SportsFan // Outlet Shop


(800) 767-5849

  • RSS Feed
Posts of category  "Cardinals"

The Cardinals clearly planned to bring Haason Reddick along slowly in his NFL debut on Sunday, rotating their first-round pick with Josh Bynes at inside linebacker.

It didn’t take long for Reddick to prove he was ready for the grand stage. The talented youngster avoided the mental errors that plagued him in the preseason and consistently showed well against the run and in coverage.

Reddick totaled 10 tackles in the game, including two for loss. He was given an 82.6 grade by Pro Football Focus, the highest on the team.

“He was outstanding,” coach Bruce Arians said. “He’s one of those young guys that played extremely well. He got the one penalty with hands to the face, but he was going full speed. He’s fast and he’s going to be a heck of a player.”

Three plays stood out to me: the throw in the flat to Theo Riddick which Reddick stuffed for a one-yard loss on third-and-1; a tackle of Ameer Abdullah on a stretch play; and the blitz off the edge when he just missed Matthew Stafford for a sack.

Reddick had two quarterback pressures on his five pass-rushes, per PFF, and didn’t miss a tackle in his six attempts. The athletic explosion is apparent, and it will be interesting to see how Reddick is deployed moving forward since versatility is one of his big strengths.

In a game where a lot of things went wrong, Reddick was a bright spot.

Read more…

Arizona Cardinals’ safety Tyrann Mathieu can no longer blame injuries for his less than impressive play over the last year

The Arizona Cardinals should be feeling a little nervous by now. When an organization hands over a ton of money to one of it’s players, it rightfully expects alot in return. The Cards’ front office has to be hoping it didn’t make a mistake with this one.

In August of 2016, the Cardinals inked defensive back Tyrann Mathieu to a five-year, $62.5 million extension. Despite suffering two torn ACLs since joining Arizona in 2013, the club’s third-round draft pick nevertheless convinced management he was worth the risk.

GLENDALE, AZ – AUGUST 19: Tyrann Mathieu #32 of the Arizona Cardinals prepares for a game against the Chicago Bears at University of Phoenix Stadium on August 19, 2017 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

Mathieu parlayed an absolute stellar campaign in 2015 into the monstrous contract. The safety played incredibly that season, registering 89 tackles,17 passes defensed, five interceptions, a sack and a touchdown. All of that was accomplished in just 14 contests, before the second of his major knee injuries occurred in December of that year.

Since then, the “Honey Badger’s” play has been underwhelming to say the least. More injuries cost Mathieu six games in 2016. In the 10 appearances he did make, the 5’9″, 186 pounder tallied just 35 tackles, four pass breakups, one pick and one sack.

Read more…

Arizona Cardinals defensive lineman Ed Stinson pressures Houston Texans quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick during an NFL preseason game on Aug. 9, 2014, in Glendale, Ariz.
Arizona Cardinals defensive lineman Ed Stinson pressures Houston Texans quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick during an NFL preseason game on Aug. 9, 2014, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo)

Defensive tackle Ed Stinson won’t be stuck on the Arizona Cardinals’ injured reserve all season. But to play again in the NFL, the former Alabama standout needs another opportunity.

The Cardinals waived Stinson on Tuesday. He had been on injured reserve since Sept. 4.

Arizona waived Stinson with an injury designation when it reduced its roster from the preseason size of 90 players to the regular-season limit of 53 on Sept. 2. When Stinson cleared waivers, he reverted to the team’s injured reserve.

Stinson suffered a hamstring injury at the Cardinals’ third training-camp practice in July. He did not play in any of Arizona’s five preseason games.

At a press conference early in training camp, Arizona coach Bruce Arians was asked if Stinson had lived up to expectations since joining the Cardinals as a fifth-round selection in the 2014 NFL Draft.

“Yeah, when he’s healthy,” Arians answered. “He’s just never healthy. That’s been his main problem.”

Stinson missed 19 of the Cardinals’ 48 regular-season games and one of their three playoff games in three years. Stinson played in 10 regular-season games in 2014, 15 in 2015 and four in 2016.

Alabama NFL roundup: C.J. Mosley in Pro Bowl form

Alabama NFL roundup: C.J. Mosley in Pro Bowl form

On the first Sunday of the NFL’s 2017 season, 24 former Alabama players got on the field.

Stinson was starting in the defensive line by the fifth game of his rookie season and received a game ball after the sixth. However, a toe injury sidelined him for four games, and, after one game back, Stinson went on injured reserve for the rest of the season in 2014.In his second NFL season, Stinson played a regular role in the defensive-line rotation for the Cardinals, including making two starts and playing in a pair of playoff games. He recorded his only NFL sack in 2015.

Toe and hip injuries limited Stinson to four games, with one start, in his third season with Arizona. He played only once in the final 13 games of 2016.

Read more…

Breaking down the interception return for a touchdown by the Cardinals cornerback

The Cardinals had a poor offensive showing on Sunday against the Lions, and it will only get tougher with star running back David Johnsonon the shelf for at least two months. The defense will need to step up, much like Justin Bethel did early against Detroit. On his first target as a full-time starting cornerback, Bethel picked off a Matthew Stafford throw and returned it 82 yards for a touchdown. Bethel and linebacker Josh Bynes explained how the play unfolded in this week’s edition of Cardinals Film Room.

The situation: The Lions had a second-and-5 from the Arizona 21 with 11:29 remaining in the first quarter of a scoreless game.

Bethel moves with Lions wide receiver Golden Tate as he motions closer to the ball: “Tate, we know when he gets inside he likes to do a lot of under routes. This is a Cover-1 but we had some inside help. He was lined up wide, and once he bumped down, I decided I’d stay down with him and play him off the line.”

Bynes’ job is to patrol the middle of the field, and he has a feeling Tate will be heading his way: “I saw Golden, and the way he motioned, your senses tingle.”

Bynes hits Tate: “He turned and I saw him crossing. I just tried to get my hands on him and knock him off as much and as hard as possible I could. I’m glad I did. It distracted him.”

Bethel adjusts in coverage: “I was going to get closer to (Tate), but once I saw (Bynes) hit him, I tried to stay over the top of it.”

The collision was legal because it came within five yards of the line of scrimmage. Bynes: “Especially when we’re in certain coverages, you don’t want to get too much depth so you can use your hands within that yardage. I tried to make sure I didn’t back up much. I took a peek and then just ran at him so it would still be legal.”

Bethel doesn’t see Stafford release the ball: “I was actually looking at Tate. I saw Bynes on him. I saw (Tate) throw his hands out, and so when I was looking at his hands, I saw the ball coming, too. When I saw it was overthrown, I was over top of him, so I saw the ball coming and I just stuck my hands up there to make sure I would catch the ball. I caught it in stride, so I just caught it and kept running.”

Read more…

FOX broadcast will feature Joe Buck, Troy Aikman and Erin Andrews

For fans outside of the broadcast area, NFL Game Pass offers replays of every game. Game Pass is available across devices including desktop, smartphones, tablets, and select connected TV devices, so you can rewatch games wherever you are. Start your free trial.

FOX Sports, now in its 24th season as an NFL network television partner, will broadcast the game. See the broadcast map below, courtesy of

Play-by-play man Joe Buck joins analyst Troy Aikman and sideline reporter Erin Andrews.

DIRECTV subscribers can watch the game on Channel 715.

Games on the map shaded red will show Packers vs. Seahawks

Milwaukee’s WTMJ (620 AM), airing Green Bay games since November 1929, heads up the Packers Radio Network that is made up of 50 stations in five states. Wayne Larrivee (play-by-play) and two-time Packers Pro Bowler Larry McCarren (analyst) call the action. McCarren first joined the team’s broadcasts in 1995 and enters his 23rd season calling Packers games. After originally being paired together in 1999, McCarren and Larrivee enter their 19th season of broadcasts together.

Westwood One Sports will air the game on radio across the country. Brandon Gaudin (play-by-play) and Ross Tucker (analyst) will call the action, with Scott Graham hosting the pregame and halftime shows.

Read more…

Despite the continued presence of Amos Jones, the Arizona Cardinals’ special teams unit could be vastly improved this season

The Arizona Cardinals knew what they had to do. The club’s brass had watched the special teams portion of their football team squander winnable games in 2016. Losses that more than likely cost the Cardinals a postseason appearance.

With it painfully obvious that changes were needed, the front office went into action. Problem areas have been addressed this offseason. Reinforcements were brought in, and some pretty good ones at that.

SEATTLE, WA – JANUARY 19: Kicker Phil Dawson #9 and punter Andy Lee #4 of the San Francisco 49ers sit on the bench during the 2014 NFC Championship against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on January 19, 2014 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The first piece to be sent packing was placekicker Chandler Catanzaro. His eleven missed kicks were a major contributor to Arizona’s troubles last year. Another year of the “Catman” trotting onto the field to attempt important field goals or extra points would not have been a comforting sight.

His replacement just happened to be one of the NFL’s most-reliable kickers. Phil Dawson, a veteran of 18 campaigns in the league, was welcomed with open arms. The 42-year old will provide a calming presence that was sorely needed.

Read more…

Bettcher now can play some games on the defensive side of the ball.

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

James Bettcher has been experimenting with zone coverages the past couple of years, but thanks to some untimely assignment miscommunications and less than requisite speed at the linebacker position, the efforts to incorporate more zone looks into the Cardinals‘ defense have been thwarted.

However, with the additions of Karlos Dansby and Haason Reddick to the defense, Bettcher suddenly has the kind of speed, flexibility and athleticism it takes to play effective zone coverage. Dansby’s experience and his uncanny sense of where the ball is going makes him an asset in zone coverage. With Reddick, Bettcher gets a superior athlete who can drop into the hook zones and converge on a WR or RB with dispatch. In addition, Bettcher can send Reddick on blitzes and drop the now lighter and more spry Chandler Jones into coverage.

On the perimeter, Patrick Peterson and Justin Bethel have the speed to take away their deep thirds of the field and at times Bettcher can roll one of them up to disguise man to man and then rotate the safeties over the top. On one zone play during the pre-season, Peterson nearly intercepted a deep pass that normally a QB would not throw in his direction because the coverage was well disguised.

The safeties, Mathieu, Branch and Bethea, are interchangeable, just as Bettcher likes his safeties to be and thus Bettcher can have Honey Badger blitz on one play, dog the flat on the next, and play over the top on the following. The safety roles in the zone schemes are also made to order for the intuitive Budda Baker and speedy Rudy Ford.

Read more…

Arizona Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson (4) attempts a field goal as punter Matt Wile (6) holds during the first half of a preseason NFL football game against the Chicago Bears, Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. The Bears recovered the missed field goal and ran it back for a touchdown. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

New kicker. New punter. New holder. New kick and punt returner.

The Arizona Cardinals special teams underwent a major renovation since the end of last season, and for good reason: The unit was directly responsible for three losses with an argument to be made for as many as two more in 2016.

Gone is kicker Chandler Catanzaro, replaced by Phil Dawson; punters Drew Butler, Ryan Quigley and Matt Wile were swapped out for Andy Lee, who will also do the holding; and the combination of Andre Ellington, Brittan Golden and J.J. Nelson plus Patrick Peterson, at times, in the return game have all stepped aside for one individual, Kerwynn Williams.

The only familiar face is long snapper Aaron Brewer, though he joined the Cardinals after Week 3 last season.

In other words, there are no players returning in 2017 in the role they had at the start of 2016.

“It’s the first time I’ve ever gone to training camp in 34, 35 years, whatever the heck it’s been, where I had nobody that had ever been to training camp with me. So I was looking at four new faces, from a training camp standpoint,” special teams coordinator Amos Jones. “Obviously, Matt and Brewer had been with us to finish the season but from a training camp standpoint, just the regiment of getting them acclimated to how we do things, everything was new in that respect.”

Read more…

The regular season is upon us, and James Bettcher’s unit is ready to stake their claim as one of the NFL’s best defenses

The 2016 campaign for the Cardinals’ defense was one to remember, and it’s hard to imagine how much better it can be in 2017. Expectations are high in the desert, as once again “putting a ring” on their fingers will be the ultimate goal.

With key losses via free agency, doubt filled the desert air as the start of the new NFL year came crashing in. Steve Keim had his hands full as he tried to replace those that departed. The draft brought us two players — Hasson Reddick and Budda Baker — that have had a great off-season getting acclimated to the team.

The rookies join a squad that had some eye-popping numbers in 2016. The Cardinals led the NFL in sacks, with 48. They generated 28 takeaways, allowed 210.3 yards passing (4th) and 94.9 yards rushing (9th). Those numbers allowed them to finish 2nd overall in total defense (305.2 YPG).

One area that does need improvement, however, is points allowed. The Cardinals allowed 22.6 points per game (14th) — leaving them in the middle of the pack. Much too high for a team looking to bounce back from a losing season.

Bucannon out with a sprained ankle

Deone Bucannon was on schedule to fully return from off-season surgery; however, on Monday,  he sprained his ankle during practice and has “no chance” at playing this Sunday against the Lions. A major setback for a position that missed him severely during the preseason

Read more…

The news Deone Bucannon won’t play Sunday — not a huge shock, even without the setback of an ankle sprain — puts on hold what the Cardinals will do with rookie Haason Reddick when Bucannon, Reddick and Karlos Dansby are all available. Reddick will be needed to play in Bucannon’s role, at least in certain packages.

But it also goes to that concern lingering as soon as the Cards cut to 53 and, at least outwardly, the team only kept three outside linebackers. What about depth? What about a fourth behind Markus Golden, Chandler Jones and Kareem Martin? Coach Bruce Arians mentioned that veteran Philip Wheeler, signed as an inside linebacker, worked in practice recently on the outside and can play both spots. Defensive lineman Josh Mauro has occasionally taken reps at OLB and could serve there in a pinch, especially on running downs. But then there is Reddick.

Reddick, who played defensive end in college, slowly has gotten some reps as an outside ‘backer to build on his work on the inside. And once Bucannon is back, Reddick makes the most sense as a dual-threat guy, someone who can play on the inside in certain packages, who can rush the passer in certain packages, and who can also serve as that fourth guy behind Golden, Jones and Martin.

Again, versatility has been one of the hallmarks of the players GM Steve Keim has sought, especially on the defense. The linemen can play anywhere. The linebackers, mostly, can switch around. The defensive backs are interchangeable. That is how the Cards will solve that fourth OLB issue.

Read more…

Page 3 of 27 1 2 3 4 5 27