Arizona Cardinals News: Regular Season and Preseason Updates
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3/25/15: There has been a lot of rumblings about the Arizona Cardinals trading for Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson. Peterson missed all but one game last season after child abuse charges were filed against him and he ended up on the Commissioner's Exempt List. He reportedly still has not made a full peace with the Vikings so there is a chance that he has played his final game in Viking purple. Absorbing that contract may be pretty difficult, though the Cardinals did restructure wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald a few weeks ago, so it still could be possible.
3/18/15: The NFC West is getting turned inside-out this offseason, especially with the mass exodus out of San Francisco. However, the Arizona Cardinals have not been immune either, as they have their own salary cap issues. They were able to clear up some space last week when QB Carson Palmer agreed to restructure his contract, thereby opening up $7.1 million in cap room. They also save $3.1 million by releasing center Lyle Sendlein. Sendlein was originally an undrafted free agent that turned into a good player. He started every game for the last two seasons and surely will find work elsewhere.
3/11/15: It is very common, after a blockbuster trade has been announced, for media and fans to try to find out if other teams were in the running for the trade. It turns out that the Arizona Cardinals knew that Philadelphia was shopping star running back LeSean McCoy (who ended up getting traded to the Buffalo Bills), but the Cardinals did not act on it. Head coach Bruce Arians said that McCoy was not the right fit for the team. The Cardinals had an anemic rushing attack last season and an upgrade is certainly warranted. Of course, the 'right fit' may also mean McCoy's $12 million salary, too.
3/4/15: Darnell Dockett has always been a bit of a controversial figure, dating back to his time at Florida State when then-University of Florida head coach Steve Spurrier accused him of employing dirty hits to injury players. He also, reportedly, used Twitter to invite women to meals at exotic dance clubs. But maybe he has matured. He recently used social media to advise youth football players to stay away from such establishments and avoid getting in trouble. Good advice, at least. Dockett is also reportedly working with the Arizona Cardinals to restructure his contract to allow more salary cap flexibility.
2/25/15: The Arizona Cardinals will not be losing wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald this offseason. His future was uncertain because his old contract had him costing the Cardinals over $20 million. That is simply too much for anyone that is not an elite franchise quarterback. Fitzgerald and the team were able to work out a restructured deal that really just spreads out the salary obligations over a few more years. The Cardinals obviously did not want to let him go, but the other reality is that they are paying premium money to a guy who is probably WR2 at this point in his career, and that could harm the team overall.
2/18/15: The Arizona Cardinals have hit the jackpot on their last two defensive coordinators, Ray Horton and Todd Bowles. Horton established the strong defense but left the organization a few years ago when he was passed over for the head coaching position (which went to Bruce Arians). Then they had Bowles, who only strengthened the defense and turned them into an elite unit. He left to be the head coach of the New York Jets. Now they have young James Bettcher, whom Arians refers to as a 'shooting star'. He has some pretty big shoes to fill, but Arians has all the confidence in the world in him.
2/11/15: The Cardinals were left in a bit of bind on defense when Daryl Washington was arrested and ultimately suspended for the 2014 season. They tuned to veteran Larry Foote as a bandaid, and Foote filled in pretty well at linebacker. He made 15 stars and played more snaps than anyone else in the front seven. Foote said, after the Cardinals were eliminated by the Carolina Panthers, that he would take some time to figure out his next move. He may be retiring after 13 seasons, which would be understandable. If that happens, he may well join the Cardinals coaching staff and help develop some younger talent.
2/5/15: The Arizona Cardinals defense did a terrific job in playing without several key players last season, including suspended linebacker Daryl Washington. Washington was suspended after free agency, so the Cardinals did not have a chance to really replace him on the open market. Instead, Larry Foote stepped in and did a good job. But Washington may have another suspension coming for domestic violence and Foote is now a free agent. That means that the Cardinals will likely have to address the linebacker need either through free agency or the draft. In any case, Arizona is not expecting to have him in the lineup next season.
1/28/15: The saga of former Pittsburgh Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau and the Arizona Cardinals continues without a resolution. First, it was believed that LeBeau would join the Cardinals as defensive coordinator. Then as a defensive advisor. Now it seems that LeBeau will not be going to Arizona at all. He says he wants to be closer to his wife in Cincinnati, and Phoenix, Arizona is simply too far away. He also says that he does not care about any given title. At this point in his career, LeBeau has earned the right work under his own terms, but it is a tough loss for the Cardinals.
1/21/15: Well, this is not going to be as easy as everyone thought. The Cardinals lost their highly respected defensive coordinator, Todd Bowles, recently when he was named head coach of the New York Jets. The easy next step was that the Cardinals would promote from within and also hire Dick LeBeau, who recently left the Pittsburgh Steelers and previously worked with Bruce Arians, as a senior advisor. But that quick answer has not happened, at least not yet. The Cardinals are still interviewing candidates and now want to speak with Mike Nolan for the DC position. Nolan led the Falcons defense for the past three years, but that is not a great representation of his work.
1/14/15: Arizona's luck finally ran out in the playoffs. The roster was good and the defense among the best, but there is only so far they could go with a third string quarterback at the helm in the most important time of the year. Sooner or later, the proverbial 'next man up' just cannot get the job done. The Cardinals apparently considered trying to bring back former QB Kurt Warner, and Warner considered the possibility. While a nice thought, it would not work from a practical standpoint because the Cardinals would have had to waive him and re-sign him, and another team most likely would have picked up the waiver claim.
1/7/15: The season for the Arizona Cardinals came to an end in the Wild Card round of the playoffs with a 27-16 loss. Without Carson Palmer (or Drew Stanton for that matter) and Andre Ellington, the team simply could not must any semblance of an offense against the host Carolina Panthers. The Cardinals finished with just 78 yards of offense, a new low for a playoff game. Of course, the Cardinals were forced to play Ryan Lindley at quarterback, but it was not all on him. Arizona actually had a 14-13 lead at halftime, but as the stats show, that is as close as they could get to moving on. Now it is time for the Cardinals to get healthy and prove that 2014 was not a fluke.
12/3/14: The Arizona Cardinals, despite being the first team in the NFC to get to 9 wins, have not convinced the 'experts' that they are the team to beat in conference (or even their own division). Much of this may be due to the Cardinals' history, but also because starting QB Carson Palmer is out for the season and star WR Larry Fitzgerald has missed the last two games with his own injuries. They did not convert any skeptics last Sunday when the lowly Falcons topped them 29-18. Arizona now has a one game lead on the Seattle Seahawks and host the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday
11/19/14: Detroit at Arizona was one of the marquee games in the NFL in Week 11. Both were at the top of their respective divisions and they had the two best records in the NFC. Clearly, this game could have playoff implications. Arizona 'protected the nest' with a 14-6 win. All the scoring came in the first half, and all of Arizona's points came in the first nine minutes of the game. Neither team could do much after that. But the win boosted the Cardinals to 9-1, and puts them in great shape for the final stretch of the season. The Cardinals have a huge game this Sunday at Seattle.
11/12/14: Apparently Bruce Arians is a big believer in the "Next Man Up" theory. The Cardinals lost starting QB Carson Palmer for the season with a torn ACL and trailing 14-10 to the St. Louis Rams. No matter, Drew Stanton stepped in to throw a touchdown and the defense scored twice to put the game away 31-10. That leaves the Cardinals at 8-1 and on top of the entire NFC. They even have a nice cushion in the division going into the final stretch. They have a great game this Sunday when the NFC North leading Detroit Lions come to town.
11/5/14: It has been enough wins that it is not a fluke anymore. The Arizona Cardinals are a very good football team and may be the class of the NFC this year. They were in Dallas last Sunday to face the Cowboys, who were without starting QB Tony Romo (back injury). Dallas took a 10-0 lead into the second quarter, but then it was all Cardinals. Carson Palmer threw for 249 yards, three touchdowns and one INT, while Andre Ellington put up another 95 on the ground. Arizona came away with a resounding 28-17 victory and improved to 7-1 on the season. The team is home this Sunday to host the St. Louis Rams.
10/29/14: Many experts pegged the Arizona Cardinals to finish third or fourth in the NFC West this season. That is still possible (though highly unlikely) as the Cardinals are starting to run away with the division. They earned a big victory at home over the Philadelphia Eagles last Sunday to continue their strong play. QB Carson Palmer and receiver John Brown teamed up for a 75 yard touchdown with less than two minutes to play to secure a 24-20 win. The Cardinals are now 7-1 on the season, while both the Seahawks and 49ers are 4-3. Arizona heads to Dallas this Sunday to take on the surprising Cowboys.
10/22/14: The Arizona Cardinals continued their strong play, beating the Oakland Raiders 24-13 last Sunday. The Cardinals took a 14-10 lead to half time and even let the Raiders get within one half way through the third quarter before tacking on 10 more points to seal the win. Andre Ellington had the big day. He had 24 carries for 88 yards as well as six receptions for 72 yards, leading the team in both categories. Carson Palmer returned to action with 253 yards, two TDs and one INT. The Cardinals stay at the top of the NFC West with a 5-1 record now. Arizona is home to host the 5-1 Philadelphia Eagles this Sunday.
10/15/14: Arizona and Washington were NFC East rivals for years, until the NFL realigned and put the Cardinals in the NFC West where they belong. But the teams still want to beat each other, especially with Washington in danger of losing the season. QB Carson Palmer returned and threw for 250 yards and two scores. However, this game was decided by the arm of Kirk Cousins. More precisely, the three interceptions he threw in the fourth quarter and the 10 points that Arizona scored off of those turnovers - leading to a 30-20 win. With the Seattle loss, Arizona is alone at the top of the NFC West at 4-1. The Cardinals head to Oakland this Sunday.
10/8/14: The dreams of an undefeated regular season came crashing down on the Arizona Cardinals last Sunday, as they fell to the reigning AFC Champion Denver Broncos 41-20. Arizona was already playing with backup QB Drew Stanton, which was a challenge in itself. Stanton was injured during the game, forcing the Cardinals to put rookie Logan Thomas into the game. Thomas only completed one of eight passes, though it was an 81 yard touchdown. Thomas may start this Sunday against Washington as it is unknown if starter Carson Palmer or Drew Stanton will be available to play.
10/1/14: After four weeks of the regular season, the Arizona Cardinals are certainly one of the surprise teams in the league. The Cardinals are on top of the vicious NFC West with a 3-0 record that includes a come-from-behind manhandling of the rival San Francisco 49ers. And they have done much of this with backup QB Drew Stanton at the helm. Starting QB Carson Palmer has been out for the past two games with a right (throwing) shoulder injury. But that looks to be behind him now and he says that he will 'definitely' play this weekend against the Denver Broncos.
9/24/14: Are the Arizona Cardinals the best team in the NFC West? It looks like that today. The team is now 3-0 on the season after taking down the mighty San Francisco 49ers at home last Sunday. Credit is due to both the team and the coaching staff after trailing 14-6 at halftime and rallying for the win. Backup QB Drew Stanton threw two touchdown passes to unheralded rookie John Brown in the second half to secure the win. While Stanton is not an elite QB, he is getting the job done and looking better each week that Carson Palmer is out. Arizona has a week to rest and enjoy as they are on a bye this week.
9/17/14: No Carson Palmer? No problem for the Cardinals - they have Drew Stanton. Palmer was ruled out for the game with an injury and Stanton stepped in to manage the game and get a 35-14 win on the road against the New York Giants. The Cardinals defense was the real start. They limited the Giants to just 81 yards on the ground and had two pick offs. Meanwhile, the Cardinals were able to manage 124 yards rushing and control the clock for most of the game. Arizona has a big game this Sunday as they host the San Francisco 49ers in a fierce NFC West showdown.
8/28/14: After a while, the Cardinals have to start getting concerned about their defense. Defense is supposed to be a strength for Arizona this season (just like with every other NFC West team), but one by one, the team is losing players. Adding to the list is veteran lineman Darnell Dockett. Dockett tore his ACL in practice last week and is out for the season. The team will have to overcome this and other injuries if they are 1. going to be competitive in the loaded NFC West and 2. be able to qualify for the playoffs, even as a wild card team.
8/21/14: If you are going to have a team in the NFC West, you better have a nasty defense. While that was not always the way - it was just a few years ago that the division was the laughingstock of the NFL and Seattle won it with an 8-8 record, times have changed dramatically. Unfortunately for the Cardinals, one of their best defensive players may be out for a while. Defensive tackle Darnell Dockett suffered a leg injury in practice earlier in the week and had to be carted off. That could be a big blow to Arizona who is looking at overtaking Seattle and/or San Francisco for a playoff spot this season.
8/14/14: The NFC West is considered by many to be the best or toughest division in the NFL, and that is predicated mostly on the strong defenses of each of the four NFC West teams. But it was offense that stole the show for the Arizona Cardinals in their preseason opener last weekend. Taking on the rebuilding Houston Texans, Carson Palmer went 5-5 on his opening drive for 84 yards and a touchdown to Larry Fitzgerald. The starters were finished for the night after four minutes, but the backups and rookies kept up the pressure as the Cardinals routed the Texans 32-0.
8/7/14: Two seasons ago, the Arizona Cardinals had among the worst offensive lines in the league, leading to more than a few games where they surrendered six or more sacks (and left a body count of quarterbacks in the wake). So the team has been trying to rebuild the offensive line for a while now and took guard Jonathan Cooper with a top ten pick. Head coach Bruce Arians claims to be 'disappointed' in Cooper right now. Cooper's recovery from a broken leg last year has been slower than expected and now Arians wants backup Early Watford to push for the starting job.
7/31/14: The Arizona Cardinals are expected to have one of the best defenses in the NFL this coming season, but look to be without a key piece at least for a little while. The team put safety Tyann Mathieu on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list, meaning he is not ready to partake in football activities. He says that he is still six to eight weeks away from returning, which would be in September or October. That means the Cardinals can keep him on the PUP list and use that roster spot for the first six weeks of the season, but also that Mathieu could not return until Week 7.
7/24/14: The Cardinals are widely regarded as the number three team in the NFC West, and that stigma probably means they do not get the credit they deserve. Let's not forget that while Arizona did not make the playoffs last season, they still had 10 wins. Had they been in almost any other division then they would have been in the postseason. But there are still questions about the Cardinals heading into training camp. Perhaps the biggest question is if running back Andre Ellington can continue his stellar play from last season and if he is ready to take on 25-30 touches a game. Just a few more weeks and we will find out.
7/17/14: Speculation is starting to build about the future of star wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald in Arizona. While he is still among the very best wideouts in the league, he is getting up in years and he does not come cheap. There was speculation about a trade or release last season, but that did not amount to anything. Every team would love to have his talent and work ethic, but his salary cap hit for the next two seasons is a whopping $23.6 million. Fitzgerald says he is only focusing on football right now, understanding that most of the situation is outside of his control. He is arguably the greatest player in Cardinals' franchise history, and would be a huge blow to lose him.
7/10/14: According to Cardinals All-Pro wide receiver, Larry Fitzgerald, the team is solely focused on winning the NFC West. In other shocking announcements, a FIFA official expressed shock that people were consuming a lot of alcohol at the World Cup, while a scientist declared that the sun is hot. Fitzgerald insists that he is not taking shots at his NFC West rivals and that the Cardinals respect those teams. Then again, it is not out of line by any means to say you want to win. In any case, the Cardinals have put together a solid team, but unfortunately for them, so have the Seattle Seahawks, San Francisco 49ers and St. Louis Rams.
7/3/14: Don't tell Cardinals cornerback Antionio Cromartie that he is slowing down. He says that not only has he not lost a step, but he runs a 4.34 second 40 yard dash. He even posted an Instagram video to prove it. Not only that, but he says that he is getting faster. Cromartie said a couple weeks ago that he and Derrelle Revis of the New England Patriots were the two best corners in the league and offered their shared time in New York with the Jets as his proof. In any case, it will be hard to throw on the Cardinals with Cromartie and Patrick Peterson in the secondary.
6/19/14: The Cardinals took a chance in 2013 by selecting Tyrann Mathieu, otherwise known as the Honey Badger. He was a risk because his frequent run-in with the law, his drug use, and questionable attitude. He had a solid rookie campaign, but will be a late arrival for the 2014 season. But his absence is due to rehabbing a torn ACL, and not from any legal or punitive issues. Head coach Bruce Arians is targeting an October 1 return, which would leave Mathieu as an onlooker for the first three games of the season, and come back after the bye week.
6/12/14: the Cardinals have become the forgotten team in the NFC West. The Seahawks are the Super Bowl Champs. The 49ers have been in the NFC Championship for the past three years are an elite team. The Rams are developing one of the best defenses in the league. The Cardinals are no slouch, having won 10 games last season. They did get some attention by poking fun of the air conditioning going out in the NBA Championships by tweeting our an invitation to the San Antonio Spurs and Miami Heat an invitation to train with them in the desert in August.
6/6/14: The Arizona Cardinals are very upset with linebacker Daryl Washington these days. Just a few weeks after signing a long-term deal with the team, that included a $10 million signing bonus, Washington failed a drug test and is now suspended for the entire 2014 season. He missed the first four games of last season for another violation, and still faces NFL discipline for a case involving aggravated assault on his former girlfriend. There are cries coming out of Arizona to cut ties with Washington and move on. And the reality is that the team probably will not get back that signing bonus money.
5/29/14: For some reason, cornerbacks in the NFL have developed feisty and sometimes personal rivalries amongst each other about who is the best. It is going on now between Patrick Peterson of the Arizona Cardinals and Richard Sherman of the Seattle Seahawks. Peterson believes himself to be a shutdown corner and Sherman to be a space corner. To add fuel to the fire, he does not think Sherman could last in Arizona's defensive scheme because Seattle's is much easier. This is going to get fun to watch because Sherman has a tendency to want to answer any questions.
5/22/14: The Cardinals do not have a great history on hitting on their first round draft picks. Some have been outstanding, such as Patrick Peterson and Larry Fitzgerald. There are also a lot of regrettable choices (Matt Lienart comes to mind right off the bat). Peterson has established himself as one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL. He has two years left on his current contract, but does notice what others are getting, most notably the big deal for Joe Haden with $45 million guaranteed. Peterson knows that a new deal may take time, but it looks like he and the team have started the negotiation process to keep him in Arizona for a long time.
5/15/14: Arizona is still smarting after winning 10 games last season and still missing the playoffs. That is what happens when you play in the toughest division in the NFL. Like everyone else, they are trying to improve in the draft, which has drawn mixed reviews from the all-knowing football media. While it is not really fair to assign grades in the days following the draft, they made some curious decisions, most notably taking QB Logan Thomas from VA Tech in the fourth round with guys like A.J. McCarron and Zach Mettenberger available. Thomas was inconsistent in college, and many have even speculated that he could have gone undrafted.
5/8/14: There is plenty of speculation about what the Cardinals will do with their draft picks, especially in the first round. They are not necessarily in the market for a QB, but may take one depending on the value and who is available. So while we do not know who will in the Arizona training camp, we do know who head coach Bruce Arians does not want. Specifically, he does not want the 'Hard Knocks' show. The Cardinals are one of eight teams who could be forced to host the show (unless someone volunteers for it). Arians does not like the coverage of highly personal events, like cutting a player. Unfortunately for him, it may not be his decision.
5/1/14: When key players leave a team for a bigger contract somewhere else, or even if they just hold out for a better contract, the typical response from his teammates (or former teammates) is that the NFL is a business and they understand. Darnell Dockett does not feel that way about Karlos Dansby though. Dockett says he 'loves (Dansby) like a brother', but is disappointed that Dansby left to 'chase the money' rather than 'chasing a ring'. Arizona may just be a couple key pieces away from the playoffs, of course getting there is very difficult with Seattle and San Francisco in the same division.
4/24/14: In one of the least surprising moves of the offseason, the Arizona Cardinals made the very tough decision to exercise the option on the fifth year of cornerback Patrick Peterson's contract. Peterson has been outstanding in his short time in the NFL, both as a cornerback and kick returner. The move will keep Peterson in the desert through the 2015 season, and it is very likely that the two sides will try to come to a long-term extension. The decision to exercise the option means that Peterson will make over $10 million for the 2015 season.
4/17/14: The Cardinals must have felt like Christmas came early this year when they discovered that the Oakland Raiders did not use their franchise tag on left tackle Jared Veldheer. Arizona may have been 'shocked' by the non-action, but they did not waste any time in signing him to a five year, $35 million contract. Aside from being a good offensive lineman, Veldheer has a history with Cardinals' QB Carson Palmer from Palmer's days with the Raiders. That the Raiders let him walk is interesting on its own. Left tackles are always in demand in the NFL and the Raiders had about $60 million in cap space, so the money would not have been an object.
4/10/14: This is a sad comment for the St. Louis Rams fans, but Kurt Warner, reportedly, feels more allegiance to the Arizona Cardinals than the Rams. Warner came to fame with the Rams, leading them to the Super Bowl title in the 1999 season and another appearance in the 2001 season. However, the Rams let him go when he was injured in favor of Marc Bulger. He resurrected his career in Arizona and took them to a Super Bowl appearance. Warner is not the type of guy to hold a grudge, but his feeling are understandable. That being said, he is still very well loved in St. Louis and always will be.
4/3/14: While the quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers get all the attention, most coaches believe that a quality offense is built on the offensive line. That is very true in the NFC West, which features four teams with great defenses. The Arizona Cardinals figure to have 60% of their line figured out for next season, but are trying to determine who will play right guard and right tackle. Tackle is probably the more difficult job to determine. The team could go with Bobby Massie or Bradley Sowell. The team wants to get the position settled soon so they can work out and develop chemistry.
3/27/14: The Cardinals are in a tough spot, again. They have a very good team - one that went 10-6 last season. Of course, they play in the ultra-competitive NFC West, so they have to deal with the Super Bowl Champion Seattle Seahawks, the San Francisco 49ers, and the St. Louis Rams six times a year. That kept them out of the playoffs last season. The division is not getting any easier either. It is possible that another 10 win season is not good enough again. The upside is that any team that can survive the division will be battle-tested and has a good chance at getting to the Super Bowl, just like Seattle did last season.
3/20/13: The Cardinals brought in running back Rashard Mendenhall a couple years ago to bolster their rushing attack and provide balance to compete in the NFC West. He was overtaken last season and lost his starting job. Rather than be a free agent, Mendenhall opted to retire from professional football. He is only 26 years old. He has a number of reasons, including keeping his overall health and not wanting to be an 'entertainer' - reasons he cited in a rather candid essay. He probably would have found work again this year if he wanted, but cannot blame a guy from walking away if it is not what he wants to do.
3/13/14: Since Brandon Albert is set to be a free agent, Darnell Dockett of the Arizona Cardinals is already taking to Twitter to lure him to the desert. He even posted a message welcoming his 'new teammate'. Under the strictest terms, this could be considered tampering, but that would be a very strict view of the rules and not within the spirit of what the rule is supposed to restrict. To be fair, though, the Cardinals need help at left tackle. Albert needs a team. There are a lot worse places to end up at than a team that finished 10-6 last season and would have made the playoffs in almost any other year.
3/6/14: The Cardinals are trying to keep linebacker Karlos Dansby around for another season and maybe more. He fell into the team's lap last season as a cap casualty in Miami. Arizona claims to have offered Dansby a new deal the day after the season ended and does not want him going anywhere else in free agency. However, they cannot realistically use a franchise tag on the player. Dansby has had two previous tags, so this one would be very expensive - top tier quarterback expensive. He was drafted by the Cardinals in 2004 and left for Miami in 2010, before returning in 2013.
2/27/14: Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians thinks that QB Carson Palmer still has a couple years left of good football. Palmer is now in his mid 30's. He has had a good career, but has never tasted playoff success. That is pretty tough to do when you play in the ultra-competitive NFC West. So Arians and the Cardinals are not looking for Palmer's successor yet, but they may take a look at lower round possibilities. Those may include A.J. McCarron (Alabama), Zack Mettenburg (LSU) and David Carr (Fresno State). It probably would be wise to get the next generation on the roster and let him learn for a year or two before taking the reigns.
2/20/13: The Cardinals may want to keep Karlos Dansby around for another season, but they will probably have to open up the coffers to do so. Dansby has been the recipient of the franchise tag twice before (with Miami), and is ineligible to be tagged again from a practical standpoint. The Drew Brees grievance a few years ago ensured that. Basically, it does not matter when or who tagged a player, the third tag would put his one year salary in the same level as top-tier QBs. Considering that would be around $17 million or so, it looks like Dansby will be a free agent in just a few weeks.
2/13/14: The Arizona Cardinals became one of the few teams in NFL history to win 10 or more games and not make the playoffs. Of course, that is due to the fact that they play in the NFC West, which is easily the best division in football. Obviously, that is a tough pill to swallow, but the team can take some solace in one of their greats going into the Hall of Fame. Anaes Williams was one of the best cornerbacks in the league for a long time when the Cardinals were in the cellar each year. He later went on to play for the Rams, but never did win the Super Bowl. Congratulations to Williams, he certainly deserves the honor.
2/6/14: The 2015 Super Bowl is only a year away, which will be Super Bowl 49 for those counting. In terms of planning out the game and all the activities, that one year is a micro-second. To that end, Cardinals' president Michael Bidwell is quite unhappy with the local government for not being better prepared. The game will be played in Glendale, Arizona - a suburb of Phoenix. At the top of the complaints is the failure of Glendale to lock in hotel rates for Super Bowl week. This is actually a big concern, as other areas (Phoenix and Scottsdale) may end up getting several of the premier Super Bowl week festivities.
1/30/14: The Cardinals wasted very little time in replacing Jason Licht. Licht was the director of player personnel but was hired away from the desert down to the Gulf Coast to be the GM of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Arizona announced that Terry McDonough will be the new VP of player personnel and will work closely with GM Steve Kiem. McDonough spent four years in Jacksonville in a similar post before joining Arizona last season as a scout. It seems that the Cardinals knew that Licht was ripe for the plucking and planned ahead on this one, which does help continuity for the organization.
1/23/14: If there was ever an argument for how important the QB position is in the NFL these days, then the Cardinals are the answer. They have had a great defense for a number of years and some talented skill players. But they could never replicate success once Kurt Warner retired. The Cardinals brought in Carson Palmer and the team won 10 games. They missed the playoffs because the NFC West is so good. It will be tough to do that again as Arizona has 20 free agents to deal with. One will probably get the franchise tag. Making things more complicated is the limited money available to sign players, so there may be some tough cuts coming.
1/16/14: The Cardinals seem to be stuck in cycle. They fired head coach Ken Whisenhunt after the 2012 season, presumably because they had a terrible season. Of course, they did not have a quality QB at the helm. The team won 10 games this season, but they did have a competent QB in Carson Palmer. Perhaps the blame should not have been put on Whisenhunt, but rather on those in charge of personel. Indecently, Whisenhunt was the OC for the Chargers this year (with a good QB in Philip Rivers) and is now a hot candidate for several head coaching jobs.
1/9/14: The Cardinals were the odd man out this season. They finished with 10 wins but missed out of the playoffs because the NFL values division wins so much. The case could be made that the top six teams should go to the playoffs and not the division winners plus two wild cards. In that scenario, the Cardinals would have made the playoffs while Green Bay sits at home. Of course, a reason for division winners is that the divisions are regional. If there is no representation from a region, then the NFL may lose viewers during the postseason. Once again, money is undefeated.
1/2/14: Arizona got the raw end of the deal this season after posting a very impressive 10-6 record but not making the playoffs. That same record would have won both the NFC East and North, but the Cardinals are stuck in the NFC West. The Cardinals do not have much work to do this offseason aside from keeping defensive coordinator Todd Bowles. Bowles has been invited by the Cleveland Browns to interview for their head coaching position, and there are reports that Minnesota is interested as well. Not making the playoffs is a tough break for Arizona, but this team will be competitive again next season.
12/26/13: The Cardinals deserve a lot of credit. With their season on the line, they went into Seattle and won a game that keeps their playoff hopes alive. In the meantime, they snapped Seattle's 14 game home winning streak, which is point of pride to those fans in the Pacific Northwest. It was not an offensive display by any means. Rather, it was the Cardinals' defense that really rose to the occasion in the 17-10 win. Arizona sits at 10-5 on the season and host the 11-4 San Francisco 49ers on Sunday afternoon in a game that has major playoff implications throughout the league.
12/19/13: The Cardinals kept their slim playoff hopes alive by knocking off the Tennessee Titans 37-34 in overtime last Sunday. Arizona improved to 9-5 on the season, but are stuck behind the 49ers and either the Carolina Panthers or the New Orleans Saints for the last wild card spot. Arizona almost blew this game. They led by 17 points in the fourth quarter but allowed Tennessee to tie it up and force overtime. The Cardinals need some help to get to the playoffs, but at least secured a winning record for the season. They play the Seahawks in Week 16.
12/12/13: Give Arizona credit, they are not going down quietly. The Cardinals kept their playoff hopes alive by beating division rival St. Louis 30-10 at home. Carson Palmer recorded the second best passing day in franchise history (measured by efficiency). Larry Fitzgerald had 12 catches, over 100 yards, and a touchdown as well. But this game was defined by the Cardinals' defense who completely shut down the Rams running game. That forced the Rams to rely on backup QB Kellen Clemmons to win the game with his arm, and that just was not happening. The Cardinals (8-5) travel to Tennessee to face the 5-8 Titans in Week 15.
12/5/13: The Cardinals had played pretty well of late (albeit against lower quality teams for the most part), but had earned their way into the playoff discussion. Those hopes took a big hit last Sunday when Arizona could not rally and overcome Philadelphia and the Eagles potent offense. Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians was not happy with the officiating and sent the league many plays where he felt the refs erred. The loss drops the Cardinals to 7-5 and a game behind both Carolina and the 49ers for a wild-card spot. Arizona hosts the Rams (5-7) this Sunday, which is one of the teams that beat them earlier in the year.
11/28/13: Believe it or not, but the Cardinals have a great shot at making the playoffs this season. They are dominant at home, which they showed by dismantling the struggling Indianapolis Colts 40-11. It turns out that Carson Palmer can still play and he knows how to use star WR Larry Fitzgerald. Speaking of Fitzgerald, he became the youngest person to reach 11,000 yards during the blowout. Arizona still has a tough schedule ahead of them, and has to go back through the NFC West. But first, Arizona (6-5) heads to Philadelphia to face the 6-5 Eagles this Sunday.
11/21/13: The Cardinals continued to stay in the playoff hunt with a 27-14 win at Jacksonville last Sunday. Arizona improved to 6-4 on the season as Carson Palmer rallied the team from a 14-7 deficit for the win. Palmer threw for 419 yards and two touchdowns and wide receiver Michael Floyd had a career day with 193 yards receiving and a score. Arizona is in the thick of the playoff hunt, and should not be overlooked heading into the final stretch of the season. The Cardinals get a good measuring stick this weekend when they host the AFC South-leading Indianapolis Colts (7-3).
11/14/13: Believe it or not, but the Arizona Cardinals have a chance at a wild card spot and currently sit at 5-4. While the NFC West title is likely out of reach with Seattle sitting at 9-1, they are only one game behind the San Francisco 49ers. The Cardinals' defense has been fairly stout all season and they are aided by a fairly weak out-of-division schedule. They beat the reeling Houston Texans 27-24 last Sunday with the defense again scoring. Carson Palmer threw for 242 yards and two touchdowns in the win. Arizona should get to six wins this week when they head to Jacksonville (1-8).
11/7/13: Arizona entered their Week 9 bye with a 4-4 record - good for third in the highly competitive NFC West. The Cardinals are in the wild card picture halfway through the year, but need to some damage by beating some division rivals in the home stretch. Rookie Andre Ellington has emerged as the go-to running back for the team, which may make this Rashad Mendenhall's only season with the Cardinals. Arizona's next two game are against the Houston Texans and Jacksonville Jaguars, which should put them at 6-4 heading into the homestretch and a possible playoff birth.
10/31/13: Arizona evened up their record after taking down the struggling Atlanta Falcons at home last Sunday, 27-13. The Cardinals scored three touchdowns in the second quarter, and that was really all they needed. Rookie Andre Ellington continued to impress and had an 80 yard touchdown run. WR Larry Fitzgerald became the youngest player with 800 receptions at 30 years and 57 days. The Arizona defense got to Matt Ryan and intercepted four passes. They picked off five passes last year against the Falcons. Arizona can enjoy the week off as they have a bye in Week 9.
10/24/13: The Arizona Cardinals are trying everything they can to prove the experts wrong and finish better than third or fourth in the NFC West. It looks like they have a bit of work left, however. Arizona hosted the division leading Seattle Seahawks on the Thursday Night Game but lost 34-22. QB Carson Palmer continues to throw picks at an Eli Manning pace, giving two more to Seattle in the game. He has 13 on the season, and 11 of those in his last five games. QR Larry Fitzgerald was a non-factor with only two catches for 17 yards. The Cardinals dropped to 3-4 on the season and host Atlanta this week.
10/17/13: The San Francisco 49ers apparently took a page from the St. Louis Rams on Sunday by using tight end Vernon Davis to make big plays. The Cardinals have had trouble covering tight ends all season and it came back to bite them again in a 32-20 loss in San Francisco. While QB Carson Palmer threw for nearly 300 yards and two touchdowns, it simply was not enough on this day. The loss dropped the Cardinals to 3-3 on the season and tied with the Rams for third in the NFC West. They have no time to rest or feel bad, though. They host the division leading Seahawks (5-1) on Thursday.
10/10/13: Arizona improved to 3-2 with a defense-led 22-6 win over the visiting Carolina Panthers. The Cardinals defense recorded seven sacks (something the Cardinals were accustomed to surrendering last season) on Cam Newton and limited the Panthers to just a pair of field goals. Carson Palmer threw for only 175 yards, one touchdown, and three interceptions. That was okay because his defense bailed him out with a few picks of their own. Arizona remains tied with San Francisco for second in the NFC West, and will visit the 49ers this Sunday in an important NFC West showdown.
10/3/13: Arizona showed some life by rallying in the second half to beat the winless Tampa Bay Buccaneers 13-10 on the road last Sunday. After allowing the Bucs to take a 10-0 lead into halftime, the Cardinals utterly confused the Bucs offense and first time starter rookie quarterback Mike Glennon. Larry Fitzgerald caught a touchdown pass then Jay Feely kicked the winning field goal with 1:27 left in the gam. Patrick Peterson picked off Glennon to end the game. So changing QBs did not help Tampa. Arizona (2-2) goes back home to host the 1-2 Carolina Panthers on Sunday afternoon.
9/26/13: Arizona spent the weekend in New Orleans, but it was not the party they had hoped for. In a game pitting one of the league's best defenses against a top offense, the offense (New Orleans) came out a big 31-7 winner. The Cardinals' offense, which had been pretty good in the first two weeks of the season, was stagnant. QB Carson Palmer only managed 187 yards with zero TDs and two interceptions. The Saints offense gashed the Card's defense and this game was never really close. The good news is that the Cardinals (1-2) have a chance for redemption this Sunday when visit the Buccaneers (0-3).
9/19/13: Arizona got their first win of the season by beating the Detroit Lions 25-21 at home last Sunday. Rashard Mendenall had a big game for the Cardinals, running in the manner that the team envisioned when they signed him. The Cardinals got a big help when the Lions' star running back Reggie Bush left the game with a leg injury in the second quarter. Arizona will see another high-flying offense in the New Orleans Saints this Sunday. This will be a good test for both teams, as we get a great offense (at home) against a great defense.
9/12/13: Opening weekend taught us that this is not the same Cardinals team that finished 1-11 last season. Arizona traveled to St. Louis to face the Rams, and even led by double digits in the third quarter. The Rams defense tightened up and their offense scored 14 points in the final frame, giving St. Louis a 27-24 victory. But the Cardinals were much better than last year now that they have Carson Palmer. They may have lost the game, but this will be a tough team to beat for anyone this season. The Cardinals will try to bounce back this Sunday when they host Reggie Bush and the 1-0 Detroit Lions.
9/4/13: Arizona will open the season against St. Louis, the city the franchise left 25 years ago (and St. Louis fans have not forgotten nor have forgiven). The Cardinals seem like the afterthought in the NFC West, which may be the best division in all of the NFL. However, the team has made major improvements on offense, especially with the acquisition of Carson Palmer at QB. Palmer threw for over 4,000 yards lst season in only 14 games - and that was with a terrible Oakland offense. Now that he has Larry Fitzgerald, he is poised to do even more and sneak up on St. Louis, San Francisco, and Seattle.
8/29/13: The Cardinals have a lot of optimism going into the regular season, particularly now that they have a serviceable quarterback in Carson Palmer and still have a pretty fine defense. The team has not been shy about their plans to use second year cornerback and kick returner Patrick Peterson on offense. Peterson claims there are about 60 plays drawn up with him on offense, though coach Bruce Arains will likely be smart enough not to overdo it and risk injury to their best defensive player for the simple sake of having him play two ways this season.
8/22/13: The Cardinals are the afterthought in the NFC West. San Francisco and Seattle get the majority of the headlines while St. Louis is acknowledged as an up and coming team. But many forget that the Cardinals defense is likely among the top 10 in the league. They shut out Green Bay in the first preseason game, and did not allow a touchdown until their eight quarter. Add a legitimate QB in Carson Palmer and an underrated Rashard Mendenhall in the backfield, and the Cardinals are actually a pretty promising team. In short, this division is wide open, no matter what the experts are saying in August.
8/15/13: The Cardinals realize that they need their best playmakers to get the ball. They also know that three of the best defenses in the NFL are in their division, so they have to be creative. New head coach Bruce Arians is trying to kill both those birds with a single stone by experimenting with cornerback and kick returner Patrick Peterson on offense. Peterson is a dynamic playmaker and could be an offensive weapon at times. That being said, there are probably plenty of Arizona fans that do not want to risk him getting injured by going accross the middle or running routes.
8/8/13: The Cardinals may have just gotten better by default. The NFC West is, by consensus, the toughest division in the NFL this season. While it is true that the Cardinals have added talent in the roster by getting a real QB and some secondary help - the real story is that the 49ers and the Seahawks got worse. Injuries have hit the two favorite NFC West teams hard, and that opens the door for Arizona to at least compete in the division for a playoff spot. It also helps to have Larry Fitzgerald and rising WR Michael Floyd on your roster.
8/1/13: New Arizona Cardinals QB Carson Palmer is starting to like the make up of the team this season. The Cardinals just signed John Abraham to fortify their defensive front. Abraham is on the downside of his career, but he still led the Atlanta Falcons in sacks last season. The Cardinals are quietly improving their roster and letting the Seahawks and 49ers get all the media attention. At this point, the consensus is that the NFC West is the best division in the NFL, a far cry from just a couple years ago when Seattle won the division with a 7-9 record.
7/25/13: An interesting feud is brewing in the desert, as rookie cornerback Tyrann Mathieu says that NFL analyst Mike Mayock is his motivation. Mayock analyzed Mathieu and said he was a third or fourth round pick (he went in the third round), and that he would be a nickle package guy and a kick returner. He also said a lot of positive things about the Honeybadger, so it is difficult to understand why Mathieu believes he has a harsh critic in Mayock. To be fair, a lot of other people said a lot of worse things about the player, but most of that was due to his off-field activities that landed him in trouble in college.
7/18/13: It may be easy to dismiss the Cardinals as a contender, particularly since the team lost 11 of its last 12 games in 2012. Though some may remember that they beat both Seattle and New England on the road in their first four games - when QB Kevin Kolb was healthy. With Carson Palmer now under center, defensive end Calais Campbell is convinced they can win the division. They actually have a very good defense and will cause problems for the rest of the NFC West if they can start to score some points this season.
7/11/13: The NFC West may well be the best division in the NFL this season, and that is only a few years removed from when Seattle won the division with a 7-9 record. Most of the publicity goes to San Francisco and Seattle, who are both considered to be Super Bowl contenders. St. Louis is beefed up and a lot of experts expect them to make a move this season. Arizona has quietly added key talent as well, particularly with the acquisition of a real QB in Carson Palmer. The team still has a strong defense, and in case anyone forgot, they still have super WR Larry Fitzgerald.
7/4/13: Everyone knows by now that the Cardinals are a dysfunctional franchise. Last season, they started off 4-0, only to lose in terrible fashion to the Rams on a Thursday night game - they won only one more game the rest of the season. The quarterback situation and offensive line was a complete mess - though they did have a pretty good defense. The Cardinals are hoping that new QB Carson Palmer will bring some Kurt Warner karma to the team and be able to get the ball to Larry Fitzgerald. Fantasy football players are hoping for the same thing - especially since it is so disheartening to see an elite talent be wasted by terrible play from others.
6/27/13: New Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians is worried about only one rookie - Ryan Swope. The wide receiver has been held out of offseason workouts because he is still dealing with concussion issues he suffered when in college. Arians was surprised that Swopes was not cleared to practice, and there is really nothing the player can do except wait it out. Arians saw Austin Collie deal with the same issue last year as the Colts OC/interim HC. If Swopes can get healthy, he could be a steal. The Cardinals got him in the 6th round of the draft - but that was because other teams were afraid of his four concussions in college.
6/20/13: Some inspiring news for the Cardinals as QB coach Freddie Kitchens made an appearance at OTAs. Kitchens recently had surgery on an aorta, but he wanted to see his quarterbacks practice. Head coach Bruce Arians did not want him around - but that is more because he needs to recuperate rather than not be part of the team. If his recovery remains strong, then he could be back for training camp next month - even if it is in a limited role. In the meantime, the QB corps is in good hands with Arians, who developed Ben Roethlisberger and Andrew Luck.
6/13/13: The Arizona Cardinals' offensive line, by definition, has to be better than last season when they were a virtual turnstile for pass rushers. Part of that was the absence of left tackle Levi Brown after he tore a triceps. Brown is back, and new head coach Bruce Arians considers him to be an elite player. He will have to be considering the team plays in the NFC West and will see the pass rush of the St. Louis Rams, San Francisco 49ers, and Seattle Seahawks six times in the regular season, possibly more if they make the playoffs.
6/6/13: Most people did not notice back in April when the Cardinals released guard Adam Snyder. But Snyder was designated as a "June 1" cut. Ignoring all the financial maneuverings, it simply means that the Cardinals will get an extra $3 million of cap space this NFL year. That means that the team now has close to $11 million of cap space. That extra space will help in bringing in some training camp cuts to help the team compete in what is now a very competitive NFC West Division. Perhaps another offensive lineman would help - they could have used that last year.
5/30/13: Carson Palmer is in love again. This time with his new head coach Bruce Arians. Palmer praised his new coach's philosophy on offense and keeping the OTAs fun. No one likes OTAs, but Palmer actually says they are enjoyable under this regime. The Cardinals also signed troubled rookie Tyrann Mathieu and will be putting him through frequent drug tests. Mathieu did get a rookie signing bonus, but it will be spread out over the life of the contract, allowing Arizona to keep the money if Mathieu fails a drug test and faces disciplinary action by the team or league.
5/23/13: The Cardinals may be the most underrated team heading into the 2013 season. Yes, the team was 5-11 or 6-10 or whatever it was. But they won their first four games last year behind Kevin Kolb - including a win at New England. Then they fell apart due to having no one at QB. Now they have Carson Palmer at QB and an upgraded offensive line. All of the talk in the NFC West has been on the 49ers and Seahawks. However, the Rams and Cardinals both have good teams that could knock one or both of the front runners out of the running.
5/16/13: Arizona is shoring up their defense by signing former Cardinal Karlos Dansby to a one year deal. Dansby is a capable linebacker who was drafted by the Cardinals, but spent the last several years in Miami. Arizona may want him because he is insurance for Daryl Washington. Washington is already suspended for the first four games of the season, and new legal troubles may keep him out longer. The Cardinals already have rookie Kevin Minter, free agent Jasper Brinkley, and returning player Reggie Walker at the position as well. This may mean that Arizona does not believe Washington will be back any time soon.
5/9/13: The Cardinals finally got their QB when they traded (essentially nothing) for Carson Palmer. With that settled, they gained some attention by selecting former LSU cornerback Tyrann Mathieu (Honey Badger) and his lengthy off field problems. That story has run its cycle until training camp (or arrest). Now the Cardinals have to deal with allegations of domestic abuse against Daryl Washington. The victim (mother of Washington's baby) was choked and had a broken collerbone. Washington is out on bail. He was already suspended for the first four games for substance abuse, but may face more time off.
5/2/13: The Cardinals have never been known as a team that drafted well. There are some exceptions, such as Aneas Williams and Larry Fitzgerald. However, there are a lot more Matt Lienarts in the team's history books. With the seventh pick this year, they selected North Carolina's Johnathan Cooper as a guard for new QB Carson Palmer. Their biggest move was selecting the troubled Tyrann Mathieu, formerly a corner for LSU. The "Honey Badger" was kicked off the LSU team for failing multiple drug tests. In Arizona, he will have former teammate Patrick Peterson for mentorship and will play safety.
4/25/13: With the release of the schedules, we get to see that life for the Cardinals just gets tougher. The Cardinals will play the seventh toughest schedule in 2013, at least according to 2012 standings. Meanwhile, the Denver Broncos, who finished first in league in wins play the statistically easiest schedule. The team has two games against each of the NFC West, which is tough. Plus they play the AFC South, which includes Indianapolis and Houston, as well as the NFC South – which means New Orleans and Atlanta. This means that the Cardinals will play seven games against playoff teams from last year.
4/18/2013: Now that the Cardinals have finally completed the trade for Carson Palmer, it looks like their quarterback situation is set for the time being. Arizona was the punchline to many jokes last season behind their inept offense, but people should not forget that they started off 4-0, including a win in New England, when Kevin Kolb was healthy. They disintegrated after that and were forced to fire head coach Ken Whisenhunt and release Kolb. They did have a good defense, though defensive coordinator Ray Horton left for Cleveland. If they can improve their offensive line, the Cardinals may well surprise a lot of people this season.
4/11/13: Contrary to popular opinion, Cardinals defensive back Patrick Peterson loves the new crown rule in the NFL. The crown rule forbids those running with the football to use the crown of their helmets as weapon. This is a standard move with most running back, who say that it is a natural defensive position. Peterson, however, thinks that Commissioner Roger Goodell is doing the right thing by trying to make the game safer. Of course, he has probably been on the receiving end of many of those head spears, so it makes sense that a defensive player is the first to come out in support of the new rule.
4/4/13: Arizona added a new quarterback to their roster, as completely expected. The Cardinals orchestrated a trade with Oakland for Carson Palmer, giving up a conditional 7th round pick if Palmer plays in 13 more games next year. Oakland did not have much to stand on. They could have cut Palmer, but are betting that he can get through most of the season and they can get the 240th pick for him. Oakland lost all their leverage when they traded for Matt Flynn from Seattle. The winner in this may be Larry Fitzgerald who will finally play again with a QB who can throw a ball.
3/28/13: It is looking more and more likely that Carson Palmer and the Oakland Raiders will part ways in the near future. Oakland wants Palmer to take a big paycut, yet surprisingly the quarterback is reluctant to do so. Rumors now indicate that the Arizona Cardinals will pursue Palmer if (when) he becomes a free agent. The Cardinals QB woes since Kurt Warner retired are well documented, and the team will go nowhere until they get a quality signal caller. The news is not surprisingly in the least, and really makes sense because there are no more quarterbacks on the open market that anyone wants.
3/21/13: Arizona fans probably do not want to hear this announcement in September: "Introducing your Arizona Cardinals starting quarterback…Drew Stanton". Or it could be Bryan Hoyer. Or it could be any number of journeyman backups that are floating around the league. The Cardinals cut Kevin Kolb and his massive contract, but still do not have a solution for the QB position. Truth be told, Kolb was not completely awful as the starter, but he was injured a lot and had a massive salary cap hit. Meanwhile, Larry Fitzgerald keeps running 40 yards and coming back to the huddle.
3/14/13: The Cardinals released often injured running back Beanie Wells this week. The move was not a surprise, and Wells even said late last season that he expected to get cut and was simply auditioning for other teams. Wells is a talented runner, and no one doubts that. However, he has often been injured throughout his professional and college career, leaving many to give him the dreaded 'fragile' tag. Well will likely turn up on another roster, but no indications on where that would be. In the meantime, the Cardinals may be close to signing former Browns' kick returner Josh Cribbs.
3/7/13: The Cardinals' defense must have realized a new level of anguish last season. The unit was one of the best in the league last season - even upsetting New England in Foxborough last September. But they had to watch that brutal offense every week, with no offensive line and even less quarterbacking. Defensive coordinator Ray Horton led that defense, but he is now in Cleveland after he was passed over for the head coaching position for Bruce Arians. Can Arians fix Kevin Kolb and make the team competitive? That is the million dollar question in the desert.
2/21/13: New Cardinals' defensive coordinator Todd Bowles does not expect much in the way of change for the Arizona defense next season. Former DC Ray Horton was the architect behind the Arizona defense and brought in top talent and a strong gameplan. He left in the offseason after Arians was named head coach instead of him, and joined the Cleveland Browns as their DC by the next day. New head coach Bruce Arians, the reigning NFL Coach of the Year, brought in Bowles. Arians coach Bowles at Temple in the mid-1980's and the two have been friends ever since.
2/14/13: The Cardinals, and everyone else, found out that running back Jarvis James will be suspended for the first four games of the 2013 season for violating the league's substance abuse policy. James has not played since 2010, and will be allowed to participate in off-season workouts and training camp, and preseason games. James tore his ACL in the final preseason game against Denver last year and missed all of 2012. His last regular season game was with the Colts, where he totaled 112 yards on 46 carries. He was waived by Indianapolis in 2011 after being arrested for marijuana possession.
2/7/13: No doubt that Bruce Arians was hired as head coach at least in part for his work with rookie quarterback Andrew Luck as well as Ben Roethlisberger previously. He is considered by some to be a quarterback guru (so was Mike Martz), though he will need a quarterback to mentor. Current QB Kevin Kolb claims that he will restructure his contract to stay in town. Fans, however, are clamoring for someone new. There is some media speculation on trying to swing a deal for Patriots backup Ryan Mallet. Other possibilities include Matt Flynn and Alex Smith.
1/31/13: First and foremost, the Arizona Cardinals need a quarterback to compete in the NFC West next season. That is not news to anyone who remotely follows the NFL, but it is still true. The Cardinals had a very good defense, though defensive coordinator Ray Horton has moved on to Cleveland as the DC under new head coach Rob Chudzinski. New Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians has his work cut out for him in finding the new QB. Alex Smith, Matt Flynn, T.J. Yates, and Michael Vick are possible options, or the team could try to draft a Geno Smith or Mike Glennon.
1/24/13: The Arizona Cardinals finally found their head coach, hiring Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator and interim head coach Bruce Arians. Arians took over for Chuck Pagano for 12 games this past season when Pagano was diagnosed with leukemia. He led the Colts to a 9-3 record behind a rookie quarterback (Andrew Luck) and the Colts unexpectedly made the playoffs. Arians inherits a QB mess in the desert with no real starter. The team may try to trade for Matt Flynn, Mark Sanchez, Tim Tebow, or Alex Smith this off season to try to fill the huge void.
1/17/13: Getting Lindsey Lohan to attend one of her hearings is more likely than the Cardinals landing a big name to be their next head coach. Andy Reid picked Kansas City while Denver OC Mike McCoy took the San Diego job. Hard to blame either. Arizona is in the suddenly tough NFC West, with San Francisco and Seattle (both playoff teams), as well as St. Louis (who should be a playoff team next year). Add to that no real quarterback or offensive line, and candidates realize they are being set up to fail. Still in the running are Bengals OC Jay Gruden, Steeler OC Todd Haley, and Cardinals DC Ray Horton.
1/10/13: Immediately following the firings on Black Monday, Andy Reid was reported to be the leading candidate for the Arizona head coaching position. Reid did draft and coach Kevin Kolb in Philadelphia, and the team does have a strong defense and skilled receivers. In fact, they may just be an offensive line away from being competitive. However, the Kansas City Chiefs apparently intercepted Reid and convinced him that he would be best in their organization. As it stands, the Cardinals are still looking for a replacement for Ken Whisenhut, and may take a few more weeks to identify his successor.
1/3/13: The Cardinals' season has mercifully ended with a 27-13 loss to the 49ers. Arizona started off the season 4-0, including a victory at New England. But things went horribly wrong after that, and the team was just 1-11 for the rest of the season. The offensive line could not protect anything, and starting quarterback Kevin Kolb got hurt. The lack of offense cost head coach ken Wisenhunt his job on Black Monday. Andy Reid i
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Arizona Cardinals Schedule & Key Dates
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Arizona Cardinals Past Games Schedule and Arizona Cardinals Scores
|Jan 3, 2015||NFC Wild Card Game: Arizona Cardinals - Carolina Panthers||16 - 27|
|Dec 28, 2014||Arizona Cardinals - San Francisco 49ers||17 - 20|
|Dec 7, 2014||Kansas City Chiefs - Arizona Cardinals||14 - 17|
|Nov 30, 2014||Arizona Cardinals - Atlanta Falcons||18 - 29|
|Nov 16, 2014||Detroit Lions - Arizona Cardinals||6 - 14|
|Nov 9, 2014||St. Louis Rams - Arizona Cardinals||14 - 31|
|Nov 2, 2014||Arizona Cardinals - Dallas Cowboys||28 - 17|
|Oct 26, 2014||Philadelphia Eagles - Arizona Cardinals||20 - 24|
|Oct 19, 2014||Arizona Cardinals - Oakland Raiders||24 - 13|
|Oct 12, 2014||Washington Redskins - Arizona Cardinals||20 - 30|
|Oct 5, 2014||Arizona Cardinals - Denver Broncos||20 - 41|
|Sep 21, 2014||San Francisco 49ers - Arizona Cardinals||14 - 23|
|Sep 14, 2014||Arizona Cardinals - New York Giants||25 - 14|
|Aug 24, 2014||Preseason: Cincinnati Bengals - Arizona Cardinals||19 - 13|
|Aug 16, 2014||Preseason: Arizona Cardinals - Minnesota Vikings||28 - 30|