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Cardinals announce new GM
After a short 2nd stint, GM Ben Harbinger is back for the 3rd time. He plans on being here for the foreseeable future. He takes over an aging, yet talented roster that was expected to be in the playoff race this year. With the worst record in the AFC conference, Ben has his work cut out for him.
In a private press conference earlier today, GM Harbinger said a few words:

"Firstly, I'd like to thank the league staff to bring me back. Also, it is only fitting that I come back to coach in the same division where I coached for a long time. It is a very tough division and will continue to be for a while. This team is very talented, has veteran leadership across every position, so I don't see why we can't expect to fight for the division crown next year. In the upcoming weeks, you will us make aggressive moves that will benefit the team, both short and long term. I will do my best to instill discipline and bring success to this franchise. Our expectations, as they should be, is to win the Superbowl."
Forum Discussion (by B_Harbinger on 01/26/2014) Replies - 0 :: Views - 17
Cardinals Training Camp: 2022

What started as a trend and turned into a theme is now seeming more like a recurring nightmare the Cardinals can’t shake. The team once got off to an awful start in 2021, winning just one game out of their first five. As usual they stepped up their game after the slow start, but would ultimately fail to finish the season with a winning record, going 8-8 on the year. After failing to make the playoffs for the fourth time in four seasons, the Cardinals are desperately searching for an identity. Now that the glory days led by the likes of Matt Leinart, Desmond Mayer, and Freddy Nickols are long gone, the Cardinals are looking for ways to pull themselves from the depths of mediocrity. In recent years the franchise has placed a high importance on building an elite defense, and has used several high draft picks to draft college standouts such as Dre Kirkpatrick, Quentin Coples, Stephon Gilmore, Nick Fairley, and Austin Dillon. While the investments have yet yield more than marginal returns, the club is hoping this year can be the year they finally turn the corner. On offense, there are a lot more question marks. Desmond Mayer, Jordan Kent, Roy Hall, and Jake Long are all on the decline, and some of them have been for a while now. Hunter Cantwell may be gearing up for his final season in the NFL. Heading into the preseason, the team has major question marks at LOLB, LG, TE, K, and P, and lacks experience at many other positions. While it may be a longshot that this is the year the team puts it all together, they are hoping they can at least take a few steps forward, especially on the defensive side of the ball, and answer some of the major questions they have heading into the season. If the Cardinals want to accomplish anything this year they will need the defense to be firing on all cylinders and several players to step up on the offensive side of the ball.

When talking about the players, the first thing that has to be mentioned is the fact that the players are not happy. Morale is down across the board, and several players have made it known they want out of Arizona. Word out of the desert is that the situation has become so bad the team sees over ten players in the locker room as being distractions. While the team is willing to work with a number of these disgruntled players, namely by cutting them, several of them are simply too valuable for the franchise to part with. There is no saying how large of an impact this could potentially have on the teams play this year, but it is safe to say it will definitely have an impact. Either way, the team is going to have to push through the off-the-field issues and try to string together a few wins this season. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some players that need to step it up for the team to find success this year:

QB Hunter Cantwell – We all know that this is a quarterback-driven league. Teams live and die by their quarterbacks. While Cantwell has posted career highs in passing yards the past two seasons, that has mostly been a byproduct of him posting career highs in attempts (by a lot). In 2020 he 4,189 yards on 520 attempts. Compare that to 2017 where he threw for 4,019 on just 409 attempts. Cantwell has also fallen short of his career averages for completion percentage and QB rating while throwing more interceptions over a two-year span than he ever has during his tenure with the Cardinals. This can’t all be put on Cantwell, as the team needs to do a better job establishing the run and lessening his work-load, but he also needs to step up his game in what might be his last year in the league.

CB Stephon Gilmore/CB Dre Kirkpatrick – The team used the 6th and 7th overall picks, respectively, to bring this tandem to Arizona, and while they are still developing, their play early in their careers has left some wondering about their play-making abilities. Through five combined seasons of player the two have mustered just five interceptions between them. In this league that simply won’t cut it. This will be the first season that both are over the critical 80 AWR mark, and they will need to play like it or else major changes could be coming. Of note is that Kirkpatrick did intercept three passes last year after having just one in his first two seasons, something the team is hoping is a sign of things to come.

HB Ryan Matthews/HB Joe McKnight/HB Ray Graham – With the decline of Desmond Mayer and the need to take the some of the load off of Hunter Cantwell, one of these players is going to have to step up. Matthews has averaged just 4.09 YPC over his career, McKnight just 3.44, and Graham is an unproven rookie, so one of these players is going to need to step up their game and grab the starting gig. Otherwise, the team will have to go with the committee approach, which they really don’t want to have to do.

This off-season was yet another important one for the Cardinals. Several key players continued or started to decline, and the team did not have their first round pick. In free agency they signed two players they think can contribute in HB Ryan Matthews and CB Jeffery Santos. Matthews has had a disappointing career so far, but the Cardinals are hoping a fresh start and a new home can inject some life into him. Santos should be a familiar name to Cardinals fans, as he had a nice stint in the desert before leaving as part of the Jordan Kent trade. The team is hoping he will be able to step up and fill the role of the declining Riley Correa who may not be on the final roster come the regular season. The team also traded a 3rd and 4th round pick for FS Clint Luna, who will step in for Brandon Carr.

Next up was the draft. While the team needed youth, they would have to dig for buried treasure as they didn’t have a pick until the fourth round. Despite this, the front office still thinks they were able to grab some good talent in the latter half of the draft and potentially even a couple starters. Let’s look at some of the picks they made:

4.4 - OL DJ Fluker
Fluker is probably the most promising player the Cardinals were able to grab in the 2022 draft. He has excellent size at 6’6”, 335 lbs to go with 94 STR. He also has above average athleticism with 60 SPD, 57 AGI, and 73 ACC. While his 65 AWR shows good football instincts, he will have to work on his sub-par blocking technique to develop into a starter in the RZL.

4.16 - HB Ray Graham
With 92 SPD, 92 AGI, 93 ACC, 68 STR, and 79 BTK, Graham does a lot of things well, but nothing great. He is also a little undersized at 5’9”, 195 lbs. With some work on speed Graham could develop into a decent running back, but he will need to surprise some people to be more than a #2 back.

4.18 - FB Terrance Gannaway
The FB position has been somewhat of a revolving door for the team for as long as we can remember, but the team might have finally found their long-term answer in the fourth round. Gannaway combines above average speed and acceleration with a large frame and excellent strength. He will need to improve his instincts and his blocking technique to have a productive career, but there is a lot to be optimistic about when it comes to Gannaway.

5.4 - LE David Bass
Bass is perhaps the most intriguing player of the team’s 2022 draft class. He has an excellent combination of speed and strength that compares well to that of long-time fan-favorite Calais Campbell, as well as 81 ACC and excellent size. However, his 43 AWR, 63 AGI, and 64 TAK leave a lot to be desired. Bass will need to show he can overcome these limitations to make any kind of impact, and will likely be a career backup, but has the potential to stay on this roster for a long time.

5.11 - MLB Alan Jackson

Jackson is another player that will likely be a career backup but still shows promise. His SPD/STR combo of 78/74 does not stand out on paper, but his 81 AGI, 87 ACC, and 83 TAK make him a much more interesting prospect. He is a bit undersized at 239 lbs and 6’0”, but his overall package makes him an interesting prospect.

Every year a number of players put in extra time to improve a specific aspect of their game. This year the following players are showing up early and leaving late to become better all-around players:

OLB/SS Jason Johnson – This off-season Johnson will complete his move from SS to OLB. While league rules prevented Johnson from making the leap in his rookie year, +1 STR and +1 TAK will give him the ability to move to OLB and become one of the quickest linebackers in the league. With 86 SPD, 90 AGI, and 92 ACC, the Cardinals are hoping Johnson’s incredible first step and lateral movement will allow him to form a dominant one-two punch along with stand-out DE Quentin Coples. Johnson’s move from SS to OLB will nearly complete the transformation of the Cardinals defense.

CB Dre Kirkpatrick/CB Stephon Gilmore – We mentioned earlier that these are two players who will really need to step up for the Cardinals this season, so it makes sense that they are putting in the extra time to make that happen. Each player will receive a speed boost through training camp that should help them take their game to the next level. Gilmore will reach 98 SPD, while Kirkpatrick will have 96 SPD to compliment his 6’3” frame.

ROLB Mike Angre – Angre will look to build on a fantastic rookie season in which he quieted a lot of doubters, and thankfully it appears that chip on his shoulder is there to stay. Angre is once again pushing himself to the limit this off-season, and will boost his SPD from 84 to 85. At 6’2”, 261 lbs, this mountain of a linebacker will now be able to get from point A to point B even faster, just in time to punish opponents even more. Look for Angre to build on his big rookie season and have a big sophomore campaign.
Forum Discussion (by T_Richardson on 08/29/2013) Replies - 0 :: Views - 23
Cardinals 2021 Training Camp

Another year, another slow start for the Cardinals. After Hunter Cantwell missed the first few weeks of the season and Roy hall missed four weeks around the same time, the team was off to a miserable 1-3 start. Although they would go 8-4 to close out the season, with wins over the Rams, Falcons, and Redskins, they failed to make the playoffs at 9-7. Despite the disappointing result, the team’s youth once again showed promising talent and showed there are good things to come in Arizona.

The Cardinals defense had their best year in a long time ranking 3rd in sacks with 51, 9th in red zone defense, 7th in total defense, 6th against the pass, 12th in points allowed, and 14th against the run. Despite their success in those statistical categories, their downfall came in their ability to make plays, finishing 31st in the league in turnovers, forcing less than one per game.

The Hunter Cantwell era officially began in 2020, and although his individual numbers weren’t great, the offense finished 9th in passing offense and 8th in total offense. But the turnover game once plagued the Arizona, as only 9 teams threw more interceptions than the Cardinals.

Defensive MVP: MLB Freddy Nickols
Although Hank Howard was seriously considered for this award with 40 + tackles and 11 sacks, in the end it had to go to Nickols. He was the undisputed leader of the team and finished top 10 in tackles while recording more deflections (20) than any other linebacker. He also had 10+ tackles for loss, 2 sacks, 2 fumbles forced, and an interception. Not only was he a force in the run game, Nickols was as vital to the team’s pass defense as anyone on the defense. It’s safe to say he was the biggest difference-maker on the field last season.

Offensive MVP: WR Roy Hall
Roy Hall once again came up big for the Cardinals in 2020. Despite missing essentially 4 games, he put up 1381 yards and 12 touchdowns, which puts him on pace for almost 1800 yards and 16 touchdowns if he played the whole season. The Cardinals were lacking in talent at wide receiver last season, but Hall stepped up and helped make the transition easier for Hunter Cantwell.

Going into the off-season, the Cardinals had several positions they needed to address. WR Roy Hall, MLB Freddy Nickols, and OLB Jon Corto were entering regression, and the team had failed to make the playoffs. The annual cuts included Jon Corto, Josh Barrett, and Darius Hill. After that, the team kicked off the off-season by trading former 1st round pick OLB Colin McCarthy, CB Jeffery Santos, and a future 3rd round pick to the 49ers for longtime rival WR Jordan Kent. Although his skills are declining, Kent immediately makes the Cardinals offense much more explosive, adding a pro bowl WR opposite Roy Hall. The team also traded a pair of youngsters, SS Eugene Kelly and OG Ignacious Wilson, along with a 6th round pick for 3rd, 4th, and 5th round picks. The last trade until draft day came when they sent a 5th round pick to Miami for familiar face TE Brandon Pettigrew, who the team traded to the Dolphins for a 4th round pick mid-way through the past season. Right before the draft started the team made their biggest trade of all when they sent Hank Howard and their future 1st for the 5th pick in the draft. And with that, we head to draft day.

1.5 - MLB Austin Dillon
Dillon has great athleticism, size, and strength despite raw intangibles. He will most likely start at MLB this year while Nickols moves over to LOLB. Fun fact: Nickols and Dillon were both drafted at 1.5 and were 69 OVR

2.19 - ROLB Mike Angre
Angre lacks AGI and ACC, but has great size, speed, and strength and was one of the more RZL-ready linebackers remaining. He will be moved to ROLB and could start as soon as this year. We will probably add some speed to him eventually.

2.32 - SS/LOLB Jason Johnson
Johnson was drafted to play linebacker. At 6'1", 222 lbs he may be a bit undersized, but his 86 SPD, 90 AGI, and 92 ACC will make him one of the fastest linebackers in the league. His AWR and TAK need some work, and he will probably need +2 STR and +1 TAK in TC to make the switch, but he should form a deadly tandem with Coples on the left side.

4.8 - OL Steven White
White is not the strongest prospect at 86 STR, but he has above average athleticism with 62 SPD, 63 AGI, and 76 ACC. With 60 AWR and 83 PBK, his intangibles are not bad either. He will either become a backup at RT or he could eventually find a starting job at LG.

4.29 - HB Richard Burgess
Last year the Cardinals played a 6th round pick at #2 HB and weren’t satisfied with his production. This year, a 4th round pick will get a shot. Burgress is not very strong or athletic, but he has great size at 6’2”, 221 lbs to go with an exceptional 87 BTK.

5.5 - LT Raymond Stewart
Stewart is perhaps the steal of the Cardinals draft. At 6’7”, 322 lbs, he’s not going to get pushed around too often. Combine his size with 59 SPD, 95 STR, 53 AGI, and 69 ACC, and you have a future starter at LT. With 63 AWR, 83 PBK, and 83 RBK, he is in great position to transfer his game to the next level.

In free agency the team pursued several free agents, but was only being seriously considered by OLB Donnell Tyler. Although the team came close, the Raiders ultimately made the better offer. The team will still attempt to sign a veteran player or two, but for the most part the roster is finalized. And although the team was also rumored to be looking at FA LB Deandre Levy, a management error caused the talks to fall through. The team did add FA HB Joe McKnight however, who they think has the potential to be a similar play to current starter Desmond Mayer.

Several players put in extra hours to make additional improvements to their game this off-season.

SS Martin Russell, FS Brandon Carr, and DT Ricardo Matthews all saw improvements in their awareness/tackling technique, Russell earning +4 AWR, Carr +2 TAK, and Matthews +4 AWR and +2 TAK.. This extra time is expected to pay great dividends in both the present and the future.

Several other players also put in extra time in training camp to improve their skills, in this case their physical abilities. The team’s young CB duo of Dre Kirkparick will each work on their 40 yard dash time with hopes they’ll be able to shave off a tenth of a second or two. Rookie SS Jason Johnson will be pumping a lot of iron this training camp trying to get stronger. Rumor has it that the team is looking to convert him into a linebacker, and the strength will be essential if he wants to be able to make the switch. MLB Austin Dillon will look to increase his initial burst by putting in some extra hours of plyometrics. Although he has good long-range speed for a MLB, the coaching staff is hoping he can be a little quicker off the snap. Finally, WR Christian Duval will join the CBs in working on speed. Duval, a FA signing from last year, has the potential to be an impact WR in this league with a few years of speed workouts in training camp.
Forum Discussion (by T_Richardson on 09/02/2012) Replies - 0 :: Views - 36
Extreme Makeover: LB Edition - Cardinals Day 1 Draft Recap
Well I wrote something more in-depth than this, but I accidentally hit refresh and it's all gone, so here's the quick version.

With MLB Freddy Nickols having regressed, previous LOLB Jon Corto cut, and LOLB Colin McCarthy traded, we desperately needed to replace our linebackers. Here's how the makeover turned out:

1.5 - MLB Austin Dillon
Dillon has great athleticism, size, and strength despite raw intangibles. He will most likely start at MLB this year while Nickols moves over to LOLB. Fun fact: Nickols and Dillon were both drafted at 1.5 and were 69 OVR

2.19 - ROLB Mike Angre
Angre lacks AGI and ACC, but has great size, speed, and strength and was one of the more RZL-ready linebackers remaining. He will be moved to ROLB and could start as soon as this year. We will probably add some speed to him eventually.

2.32 - SS/LOLB Jason Johnson
Johnson was drafted to play linebacker. At 6'1", 222 lbs he may be a bit undersized, but his 86 SPD, 90 AGI, and 92 ACC will make him one of the fastest linebackers in the league. His AWR and TAK need some work, and he will probably need +2 STR and +1 TAK in TC to make the switch, but he should form a deadly tandem with Coples on the left side.
Forum Discussion (by T_Richardson on 08/21/2012) Replies - 12 :: Views - 114
Cardinals 2020 TC

The Cardinals 2019 season got off to a rocky start to say the least. After going up by 20+ points against the defending champs the St. Louis Rams, quarterback Matt Leinart was knocked out of the game, and the team would eventually lose the game in overtime. Despite losing with backup quarterback Colin Porter at the helm in week 1, coach Rod Marinelli declared Porter the starter until Leinart returned to action. Although Porter responded as well as anyone could have expected, throwing for 326 yards and 5 TD passes in a 49-31 victory over the Falcons, the team would go on to lose its next four games. And even though Porter delivered three straight victories after his 1-4 start and Matt Leinart closed out the season with a 5-2 record, the Cardinals eventually fell short of making the playoffs, watching Rusty Smith and the Steelers end their season. The team finished 9-7, and would have to look ahead to next year.

Although the team yet again failed to make the playoffs, they made plenty of strides that hint they are headed in the right direction. The team finished first in the league in Red Zone defense, allowing only 20 touchdowns despite 52 visits, and finished 4th in takeaways and tied for 11th in sacks. In the past it was not unusual for the team to finish in the bottom 16 in each of these categories. The team’s defense also put up 30 points, including 4 touchdowns and a safety, tying for the 6th most in the league. It was a different story for the offense, though, as the Cardinals only finished in the top ten in points scored, red zone attempts, red zone touchdowns, and interceptions (not) thrown. This is an area the team looked to improve during the off-season, but found their options limited.

Defensive MVP: DE Quinton Coples
A rookie, Coples arguably had a better year than any other DE in the league. The league voted him rookie of the year after tallying 33 tackles, 7 TFL, 14 sacks, and a safety. The team hasn’t had this kind of presence at defensive end in quite some time, maybe ever, and he was most likely the biggest reason the Cardinals had such a good year defensively.

Offensive MVP: QB Colin Porter
Porter is without a doubt the offensive MVP for the 2019 season. After Leinart went down in week one, the team showed faith in him and he delivered. Although he struggled at first, he threw for nearly 2,000 yards in 7 starts, completed over 50% of his passed, and had a 15 to 8 touchdown to interception ratio. He ultimately kept the team afloat, going 4-4 over a timespan where Roy Hall missed 4 games and Jake Long 3. The Cardinals eventually controlled their fate in Week 17, and just weren’t able to get the job done.

Going into the off-season, the team had two main priorities: Find a plan for the quarterback position and upgrade at WR. They were able to solve one of those goals, but the other remains a question mark.
As always, the off-season started with player cuts. FS Victor Harris, SS Kelin Johnson, LB Jerod Mayo, and LT Gabe Hal were all got let go or were not resigned as the team was tight on cap space. WR Kenny Britt was traded to the Bears for a 3rd round pick for the same reason. While that cleared up a good amount of cap space, the team had to resign defensive anchor MLB Freddy Nickols, and they still would need a lot more room than they originally anticipated. When Jets QB Hunter Cantwell became available for a 2nd round pick, the team moved swiftly to land him. They eventually traded 2.18 for him, acquiring a top-notch quarterback, along with his 17.85m salary. HB Desmond Mayer, 30, had to be restructured to a seven year deal just to save 3 million in cap space, and the team started acquiring as many draft picks as they could. On draft day, the Cardinals sent former 3rd round pick LB Jamar Chaney to the 49ers for two 4th round picks and CB Brice McCain to the Dolphins for another 4th. Later, DE Lawrence Sidbury Jr. was shipped to Chicago for their 2nd and 3rd round draft picks in 2021. With that in mind, let’s take an inside look at the teams 2020 draft class.

1.6 - CB Stephon Gilmore - After planning to draft a WR all the way up until draft day, we traded 1.18 and our future 1st to get this pick and draft Gilmore. He has a very rare combination of height (6'1"), speed (95), and strength (68 ) that got us thinking about what it'd be like to pair him and Kirkpatrick together for the next 9-10 seasons, and we had to pull the trigger. We plan to act aggressively with our TC points and hopefully max him out at 98 SPD, 93 AGI, 93-94 ACC.
Hoping he can be a... CB Issac Suggs

3.18 - LG Ignacious Wilson - This was a pick we thought long and hard about, and ultimately came close to flipping a coin. We were torn between LT Reynolds, who the Vikings took with the next pick, and Ignacious. We ultimately went with the latter due to his great size, speed, and agility to go along with decent technique and strength. While we weren't expecting to find much value in the 3rd, we're hoping Ignacious can develop into a starter.
Hoping he can be a... Less talented LT Kasey Mcanulty

4.5 - SS Drew Powers - This isn't our favorite pick of the draft, but this was the work of auto-draft. Nonetheless, while Drew lacks a physical presence and has less AWR than we'd like, he has everything else we look for in a safety. With that said, he is probably a career backup at FS.
Hoping he can be an... Upgraded FS Rahim Moore

4.14 - LG Kyle Warner - Warner is a player that we thought was rather interesting. While he doesn't have any SPD or AGI, he has mammoth-like size and strength, good ACC for a man of his stature, and good technique. We're thinking he may be able to grab a starting spot on the left side of the line down the road, but we may eventually want someone who can get down field quicker. Either way, he should be a Cardinal for a while.
Hoping he can be a... Much better LT Owen Gonzalez

4.17 - MLB London Jones - Jones will play ROLB for us. If we can find the time to invest a few SPD TC points into him, we think he can be a starter. However, that may never come to fruition, and his size and AWR may prevent him from becoming a good player. Adam Borque was a player we wanted to grab in round 2 or 3, and we're hoping Jones can develop into a similar type player.
Hoping he can be a... Lesser OLB Adam Borque

4.18 - P Shawn Powell - Powell has a good bit of leg strength, and that's what we look for in a P. A lack of accuracy has never proved to be a problem for our current starter Dragosavich, and we're thinking it won't be for Powell either.
Hoping he can be a... Replacement for P Mike Dragosavich

5.18 - OLB Teddy Hamilton - Hamilton is a big, big man who lacks athleticism, but will make a nice backup and could play #2 MLB in a 3-4 set if needed. He will be moved inside immediately, and hopefully will find a way to contribute at some point.
Hoping he can be a... Bigger MLB Jerod Mayo

6.18 - LT Kevin Richards - We draft way too many offensive lineman year after year, but that's always where the value is at it seems. Richards has a great combination of SPD (65), STR (89), AGI (60), and PBK (87), but is severely hampered by his size (6'1"), AWR (47), and RBK (76). We're not sure where he will play, but the first four attributes combined are enough to warrant a selection in our book.
Hoping he can be a... Smaller C Kendrick Huerta

After the draft was free agency, but the team wasn’t able to make many big moves there since they were so cap-strapped. The lone addition was SS Josh Barrett, who brings smarts, size, and a nasty streak to the Cardinals defense. He is expected to start alongside FS Brandon Carr, but SS Eugene Kelly could see playing time against speedier WRs.

Several players put in extra hours to make additional improvements to their game this off-season.

DT Hank Howard, SS Josh Barrett, and DE Jamal Green all say improvements in their awareness and technique, with Howard receiving +3 AWR and +2 TAK, Barrett +1 AWR, and Green + 4 AWR, +2 TAK. This extra time is expected to pay great dividends in both the present and the future.

CB Stephon Gilmore, DE Quinton Coples, DT Hank Howard, and CB Dre Kirkpatrick also put in extra time this off-season, working hard to improve their physical abilities. Gilmore (+1 SPD), Kickpatrick (+1 SPD), and Coples (+1 SPD) all attended a week-long camp where they focused primarily on speed drills. Gilmore (+1 ACC) also attended an explosiveness and initial burst camp where he received training in acceleration. These players should be able to cover more ground In the future. Meanwhile, DT Hank Howard (+1 STR) spent an enormous amount of time in the weight room this season, adding to his muscle mass. He should be able to push guys around more next year, and hopefully increase his role in stopping the run-game.
Forum Discussion (by T_Richardson on 04/05/2012) Replies - 0 :: Views - 15
Cardinals 2020 Draft Class
1.6 - CB Stephon Gilmore - After planning to draft a WR all the way up until draft day, we traded 1.18 and our future 1st to get this pick and draft Gilmore. He has a very rare combination of height (6'1"), speed (95), and strength (68 ) that got us thinking about what it'd be like to pair him and Kirkpatrick together for the next 9-10 seasons, and we had to pull the trigger. We plan to act aggressively with our TC points and hopefully max him out at 98 SPD, 93 AGI, 93-94 ACC.
Hoping he can be a... CB Issac Suggs

3.18 - LG Ignacious Wilson - This was a pick we thought long and hard about, and ultimately came close to flipping a coin. We were torn between LT Reynolds, who the Vikings took with the next pick, and Ignacious. We ultimately went with the latter due to his great size, speed, and agility to go along with decent technique and strength. While we weren't expecting to find much value in the 3rd, we're hoping Ignacious can develop into a starter.
Hoping he can be a... Less talented LT Kasey Mcanulty

4.5 - SS Drew Powers - This isn't our favorite pick of the draft, but this was the work of auto-draft. Nonetheless, while Drew lacks a physical presence and has less AWR than we'd like, he has everything else we look for in a safety. With that said, he is probably a career backup at FS.
Hoping he can be an... Upgraded FS Rahim Moore

4.14 - LG Kyle Warner - Warner is a player that we thought was rather interesting. While he doesn't have any SPD or AGI, he has mammoth-like size and strength, good ACC for a man of his stature, and good technique. We're thinking he may be able to grab a starting spot on the left side of the line down the road, but we may eventually want someone who can get down field quicker. Either way, he should be a Cardinal for a while.
Hoping he can be a... Much better LT Owen Gonzalez

4.17 - MLB London Jones - Jones will play ROLB for us. If we can find the time to invest a few SPD TC points into him, we think he can be a starter. However, that may never come to fruition, and his size and AWR may prevent him from becoming a good player. Adam Borque was a player we wanted to grab in round 2 or 3, and we're hoping Jones can develop into a similar type player.
Hoping he can be a... Lesser OLB Adam Borque

4.18 - P Shawn Powell - Powell has a good bit of leg strength, and that's what we look for in a P. A lack of accuracy has never proved to be a problem for our current starter Dragosavich, and we're thinking it won't be for Powell either.
Hoping he can be a... Replacement for P Mike Dragosavich

5.18 - OLB Teddy Hamilton - Hamilton is a big, big man who lacks athleticism, but will make a nice backup and could play #2 MLB in a 3-4 set if needed. He will be moved inside immediately, and hopefully will find a way to contribute at some point.
Hoping he can be a... Bigger MLB Jerod Mayo

6.18 - LT Kevin Richards - We draft way too many offensive lineman year after year, but that's always where the value is at it seems. Richards has a great combination of SPD (65), STR (89), AGI (60), and PBK (87), but is severely hampered by his size (6'1"), AWR (47), and RBK (76). We're not sure where he will play, but the first four attributes combined are enough to warrant a selection in our book.
Hoping he can be a... Smaller C Kendrick Huerta
Forum Discussion (by T_Richardson on 03/27/2012) Replies - 4 :: Views - 70
A New Era Begins
Cardinals acquire Hunter Cantwell from Jets

Fans in Arizona are hopeful Hunter Cantwell and his tribal tattoos can help the Cardinals reach new heights

Cardinals fans spent the beginning part of the off-season mourning and healing as they accepted the news that Matt Leinart, the only starting quarterback the team had ever known in its 14 year history, was retiring. The front office perhaps even more so. In fact, there were early reports out of Arizona that the team would do whatever it took to lull Leinart out of retirement. But that no longer appears to be necessary, as the Arizona Cardinals have agreed in principle to a deal with the New York Jets that will make Hunter Cantwell the new face of the franchise.

Wipe those tears Cardinal faithful, you will have 3, maybe 4 or 5, more years of quality quarterback play to look forward to. Cantwell puts the team squarely in the playoff hunt once again in 2020, something that couldn't be said with certainty before now with Colin Porter being the teams most experienced signal caller. However, he will have to prove he can stay healthy. Yes, as with many quarterbacks around the league, there are injury concerns with Cantwell. Even more so than Leinart, and Cardinals fans know all too well how often he struggled with injuries. However, if the team can keep him healthy, he instantly puts their offense back on the map.

Another potential problem is that Cantwell will have to be franchised, adding a boat-load of money to an already cap-strapped team. However, the Cardinals felt this was a deal they had to pull the trigger on. Everything else can be worked around this move. The terms of the agreement have not yet been disclosed, but it is believed that the team still has possession of its first round pick. Stay tuned for the official terms of the trade and more breaking off-season news out of the desert.
Forum Discussion (by T_Richardson on 03/16/2012) Replies - 2 :: Views - 61
Cardinals Training Camp

After making it back to the playoffs in 2018, the team had one of the worst years in franchise history, winning just give games. For once, the team started off well, soundly beating the Lions in the season opener, but would go on to lose their next five. Youngster QB Colin Porter then strung together a couple of nice victories over the Bears and Rams, looking impressive as he did it, but, once again, the team would go on to lose five in a row, leaving their record at a dismal 3-10. They would finish 5-11.

The teams offense looked flat. The ability to put up points just wasn't there. Despite finishing in the top ten statistically in 1st downs, 3rd down conversions, and 3rd down conversion percentage, the team didn't finish in the top 15 in scoring offense, passing yards, or rushing yards. Worse, the team finished in the bottom ten for red zone attempts, and scored only 42 touchdowns the entire season. The St. Louis Rams scored 51 through the air alone.

But the defense was even worse. Only one team, the Green Bay Packers, allowed more points per game than the Cardinals. They finished 8th to last in total yards allowed despite having the 5th best run defense. The pass defense was the 3rd worst in the league. Teams scored against them 90% of the time in the red zone, and the team finished tied for most red zone touchdowns allowed with 34. The team also only forced 16 turnovers, good for 2nd to last in the league, and QBs average passer rating against them hovered around 90.

The Cardinals entered the off-season with quite a bit of assets. They had traded many of their top players from years before to acquire draft picks. As the strength of the 2019 draft class was the top, the Cardinals, along with pretty much everyone else in the league, had one goal in mind: move up as far as possible.

Somewhat uncharacteristically, the team only made two trades this off-season. In the first trade they sent 3.12 and 4.4 to the Bengals in exchange for disgruntled LT Roger Saffold and 7.2. In their second move, they traded two of their previous first round selections, Nate Allen and Robert Quinn, as well as 1.23 to the Dolphins in exchange for 1.7, 2.7, and TE Brandon Pettigrew. Saffold will replace LT Levi Brown at LT this season, while Pettigrew will replace the departed Craig Stevens.

Heading into the draft, the team had the following picks: 1.4, 1.7, 2.4, 2.7, 3.25, 3.30, 5.30, 6.4, 6.6, and 7.2. Here's how the team's draft day turned out:

1.4DE Quentin Coples – The team attempted to draft a defensive end who could get after the quarterback in 2018 when they drafted Robert Quinn, but he was traded to Miami after an abysmal rookie year. Their are very few players in the RZL with the complete package that Coples has, and the team hopes he will be able to make the impact that Quinn couldn't last year.

1.7CB Dre Kickpatrick – With this pick, the Cardinals were hoping to select WR Michael Floyd, but the Jaguars spoiled their plans by taking him at 1.5. Still, the Cardinals are able to cash in here by taking a rare physical specimen at the CB position. Kirkpatrick will take some work, but by his third season he will be eligible to have 95 SPD to go along with his 6-3 frame, something few CBs in the league can say. The team was really disappointed to miss out on WR Floyd, but Kirkpatrick is a welcomed addition to a secondary that struggled in 2018.

*Trade Alert* - The Cardinals trade 2.4 and 2.7 to the Raiders for 1.18

1.18DT Nick Fairley – The Cardinals felt very fortunate to be able to select Fairley with this pick. They saw him as a very good pick to make around the 1.13-1.14 range, and were surprised to see him fall this far. They were also very happy with the value, as they don't think they could have gotten a player close to this good with 2.4 or 2.7. They will have to hope Fairley can make an impact at a position that tends to have less impact than others. He is expect to reach 92 or 93 STR through training camp.

3.25OG Stephen Good – Good is a player that the Cardinals' coaches feel can start for a while on the team with some work on his strength. He is above average speed to compliment outstanding agility and a good first step. He will likely start at RG for the team in 2019.

3.25WR Lennox Harrison – Lennox Harrison is not your conventional WR. He only has 86 SPD, but makes up for it with an almost elite first step and tremendous size (6'2", 27) and strength. As the team is not deep at the WR position at all, Harrison will likely have a chance to prove himself this year.

5.30OG Randall Stephenson

6.4WR Kareem Marquardt

6.6SS Charles Godfrey

7.2LT Raphael Cooper

After the draft, the Cardinals attempted to make a splash in free agency. They offered fairly large contracts to LT Kasey Mcanulty, FS Darrell Stuckey, and OLB Jon Corto, but only came up with Corto after missing narrowly on FS Stuckey.

Going into the pre-season, questions still remain at FS and WR. Can Rahim Moore hold up in the run game or long-ball situaitons? Does Matt Leinart have a true #2 target to throw to and is there enough depth at the WR position? The team will attempt to address these areas through free agency or by trading one of their many talented DTs.

Each year, certain players undergo specific drills to increase their physical abilities in one or more areas. Here are the players that will participate and the skills they will work on:

CB Dre Kirkpatrick – Speed

At 92 SPD, 92 ACC, 6-3, Kirkpatrick already possesses outstanding athleticism for a CB of his stature, but the Cardinals want to help him get even better in this area. The hope is that one day Kikpatrick will be able to shutdown almost any type of WR in the RZL. Kirkpatrick will alternate between running up a hill with a large parachute attached to his back and using plyometrics to increase his burst.

DT Hank Howard, DT Nick Fairley, RG Stephen Good, LT Roger Saffold – Strength

While speed was the theme of training camp the previous off-season, strength will be the theme this off-season. The Cardinals are trying to win more battles in the trenches, and strength is a main factor there. Hank Howard is looking to gain the strength of a DT to match his hulk-like build, while Fairley is looking to become a complete, dominant player at the position. The coaches hope to get LT Saffold to either 92 or 93 STR, and RG Good to 89 or 90 STR, so they can become more complete players as well. The players will be spending extra time in the weight room after every practice, and will also gulp down dozens of raw eggs every morning when they wake up.
Forum Discussion (by T_Richardson on 12/03/2011) Replies - 2 :: Views - 38
Cardinals TC

Season Recap
Coming off of an 11-5 season and their fourth straight playoff appearance, the Cardinals had big expectations for this season. They brought in Santana Moss from Houston, adding another big time target to compliment WR Chris Henry. The 3-4 defense had rolled into Arizona, and the Cardinals were supposed to have the roster to make it work. But after starting out 2-2, and losing to the Ravens and the Eagles, the Cardinals abandoned the 3-4 (perhaps little too soon) and reverted back to the 4-3. Another mid-season shake up came when the Cardinals dealt WR Chris Henry, CB Karl Paymah, and their 1st and 4th round picks to the Jaguars for CB Antoine Cason, WR Will Franklin, WR Syvelle Newton, and the Jaguards 3rd round pick. The Cardinals struggled throughout the season, as their offense just didn’t produce as it did in previous years, and the pass defense seemed no better from the Cason acquisition. The Cardinals finished 10-6, which is tied for the worst record in franchise history. Here is a look at the good and bad from this past season:

Grade: C
Areas of Strength: Only 19 turnovers, 25.8 PPG
Could use work: 21:20 TOP, 43 RZ attempts, 34% 3rd downs converted, 14 first downs per game

The Cardinals offense certainly struggled this year. They moved the ball decently, but they couldn’t seem to get it into the red zone, convert many 3rd downs, or even pick up first downs. With only being a few seconds away from the worst time of possession team in the league, you’re not going to see great results on offense or defense. And you just can’t keep drives alive when you only convert one out of every three 3rd down plays, as seen by the Cardinals picking up a mere fourteen first downs per game. In the end, they finished middle of the pack in yards and points per game, but this offense just didn’t click this past season.

Grade: B-
Areas of Strength: 91.1 QB Rating, 30 TD/9 INT, Sacked 17 times, 3600+ Yards
Could use work: 52.34 Completion %, 7.70 YPA, 5 games with under 60 QB Rating

Honestly, Leinart did not have a bad season. However, he didn’t have a Matt Leinart season, if you know what I mean. If you don’t, I mean finishing fourth on the list for single season passing yards in RZL history last year and only coming one game away (257 yards) from breaking the record, which was quite impressive considering he sat on the bench week one against the Lions. Although that’s an understandably tough year to follow, Leinart just didn’t seem like his old self this season. He just wasn’t very efficient, as he only completed 52 percent of his passes and averaging 7.7 yards per attempt. And the usually pass happy Cardinals finished a mediocre 16th in the league in passing yards. A lot of people think that had to do with the departure of one of his favorite targets and long time teammate, WR Chris Henry, who was traded to Jacksonville in a deal for CB Antoine Cason. With Henry gone, Leinart no longer had a go to guy who could reach over defenders and make the catch even when he wasn’t really “open.” With Percy Harvin, Santana Moss, and Will Franklin lining up at the one, two , and three spots every week, there was really only speed to work with. This issue has been addressed in the off-season, and hopefully Leinart will be back on track to break records this season.

Grade: B+
Areas of Strength: 1,235 yards, 10 TD, 1 FUM
Could use work: 4.33 YPC

Ronnie Brown had his best year as a member of the Cardinals this season, as he picked up 1,200+ yards and 10 TDs on the ground. Although this is an improvement, and certainly not bad in a run-first offense, the Cardinals’ coaches still think Ronnie has the potential to do better. The increase in productivity may have something to do with the Cardinals shuffling around their offensive lineman mid-way through the season. The Cardinals have taken even further strides to improve Ronnie’s game, as they drafted three new, athletic lineman in the draft, and will be starting at least one of them this up and coming season. While 4.33 yards per carry certainly isn’t bad, Ronnie has done much better in the past and certainly has room to improve on that. Hopefully Brown can step up his game one more notch and have another good year on the ground.

Grade: B
Areas of Strength: 9 TD, 17.68 AVG, 5 drops
Could use work: 56 receptions, 990 yards

There were extremely high expectations for Percy Harvin coming into the 2011 RZL season. How could there not be after his 1,625 yard performance in 2010? Unfortunately, Harvin did not live up to these expectations. Part of it was due to him seeing time in the slot for the first two weeks until a void was created at the number two position when Chris Henry left town. Another part of it had to do with him missing the last two games due to an injury, in which he surely would have eclipsed the 1,000 yard mark. Look for Harvin to come back strong this season, as he will be playing #1 wide receiver most of the year and will almost certainly not be stuck in the slot role at all. The plan is to have him stretch the field and pose a deep threat while Stovall compliments him in a possession role.

Grade: B+
Areas of Strength: 71.0 pancake/sack allowed ratio, 1 sack allowed
Could use work: 71 pancakes,

Davis had another strong year for the Cardinals after signing a 2 year deal worth nearly 20 million, but it wasn’t quite his usual. Big Leonard Davis, weighing in at 380+ pounds, is normally the guy you see leading the league in pancakes with all that size and strength. However, after switching to guard last year and center this year, Davis simply can’t rack up the pancakes like he used to be able to against the weak left ends. He made a good guard, but the coaches decided he is too slow to pull on running plays to the outside. Thus, he was switched to center. No longer did he have to pull and now he could focus on lining up against the nose tackle in the 3-4. Davis is just about the only offensive lineman in the league that can man-handle any nose tackle thrown at him. Davis gave up 0 sacks at his new position and fit in quite well. No longer will he get beat by quick, speedy left ends or have a heart attack pulling. Now he can just play his game. Look for Davis to have another solid year for the Cardinals.

Grade: C+
Areas of Strength: 96.4 rushing yards allowed per game, 23.2 points allowed per game, 38 sacks, 78.4 opposing QB Rating
Could use work: 96% RZ %, only 23 Takeaways, 262.2 passing yards allowed per game, 40% of 3rd downs against converted.

The defense, like the offense, took a step back this past season. They only stopped their opponents from scoring once they reached the red zone a total of two times. They averaged about 1 takeaway per game, which isn’t terrible, but it could be much better. Finally, they allowed big numbers through the air and allowed their opponents to convert 40 percent of their third down attempts. These type of numbers will not get you very far in the RZL. On the good side, the Cardinals finished fifth in run defense, only gave up 23.2 points per game, totaled 38 sacks, and only allowed opposing quarterbacks an average of a 78.4 QB rating. If the Cardinals look to win more games this season, their secondary will have to step it up. In their defense, Justin Miller missed a good bit of time due to injury. If everyone can stay healthy and Antoine Cason continues to improve, expect a better performance this season from the Cardinal’s D.

Grade: B+
Areas of Strength: 102 tackles, 2 sacks, 2 INTS, 11 TFL, 12 DFL
Could use work: Progression, 0 FF/FR

Dansby had another solid year at middle linebacker for the Cardinals. He racked up 102 tackles, 11 TFL, 2 INTs, and DFL. The only areas where Dansby good improve are improving his football IQ and forcing turnovers. At MLB, Dansby has the skills to be a game-changer, but it’s just not something he’s really fully taken advantage of. The Cardinals staff would like to see Dansby picking off a few more balls and jarring a few more loose. Other than that, Dansby had a nice season and should keep up the good work. Unfortunately, his contract expires at the end of this season and although the Cardinals may sign him for one additional year, his career is about to come to an end.

Grade: B
Areas of Strength: 4 INTs, 1 FF
Could use work: 24 deflections, 82 tackles

Cason’s first season with the Cardinals turned out to be a pretty good one. He shut down numerous wide receivers and forced five turnovers. However, he still has plenty of room to improve on this. His 24 deflections can certainly increase, and his 82 tackles need to decrease. Although Cason is a pretty good tackler and helps out in run support, tackling running backs can only account for so many of those. Cason needs to work on staying with his man and not letting the wide receiver get good positioning and separation on him. Cason’s skills will continue to increase as he gets older and wiser. Look for Cason to develop into the player everyone knows he can be over the course of the next couple of seasons.

Grade: B+
Areas of strength: 83 tackles, 7 sacks
Could use work: 6 TFL, 7 DFL, 0 Turnovers forced

Finishing the season with the most tackles by any OLB in the league at 83, Derrick Johnson had arguably his best year as a Cardinal. Johnson also tied for 6th in the league by an OLB in sacks with 7. Like Dansby, the only knock on Johnson’s game is the lack of turnovers forced, except Derrick didn’t force any. With a defense that was on the field far too often and lacked turnovers, he too will have to step his game up this year. Also like Dansby, Johnson is nearing the end of career. Expect two or three more solid seasons out of him and then it will be time to hang up the cleats.

So far this off-season, the Cardinals roster has seen many changes through free agency, trading, and the draft. The first part of the off-season saw the Cardinals wave goodbye to veteran safety Charles Tillman, who had simply become too slow to keep up with the pace of the RZL. The Cardinals next move was to bring in a big wide receiver for Matt Leinart to fill the void left by WR Chris Henry. They sent WR Will Franklin and the Texans’ 3rd and 4th round picks to the Titans for WR Maurice Stovall and their 4th round pick. The Cardinals then turned right around and traded the Titans’ 4th round draft choice along with HB Sena Kobayakawa and CB Rashard Barksdale for ex-Cardinals WR Demetrius Williams and DE Norm Huey. Both Huey and Williams should see considerable playing time this season. It is also of note that although the Cardinals did not pursue anyone in free agency, they did lose out on Darnel Dockett, who was wooed to Houston to the tune of 20 million dollars over two seasons.

Next came the draft. The Cardinals headed into draft day with picks 2.21, 3.21, and 2.28 in the first three rounds, but that was soon to change – and fast. The Cardinals made these draft day trades:

Cardinals Send

Packers Send


Cardinals Send
LE Derrick Harvey

Browns Send


Cardinals Send
HB Michael Bush

Redskins Send


Cardinals Send
RT Mike Kracilik

Bills Send


Cardinals Send
Future 3rd

Bears Send
Future 4th

After these trades the Cardinals had six picks in the third round (3.4, 3.10, 3.12, 3.15, 3.21, 3.28 ) and pick 4.11 in the fourth. Let’s take a look at the Cardinals six third round selections:

The Cardinals desperately needed a DT with a good combination of strength, size, and athleticism, and they found that in khalif Mitchell. Khalif is a big boy at 318 pounds, but he also has a quick first step and above-average speed for a man his size to match it. Mitchell will start immediately at the second DT spot alongside BJ Raji.

Offensive line wasn’t really an area of need for the Cardinals, but some of these guys were too good to pass up. The first was Xavier Fulton, an extremely athletic LT who has the strength to go with it. Fulton boasts athleticism like few others. In fact, only five others in the league can match his athletic talent. Look for Fulton to steal the reigns from Shane Olivea in the next season or two, or possibly even make the move to LG. Either way, this kid should be a big part of the Cardinal’s offensive line for years to come.

Bell was in the same boat as Fulton – just too good to pass up. The two are very similar. Bell is bigger and more agile than Fulton, but not quite as quick. His blocking skills are also slightly less refined than those of Fulton. Still, like Fulton, he has athleticism that few in this league possess. Bell will most likely be the new RT in town once Reggie Wells heads into retirement.

Hodge is a player that the Cardinals front office was really unsure when to pick. They felt that with his skills at safety he deserved to be picked in the 6th or 7th round, but with his ability to play linebacker he deserved to go in the 2nd or 3rd. They waited as long as they felt safe doing so and took him at pick 3.15. Hodge is a bit undersized and weak, but his strength will be worked on and his athletic ability should make up for any problems in those departments. Hodge will most likely be the starting LOLB for the Cardinals this season.

Once again, this was a pick of want and not need. But like the others, he was too good to pass on. Bright has the strength and size of a guard, but the athleticism to play tackle. Already in camp Hodge has looked very impressive playing right guard, a position where the Cardinals are not too strong at. If he keeps up the solid work, look for Bright to take over the RG duties this season. That also means that RG Andy Alleman is expendable – if anyone reading this wants a solid player that can play anywhere on the line, let me know.

Their final pick of the round was TE Jared Cook. Cook has the speed to create separation in the passing game, but also the strength and size to plow over defenders. Cook’s rare combination of receiving and blocking skills make him a great fit in the Cardinal’s offense. Cook will find himself at the two spot on the depth chart for his first year or so, and then the starting job will be all his.

That about wraps up the Cardinal’s off-season so far.

Training camp is a very important time for players to get in playing shape and refine their skills. Let’s take a look at what Cardinal’s players are doing to improve their skills, as well as what they are looking to improve.

QB Matt Leinart: Throw Power

Matt Leinart doesn’t have the strongest arm, and this season he’s looking to get more zip on the ball. In order to do so, the coaches have provided him with a weighted football that he is now using in practice instead of a real one. So far, he has no complaints, but the wide receivers sure do. Already both Percy Harvin and Demetrius Williams have been knocked out by the ball. But hey, sometimes you just have to take one for the team. WR Maurice Stovall had this to say about the new ball: “Man, when they traded me to Arizona I was excited to finally get away from that shitty Tennessee franchise. But no one told me about this. I’d do anything to be back in Tennessee right now. Instead of worrying about catching the ball, I have to worry about getting a concussion or having to go to the hospital.” Hopefully all works out for the best.

An innocent bystander

OLB/SS Stephen Hodge: Strength

One major problem with Hodge’s transition to the linebacker position is his strength. It certainly takes a lot more strength to play linebacker as you find yourself in the trenches far more often and have the task of tackling horse-like running backs on a regular basis. Because of this , Hodge is in the weight room every day increasing his strength. The coaches also have him playing chicken with BJ Raji every day after practice. New offensive coordinator Mike Solari was quoted saying, “If you can tackle BJ Raji, you can tackle anything.” Hodge has also been studying vigorously and learning the ins and outs of his new position. Even with all of his hard work, it his football IQ will be knocked back a few notches. Here’s to hoping he is a fast learner.

This is something you do not want to see coming at you

WR Pery Harvin: Speed

Percy has always been a speedy guy, but the coaches would love it if he could get just a little bit faster. He’s been in the weight room nearly every day working on his leg strength, and after practice every day he races Justin Miller. The loser has to clean Leonard Davis’ jock strap. This is one competition you do not want to lose. “Everybody works harder with a little bit on the line,” said Coach Pendergast, “We just figured if we upped the stakes a little that Percy would really get working on this whole speed thing. Is it cruel? Maybe. Is it fair? Probably not. Will it be worth it? Hell yes.”

“You better wash it real good.”

Maurice Stovall: Speed:

Stovall’s training camp assignment may just be the worst of them all. In order to pick up some speed, Stovall has been shipped off to the Himalayas to sprint up and down with a parachute dragging behind him. They expect this to be the perfect way to improve his speed in a short amount of time. They expect all is going well, although they haven’t heard from him in a few weeks. “He should have an excellent view,” commented coach Pendergast. Here’s to hoping he makes it back in time for pre-season.

He has to be up there someplace
Forum Discussion (by T_Richardson on 07/09/2009) Replies - 12 :: Views - 84
Cardinals move to 6-1

Early Season Recap
Through seven weeks of the RZL regular season, the Arizona Cardinals couldn't have hoped for much better of a start to their season. The Cardinals sit atop the NFC West with a 6-1 record and a six game winning streak. Their only loss came to the undefeated Lions (7-0) in a game the Cardinals were a play away from winning with their backup quarterback. The Cardinals are playing some of the best football the franchise has ever seen. The difference between this year and last year? Playmakers.

The Recipe for Success
Yes, playmakers are something this team was missing a year ago. Last season, the defense forced 20 turnovers the entire season, while this year's version has produced 14 takeaways through seven games. Also noteworthy, the Cardinal's defense has already scored three defensive touchdowns compared to last years grand total of zero. This turn of events has produced immediate results, as the D is only allowing four points less per game.

On offense, the Cardinals are producing a little more than the previous year, averaging roughly twenty more yards per game this year than last, but the big difference is points per game. The Cardinals score an extra nine points per game as compared to last year. While the team is playing better as a whole, the coaches attribute a lot of the credit to newly acquired WR Percy Harvin. Percy has already racked up 765 receiving yards and six touchdowns on the year, ranking fourth and fifth in the league in each category respectively. Harvin has the speed to burn receivers deep on a regular basis, but what the coaches particulary like about Harvin is his yards after the catch ability. Harvin ranks fourth in the league in the statistic with 175 YAC on the year. Look for the Leinart to Harvin connection to continue to grow as the season progresses.

What's Next?
The Cardinals have what seems to be an easy game ahead of them against the Rams. Not only are the divison rival Rams 2-4 so far this season, they have lost seven players to injury so far this year, a devastating blow to their team. With rookie quarterback Joe Flacco at the helm, look for the Cardinals to put enormous pressure on him and continue to force turnovers. After the week eight matchup with the Rams, the Cardinals travel to San Diego to take on the Chargers in what should be a very tough fought game. After that the Cardinals head into their bye week and prepare for the second half of the season. Look for the Cards to keep on rollin'.
Forum Discussion (by T_Richardson on 11/13/2008) Replies - 5 :: Views - 57
Cardinals roll to 2-1, Prepare for 3-0 Raiders

Around this time last season, the Cardinal's defense was watching opponents walk all over them, giving up 400+ yards of total offense per game. The first three games of this season? 252.7 yards of total offense per game. This comes after losing CB CJ Gaddis, DE David Thornton, DE Charles Johnson (finished 2nd in sacks). But the biggest loss of the off-season was Vince Hall in a move that left half of the league puzzled. In return, the cardinals brought in veterans OLB Will Witherspoon, CB Brian Williams, SS Michael Lewis and welcomed two new starters in DEs Derrick Harvey and Norm Huey. So far, the moves have paid off, and we're about to see why.

Cardinals beat 49ers 34-14
The Cardinals steamrolled over the 49ers this week on their way to a 2-1 record and a lead atop the NFC West. Leinart put up 375 yards through the air, and Ronnie Brown rushed for 80 while averaging five yards per carry. Meanwhile, the Cardinals defense held Billy Volek to just 203 yards through the air complemented by an interception, and stopped the human fridge Johnnie Vance to just 34 yards on 9 carries.
Inside the numbers
The Cardinals have looked more than impressive so far this season. In the past 2 games against the Buccs and Niners, the Cardinals have averaged 468.5 yards of total offense, while holding their opponents to an average of 236.5 offensive yards. In fact, the Cardinals 473 yards of total offense against the 49ers matches the total yards of offense by the 49ers and Buccaneers combined. If you throw in all 3 games, here's how the Cardinals rank against the rest of the league:

Total Offense - 2nd
Passing Offense - 2nd
Rushing Offense - 21st
Points Per game - 5th
1st Downs Per Game - 2nd

Total Defense - 2nd
Passing Defense - 8th
Rushing Defense - 4th
Points Allowed Per Game - 14th
3rd Down Percentage - 7th

How it matches up
The Cardinals will take their 2-1 record to Oakland for game two of a three game road trip on Sunday. The most interesting match-up of this game has to be the Raiders third ranked rushing offense against the Cardinals fourth ranked rushing defense. League-leading rusher Darren McFadden has been an absolute nightmare in the backfield for opposing defenses, averaging 6.27 YPC, 2nd best out of all starters. Will the Cardinals defense be up for the challenge? Just ask Kevin Jones, Cadillac Williams, and Johnnie Vance who turned in performances of 54, 30, and 34 yards rushing against the Cardinals.
What to expect?
With a combined record of 5-1 between the Cardinals and the Raiders, it will certainly be a hard fought battle. The Cardinals will definitely have their hands full as the Oakland Raiders boast Darren McFadden and an emerging star in QB Tim Tebow. However, if there's going to be a spot where one team has the advantage, it's definitely the Cardinals passing game. The second best pass offense in the league goes up against the 30th ranked pass defense in the league. Expect the Cardinals to come out firing on all cylinders this week, hoping to jump ahead to an early lead and never look back.
Forum Discussion (by T_Richardson on 10/17/2008) Replies - 0 :: Views - 19
Cardinals Training Camp Report

Today the Cardinals Insider will take you through an exclusive training camp report of the Arizona Cardinals. After an early departure from post-season play last season, the Cardinals really look to improve on their last season's efforts. Heading into the off-season, the Cardinals knew it was going to be a struggle to fill all their missing holes while at the same time staying under the salary cap. The Cardinals would have to say goodbye to veteran guards Mike Goff and Flozell Adams, which left them with two gaping holes on the offensive line. Cardinals GM Tyler Richardson and newly re-signed head coach Clancy Pendergast saw a definite need to bring in some help in the secondary. The Cardinals got right to work, bringing in big names such as CB Brian Williams, OLB Will Witherspoon, and SS Michael Lewis. The Cardinals also saw some changes in coaching personnel as they hired Mike Nolan to be their defensive coordinator. Nolan is considered to be one of the best defensive minds in the game, especially in the secondary, where the Cardinals really struggled last season.

The first part of our tour started with GM Tyler Richardson picking us up and taking us for a ride in probably the best van I've ever been in. He said it makes him feel more at home when he's on the road.

After he picked us up, we got right down to business. We wanted to know exactly what the front office did over the off-season to improve the team, how they did it, and most importantly why they did it. He was happy to give us a little insight on everything.

When asked about the coaching situation, Mr. Richardson explained, "Well first of all, we had Clancy's contract expiring and we definitely wanted him back as our head coach. It has been fantastic to work with him and I really like how he handles the players on and off the field. Secondly, we had to let go of our previous defensive coordinator. We really felt the defensive side of the game is what held us back from making it to the Superbowl last year, and we just needed someone knew. With that said, Clancy and I set off to find the best defensive coordinator on the market, and we found no one other than the great Mike Nolan. We really feel tat Mike will help make this defensive the best they can be, and we're expecting big things out of him."

"So now that your coaching situation was under control, where did your team go to from there?" we asked.

"Well, we wanted to try and bring back all of the players that helped make this team so great from last season. Our first priority was OLB Derrick Johnson. Derrick is an absolute beast at the outside position. He is a very smart player for his age, has the speed of a safety, and can tackle just about anyone in the league in the open field. We've been really high about this guy since we brought him in last season, and we expect him to continue growing in our defensive scheme. The next move we made was to franchise our veteran kicker Neil Rackers. Neil did not miss a kick the entire regular season last year, and that's something special to have on your team. There's nothing worse then driving the whole way down the field and walk away with nothing because your kicker can't get it done. For this reason, we franchised Neil. Hopefully we continue to see great things out of him. Another big move we made was to restructure the contract on Reggie Wells. Reggie is about as dominant as they come at the middle of the offensive line, and he still has many years to play in this league. We're happy to have Reggie here for a long time to come. Unfortunately, we couldn't bring back everyone. Due to cap restrictions, Flozell Adams and Mike Goff had to be let go. We couldn't initially reach a deal with WR Demetrius Williams, but after he tested the market he knew Arizona was the right place for him. Of course, that was only if we paid him the money.

The next step was to bring in some guys who could set us on a path to make it to the Superbowl. With the defending NFC champs Carolina Panthers and the Detroit Lions lurking in our conference, we knew some big changes had to be made. The first thing we did was trade acquire a lot of picks outside of the first round. We moved a lot of backups for draft choices, as well as trading our first round pick for two second round choices and a third round pick. We then used this deal to bring in veteran CB Brian Williams. We sent a 3rd round draft choice to the Jaguars in order to make this happen. Although Brian is old, we love his experience, and we feel he still has at least another two years before he will hang up his cleats. Brian will really help out a secondary that struggled mightily last year. We also sent a 3rd round pick to the New England Patriots for RG Andy Alleman. We really like what Andy can do at the guard position. Andy has a big frame at 6-4, 300+ pounds and is a very athletic guard. He could use some more strength, but we feel his athleticism will make up for that. Finally, our pre-draft trading rounded out by picking up LT Shane Olivea. Shane was eventually moved to the guard position, and his experienced combined with his strength and athleticism makes him one of the best at his position. We really feel that Shane will fill in nicely for Flozell Adams, especially since he has the speed and quickness that Flozell just didn't have at the age of 34. So to sum it all up, we traded our 1st round draft pick for a veteran CB that can shut down receivers, and one of the best offensive lineman in the league. I feel we got the most bang for our buck with that pick, and I'm happy with our moves," finished GM Richardson.

Furiously scribbling down notes, the Insider began with another question: "We all know the draft is one of the busiest times of the year for a front office. Could you give us a quick run down of your draft?"

"Why I would be more than happy to," began Richardson. "We started off by dealing Charles Johnson. Charles was a very key part of our defense last year, but we really had no place for him. We really like DE Derrick Harvey, and he was going to beat out Johnson for the LE position. Charles' skill set was simply not going to be used effectively on the right side, so we felt it was best to deal him where he could start at LE. We picked up 2nd and 4th round draft picks from the Carolina Panthers in return for Johnson. We used the 2nd round pick from the Panthers to draft Norm Huey to possibly start at RE. Huey has a huge frame at 6-5, 283 and has incredible speed and acceleration for such a big man. The only thing we're worried about is his low football IQ and his less than stellar tackling ability. With four picks approaching in the 4th round, we knew we had room to deal one of them. We ended up sending our first pick on the second day to the Texans for a future 3rd round pick. With the next to picks, we picked up two young offensive tackles and a tall wide receiver to compliment our wide receivers. We feel these players definitely have the ability to develop into fine players in the years to come.

After the draft, it was time for free agency. The Cardinals did not really have enough cap room to big on big name free agents, so instead they just bid on players to fill holes. The big name players came in through trades. The first move the Cardinals made was to bring in SS Michael Lewis and WR Percy Harvin along with a 2nd round draft pick next year in return for MLB Vince Hall. This move may surprise a lot of Cardinals fans, but we had an offer for another LB on the table, Will Witherspoon. Although Will is also nearing the end of his career in the RZL, he still has a lot of gas left in the tank. We also moved a 2nd round pick to bring in MLB Kevin Burnett, a young linebacker who has almost the exact same skill-set as Hall. With replacements being found at the cheap price of a 2nd round pick and CB CJ Gaddis who we did not have room for in the secondary anymore, we were able to move Hall. Lewis is one of the premier safetys in the league, and he really fills the SS position nicely as we had a gaping hole there. He also rounds out what will be a dominant secondary this year."

On that note, we thanked GM Richardson for his time, and he drove us to our next destination.

Our next stop was at the Cardinals stadium where outside we met up with Head Coach Clancy Pendergast. Coach Pendergast was kind enough to give us our own personal tour through the camp.

When we arrived, the Cardinals first team squads were had at work. We sat on the sidelines for a bit and watched as Coach Pendergast gave us a rundown as to how specific players were working to improve themselves over the off-season and throughout training camp.

"Well, the first thing I'm going to do is let you know what our major priorities were in training camp. These are improvements that we have really stressed and expect to show on the field this season. The secondary improvements will come second. These are improvements that will probably need another season and off-season to see any real improvements, but you should definitely expect to see the improvements show through over the next two or three seasons.

Primary Improvements

CB Justin Miller - "Justin has been an outstanding cornerback for us over the past couple of seasons. He has really developed into a fine player that understands the game well and can be a leader on defense for us. One thing that concerns us about Justin is that he is only 5-10, while most wide receivers are well above that mark. In order to compensate for this we have really been working to improve Justin's vertical leap in training camp by putting him through plyometric exercises specifically designed to increase his leaping ability. With this improved, we feel that Justin has the ability to be one of the most dominant cornerbacks in the league for years to come, and we're really excited to have him locked up to a long term deal."

CB Brian Williams - "Our management brought in Brian Williams to improve our pass defense this year, as we allowed more passing yards than half of the teams in the league last season. For a team of our caliber, I find that unacceptable. I attribute mainly to a lack of knowledge in our secondary however, and that is exactly why we brought in Brian. Brian has been around the game for years and really knows it inside and out. The kind of leadership and information that Brian provides our younger players is invaluable. With that said, we think his physical talents need to be improved so veteran legs can keep up with the speedier talent at wide receiver in the league. Brian has been working with Justin on his vertical leap, and he has also joined Ronnie in working on his speed. We feel that these improvements will not only be a huge improvement on Brian's end, but also in turn will give us one of the best secondary's in the league, which was without a doubt one of our goals this off-season. "

LE Derrick Harvey - "We love this kid. In fact, we shipped out pro-bowler Charles Johnson just to make room for him on the left side of the defensive line. he has great speed, acceleration, and agility, but he is a little weak for his position. We have made sure Derrick is spending extra time with our trainers to build up his muscles so he won't get man-handled by opposing offensive lines. We have this as one of our top priorities as every team needs to be able to generate pressure on the opposing quarterback if they expect to win games. The more pressure, the less time the quarterback has to make decisions and the more likely he is to get sacked or throw an ill-advised pass. Expect Mr. Harvey to pick up right where Charles Johnson left off last season - atop the leader-board in sacks."

QB Matt Leinart - "Matt didn't have his best year last year, and I can tell it has really been eating away at him. As bad as that may sound, I think it's actually helping. He has been working harder than ever this off-season to improve his technique, and most importantly, his arm strength. One of the biggest knocks on Matt has always been his arm strength. Being the more accurate type, he has been called things like "noodle-arm" and "Chad Pennington" over the last couple of seasons, and I just don't think that's fair to him, nor do I think it does justice to the type of player he is. Look for Matt to be throwing the ball down field more often this season, and expect it to be right on the money."

Secondary Improvements

+WRs Chris Henry and Demetrius Williams - "Between the two of them last season, they dropped almost 30 balls last season. Imagine if they would have caught all of those, or at least 50% of them. Their numbers would be drastically improved, and we could have possibly been looking at the best receiving tandem in the league last season. However, that's the past, and this is now. All that matters at this point is that these two kids get their act together and start hanging onto the football. In order to ensure this improves next year, we have daily sessions lasting an hour long just consisting of Leinart, Henry, and Williams. What happens is simple, really - Henry and Williams will take turns running routes and Chris and Demetrius will catch them. After one of them drops three balls, they run sprints. We will continue this exercise over the next couple of seasons until we see some drastic improvements."

HB Ronnie Brown - "Although Ronnie was injured for most of last season, he did an excellent job when he was finally cleared to play. There really isn't much more we can ask of Ronnie this season, but we are hoping he can work on breaking past the second level on defenders. Ronnie's longest run last season was 35 yards, and we feel that if Ronnie can hit off a few more big runs it can really help our offense out. I also think that this fact really weighs down what he accomplished last season. First of all, it's not easy to come back from an injury like that and just play exactly like you used to, and second of all, not breaking any big runs is really going to weigh down a running back's yards per carry. In order to do accomplish this goal, Ronnie has been working diligently with our training staff to increase his speed. Whether or not it is going to pay off or not remains to be seen. We also are trying to play it safe with Ronnie, as we don't want any more injuries in the running back department."

++++Offensive Line - "In general, we have just been working on strength and conditioning for these guys. We have also been putting them through some intense plyometric workouts in order to improve their quickness and agility. Overall, the line did a fantastic job last year. Although we have two newcomers in Andy Alleman and Shan Olivea, they have been excellent so far in training camp and we expect things to stay on course for them throughout the regular season."

MLB Karlos Dansby - "With the departure of Vince Hall, we needed a new middle linebacker. With the fairly cheap price tag on elite outside linebacker Will Witherspoon, we saw an opportunity to bring him in and move one of our current outside linebackers to the inside position. Karlos, with his strength, size, and pure nasty nature, was the winning candidate for this position. All training camp we have been working with karlos to ensure his transition from the outside to the middle goes smoothly. It has without a doubt been a challenge for him, but we expect big things from him over the next couple of season. I would be surprised if he had a worse year than last season. Look for this group of linebackers to once again be one of the best in the league."

RE Norm Huey - "This kid certainly has a tough task and one hell of a responsibility in front of him. Our staff expects him to win the battle for the starting right end position. He has the strength and all the physical abilities necessary to excel at the position, but his tackling and knowledge are a bit lacking. Let me assure you, however, that our staff has been paying extra attention to this kid to ensure he is ready for opening day. With his combination of size, strength, and speed coming off the line, we think he has a chance to be one of the better ends in the game someday."

That was about all the time Coach Pendergast had to spend with us for the day, and that wrapped up our trip for the day. Based on what we heard today, we're expecting big things from the Cardinals, as it sounds like all of their defensive troubles have been taken care of. Look for the Cardinals to go deep into the playoffs this year. we can tell by the staff's and player's demeanor that anything less than a trip to the Superbowl will be considered an absolute failure.
Forum Discussion (by T_Richardson on 08/25/2008) Replies - 3 :: Views - 69
Cardinals Bring in Nolan as Defensive Coordinator

After a good but not great defensive season, the Cardinals decided it was time for a staffing change. Ex-Defensive Coordinator Grantham was relieved of his duties with a year remaining on his contract.

Thus began the interviewing process and the search for a new defensive coordinator. "We had several candidates on our list, some that we knew were going to most likely take head coaching jobs, but we still inquired anyways," said GM Tyler Richardson. "Mike Nolan was one of those guys on our list, and he ended up calling us a few weeks later letting us know that he was not offered a head coaching position," Richardson added.

The Cardinals interviewed a few other candidates, but it was almost no contest between Nolan and the other interviewees. When asked why they were so quick to choose Nolan, Richardson responded, "Mike is one of the best defensive minds in the game, and he has great knowledge pertaining to the secondary. We struggled a bit last year shutting down opponents in coverage, and we feel he can really help us in that area."
Forum Discussion (by T_Richardson on 08/14/2008) Replies - 1 :: Views - 26
Cardinals keep Head Coach, but fire Defensive Coordinator
The Cardinals announced their coaching plans for the off-season less than a week from being knocked out of the playoffs early once again. They decided to keep head coach Pendergast despite their playoff woes. "We feel that Coach Pendergast is still one of the elite coaches in the league. We really like that he is a well-rounded coach, and things such as his team motivation, work ethic, and team chemistry really make him one of the better coaches in the league. To top it all off, he has one of the best defensive minds in the game. We are really happy to welcome him back for another three seasons in Arizona," said general manager Tyler Richardson. Coach Pendergast is estimated to make around 4 million a year over the next 3 years.

In related news, the Cardinals bid farewell to Defensive Coordinator Grantham. Grantham still had a year left on his contract, but Arizona was ready to move on. "Grantham has been a key part of our success over the past few years, but the organization decided it was time to part ways. We feel that there are better options currently out there that will fit our team better in the long run," commented Richardson.

When asked if they currently had their eye on anyone in particular for the defensive coordinator job, Mr. Richardson replied, "We definitely have some names in mind that we feel would be a good fit for our franchise, but that information cannot be disclosed at this point in time.

When asked how they were planning on fixing their playoff success, Mr. Richardson suddenly ran out of time.
Forum Discussion (by T_Richardson on 08/02/2008) Replies - 0 :: Views - 22
Cardinals Take Care of Eagles, Prepare for Seahawks

Although it wasn't pretty, the Cardinals once again got the job done for the 5th straight time. This time, it was against the Philadelphia Eagles. The passing game definitely struggled, as Leinart completed only 38% of his passes and didn't even manage 200 yards through the air. Dennis Northcutt, the 4th or so string wide receiver, led the team in receptions with 3. Chris Henry and Demetrius Williams registered two a piece, and just three others manged to reel in balls on Sunday. With a less than stellar performance from the passing attack, Ronnie Brown stepped up in a big way for the first time since his return. On just 19 carries, Ronnie managed 92 yards and two touchdowns. Rudi Johnson also came through in a backup role with 26 yards on just 5 carries. The offensive line was outstanding once again as the defense didn't record a single sack.

The Cardinals passing defense was stellar last week, although very short on cornerbacks. This week GM Tyler Richardson made a quick move and dealt the team's second round draft choice for talented but unproven cornerback Karl Paymah. Ironically, the acquisition seemed to take the pass defense a step back instead of a step forward. Rookie QB Sam Bradford threw for over 250 yards and 2 touchdowns while posting a 105.4 rating. Remember folks, this is a rookie we're talking about. The rushing game was a bit more on key, as Ray Rice was held to under 50 yards on the ground. On a side note, RT Tony Ugoh was man-handled by recently acquired RE David Thornton, allowing 3 sacks on the day.

As we move into the next week, the Cardinals seek revenge on the division rival Seahawks. Although they boast a measly 4-6 record, all of the Seahawk's wins have been against worthy opponents. The Seahawks have taken down the Cardinals (in impressive 45-17 fashion), Jaguars, Titans, and Bears, while losing a close one 17-20 to the mighty New York Football Giants just last week. The Cardinals have a lot on the line this week, namely a 5 game winning streak, manhood, and respect. After a 45-17 whooping Week 5, the Cardinals will try to turn the tables next week. If they hope to do so, they will have to stop Matt Hasselback this time around, as he walked off the field with a 155.3 passer rating 7 weeks ago. Either way, it should be a good game, as the Seahawks always seem to show up against tougher opponents. It seems as this game would be much easier for the Cardinals if they were 3-7 rather than 7-3. This will really be the first true test for the Cardinals since they started their half-impressive winning streak, as all their other victories have been against week opponents. Hopefully they can keep the streak alive.
Forum Discussion (by T_Richardson on 06/21/2008) Replies - 1 :: Views - 19
Cardinals Grasp Solid Division Lead

The Cardinals defense finally showed up, and it led to a dominating victory over the division rival San Fransisco 49ers. Chad Henne posted a nice 33.2 QB Rating, throwing 4 interceptions and finding his target only 22 times on 41 attempts. This is a real sign of improvement for a Cardinals defense that has let opposing quarterbacks put on clinics at points in time. For the first time, a quarterback was truly dominated. Frank Gore, arguably one of the best rushers in the RZL, also had a bad day, averaging only 2.19 YPC.

Ronnie Brown's return to the Cardinal's starting lineup wasn't all that glorious as he had hoped for, but it was still a solid effort to get back into the swing of things. Brown isn't quite feeling 100% yet either, so things should only go forward from here. Matt Leinart would have most likely posted a perfect quarterback rating if it wasn't for his 3 interceptions. Leaving mistakes out of the equation, Leinart completed 21 of 28 passes, and threw for a whopping 5 touchdowns. With 2 interceptions coming late in the first half, and another one later in the game, Leinart's performance was partially shadowed by his flawed judgment. The coaches see it as a problem, and will definitely be working on the two-minute-drill with him in future practices.

Such a decisive victory comes at an odd time, as just recently CBs Gary Baxter and Justin Miller were placed on the injury list. Matt Ware, who is by no means a superstar, was given the task to fill in at #3 CB, and he did a mighty fine job. Pete Hunter and CJ Gaddis also stepped up in the absence of Miller and Baxter, combining for 3 interceptions and 3 deflections.

Next week, the Cardinals will square off against the surging Eagles. The Birds haven't quite found their stride (or flight for that matter), but they're definitely a team on the rise. Steven Jackson poses a big offensive threat for the Iggles, but something tells me Derrick Johnson and his fellow linebacking crew are up for the challenge. With a rookie QB managing the offense, look for Coach Pendergast to send a lot of pressure. Also look for recently acquired DE Thornton to get in on the action, as he did not play this league for undisclosed reasons.

If the Cardinals can pull off a win next week if will take their streak to 5 in a row. Although they haven't played any "elite" teams recently, they're going to be ready when the challenge poses themselves. And if they can keep this streak up, they just might run away with the division title before the rest of the NFC West can blink.
Forum Discussion (by T_Richardson on 06/12/2008) Replies - 2 :: Views - 28
Cardinals Cut Big Names, Bring In New Pieces
On just his second day at the job, newly appointed GM Tyler Richardson is already shaking things up in the Arizona Cardinals locker room.

Just yesterday, Terry Gall, commissioner of the Red Zone Football League, entrusted Richardson with the job of taking over the general manager position for the Arizona Cardinal's franchise. Although Richardson took over a very well put together team, the Cardinals are facing some tough suspensions and injuries, as Ronnie Brown is out for the first eight weeks of the season, and two of the top cornerbacks in the league Antrel Rolle and Justin Miller will be watching the first two games from the sidelines. With this in mind, Richardson went straight to work.

If Richardson was going to bring in some replacements to overcome these injuries/suspensions, he was first going to have to free some cap space, as the Cardinals had just 160k to deal with - not even enough to sign a player to a league regulated minimum deal. Two opportunities presented themselves in OT Oliver Ross and WR TJ Houshmanzadeh. Ross has been a long time back-up behind OT Leonard Davis, and it wasn't looking like that was changing anytime soon, and he certainly wasn't getting any young. TJ will be missed in Arizona, but he just wasn't a good fit here. With Chris Henry and Demetrius Williams filling the first two spots on the depth chart, TJ would be playing slot receiver. This gives him an opportunity to sign elsewhere and get more balls thrown his way. It works out better for both sides.

With about 8.5 mil to work with, Richardson went to work contacting free agents. The first free agent contacted was HB Rudi Johnson. With two young backups at the HB position, the coaches weren't just comfortable throwing them into the ring for the first eight weeks of the season. Rudi and the Cardinals quickly agreed to a 5.5 million dollar deal that would have him in Arizona for the remainder of the season.

Other notable acquisitions are CB Matt Ware, WR Larry Brackins, and OT Anthony Alabi. Ware will probably see a great deal of playing time throughout weeks one and two, and then will return to the back of the depth chart until his services are needed. Brackins will probably be fifth on the depth chart, not seeing much playing time, but the coaches feel he can develop into a great player with his vertical leap and size. Finally, Alabi was brought in as a cheaper alternative to Oliver Ross, and he will be taking his place on the depth chart behind Leonard Davis.

Reports have also leaked that the Cardinals have sent a 6th round pick and DT Johnny Jolley to the Washington Redskins for CB Mike Hawkins. Hawkins will have a similar role to Ware this season, and was brought in to account for the haunting injuries and suspensions in the beginning weeks of this season.

Hopefully Richardon's plan yields some success, and the Cardinals will be able to escape the first half of the season in position to make a run for the playoffs.
Forum Discussion (by T_Richardson on 04/05/2008) Replies - 2 :: Views - 32
Cardinals Report :Training camp

The Arizona Cardnials Report.

There is a Report That GM Herr was in his home town of Detroit Prior to the draft when a huge snow storm hit the Eastern states the day before the draft locking Mr.Herr on the Runway at Detroit Metro Air Port.

With Gm Herr not able to be contacted nor able to reach the outside world It took 12 hrs to get back to the terminal where he contacted his war room and made up his missed picks but it was to late not wanting to spend the money on his late picks he didn't feel the need to sign any of them making the draft useless.
However With the extra Money they brought Pro Bowl LG Flozel Adams,Pro Bowl RG Mike Goff,Pro Bowl And FB Alan Ricard. It looks like they planned ahead GM Herr Said One this he thought was off was the lack of a running game with a line like we have we had to make a trade with the Miami Dolphins to acquire there Franchise RB Ronnie brown.
On the defensive side of the ball he Acquired SS Dwight Smith to fill the Open vacancy at the position.

Another position GM Herr expressed dislike was his special teams unit he feels that WR Dennis Northcutt Would be a key player filling the KR/PR Openings.

The Cardinals Kept LB Brandon Johnson From leaving During the RFA period While Releasing Many names from the roster

QB Dan Orlovsky,HB Dominic Rhodes,HB Maurice Morris,P Scott Player,LT Chris Liwienski,RG Elton Brown,CB Eric Green And
LOLB Darryl Blackstock.

Lets take a look at the offensive side of the ball and start with QB Matt Leinart

At a young age of 26 Last season He put up a impressive 3941yrs 34tds with 14Ints ending the season with a 102.7 QB rating. With the recent trade of Larry Fitzgerald we will see if Matt made Fitz or Fitz made Matt.

Now onto the WR's Coming into this new season as the #1wr is Chris Henry.

Coming in at a Tall 6'4 200lbs has great ups like his Former Team mate but Is a blazing speedster catching 86 balls with 1352yrds 13 TD's in a #2 wr role.

Taking over the #2 wr position is newly acquired Demetrius Williams.

Standing at 6'2 193lbs just a tad be slower than Henry Big things are expected out of Williams this season Said GM Herr.

Now to the Good stuff the Newly Acquired Running Game in a trade with the Dolphins where the Cards sent WR Fitzgerald RB Hunt and a Prospect for Star Running back Ronnie brown who was thought to be the Franchise player the Dolphins.

"GM Herr has said "Now with a balanced attack on both fronts teams will fear this offense"

We will have to see Now lets move onto the Defensive side of the Ball.

LB core Lost LOLB Darryl Blackstock To FA but has managed to keep the rest of his LB's Intact,Onto the 2ndary Loosing Starter Adrian Wilson leaving the SS spot empty.


Today the Offense ran drills With full gear on QB Matt Leinart Spent most of the day in the Weight Room working on his Throwing Arm, I asked Matt what he thought of bringing RB Ronnie Brown means to this offense "Well i Agree with the powers that be a Well Balanced attack Gives you the best of both worlds"

We also asked him about loosing his goto WR "Thats funny i don't have a goto guy i like to think Every one of my Guys are my GOTO guy"

On that same day we also seen Ronnie running on the mill and asked him his thought on his new Team and City.

"Well this Is a Great City the fans are awesome the stadium is First class what else could u ask for ya an don't mention the Money the franchise spent to bring in a Line of Pro bowlers to run behind they are the true heroes them men make or break us backs now i loved Miami who wouldn't like to live there the girls clubs did i mention girls but i wanted to win so i was excited to sell my house and the girls here aint bad on the eyes ether"
with that said we were done for the day.

Come out today to see the Defense running drills and working out With an outstanding Front Line Starting with the young De's in 22 yr old Derrick Harvey At RE and 22yr old Charles Johnson, playing in the middle Speedy Darnell Dockett and The bull Marcus Harrison.

The LB core pretty much stayed the same With Hall Leading the Defense from the MLB position and Karlos Dansby,Brandon Johnson Playing outside.

The DB's are in tact with the loss of SS Adrian wilson and Dwight smith taking his spot from FA still have Rolle,Justin Miller,Pete Hunter and CJ Gaddis with Jason allen at FS.

The Key for success this season from GM Herr.

"Establish the run game and make opponents put 8 in the box an let Matt remind them why the play the pass,On the defensive side of the ball i want to see Warriors Teams better come prepared with the ice an smelling salts if they wanna play against my Warriors"

We will have to see but the buzz is the Cardinals in Arizona.

Pic of the week.

Girls gearing up for a new season doing there own training camp and now u see what Ronnie means.

Forum Discussion (by J_Herr on 03/16/2008) Replies - 0 :: Views - 26
Cardinals Disapointing playoff run
In a Shocker the Giants Pull of prolly the most amazing Comback in the last 30 sec of the game driving 80 yrds to take the lead and the game 31-30.

GM Justin Herr Looked sick as a unnamed Corner allowed sinicor moss catch a bomb for 30+ yrds in the back of the endzone to take the lead he made a comment after the game before he sped off in his Ford expedition " This just makes me sick there will be heads rung and Players moved mark my words this wont happen agian next season" What he meant by that who knows but with GM Herr he means what he says and dose what he says so we will be on the look out for any rumours in the ARI locker room.

On a good note HB Hunt did a great job and commented on the final play of the game " I would just go ahead an put that for sale sign up now cuz i doubt he will be here next training camp"
kinda harsh words comming from a rookie RB just got his first start under the Herr regime.

More to come Arizona Free press reporter Sammy G out.
Forum Discussion (by J_Herr on 02/11/2008) Replies - 9 :: Views - 79
Arizona Cardinals Press Release.
The Arizona Cardinals Would like to announce The hiring of GM Justin Herr.

MR. Herr is a No name in the NFL world, He has been a Player in Semi pro Football until he tore his ACL/MCL and ended his career.
He then was a Defensive coordinator in arena football for a yr or so, and he impressed us with his football knowledge we just had to take a chance on him like we would a rookie coming in on draft day.

Without taking to much more of your time MR. Herr has a few words to say.

Hello Arizona The NFL and the fans My name is Justin Herr I would like to tell you about myself but it seems that's been done.
I have been blessed to step into a Championship contender and probably the best team in the league with tons of talent and tons of undeveloped talent to groom.

I will be holding a press conference in the coming days I just wanted to introduce myself and Thank the cardinals organization for giving me the opportunity To control one of the best teams in the NFL.
Forum Discussion (by J_Herr on 02/09/2008) Replies - 2 :: Views - 40
Arizona Times Week 15 Edition
Forum Discussion (by J_Downey on 01/25/2008) Replies - 1 :: Views - 27
Youngster Buys Mansion
What may seem a harmless move by 24 year-old CB Justin Miller to you, speaks volumes to us. It has been confirmed that Justin Miller of the Arizona Cardinals has bought an expensive mansion on the outskirts of Glendale and paid for it in cash.

"This could mean one of two things," stated one of our analysts, "either he has gotten into drugs like teammate Oliver Ross or he has gotten an enormous pay raise and extension. We are hoping it is the second."

It has been confirmed that Miller has in fact had his contract extended to 7 years for a grand total of 39.55M. This secures the Cards one of the quickest and most efficient CB's for the bulk of his career.
Forum Discussion (by J_Downey on 12/28/2007) Replies - 1 :: Views - 25
Cards Post Draft
Forum Discussion (by J_Downey on 09/17/2007) Replies - 5 :: Views - 63
Arizona Times Offseason Edition
Forum Discussion (by J_Downey on 09/10/2007) Replies - 3 :: Views - 46
Cards no longer a threat?
A 3 game losing streak and a missed gameplan later the Cards have went from a might 10-2 to a measly 10-5. Is it really fair to call them a SuperBowl contender anymore? Leinart is gone for 3 more weeks, and they have to rely on unproven Dan Orlovsky. This coupled with Edgerrin James' horrible play may take them out of contention.

Only time will tell if the Cards will survive.
Forum Discussion (by J_Downey on 08/10/2007) Replies - 5 :: Views - 41
Arizona Times - Week 9 Edition
Forum Discussion (by J_Downey on 06/27/2007) Replies - 7 :: Views - 74
Cardinals Eek Out Win
The Cardinals got back to the winners list this weekend with hard fought win over the Detriot Lions. Was the win pretty.....NO, was the win awe inspiring NO but it was a WIN and for this GM we don't care how we do it as long as we get in.

There was a lot said about this game in its lead up and we showed with Warner that the decision to trade him was the right one for our team at this time.

Our defense has played lights out and is probably playing better football than the offense which has big names at all skill positions.

Coming up is the Vikings who we will not be taking lightly as the battle for the NFC West continues to hot up. My old sparring partner GM Bowes continues to deliver the goods and has to be favourite to win the division at this stage of the season considering his teams week 1 defeat of the Cards.

We are entering the business end of the season which now separates the boys from the men - bring it on... 8)
Forum Discussion (by B_Richmond on 01/19/2007) Replies - 3 :: Views - 32
Every now and then it gets a lil' personal
With the RZL still in its infancy and with rivalries still developing and in some cases yet to be developed, every now and then we come up against a GM whose team we would like to beat just that little bit more than others.

This week against the Dallas Cowboys I have one of those teams, as Cowboys GM Terry Harrison(who for some strange reason I refer to as TH Mr. Green ) battles with my Arizona Cardinals.

I have never met TH in person as I live in Australia but we have been in a number of leagues together over the years and have had some long conversations regarding life and more importantly Madden Leagues.

TH is not to be underestimated as a GM, he will always TRY and play the underdog card but I know him better than that.

So this week I have been simming my arse off and look forward to a huge struggle with the Cowboys who I am having real troubles with in coming up with a strategy to beat.

All the best TH but heres hoping for a Card victory Very Happy
Forum Discussion (by B_Richmond on 01/07/2007) Replies - 1 :: Views - 26
Cards Get Lucky Win
After a loss to the Oakland Raiders the previous week the Cardinals got back to the winners list with a come from behind win against the Green Bay Packers.

For me the best team did not win on the day and this is one game we deserved to lose and the the Packers would be feeling a little unlucky at the moment.

On a positive note young FS Jason Allen who was recently acquired from the Dolphins continues to impress and has managed to gather 15 tackles and an INT in his 1st 2 starts for us.

WR Dez White continues to play some excellent ball after being signed as a Free Agent during the offseason and was a major reason for us getting over the Packers this week.

We head into week 9 with the bye and sit 1 game ahead on the San Francisco 49ers who have a chance to win back the NFC West battle if the win in week 9. The battle for the NFC West crown is certainly shaping up as a beauty.
Forum Discussion (by B_Richmond on 12/30/2006) Replies - 2 :: Views - 17
Cardinals 4-1
The Arizona Cardinals are currently locked in a battle for the NFC West division lead with the 49ers as both teams share 4-1 records. Arizona’s only loss came in week 1 when the 49ers were able to sneak away with the win in a tough fought contest.

Since the week 1 loss we have managed to regain our composure and win the last 4 games which have included two key wins against division rivals Seattle and St.Louis. The season is still young and we need to ensure our players are keyed in for every game to keep us as competitive as possible.

This week against the Bears we will get a very good indication of just where we are at, especially in terms of offense as Chicago have one of the best defences in the league.

Our own defense has been dealt a big blow with starting MLB James Darling going down in last weeks game against Kansas City and will miss the remainder of the season. To cover Darling’s loss young LBer Karlos Dansby will be moved to MLB to allow him to even further utilise his speed on the field.

The Dansby move was one considered by coaching staff at the start of the season but never eventuated, now out of need it will come to fruition this week against the Bears.
Forum Discussion (by B_Richmond on 12/10/2006) Replies - 4 :: Views - 35
Who is the Cardinal QB
Is there a QuarterBack controversy brewing in Arizona!!!!! It has been rumoured that Head Coach Denny Green has been toying with the idea of allowing Dan Orlovsky a chance to take a few snaps with the starter group during training this week.

Before the preseason even Orlovsky himself would have laughed if told he would be pressuring 1st round rookie draft pick Matt Leinhart for playing time this season; but such has been his play during the preseason and week 2 against the Seahawks that he might just get his first starting gig in the RZL.

After an excellent preseason, where he was clearly the better QB, Orlovsky made an even bigger impression on coaching staff when he engineered a 26-3 win over Seattle when Leinhart was knocked out the game.

It is understood that the final call on who will start this week against the Rams will come closer to game time.
Forum Discussion (by B_Richmond on 11/22/2006) Replies - 6 :: Views - 49

All Team News Stories

At A Glance

GM B_Harbinger
Head Coach Joe Barry
Offensive Coordinator Ken Whisenhunt
Defensive Coordinator S.Davis
Special Teams Jim Mora Jr.
Salary $130.85M
Cap Penalty $8.66M
Cap Room $59.82M

Cardinals Darnay Johnson WR 76 Out for season
Cardinals Aric Conway SS 77 Out for season
Cardinals Homer Shelton RT 73 Out for season

NFC West
#7 Seahawks Seahawks 11-5-0 0.69 5-1
#24 Cardinals Cardinals 6-10-0 0.38 2-4
#30 Rams Rams 5-11-0 0.31 3-3
#28 49ers 49ers 4-12-0 0.25 2-4

1 Sun vs Patriots Patriots #23
Won 36-17
2 Sun vs Seahawks Seahawks #7
Lost 22-29
3 Sun at 49ers 49ers #28
Lost 7-31
4 Mon vs Cowboys Cowboys #15
Won 30-10
5 Sun at Bears Bears #20
Lost 19-24
6 Sun at Seahawks Seahawks #7
Lost 22-27
7 Sun at Jets Jets #12
Lost 34-40
8 Sun vs Dolphins Dolphins #26
Lost 6-23
9 Sun vs Vikings Vikings #3
Lost 17-45
11 Sun vs Rams Rams #30
Won 34-20
12 Sun at Bills Bills #21
Lost 28-42
13 Sun at Rams Rams #30
Lost 22-29
14 Sun at Lions Lions #18
Won 45-35
15 Sun at Panthers Panthers #10
Lost 38-41
16 Sat vs Packers Packers #32
Won 20-16
17 Sun vs 49ers 49ers #28
Won 31-17

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