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Posts tagged with "Markus Golden"

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.”

Read more…

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.

The roster Steve Keim has built makes the future look bright.

Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

Amidst the recent struggles the Cardinals have had over the past 20 games, I am finding myself feeling very excited and encouraged about the emerging youth on this football team.

Steve Keim built the current roster in such a way that the younger players can bring much needed energy and enthusiasm to what is otherwise a veteran team. Here are some of the players (by position) to feel very encouraged about:

QB: Blaine Gabbert: Gabbert is only 27 years old and he brings a dimension that few of the recent Cardinals’ QBs have had — a combination of size, arm strength and above average mobility. If you saw how the Broncos beat up on the Cowboys with Trevor Siemien at QB, Siemien’s ability to bootleg and shift the pocket was superb and it kept the Cowboys’ defense off-balance and on their heels all afternoon. This is what Gabbert can bring to the Cardinals’ offense, if and when he gets his chance. Better yet, Gabbert has a superior skills set to Siemien’s. Had Gabbert grown up in the Broncos’ system I have no doubt that he would be considered one of the top QBs in the NFL today.

RB: David Johnson: Not only is Johnson one of the most dynamic combo running back the NFL has seen in recent years, he is thoroughly lovable as a human being. Ever kind and humble, Johnson is like the golden retriever who will do anything to bring a smile to your face. With Larry Fitzgerald on the verge of retiring, Johnson will now become the hard-working, modest face of the franchise, hopefully for the better part of the next decade.

T.J. Logan: Can’t wait to see him healthy. Logan’s speed and his aggressiveness are a formidable one-two punch. He is a home run waiting to happen in the return game and out of the backfield.

WR: J.J. Nelson: There is something magical about J.J. Nelson, not just because he has legitimate 4.28 speed, but because he has remarkable body control. BA said it best about Nelson…he’s a speed guy who can cut and change direction without losing speed or the ability to track the football.

Carlton Agudosi: The way he moves for a WR his size is stunning. It is amazing that Rutgers did not do more to maximize his skills. Tall, angular WRs are becoming quite an asset in today’s NFL. Look at what issues WRs like Mike Evans and Kelvin Benjamin are presenting to NFL defenses. The Cardinals might have one of their own in Agudosi, if they can develop him.

TE: Ricky Seals-Jones: Again, the combination of length and speed with Seals-Jones is akin to that of Agudosi’s. Seals-Jones was starting to emerge as a receiving threat the last couple games of the pre-season. His talent is unmistakable.

OL: Evan Boehm: Boehm is a blue collar, smart, take nothing for granted type of competitor. He works his tail off and gets good results. Has an excellent combination of a strong base and superb upper body strength.

John Wetzel: Give Wetzel an assignment and give him a week to prepare for it and he gets after it big-time. The thing i love about him is he is the best run blocking tackle on the roster and he has been making very good strides as a pass protector. Last week versus Jabaal Sheardand John Simon — Wetzel yielded 0 sacks and 0 QB pressures on 40 pass attempts. I think that for the past two years he has been one of the top 4-5 best offensive linemen on the roster and it’s now time to keep him in the starting lineup at either of the tackle spots.

DT: Robert Nkemdiche: This guy is a keg of dynamite. What was so encouraging about him in the pre-season was that not only was he starting to blow up his side of the line, he was showing an increased ability to locate the football and to finish off plays. Once Nkemdiche has a taste of success in the regular season games, he is going to be an at-times unstoppable force.

OLB/DE: Markus Golden: They call him “Junk” as in junkyard dog because Golden is the epitome of tenacity and relentlessness. He’s a better athlete than he gets credit for, imo. He’s got an inmate ability to out-muscle blocks and the short area quickness to change directions and find his way to the football. Here is a guy who leaves it all out on the field. Better yet, when BA said after week one that the offensive struggles kept the defense out on the field too long, which is why they tired at the end of the game, Golden wanted no part of that thinking. He said the defense should be able to handle any type of situation and, that it’s on them to get it done.

LB: Deone Bucannon: I still feel as if Deone Bucannon’s best football is ahead of him. Recently he’s been battling through injury and inconsistent play, but once he gets his feet back under him and once he starts trusting his instincts more regularly he is going to be a prolific playmaker. The thing about Deone is that he has always relished the physical aspects of the game

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James Bettcher’s defense looking to clean up run game after being mauled by the Bears.

If you were looking to see a solid defensive performance from the Cardinals’ starters on Saturday, you probably were better off flipping the channel. What usually is an inept offensive unit, the Chicago Bears took advantage of a weak front seven when the starters were on the field.

Tarik Cohen was running with the football like he stole something and collected 77 yards on just 11 carries against the starters. Not quite a concern yet, as they played only into the early minutes of the second quarter.

What will be a concern, however, is the loss of Robert Nkemdiche for the remainder of the preseason. For now, he will be out 2-3 weeks after suffering a calf strain, just ahead of the most important preseason game in Atlanta. He will sport a protective boot for now and is officially listed as “day-to-day.”

Kareem Martin looking to contribute in dime packages

When it comes to the positions of the two outside linebackers, the Arizona Cardinals are in good shape. More times than not, you’ll see perhaps one of, if not the best, pass-rush combos in the NFL in Markus Golden and Chandler Jones. But fourth-year man Kareem Martin would like to cash in his ticket to the sack party in 2017.

Martin, 6-foot-6, 272 pounds out of North Carolina, knows his time to contribute is now. With Alex Okafor now gone, Martin would like to take over his role as a pass rusher in the defense’s dime looks.

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A look around the web at the Arizona Cardinals.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Tuesday one and all. We are heading towards the Arizona Cardinals fourth preseason game, the third for the Atlanta Falcons, which means it is time to see the starters for an extended look.

Speaking of starters, the Cardinals are looking to get Deone Bucannon back soon.

All of that and more to start your day off.

Kareem Martin Makes Claim For Defensive Role
Notes: Anquan memories; Camp too long: John Brown feeling better.

No “Gloom And Doom” With Karlos Dansby
Inside linebacker corps will be fine, Arians says, as long as veteran is in place.

Cardinals Blogs | Keim: Cards want joint practices next year

Cardinals Blogs | After practice: Dansby’s chicken reaction

All-Access with Cole Toner, Aug. 21: Ready for an eclipse of the preseason
The Arizona Cardinals are coming off their third game of the preseason, and according to offensive lineman Cole Toner, the team is ready to move on.

Kareem Martin in pursuit of third OLB job for Arizona Cardinals
A defensive end in college, Kareem Martin looks to make an impact as the Cardinals’ third outside linebacker behind Chandler Jones and Markus Golden.

Anquan Boldin on retiring: ‘There’s no better time than right now’
Former Cardinals wide receiver Anquan Boldin announced his retirement on Sunday, but his decision to call it a career goes well beyond football.

All-Access with Bruce Arians: Evaluating the Bears game
Bruce Arians spoke with the media about the performance against the Chicago Bears and the fact that some players are ready to return from injury.

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Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

After the 2016 season came and went, the Arizona Cardinals had a handful of young stars on their hands.

Markus Golden and David Johnson broke out the most in 2016, showing that the Arizona Cardinals have done a great job of bringing players along at the right pace and putting them in positions to be successful.

Some were obvious, David Johnson likely would be successful in any offense, but Markus Golden has been the perfect complimentary pass rusher, his relentless attitude and ability to keep the same effort and energy from kickoff to final whistle is amazing.

The Cardinals need that development to continue in 2017, so here are three candidates to breakout in 2017 for the Arizona Cardinals.

Robert Nkemdiche, DT – Nkemdiche needs to figure it out maybe more than any other player on the Arizona Cardinals defense.

Nkemdiche boasts an amazing combination of size, strength and athleticism, but he has always been a bit of an enigma on the field. If he is putting it together like he is capable, the Arizona Cardinals could see little if any falloff from the 2016 defense.

With the way Nkemdiche can play when engaged, the sky is the limit, although we’d all just like to see a consistent, high effort in year two.

Justin Bethel, CB – No player has a bigger chance to become a star in 2017 than Bethel. He is finally healthy and has been waiting for the opportunity to get a full offseason of playing corner under his belt.

Now, at age 27, he is not just fighting for the second corner spot, but a big payday that will take him into his 30’s.

Bethel’s biggest asset is his athleticism, but it has never been something he trusted when playing cornerback.

Read more…

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