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Posts of category  "Cardinals"

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.

Read more…

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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Fourth quarter woes that cost team in losses weren’t a problem on Sunday

Cardinals outside linebacker Chandler Jones tackles 49ers quarterback Brian Hoyer on Sunday.
When crunch time came in past years, the Cardinals’ defense was usually the one dropping the hammer.

But in fourth quarter losses to the Lions and Cowboys earlier this season, it was the one getting squashed. The Cardinals were determined to get back to their late-game ways, and did so in Sunday’s 18-15 overtime win over the 49ers.

The defense didn’t allow a first down in the fourth quarter to give the offense every chance to win the game, and even though that didn’t happen, it didn’t break. San Francisco got the ball first in overtime and put together an impressive drive, but the Cardinals forced a field goal near the goal-line when a touchdown would have ended it.

“That,” linebacker Karlos Dansby said, “is how we’re supposed to play.”

The Cardinals led by two in the fourth quarter against Detroit but gave up a pair of touchdowns in just over five minutes as Detroit took control. Last week, the Cowboys broke open a tie game with 14 points in a seven-minute span in the fourth. The 49ers, meanwhile, scored three points in the final 29 minutes of this contest.

“We made it a big emphasis, that in that fourth quarter, that’s when we’ve got to rise up,” money linebacker Deone Bucannon said. “The first three quarters, we were lights out those first three games. … I’m happy we came out with the win. We played all four quarters.”

The defense has to be the engine for the Cardinals right now because of all the injuries and inconsistency on the other side of the ball (though it did suffer one of its own when linebacker Markus Golden left the game late with a knee injury). Success has shown up in spurts throughout 2017 but there have been too many lapses.

Red zone woes were a big problem through the first three games, as the Cardinals were last in the league, allowing touchdowns on 87.5 percent of possessions inside the 20. They didn’t allow the 49ers in the end zone at all on Sunday, allowing for the late-game heroics by Larry Fitzgerald.

“They didn’t give up any touchdowns, so that’s a pretty good day,” coach Bruce Arians said.

The Cardinals only had one takeaway – an interception by safety Antoine Bethea – but came close to a couple others. Cornerback Justin Bethel couldn’t corral a pass early in the game, and Dansby didn’t see another heading his way until it was too late.

They say their infant was rushed to the hospital after a pole came crashing down and hit the baby’s head.

Three-month-old Julian Trujillo spent five hours in the hospital on Sunday, according to his father, Richard Trujillo. Trujillo said it was before kick-off, a metal pole that was being torn down in a kids area came crashing down.

“It ended up falling as I was walking and hitting him on the side of the head,” Richard Trujillo said.

What’s worse, he said there was no urgency from the staff in getting them help.

“He (staffer) walked us into the stadium and his concern was scanning our tickets first,” Trujillo said.

Monique Trujillo, the baby’s mother said he was screaming and crying at this point.

Nearly an hour later, Richard Trujillo says the baby was taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital by ambulance.

“They (stadium) also told us it would not be covered and this would be on our hands and we’d have to cover it, but it was not our fault,” Trujillo said.

Trujillo said the hospital staff told them the baby may have a concussion, but it’s hard to know in a child this young.

Trujillo says he talked to the head of stadium operations today and he offered to pay for the medical expenses. They’re hoping the flight from Albuquerque, tickets to the game and hotel costs will also be taken care of.

Cardinals spokesperson Mark Dalton sent us this statement on behalf of the team:

We are obviously very concerned and feel terrible what happened to the Trujillo family during their visit to University of Phoenix Stadium. We are in the process of gathering the reports and other information from the individuals involved to understand exactly what took place. We communicated with the family both Sunday and today to again express our concern and to let us know of any medical expenses as well as others incurred from missing the game so that we can reimburse them.

“To get him to his first game was a big thing. We were hoping to remember this for all the right reasons, not all the wrong reasons,” Richard Trujillo said.

The Cardinals are clearly hamstrung on offense, and it’s showing up in the numbers.

Coach Bruce Arians loves to throw the ball deep, but with injuries to key linemen D.J. HumphriesMike Iupati and Alex Boone as well as speedsters John Brown and J.J. Nelson, it’s just not possible.

Instead, the Cardinals as presently constructed are much more of an underneath team.

In the past, Palmer did seven-step drops with regularity, but this season, his dropback depth of 7.1 yards is the second-lowest in the NFL, half a yard shorter than league average, per Pro Football Focus. There’s no other option at this point, since he’s been pressured an NFL-high 75 times, per PFF, and has been sacked six times in each of the past two games.

Palmer knew he had to get the ball out quick on Sunday against the 49ers, and found his running backs with regularity. Andre Ellington led the team with a whopping 14 targets, catching nine of the passes for 86 yards. Even run-first backs Chris Johnson(three catches, 31 yards) and Kerwynn Williams (one catch for 10 yards) got involved in the passing game.

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Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald #11 of the Arizona Cardinals reacts after scoring the game-winning touchdown over cornerback Rashard Robinson #33 and cornerback Jimmie Ward #25 of the San Francisco 49ers during the NFL game at the University of Phoenix Stadium on October 1, 2017 in Glendale, Arizona. Arizona won 18-15.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Arizona Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald (11) reacts after catching the game-winning touchdown over Rashard Robinson (33) and Jimmie Ward (25) of the 49ers on Sunday.

PUBLISHED:  | UPDATED: 

SANTA CLARA — What had been a respectable showing for the 49ers’ pass defense — or at least an improvement over its last outing — all went up in smoke once Carson Palmer had the ball in his hands with 2:24 to go in overtime.

Some miscommunication in the 49ers’ secondary opened the door just enough for the Arizona Cardinals quarterback to find Larry Fitzgerald open for a 19-yard touchdown with 32 seconds left in overtime, handing San Francisco a gut-wrenching 18-15 loss Sunday.Prior to the touchdown, Palmer completed 5 of 7 passes for 58 yards on the decisive drive, taking advantage of the 49ers’ zone defense on the first two plays then finding a soft spot in coverage on the game-winning throw.

Up until overtime, the 49ers had held Palmer to a reasonable 240 passing yards, and sacked him six times.

That would have represented a vast improvement over the 292 yards they allowed to Jared Goff and the Los Angeles Rams 10 days prior. Goff was not sacked and threw for three touchdowns Sept. 21 at Levi’s Stadium. The 49ers have now allowed 961 passing yards this season, ninth most in the NFL.

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Palmer began the drive with a pair of 11-yard completions to Andre Ellington, quickly moving the ball to the Arizona 47 with 1:54 to go in the extra session.

“When you play zone with a four-man rush, you drop and they checked it down to the back right away,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said Monday. “We want those to be five-yard gains. We’ve got to break to the ball a little bit faster, make better tackles in that situation.”

Just before the touchdown, the only one of the game, NaVorro Bowman picked up a shoe that had come off Ellington’s foot. He flung it out of the way, returned, then got the call from the 49ers sideline as to what defense to run for the next down.

The sequence of events might have been just enough to throw off the 49ers for the game-deciding play.

“Things are going fast, you’re trying to get the communication in for the calls, you get it to NaVorro, he relays it to the D-Linemen, the secondary,” Shanahan said. “(Arizona) got up there, they got set fast, and there was just a little hesitation in our secondary.

“We ended up getting to the right spots, but we were a foot behind, and when you do that versus a good quarterback and especially (Fitzgerald) going down the seam, they made us pay.”

Bowman was emphatic after the game that officials should have blown the whistle to make sure the shoe was not in anybody’s way.

Shanahan said, “We ended up being on our assignments. We were a little off our landmarks.”

Fitzgerald ran past nickel back K’Wuan Williams and had inside position on Rashard Robinson, giving Palmer a sizable target for the throw. The 49ers had three safeties in the game with four linebackers.

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St. Louis Cardinals

CLEVELAND, OH – SEPTEMBER 27: The Minnesota Twins celebrate after clinching the second Wild Card spot of the American League after at Progressive Field on September 27, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Indians defeated the Twins 4-2. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

The St. Louis Cardinals are not playing in the postseason but the non-capitalized version of their name offers a prudent view of the impending competitions.

The St. Louis Cardinals failed to live up to the potential of its individual parts in 2017. This cardinal failure was the undoing of the 2017 team leaving them watching the postseason from their individual homes.

Ah, a play on words to kick off October… For those not in the know, the lower case version of the word usually reserved for the name of a bird carries with it the definition, “of greatest importance; fundamental” when used as an adjective. Hence the play on the word in the title of this post and in that first paragraph above.

Keeping with the title, then, let us take a cardinal look at the competitions now solidly slated for the 2017 postseason to begin this very week.

Additionally, I will insert the 2017 St. Louis Cardinals in the NL side of things where they might have slotted should they have (1) played better this season, (2) suffered fewer bullpen meltdowns, and/or (3) had a different manager. All of these suppositions are simple “what-ifs” but are worth taking a look for giggle-sake.

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