Cards add fullback Hall

Posted by Darren Urban on September 25, 2012 – 1:02 pm

There has been no word on the status of fullback Anthony Sherman but apparently something happened, because the Cardinals Tuesday added fullback Korey Hall to the roster. Reserve guard Rich Ohrnberger played a snap at fullback at the end of Sunday’s win, so it makes sense something is up with Sherman. I’m sure it will be addressed Wednesday. Hall spent four years with the Packers and last season with the Saints before the Saints cut him at the end of camp this season. Hall not only played with guard Daryn Colledge in Green Bay, but also at Boise State.

To make room for Hall, the Cards cut tackle Pat McQuistan.

The Cards also made a practice squad move, bringing back linebacker Zach Nash, who was with the team in camp but injured most of the time, and releasing linebacker Ricky Elmore.

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Ignoring the storm

Posted by Darren Urban on August 14, 2012 – 6:39 pm

One of John Skelton’s greatest attributes is his sense of calm. It’s one of the reasons he can be so effective in the fourth quarter, because he doesn’t get rattled. So it makes sense that, even with his name at the center of the NFL world most of Tuesday because of a national report he might be the starter, Skelton shrugged it off.

“For me, not speaking for Kevin, I take it the same way whether it is a local reporter reporting something or a national outlet, it doesn’t faze me either way,” Skelton said. “I think it’s fair to say I haven’t really thought about (getting it over). My goal every day is to come to practice and get better. It’ll all work itself out in the end.”

Skelton does think he’s much improved over the Skelton of training camp 2011. “I think I am, and I think coaches will say the same thing and I think players will say the same thing,” he said. “Really, getting better day in and day out and getting consistent with it is my goal.”

— I thought Kevin Kolb had arguably his best practice of camp today. Maybe all the news swirling around motivated him (maybe that’s what the news was meant to do.) I thought Skelton struggled for the first part,overthrowing several times, but in the final segment of 11-on-11 looked much more sharp.

— DL Nick Eason returned to practice after missing almost two weeks to tend to his ill mother, who later passed away. LB Zach Nash, who hurt his ankle early in training camp, also finally came back to practice.

— QB Rich Bartel was ill and sat out. CB Greg Toler left after tweaking his right knee (the opposite one that he tore ligaments in last preseason). LB Paris Lenon (ankle) and WR LaRon Byrd (shoulder) remained out.

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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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The lunch news? No QB yet

Posted by Darren Urban on July 26, 2012 – 12:30 pm

Coach Ken Whisenhunt”s opening statement from his presser today? “OK, well, no decision on the quarterback yet.” Beautiful.

— I will have more on the running back situation in a story later today, but as good as recovering running back Ryan Williams looked in his first practice, Whiz cautioned patience. “It’s a little bit like the quarterback situation,” he said. “It’s something we have to see over time.” Whiz did say he’s rooting for Williams not just because he is a good player but also because he is a good kid.

— Whiz was asked about how he’s evolved as a coach. One of the things he noted: “I’d like to think I am a better coach going from 1-6 and finishing 7-2 and adapting to what we had to do to try and improve.” Whiz did note, given his background (playing/working with guys like Joe Gibbs and Bill Parcells) he is old school. I think we pretty much knew that.

— Whiz, talking about the cornerbacks, mentioned that he thinks he has enough good ones that he believes a couple that will end up being released will find work elsewhere in the NFL. I agree with that notion.

— Undrafted rookie OLB Zach Nash sprained his ankle in practice yesterday. His return is to be determined, but Whisenhunt said Nash had shown some things during the offseason. With the Cards in search for reserve OLBs behind Sam Acho and O’Brien Schofield, it’s a tough time to get hurt for Nash. Opportunities exist.

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Floyd vs. Peterson and Beanie’s confidence

Posted by Darren Urban on July 25, 2012 – 6:10 pm

Wide receiver Michael Floyd, the Cards’ top draft pick, had a pretty normal first practice Wednesday. He also ended up in a highlight, although it had less to do with him and more to do with the No. 1 pick of a year ago, cornerback Patrick Peterson. On a long bomb, Peterson maneuvered his way into a one-handed interception.

“I’ll watch film later on and see what I did wrong, make sure it doesn’t happen again,” Floyd said, and when it was pointed out that maybe Peterson just made a nice play, Floyd said, “I don’t know. I always feel I can make a play. I kind of feel it was my fault.”

Peterson said he wasn’t going to say anything to the rookie. “That’s my job, so …” Peterson said. But Peterson — who actually is eight months younger than Floyd — praised the newcomer.

“Michael Floyd, he’s going to be a gamer,” Peterson said. “He’s coming here to work. I expect nothing less from him. … I just want to continue to make him better by trying to shut him down. … I just got one interception on him. I know he’ll come back hard tomorrow.”

To Floyd, the first day of practice just meant games are around the corner. Mistakes have to be avoided. “It’s going day-by-day,” Floyd said. “I’m keeping my head in the playbook, because that’s all I have to do now. … You don’t have homework anymore (from college). The homework is the big, fat playbook.”

— RB Beanie Wells was asked what exactly he had done to his knee when it was surgically repaired. “I had a scope and we did some things in there and we kind of let it settle down and let it get right,” he said. He wouldn’t say when he’d return to camp, but he insisted he will play when the regular season starts. “I know for a fact there is no question of being ready for Sept. 9,” he said.

— Undrafted rookie linebacker Zach Nash left practice early after hurting his right leg. No details yet.

— There was a good turnout for the first workout. And the Cards ended a little early.





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No rush to linebackers

Posted by Darren Urban on May 7, 2012 – 3:48 pm

Before the draft, it seemed  — at least, in my opinion — the Cards had three areas that most warranted help: offensive line, pass rusher and receiver. The Cards took care of the latter right away with the Michael Floyd pick. They obviously hit the line hard with three choices, including potential right tackle starter Bobby Massie. But, sticking to their board — and perhaps revealing just how much they think of their young players — the Cardinals didn’t take a pass rusher. Didn’t take a linebacker at all.

Right now, the Cards have 14 linebackers on the roster. Six could be classified as outside linebackers, seven as inside guys and Stewart Bradley as a swing guy (although obviously guys can always move around.) Three of the inside linebackers are undrafted rookies (Marcus McGraw, Colin Parker and Paul Vassallo) and one is definitely untested (Quan Sturdivant.) But one the inside, Darryl Washington is established, Paris Lenon continues to outperform everyone’s expectations and both Bradley and Reggie Walker have shown they can fill in.

But it’s on the outside that will always get the attention. Young players usually have a ton of confidence that they will do the job as long as they get the opportunity, and that’s certainly the vibe you get from O’Brien Schofield when you talk to him. Sam Acho had seven sacks after barely playing the first five games, so he seems to be a potential game-changer. Both must up their games. And then what? Will Brandon Williams, signed late last season on to the practice squad after not finding a place with the Cowboys, surprise some people? Can the Cards find a diamond among free agent Antonio Coleman or undrafted rookies Zach Nash and  Broderick Binns? (Clark Haggans could also still return.)

It’s not like the Cards didn’t sack opposing quarterbacks last year. As a team, they had 42, tied for seventh in the NFL. The Cards had an NFL-best nine different guys with at least two sacks. The way defensive coordinator Ray Horton does things, pressure by committee works and is much harder for which to handle. But developing those linebackers, especially the rushers on the outside, is one of the keys to any 3-4 scheme. After passing in the draft, development will be one of the things to watch at the position.

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With the undrafteds, the better Devil?

Posted by Darren Urban on April 30, 2012 – 2:14 pm

There was plenty of pre-draft talk about Arizona State linebacker Vontaze Burfict and where he might land (and for those who don’t know, Burfict was the one-time first-round candidate who ended up going undrafted and signing with the Bengals.) But for all of Burfict’s hype, many thought he wasn’t even the best linebacker at ASU. That nod usually went to Colin Parker, who was one of 17 undrafted rookie free agents the Cards came to terms with:

  • WR Stanley Arukwe, Troy
  • LB Broderick Binns, Iowa
  • WR LaRon Byrd, Miami
  • G Braeden Clayson, Idaho State
  • FB Jared Crank, Purdue
  • G Blake DeChristopher, Virginia Tech
  • DE Tevita Finau, Utah
  • S Blake Gideon, Texas
  • WR Tre Gray, Richmond
  • LB Marcus McGraw, Houston
  • LB Zach Nash, Sacramento State
  • CB James Nixon, California (Pa.)
  • DE Conrad Obi, Colorado
  • LB Paul Vassallo, Arizona
  • C Scott Wedige, Northern Illinois
  • WR Marc Wilson, St. Anselm

And, of course, Parker from ASU.

The list is heavy on linebackers, not a shock after the team did not draft one this past weekend. The number brings the roster total to 85 86 (since apparently I can’t add 69 and 17), leaving five four spots still open for additions, whether they are veterans or otherwise. Because of the rookie minicamp in two weeks, the Cards will also be bringing in a handful of other young players for tryouts, making sure they have enough bodies to run the practices and taking a looksee at some guys.

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