On-Line NFL Pool
NFL Fight Songs
"The Cardinal" Bio
The Playoff Race
SEEMS LIKE OLD TIMES
- - - - - In 1997, the Cardinals started the season 1-7, with just about all of those losses coming in the final 2:00 or in overtime. Then, in the following year's pre-season game against Detroit, the team found yet another way to lose a close game in the final seconds. Different players, to be sure, but the same inability to finish, leaving the Cardinals faithful to suspect a deeper problem that could be traced to coaching. Of course, the 1998 campaign showed the reverse, and the Cardinals earned a playoff berth with narrow victories studded throughout the season.
- - - - - Now, Arizona comes off a disappointing season where at least six games were not won due to incredible special teams blunders. Gone is the original long-snapper. Gone are the punter and kicker. Yet, in the team's first pre-season contest, a loss resulted after an attempt at a chip-shot field goal sailed wide of the entire netting. I understand that projected kicker Phil Dawson did not make the attempt, but given that he is working with a new long-snapper and new holder, it seems prudent to give him as many repetitions as possible in the pre-season. And if he was injured, I'd like to know that the Cardinals have a better contingency plan than what they revealed last Thursday night. Maybe it still comes down to coaching, and taking this special teams thing more seriously. Our bright spot in this department, rookie T.J. Logan's scintillating performance, was severely dampened by a season-jeopardizing wrist injury in the fourth quarter.
QB (3): PALMER, STANTON, GABBERT. Gabbert looked like he belonged and may challenge for the back-up role. Knight showed little.
RB (4): D.JOHNSON, C.JOHNSON, LOGAN. Williams looked sensational while Ellington will have a tough time justifying a roster spot. If Logan's injury puts him on IR, both might make the team.
TE (4): GRESHAM, NIKLAS, MOMAH. None of the remaining three looked all that impressive, though I would currently rank them Seals-Jones, Christian, Valles, with plenty of opportunities to show what they can do. Injury-prone Niklas and Momah could still change things should one or both go down again.
WR (5): FITZGERALD, JO.BROWN, JA.BROWN. Williams is likely in as a high draft choice, leaving one spot. Nelson gets in over Golden for now. The rest, sorry.
OL (8): This will be difficult to sort out. The five projected starters sat out the game. The five-man second-squad looked outstanding. And that wasn't even counting the two draft choices, Darian Johnson and Will Holden. We won't be able to keep twelve offensive linemen, and things look even worse for Munyer, Price, and McLaughlin.
DL (7): RUCKER, NKEMDICHE, MAURO, PETERS. That leaves three of the four: Stinson, Gunter, Pierre, Williams, perhaps in that order for now.
OLB (4): GOLDEN, C.JONES, MARTIN, J.JONES. Bazzie looked respectable, so maybe a chance at the wild-card spot or special teams.
ILB (4): BUCANNON, DANSBY, REDDICK. Rookie Reddick impressed in his debut, the rest of the performances left a lot to be desired, with maybe Gooden ahead of Wright. Seems telling that the team picked up two ILBs with the mid-week transactions.
DB (9): PETERSON, BETHEL, MATHIEU, BETHEA, BAKER, BRANCH, FORD. Brandon Williams looked lost yet again and has shown little improvement over last season's fiasco. Tramon Williams did not play. Jarell Carter showed a little something late in the contest. The rest showed nothing.
ST (3): BREWER, DAWSON. Will need a little more info on the punters.
WILD-CARD (2): An extra OL, DL, OLB? We shall see.
NEXT WEEK, OAKLAND RAIDERS: We'll need to sort out the OL rotation and hope to get some good film against the Raiders' potent defensive line attack. Stanton vs Gabbert will be interesting. We'll hopefully get to see more of Bethea and T.Williams in the secondary.
TWENTY-SECOND SEASON UNDERWAY
- - - - - As you've probably already noticed, "The Cardinal's" Nest, the Internet's longest-running website dedicated to the Arizona Cardinals, has
undergone a few changes over the years as we embark on our 22nd season. This newer setup will hopefully make it easier for you, the fans, to navigate
these pages. After all, isn't life already hard enough being a Cardinals fan?
- - - - - The bar at the left will contain the links to the other pages on this site, including icons for some of the larger features.
Meanwhile, play in my 22nd-annual On-Line NFL Pool has begun and the Chicago Cardinals Photo
Album, featuring photos and other game memorabilia from the 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s has opened. Also, check out the
"Arizona Sports Fans" Message Board. As always, if you have any
suggestions, comments, or questions, please feel free to send me E-mail at email@example.com;
I always enjoy hearing from Cardinals fans around the country and the world.