funny how the same guys keep getting mentioned) made a nice play during special teams. Ben Graham boomed a punt and Green caught it over the shoulder inside the 5 and, as he started falling into the end zone, tossed it back out where it was downed at the 3. Green really looks like he could do something on Teams. The problem is the Cards have a similar player in Michael Adams. Would they go younger? Does Green get some practice squad time?

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