Waiting on a DC

Posted by Darren Urban on January 17, 2011 – 10:22 am

As I complete what was a four-day weekend for me (i.e., don’t expect anything else today), just wanted to touch base after an interesting playoff weekend for the NFL:

— I don’t think the second interview for a defensive coordinator position came off last week, but I could be wrong. Maybe something was done over the phone, or pushed back. I don’t know. Obviously, if there is interest in a playoff coach — like Pittsburgh’s Keith Butler — that has been put on hold with the Steelers winning again. I don’t know if it means the Cards will move on or if they will continue to wait, or even if coach Ken Whisenhunt knows unofficially if he can or cannot get a chance at Butler. I think back to the Cards’ Super Bowl run, when Todd Haley becoming the Chiefs’ head coach was the worst kept secret around even though technically Haley was still coaching and hadn’t even had an interview yet. (And no, I’m not saying that is happening with Butler or anyone else, before someone runs with “Darren Urban is reporting Whisenhunt is having secret talks with a DC candidate.”)

— Senior Bowl week starts in a week, when every coach in the world descends on Mobile, Alabama. That too can be a place where candidates are found/interviewed.

— As I mentioned on Twitter, the Seahawks’ playoff run ended up mirroring the Cards’ 2009 playoffs (shootout home win then decisive road loss) than the 2008 team (home win and then shocking the world on the road to earn a home game in the NFC Championship).

— Man, did Santonio Holmes’ TD catch Sunday bring back some haunting memories.

— I am shocked Anquan dropped that pass. Although how does a defense like the Ravens’ give up third-and-19?

— Watching Aaron Rodgers dice up the competition every week, I keep thinking he would have done the same thing last year in the playoffs had Kurt Warner not come up with one of the greatest playoff performances ever. There was irony in that thought when people were trying to put into perspective how great Rodgers was against Atlanta — and he was, but still not quite up with Warner’s game versus the Packers.

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Whiz on Big Ben rumors

Posted by Darren Urban on April 22, 2010 – 9:39 am

Given the issues of Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and all the reports he might get traded, I suppose it’s no surprise to see the Cardinals linked to at least a phone call to the Steelers, which ESPN’s John Clayton did this morning on Sports 620 KTAR. Clayton said the Cards “made communication” with the Steelers about Roethlisberger.

I managed to catch up with coach Ken Whisenhunt to ask him to comment, which is never easy in this case because to talk about a player under contract with another team — even if it is to deny interest — could technically be considered tampering (and why Whisenhunt has delicately maneuvered around the subject the few previous times he has been asked about the subject).

“It seems like you’d be hard-pressed to find a team that hasn’t been linked to (Roethlisberger interest),” Whisenhunt said. “At this time of year there’s no shortage of information and misinformation flying around; who teams are interested in drafting, who they’re not, who’s gonna be traded, etc. From our standpoint, it doesn’t seem to make sense to publicly comment on which rumors are fact and which are fiction but I can tell you there’s a fair amount of each.”

That was as specific as Whiz wanted to get. But as I have noted to many fans over the last couple of days before this report even surfaced, bringing Big Ben to Arizona makes little sense. Forget the price it would cost in terms of draft picks. The baggage itself is troubling. I can’t see the Steelers trading Roethlisberger if this incident — as bad as it has been — was all there was. If the Cards weren’t going to chase Donovan McNabb (who is squeaky clean) why Roethlisberger?

You worry about what else is there. As I have mentioned when teams trade good young players — the Ravens trying to trade T Jared Gaither, for instance, the Chargers dumping CB Antonio Cromartie earlier this offseason, the Steelers trading WR Santonio Holmes — it raises red flags. Either the player isn’t quite the player everyone thinks he is, or there are off-field issues. Either way, a team needs to be careful. Otherwise, why would the players be traded in the first place?

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