Red-on-red returns for Lions game

Posted by Darren Urban on November 13, 2014 – 7:49 am

The Cardinals are going to red-and-red this weekend against the Lions.

For the first time this season, the uniform combo will be red uniform, red pants, which I’m sure will thrill some of you out there. Last year, the Cardinals were red-on-red for their final three home games of the season, going 2-1. Maybe with the second part of this season beginning Sunday — the Drew Stanton chapter — it’s fitting the Cards go with a different look. Plus, Christmas is coming too, so red. Right?

— Heads up: The latest edition of the Cardinals Underground podcast is up. Click here.


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Uniform choices and the flex barrier

Posted by Darren Urban on October 21, 2014 – 4:45 pm

It never fails that I get requests often to say which uniforms the Cardinals will wear on a given Sunday, especially at home when the black tops are in play. You can count me as one who doesn’t understand the big deal about the uniform (other than I get fans wanting to wear matching gear to their team) but people want to know. At this point, the black alternates are no longer available. The NFL doesn’t like allowing alternate jerseys once flex scheduling starts, and this year, flex scheduling began back in Week 5, earlier than before.

The decisions to pick what uniforms to wear was broken down quite well in this Sports Business Journal story from a year ago (h/t to @PhilHecken). Included in the story is this passage explaining the alternate jersey rules:

 In 2002, the league began regulating when teams could wear their third uniforms, which some teams made throwbacks and others made an entirely new jersey with alternate colors. The initial rules said that they could wear the third jerseys only twice a year, but those rules have become more prescriptive over time.

The league wants national TV audiences to see teams in their primary uniforms, so teams are allowed to wear third uniforms only in regular-season games on Sunday afternoons before the start of the league’s flex schedule. The NFL will grant exceptions on some occasions when teams make a formal request.

The Cardinals, by the way, will wear red uniforms with the white pants Sunday against the Eagles. No sign of red-on-red yet, although it is possible for later games.


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On Christmas, notes like red-on-red

Posted by Darren Urban on December 25, 2013 – 11:09 am

Christmas day, and the Cardinals will have a practice later this afternoon. Until then, a few tidbits to drop (if you happen to be reading):

— The Cardinals will, not surprisingly, wear red-on-red for the finale against the 49ers. The Cards have worn red-on-red twice before this season and have won, and have won eight straight red-on-red games dating back to 2010. It does make sense here in the holiday season to go all Santa Claus with the look.

— With a win, the Cards would finish 7-1 at University of Phoenix Stadium this season. As a franchise, the Cards have never won seven home games in a season once the schedule was balanced on home and away games (the Cards topped it three times in the 1920s when almost all their games were home games.)

— Four Cardinals are chasing offensive statistical plateaus in this last game. QB Carson Palmer needs 133 yards passing to reach 4,000 this season. Wide receiver Michael Floyd needs 50 yards to reach 1,000 yards receiving. Rookie running back Andre Ellington needs 19 yards of offense to reach a combined 1,000 rushing and receiving this season. And Larry Fitzgerald needs 159 yards receiving to reach 1,000. That is unlikely, especially against the 49ers, but you never say never.

— Palmer is up for the NFL’s GMC Never Say Never player of the week after his late drive/TD pass against Seattle. You can vote for that here.

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Red-on-red back again

Posted by Darren Urban on December 2, 2013 – 11:56 am

It worked out so well the first time, when the Cardinals knocked off the Colts, that the Cards are going back to the red-on-red uniforms for Sunday’s game against the Rams. As was noted after the Colts game by media relations vice president Mark Dalton, the Cardinals are 13-3 overall wearing the red-red uniforms and have won seven in a row. For whatever that is worth.

No word yet on whether Carson Palmer will be keeping his mustache. Or if a black cat will run across the field.


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Colts aftermath

Posted by Darren Urban on November 24, 2013 – 8:04 pm

Bruce Arians stuck with them. That’s what popped to mind Sunday. There were many calls to dump Rashard Mendenhall to the bench and Carson Palmer too. The Cardinals’ coach didn’t. Sunday that paid off.

This isn’t to reignite the Mendenhall-Ellington debate. I still think Ellington is the better back (and oh my he showed some of his shifty goodness against the Colts, especially with that 17-yard run along the sideline) but Mendenhall had a burst against Indy we hadn’t seen. And if he can play like that, he’s worth having on the field and worth being the yin to Ellington’s yang. As for Palmer, the cacophony surrounding him when he was throwing way too many interceptions was hard to ignore. Arians stood by him. Now? Palmer looks like a QB of a playoff team.

“The biggest difference really is trust,” Palmer said, before admitting, “It took a little longer than you’d like.”

There are many things going well for the Cardinals right now. But offensively, they are clicking, and those two vets are in the middle of it.

— It does feel like sometimes, the defense gets a short shrift. They just do what they do, they control the game, and the Cards are winning (or at least have a chance to win). Palmer said it best: “Identity-wise, we’re a defensive football team,” the quarterback said.

— After all the talk all week of Arians and his Colts memories, that was more or less put aside Sunday. Lots of pre-game hugs (and a few postgame) but basically it’s been the B.A. the Cards have known all year. “It’s crazy, he’s been even keel all week,” defensive tackle Darnell Dockett said.

— If there was a question about which better second-half unit would win the second half – the Colts’ offense or the Cardinals’ defense – it came out on the Cardinals’ favor. Arizona took the second half, 13-8, and honestly, I’m not sure how safety Yeremiah Bell didn’t get a hand on the lone touchdown pass to tight end Coby Fleener.

— Then again, if you would have said Luck would give up as many touchdowns throwing the ball as scoring, the Cards would have taken it.

— Good to see you hold on to one, Karlos Dansby.

— Good to see Darnell Dockett not get a sack on that play, too. “I don’t care,” Dockett said. “They say, ‘You had the sack.’ I don’t care, Karlos had the touchdown, and I’ll take the interception touchdown over a sack any day. I’m glad I didn’t hit his arm and knock the ball out.”

— Arians with his quote of the day, talking about his second half defense against the explosive Colts: “We didn’t want any bullets left in the gun. I know I’m not supposed to say bullets anymore. It’s not the politically correct thing. But here in Arizona it’s OK.”

— It was kind of amazing that the Cardinals, on their first two TD drives, did not face a third down. That’s one way to avoid the third-down conversion problem.

— Speaking of that, 7-for-14 on third downs works. And Dave Zastudil only punted twice. He had never had fewer than four in a game since joining the Cardinals in 2011.

— Palmer’s touchdown of 26 yards to Larry Fitzgerald was a thing of beauty. Palmer hung in the pocket a long time and absorbed a crushing hit by linebacker Kelvin Sheppard while delivering the perfect pass – with Fitz being chased by two defenders.

— According to media relations VP Mark Dalton, that makes the Cards 13-3 overall wearing the red-red uniforms and seven in a row. And here I am feeding into the frenzy. I disappoint myself.

— Fitz looked like Fitz on those touchdown catches. He now has eight this season, double his 2012 total. His other numbers don’t match up to what he’d like, but heck. All he does is catch touchdowns. The Cards could live with that.


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Red-on-red returns for Cardinals

Posted by Darren Urban on November 21, 2013 – 4:18 pm

I know many, many people have asked for it, and now you shall have it: The Cardinals will be wearing their red-on-red uniform look for Sunday’s game against the Colts at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cardinals haven’t worn red-on-red since the season finale against the Seahawks in 2011.

— For those who might have missed it, I wrote a short story this morning about offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin and the little girl who taught him an important lesson during the journey he went through the past year-plus. And, of course, there is the story of the meaning of this game for Bruce Arians and his Colts coaching transplants.

— Larry Fitzgerald was asked if he followed the magical season of the Colts a year ago, even if it was from afar. “No,” Fitzgerald said. “We had enough turmoil here last year. When I went home I didn’t watch any football.” He did realize Arians had won NFL coach of the year though — because “I was at the awards ceremony.”



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The best uniform? You can pick the Cards

Posted by Darren Urban on July 3, 2013 – 8:15 am

With a few weeks left before players come back, now is as good a time as any for to run a poll about the best uniforms both all-time and today. Click here to see the four brackets, broken into conferences and then a section for a team’s current outfit and the team’s all-time best. For the Cardinals, they are the “14th seed” in the current NFC, ranking only above the Rams and Falcons. But in the NFC’s all-time bracket, the Cardinals’ uniform from the 1973-81 era is listed as the No. 2 seed in the entire conference, behind only the 1960-63 Philadelphia Eagles. Voting is simple: Just click in the box next to your choice. No submit button needed, your vote is automatically cast as soon as your checkmark turns green.

The Cards, battling the No. 3 Giants in the current unis and the No. 15 2012 alternate jersey Panthers in the all-time unis, trail both a little right now (vote totals can be seen by clicking on a matchup.) We’ll see if they can come back.


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A new uniform, not a new look

Posted by Darren Urban on April 3, 2012 – 11:48 am

Nike finally unveiled its new uniforms today in Brooklyn for all the NFL teams. Other than the Seahawks, teams didn’t undergo massive changes to their looks — and that included the Cardinals. (Some teams couldn’t even if they wanted to, which I didn’t know.) I’ve been trying to tell those who have been asking there wouldn’t be a big change, although there still seemed to be some that were disappointed. That’s not saying the uniforms aren’t different. From the Nike website:

— “The Arizona Cardinals have chosen to take full innovation in the Nike Elite 51 Uniform including Flywire technology to reduce weight and provide a lockdown fit over the pads. Keeping with their traditional design aesthetic, the uniform is completely engineered from the inside out. The new uniform focuses on creating a system where the baselayer, padding, jersey and pant work in concert with each other. A few of the new innovations include increasing sleeve articulation for better range of motion and integrating new four-way stretch fabrication to provide a streamlined shrink-wrap fit.”

So basically, it is tighter and lighter, which you can see in this photo gallery. (I’ve been informed that not every team went with the new fabric.)

For those wondering, the new jerseys cannot be ordered yet. Pre-sale through the teams begins April 15, but they can’t be shipped until April 27. The Cards’ team shops will have them April 26; All other retailers will have them beginning April 27.

P.S. And yes, the gloves will be available to the public, although I was told those won’t be out until September.

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Cards have a uniform blackout

Posted by Darren Urban on April 22, 2010 – 5:09 pm

Yes, in a secret horribly kept, the Cardinals have officially announced they will have a new third alternate jersey starting in 2010, a black top that as far as I can tell, most fans have been clamoring for for years. It’ll be worn with white pants; sorry, the same white helmet remains (teams can’t have an alternate helmet unless it was their primary helmet at some point in the franchise’s history).

The regular uniform stays the same (so no one freak out about the jersey you’ve already bought). The Cards can use the third jersey up to three times this season — once in the preseason and twice in the regular season. Those dates haven’t been set (but wouldn’t it look good on ESPN on Monday night against the Niners?).

I’ll have a story with quotes up in a bit.

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