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Posts of author "lucy"

While the loss of Markus Golden hurts, the Arizona Cardinals have a rookie linebacker who could quite possibly fill in nicely

Arizona Cardinals’ rookie Haason Reddick is no stranger to opposing quarterbacks. As a defensive end at Temple University in Philadelphia, the Cards’ inside linebacker recorded nine and a half sacks during his senior year. There’s a good chance that the 13th-overall pick of this season’s draft will be getting reacquainted with passers again real soon.

Last Sunday’s loss of outside linebacker Markus Golden to a torn ACL is a significant one. The third-year Cardinal was coming off of a huge 2016, when he led the squad with 12.5 sacks. Sacks that will be not easy to replace now that Golden has been placed on injured reserve.

There’s been talk this week about Reddick moving from his inside slot to the outside. The pass-rushing prowess that the Camden, New Jersey native showed during his last year in school makes one think he’ll have success. The 6’1″, 235 pounder got to signal-callers in his first three college campaigns as well, totalling eight sacks from 2013-15.

Reddick has done an admirable job at inside ‘backer through the first quarter of the current season. He has accumulated 18 tackles, showing superb tackling technique and quickness while doing so.

However, the return of starter Deone Bucannon from injury will obviously cut into the first-year player’s snaps. The other starter in the middle, Karlos Dansby, will most likely remain in his current role. The 35-year old is playing like he’s 25, having tallied 26 tackles through four contests.

These factors make Reddick sliding over into Golden’s spot even more logical. If he is moved, the presence of a great sack artist like Chandler Jones on the opposite side will make his transition smoother. The attention Jones garners should help Riddick put up sack stats in the same way Golden was able to.

Arizona defensive coordinator James Bettcher does have another option. Kareem Martin had an excellent preseason. The fourth-year Cardinal has been biding his time for an opportunity like this, and may also be given a chance to shine.

Golden’s replacement will be revealed on Sunday when the Cards meet the Philadelphia Eagles. Whoever can supply the most pressure from the edge will be on the field. Reddick the rookie has a solid shot of being that guy.

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The Arizona Cardinals offensive line is currently a mess, but there’s an array of available players who could provide help

Things have gone from bad to worse for the offensive line of the Arizona Cardinals. For the fans who feel that the group’s performance against the Dallas Cowboys was putrid, you should probably brace yourselves. If ever the club needed head coach Bruce Arians’ “next man up” mantra to ring true, it’s now.

Starting left guard Mike Iupati’s proclamation that he’s “100% sure” that he’ll play this weekend has turned out to be hogwash. A bone spur in the veteran’s elbow is cutting a tendon, and will most likely require surgery. An operation that could effectively end Iupati’s season, and possibly his career with the Cardinals as well.

The latest news on left tackle D.J. Humphries ailing knee has caused uncertainty. Just a couple of days ago, it looked as if the franchise’s 2015 first-round draft pick would return this Sunday. But when asked about it at the end of the week, Arians could only answer “we’ll see”.

Add in the injury to the recently-signed Alex Boone, and the Cards’ blocking unit has the makings of a disaster. There’s a strong possibility that the left side of the line will feature journeyman John Wetzel and rookie Will Holden versus the San Francisco 49ers. Certainly not an ideal scenario for quarterback Carson Palmer’s health or the squad’s running game.

While it’s too late to do anything about it for the Niners matchup, there’s help available for the final three quarters of the 2017 campaign. Time for general manager Steve Keim and his cronies to get to work.

Former Cardinal Earl Watford is available after being released by the Jacksonville Jaguars. His knowledge of Arizona’s offense and versatility make him attractive. The exact same thing can be said of Cole Toner, a former Card who was just cut from the Cincinnati Bengals’ practice squad.

Former New York Jet Nick Mangold is an intriguing name who’s still looking for work. He’s made the Pro Bowl seven times as a center, but there was offseason talk that he can also play guard. The same goes for 2016 Pro Bowler Jeremy Zuttah, an available free agent who can also play both center and guard.

John Greco, a veteran of 70 starts who played for the St. Louis Rams and Cleveland Browns, also remains jobless. There are also two possible call-ups currently on Arizona’s practice squad. Dorian Johnson, this year’s fourth-round pick, and Vinston Painter, a former Denver Broncos’ draft selection, are the candidates.

All of the players mentioned in this article could provide help. Keim needs to attack this brutal situation aggressively. Before the losses pile up and there’s no point in righting the ship.

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What stood out in the Cardinals 18-15 win over the 49ers?

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

In the ugliest game so far in this young season, the Cardinals somehow managed to eek out a win. Like, I literally had this entire article ready to go, assuming the Cards were going to lose (because that’s what I’ve been conditioned to after 20 years of Cardinals football).

With that shameful admission, I deflect with this: Larry Fitzgerald, I am so glad the Cardinals drafted you. The greatest Cardinal to ever wear the uniform.

The Good:

Well somehow they won. Phil Dawson was perfect on the day.

The J. Browns had a fantastic day. Having John back was huge for the passing game, and Jaron had an incredible day. Tough catches and forcing penalties are a big reason the Cardinals won today.

Andre Ellington should have had a TD, and if the offensive line wasn’t an assembly of bums off Van Buren, he would have had a career day. The 9 receptions (including a sick 1 hander), 86 yards in the air, plus a paltry 18 on the ground got the re-surging Ellington over a 100 yards on the day.

The Bad:

The offensive line is going to get a lot of hate this week. I really like my “bums from Van Buren” comment so I want to highlight that. They aren’t in the ugly column because they had a first time starter at LG and a backup LT and somehow did enough to give Palmer enough time to hit Larry for the game winning TD.

The secondary looks good on paper, but if you add in all those easy drops the 49ersWRs/TEs/Rbs had, it could have been an even uglier day. The defense is too predictable at times but did enough, against a better QB they would have been spit roasted.

The run game. Read: Offensive line, bums, etc, above.

Palmer taking that many hits is scary. Just what else is there to say.

The Ugly:

Markus Golden’s injury. I really hope it’s a sprain and not what we all dread. He hasn’t been racking up sacks, but he’s been getting pressures and solid in the run game. Would be a big loss.

Penalties: Almost cost the Cardinals the game in overtime. Just too many dumb penalties.

The Cardinals chances at a winning season. If they can barely squeak by an 0-3 team at home, then what hope is there to win against the EaglesBuccaneers and Rams in the next three games? The offensive line needs to be figured out, but with the injuries, it doesn’t look good.

What was your good, bad and ugly this week?

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Notes: Handful of Cardinals return home to Philly; Watford can step in if Boone not ready

Rookie linebacker Haason Reddick will try to get after the quarterback as an outside linebacker after Markus Golden‘s injury.
Yes, James Bettcher knows rookie Haason Reddick is smaller for a typical outside linebacker, weighing about 235 pounds.But the Cardinals defensive coordinator still has confidence Reddick will be fine in that regard. To that end, he talked Thursday about former Colts Pro Bowl defensive end Robert Mathis, whom Bettcher once coached when he was in Indianapolis.

“Robert Mathis, I had him on the scale one time,” Bettcher said. “He was like 212 pounds. He’d probably

wrestle with me if I told somebody that, but that’s what he really was – 212 on the scale. But no one could block him, and he could power and bull anyone.“(Size) doesn’t matter. When you have speed and you have power, you can rush on the edge. Learning how to use the speed and how to use the power will be the next thing for (Reddick.)”

No one is comparing Reddick to Mathis at this point. Reddick was just learning how to play inside linebacker when Markus Golden’s season-ending knee injury changed the plans. Now, Reddick will split time with Kareem Martin as Golden’s replacements.

[READ: THE (LOSS OF) MARKUS GOLDEN EFFECT]

Bettcher said Reddick’s role on the outside will be similar to what they did with him as an inside linebacker – certain packages at first, with an increasing role as time goes on. As for using him inside as well, Bettcher only said “there will be packages where you will see him doing different things.”

That’s fine with Reddick, who has maintained all week he is prepared for whatever happens.

“I was asked to help out there, which I am willing to do,” Reddick said. “How much I’m expected to play or how often I’m there, that I don’t know.”

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THE entire Dallas Cowboys squad took a stand against US president Donald Trump by taking a knee during the national anthem with their game against the Arizona Cardinals.

The entire Dallas Cowboys squad took a knee during the national anthem

GETTY

The entire Dallas Cowboys squad took a knee during the national anthem

Donald Trump caused a major uproar at the weekend when he referred to NFL players who ‘take a knee’ during the national anthem as “sons of b******”.

And his comments were met with widespread reaction from the players in protest against the president’s attack on the league.

Over the course of the weekend matches, many players in the NFL took part in a silent protest by either taking a knee or locking arms to protest against social injustice and racism during the national anthem.

And the Dallas Cowboys became the latest NFL side to take part in the protest during the national anthem ahead of their match against the Arizona Cardinals.

Before the match it was reported the team would possibly take part in the protest with one player stating Trump “crossed a line”.

One player said, “We have to do something.”

Said another, “It’s not going to be business as usual. He crossed a line. Something will be done.”

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Let’s see what Giants players were talking about on Wednesday

What are New York Giants players saying as they prepare for Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Chargers? Let’s look at some of it.

Justin Pugh Will Play “Wherever The Wind Takes Me”

Offensive lineman Justin Pugh will be ready regardless of whether the Giants ask him to play right tackle or left guard on Sunday.

“I’m feeling comfortable at both spots right now. So, wherever they need me. Last week, I was getting ready if I had to go play center, I was going to go play center. So, it’s just wherever the wind takes me,” Pugh said.

Pugh admitted that changing sides of the line can be difficult, but said he finds moving around to be “fun.”

“It’s like a new challenge. A lot of times going in and getting some center reps this week, too, it was like alright something totally different, something totally new. So, it’s kind of interesting. It kind of keeps me on my toes,” he said. “It helps me be a better guard eventually when I go back to my natural position because I know the struggle as a tackle and I know how to better communicate with Ereck (Flowers) and work with Ereck because I know the stresses in the protections and where he needs help. So, it’s something that I think is going to make me a better player overall and then hopefully I’ll be able to show it.”

Eli Apple Remains Confident

Cornerback Eli Apple has given up six touchdown passes over the last 34 times he has been targeted, but the 2016 first-round pick says he has not lost confidence.

“Any time you’re lined up against great receivers, like [Tampa Bay wide receiver] Mike Evans, he’s going to get the best of you sometimes and it happens. I just wish I was able to stay on him more in the game, they kind of took me off of him and put me on DeSean Jackson. But, this is a learning curve, it’s a learning lesson and that’s how I take everything,” Apple said. “I know anytime something does happen, I take the approach that I didn’t really give it up, kind of. It was just something that I did, that I made a mistake. It wasn’t, the dude was just better than me. I never think that on the football field. I always think like, ‘Dang, if I would’ve done this differently, I would’ve made the play.’ So, anytime I line up on the football field, I have 100 percent confidence, no matter what.”

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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The New York Giants running back carousel goes round and round. It never seems to stop. It goes through backs at an alarming rate, without any making a substantial impact.

It has been five years since any Giants running back topped 1,000 yards. Ahmad Bradshaw was the last to do it in 2012. (Note: An average of 12 running backs top 1K yards over the past five years.) Since then, the Giants have started Andre Brown, Peyton Hillis, Brandon Jacobs (in his second time around), David Wilson, Michael Cox, Andre Williams, Rashad Jennings, Orleans Darkwa, Shane Vereen and Paul Perkins.

Rookie Wayne Gallman could be next. He’s the latest addition to perhaps the most unpredictable running back rotation in the league.

Gallman had 11 carries for 43 yards in his first career game on Sunday in Tampa Bay. That workload was the result of Perkins suffering a rib injury in the second half and Darkwa being inactive after being slowed by a back problem.

The state of the Giants running game is scary. They’re 31st in the NFL, averaging 59.3 yards per game, and no Giants running back has topped 11 carries in a contest this season. That was Gallman on Sunday. It’s not a desirable way for a running back or fantasy owner to live.

So where do the Giants go from here, beginning Sunday when they host the Los Angeles Chargers at MetLife Stadium? The running back picture is again loaded with uncertainty. Nothing appears set.

“We have very capable backs we have a lot of confidence in,” coach Ben McAdoo said. “Perkins is obviously nicked up. He’s a good back. We still believe in him, have a lot of confidence in him. You saw the energy that Gallman brought to the game. Orleans is a guy we can throw in and be a big, productive runner for us. And Shane is going to play his role.”

It’s difficult for a running back to play with a rib injury. There is a distinct possibility that Perkins, who was limited at practice on Wednesday, will be held out of Sunday’s games. That leaves Gallman and Darkwa (for now) as the primary ball carriers with Vereen remaining the passing-down back.

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5 reasons the winless New York Giants (0-4) will knock off the winless Los Angeles Chargers * (0-4) on Sunday in New Jersey.

Ground control: L.A. ranks near the bottom at running the ball and stopping the run. This is a rough way to win games, be it football or rugby.

Lack of faith: Habitual losing saps confidence and trust. Though both teams are winless, the Giants can draw from a deeper confidence bank, having reached the playoffs last winter. Most of L.A.’s starters and key backups are riding an 0-9 losing streak. Go back nearly a year – Nov. 27, at Houston – for the last time the lightning-bolt players reaped the positive reinforcement that an NFL victory provides.

Fake-grass challenge: This will be L.A.’s first game on synthetic turf after having played all eight games (including the four preseason exhibitions) on grass. “Walk-through” sessions were on synthetic turf at Orange Coast College two months ago — but practices were limited to the grass field at the team’s complex in Costa Mesa. Ideally, the team would acclimate itself to the Giants stadium surface on Saturday, but the workout will be at local high school facility. Pregame warmups will help.

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Intro: Krishawn Hogan grew up in Indianapolis always dreaming of one day playing in the NFL. Last Sunday, he did just that, making his professional debut with his hometown Colts, of all teams.

INDIANAPOLIS — Krishawn Hogan played in his first football game as an 8-year-old second grader for the Buccaneers of Warren Township on Indianapolis’ east side. Ever since that day, he dreamed about getting the chance to play in the National Football League.

Last Sunday – 14 years later – Hogan fulfilled that dream by playing in his first NFL football game as a 22-year-old wide receiver for his hometown Indianapolis Colts.

The rookie — who was on the team’s practice squad before being called up to the active roster earlier in the week — made a handful of appearances in the offensive lineup at receiver and also contributed on kickoff coverage during the Colts’ 48-16 loss to the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field.

After getting into the game for a few snaps in the first half, the Indy native made a play on the opening kickoff of the second half. After Rigoberto Sanchez booted the ball to begin the third quarter, Hogan sprinted down the field and tackled Seahawks returner Tyler Lockett inside the Seattle 20-yard line.

“It was kind of weird – I got up, and I didn’t even celebrate (after the tackle),” Hogan said with a laugh after the game. “A tackle inside the 20 is pretty good, but I didn’t know what to do. I was just happy I made a play.”

Many in Indianapolis are happy as well — happy for a hometown kid that made good on his dreams against the odds. It’s remarkable for any player to make it to the very top of a game played by millions across the world, but Hogan’s story is particularly incredible.

Hogan grew up playing quarterback in Indianapolis (and, thus, naturally loved Peyton Manning), but he never had great size. He was a short reserve quarterback at Indiana high school powerhouse Warren Central for two seasons before hitting a growth spurt as a junior. In a matter of months, Hogan shot up by five inches from 5-9 to 6-2 and made the transition to wide receiver.

Awkward with his new body at first, Hogan finally saw playing time at the varsity level, but caught only 20 passes for one touchdown as a slot receiver his senior year.

After graduation, thanks to his cousin Kyler White, Hogan spent one year at Division II Walsh University in North Canton, Ohio. White had an offer to play for the Cavaliers, and he convinced the coaching staff to bring his cousin Krishawn onto the team as well.

Hogan played 10 games for Walsh in 2013, but the team released him after the season. Hogan admitted to having an attitude problem and being a little immature as a freshman. He clashed with coaches at times during the season, but one interaction did instill confidence in the young player. Offensive coordinator Adam Sherman regularly told Hogan he could someday become an NFL-caliber receiver.

Hogan didn’t believe him at first.

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Intro: Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski and defensive coordinator Ted Monachino each addressed the first four games on Thursday. What else did we learn on the day? Let’s check today’s Daily Notebook, brought to you by ATI Physical Therapy.

INDIANAPOLIS — The quarter-mark of regular season is a good point for all coaching staffs to take a look at what’s working — and what’s not working.

At 1-3 heading into Sunday’s home matchup against the San Francisco 49ers, Rob Chudzinski and Ted Monachino, the leaders of the Colts’ offensive and defensive units, know much work needs to be done in the coming weeks in order to feel a little more comfortable four games from now, at the halfway mark of the season.

“We have to improve. We have to get better,” Chudzinski told reporters on Thursday. “We know there are a lot of areas we have to do that in. Some of it’s some guys growing up in a hurry, making strides in a hurry. Other things we have to do are more technical and bring all of that together.”

Heading into Sunday’s game, the Colts rank 31st in the league in total offense with 265.8 yards per game; they rank 29th in passing offense (180.5 yards per game) and 25th in rushing offense (85.2 yards per game).

While Chudzinski says he never tries to use statistics and rankings as a guide, he knows there are obvious areas of improvement for his unit to work on, starting on Sunday.

“There have been different issues throughout early in the season,” he said. “Some were negative plays in some games. Some were mental ID issues and things like that.”

One source of optimism for Chudzinski, however, is the return of center Ryan Kelly to the lineup. Kelly, who had missed the first four games of the season with a foot injury, is expected to make his 2017 debut on Sunday, according to head coach Chuck Pagano.

The Colts’ offensive coordinator admitted his offense needs to “play better up front,” but getting Kelly back in the mix should certainly help.

“You mentioned some of the guys that are missing, and it’s been a different group — that’s a difficult situation up front,” Chudzinski said. “There are no excuses. We need to play. We’re working to try to do that and try to find ways that we can allow those guys to play at their best, and that’s what my job is, to try to do that.”

Meanwhile, inconsistency has been the theme on defense for the Colts, Monachino said.

Through four games, Indianapolis ranks 31st in total defense (396.2 yards allowed per game), and is 29th against the pass (283.5 yards allowed per game) and is 22nd against the run (112.8 yards allowed per game).

Monachino said his players have rarely just missed their assignments so far this season, but it has come down to simply not making a play — not making a tackle — which has led to several chunk plays for the opposing offense.

“From a structure standpoint, I think we’re in good shape,” he said. “It’s just a matter of fitting the run correctly and then getting the guy on the ground when we have our chances, to. We missed some tackles on some runs that really stood out and made it look a lot worse than it should’ve been, for sure.”

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