SportsFan // Outlet Shop


(800) 767-5849

  • RSS Feed
Posts tagged with "Kerwynn Williams"

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.

Read more…

Chris Johnson has lost a step and it could wind up costing him a spot on the Arizona Cardinals roster

The Arizona Cardinals are still working out their roster for the 2017 season. One of the positions that hasn’t been settled yet is at running back, where David Johnson rules as the top guy. Behind him, though, things are a lot less sure.

Kerwynn Williams ended the 2016 season on a positive note, but has little experience. TJ Logan was drafted to be a change of pace runner, and a return man, but is injured. Elijah Penny is a big back, but hasn’t shined in the playing time he’s gotten. Andre Ellington rounds out the backup crew, and he has been solid this preseason, but has had health issues in the past.

Chris Johnson is the guy that makes the most sense as the backup, in theory. He brings plenty of experience, and is one of the great running backs in modern history. The Cardinals are hoping he still has the speed to make a difference.

So far this preseason, Johnson hasn’t excelled. He has just ten yards on seven carries in the two games he’s played in. More importantly than the stats, however, is the obvious lost step. It’s fairly obvious, especially when he’s in space, that age is affecting the former 2,000 yard rusher. Plays that might be long runs wind up as short ones. Defenders are just able to close on him quickly.

Johnson suffered an injury last season that limited him to just 25 carries. He averaged 3.8 yards per run, which is more than half a yard off his career pace. He’ll be 32 years old in September, and for a player who depends on speed so much, a loss of even just a little could be critical.

Read more…

Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

With less than two months ago before the first preseason game of the 2017 NFL season, I figured now is a good time to look at developing storylines for our NFC West rivals. I’ll start things off with last season’s runner-up, the Arizona Cardinals.

How much does Carson Palmer have left?

Two years ago, Carson Palmer had a strong case for winning league MVP over Cam Newton. Last year was still statistically a pretty good one for Palmer, but he also took an absolute beating in the backfield, getting sacked 40 times and suffering a concussion. Palmer has been in the league since 2003 and will be 38 by the time the regular season is over. Bruce Arians says his arm is stronger than ever, but of course he’s going to say that. Arians is aggressive to a fault, but depending on your measurements for “explosive plays,” 25+ yard passes for Arizona were down from 2015, and in fact the lowest in the Arians era. Arizona loves the vertical passing game, but what good is it if Palmer plays like an old quarterback behind what is already a less-than-stellar offensive line?

Does the offense permanently run through David Johnson now?

David Johnson is a tremendous player and the third-year man is already arguably one of the five best running backs in football. No RB was more valuable as a receiver than him in 2016, and he managed at least 100 scrimmage yards in every game except the last one, in which he suffered a knee injury. He was second behind Larry Fitzgerald for the team-high mark in pass receptions, and you’d have to go back to the days when the Cards were in St. Louis to find a running back who had more single-season rushing yards than Johnson’s 1,239 in 2016.

Johnson touched the ball 373 times last season, much of it because Chris Johnson’s season-ending injury in October left them without even halfway decent depth. Andre Ellington has since been shifted to wide receiver, so that leaves Arizona with Kerwynn Williams and fifth-round rookie pick T.J. Logan as Johnson’s backups.

While Palmer isn’t going to be there much longer, David Johnson figures to be the franchise running back that Arizona has long sought, and that’s not good news for Seahawks fans.

The special teams can’t get any worse than that, can it?

I don’t want to say that the Cardinals missed out on a playoff spot because of special teams, but they absolutely were major liabilities in multiple losses. Following a shaky snap, Chandler Catanzaro missed the game-winning field goal against New England in week 1, and that set the tone for the entire season.

Arizona finished an appalling 30th in special teams DVOA, including giving up a 104-yard kick return for a touchdown against Minnesota, botching a field goal snap that led to a fumble return touchdown, seven missed field goals, four missed extra points (with one returned for a crucial two points against Miami), and uh … the entire 6-6 tie with the Seahawks speaks for itself.Not only did Arizona change its longsnapper midseason, but they also got rid of punter Ryan Quigley for Matt Wile, as they ranked near the bottom in punt coverage. Wile remains on the team, but Catanzaro is now on the Jets. The seemingly ageless Phil Dawson is Arizona’s new placekicker, so we’ll see if the tweaks are enough to give Arizona’s much-maligned special teams unit a lift.

The health of Honey Badger

Tyrann Mathieu is one of my favorite non-Seahawks players to watch, and that’s mostly because he ticks the boxes that would’ve otherwise made him a fit on the Seahawks defense. Sadly, injuries have been a major problem for him throughout his career. He tore his ACL and LCL in 2013, which caused him to miss the start of 2014, in which he missed time with a thumb problem. His outstanding 2015 campaign ended with a torn ACL in the third-to-last game of the year, and his 2016 ended prematurely due to an ongoing shoulder problem. When healthy, he’s one of the top safeties in the league, but his career is trending dangerously into Bob Sanders territory. This season more than ever, Arizona can’t really afford for him to miss time, which brings me to the final storyline…

Read more…

Oft-cut running back has positioned himself as top contender to David Johnson backup

Cardinals running back Kerwynn Williams works at a recent OTA.
Kerwynn Williams is a picky eater, one of the reasons he turned to the Kerwich.

As a high school senior, weighing only 155 pounds, Williams needed to add weight. He was a peanut butter and jelly fan, but singular sandwich “was not getting it done.” So he turned to the Kerwich – lathering on a couple layers of peanut butter and a couple layers of jelly.

“Slice it in half, dip it in milk, call it a day,” the Cardinals running back said.

Whether the Kerwiches helped get Williams up to his current weight of 198 pounds on his 5-foot-8 frame may be debatable. That’s less because of the caloric intake and more because Williams simply has worked his way into NFL relevance.

Read more..

Page 1 of 1