Cardinals Vs. Seahawks: Whisenhunt Stung By Loss, Promises Progress

The Arizona Cardinals lost another winnable road game and fell to 1-2 on the season. Mistakes on the offensive side of the ball were too much to overcome against Seattle.

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Cardinals Loss From Self-Inflicted Wounds Hurt, Progress Promised

The Arizona Cardinals are convinced they beat themselves in Seattle more than the Seahawks won the game. They point to any number of mistakes from offensive players not lining up in the right spot, to blown tackles and gap assignments to missed field goals. It was a game they felt they could have won and if you believe the talk, that they will win later in the season.

In the meantime, it was a bitter coach Ken Whisenhunt who talked about the game.

"It stings because we've had the opportunity the last two weeks to have the ball in our hand at the end of the game with a chance to win it or at least be in it and we weren't successful there. If you look at the teams in the NFL, the ones that are successful are the ones that are able to do that way more often than they aren't."

Kevin Kolb didn't make himself available to the media on Monday before the team went into afternoon meetings and film sessions so we will have to wait to hear from him directly. His interception late in the game with the team in position to at least try a field goal and send it to overtime was obviously a key moment.

Whisenhunt called Kolb's performance "uneven" and said that while he did some things well, there's still a lot to improve on, "I have no doubts that we will continue to improve offensively, especially at the quarterback position, as we progress."

Defensively, Whisenhunt was pleased with the performance. He cited the pressure they defense got on Tavaris Jackson without having to blitz and how fast they played flying to the ball. There were mistakes, especially in the run game, but overall the defense did it's part. 

Injury update

There were no new injuries to report out of Sunday's game. Whisenhunt expects running backs Beanie Wells and LaRod Stephens-Howling to play Sunday against the Giants. LB Daryl Washington (calf) came through the game OK and made some strong plays.

Wells was close to being able to go but the decision to hold him out was to prevent additional injury that could have hampered him for the next three to four weeks.

Kicking game

Whisenhunt thought the wind pushed Jay Feely's first field goal to the left and he speculated that Feely didn't hit the second one well.

"I'll say this about Jay, he's mentally a very strong guy and I have great confidence in whatever kick he's kicking, the next kick is going to go through. I believe in Jay."

Other notes and quotes -- Offense

  • The Seahawks doubled Larry Fitzgerald in the second half. The Cardinals move him around and do a few things to get him open but the key is to hit the open guys on the other side of the field which in turn will open things for Larry.
  • "Obviously, if it gets to a point where we don't feel like we are getting the ball to Larry,  we're certainly going to try and do it," Whisenhunt said
  • Kolb is still learning the new scheme and being asked to do things he's never done before. "All of that contributes to some growing pains and we went through that, a little bit, yesterday (Sunday). That falls on all of us, players and coaches, to get the right mix. Not having too much, not trying to do too much and we'll do that. I do believe that when we are confident and execute he does a very good job," Whisenhunt said.
  • The scheme of runs were solid and had opportunities in the run game. Alfonso Smith ran hard in his first regular season action. He'll be even better next time. Smith gave his performance an "F" since the team lost. 
  • "Really, it was a great opportunity for me. Obviously, we didn't get the win and that's disappointing but I just want to go out there and just show everybody that I can play in this league," Smith said.
  • "We're the one's stopping ourselves. We've got to make corrections, we've got to get a lot of guys on the same page...For us to shoot ourselves in the foot, that's what hurts the most," Guard Daryn Colledge said.
  • Some issues on offense include not having the right guys on the field in the right alignment and then not understandings the check calls at the line of scrimmage.
  • The hurry up offense did some good things but there were also some bad things the Cardinals were lucky to make plays off. That's why they didn't go back to it. It's the first time it's been used this season and the full package isn't installed yet.
  • "We had mistakes on third down, especially in a couple of situation where we had chances for plays. We had two third and shorts that we didn't convert and that hurts you too. Less than a yard where your expectation is you are going to convert those. That's not acceptable," Whisenhunt said.
  • "In looking at our plan and what we did in the game, we had our opportunities and it was all because of mistakes that we made. Those are things that we have to clean up," Whisenhunt said.

Other notes and quotes -- Defense

  • "As far as being around the ball, getting pressure, and making some plays it was a noticeable improvement for our defense (Sunday)," Whisenhunt said.
  • Got more pressure from non-blitzing front. Happy with rotation and how Clark Haggans and Joey Porter played. Peterson and Jefferson both look better and are making progress.
  • Thought the defense played faster, flying to the ball, getting pressure on the quarterback. Both Darnell Dockett and Calais Campbell both played well. 
  • "The defense played real good. We're definitely making progress and getting better each and every week. Now, we just have to finish out games strong so that we can win these ball games in the fourth quarter," Paterick Peterson said.
  • On Peterson's interception at the end of the half, Whisenhunt would like him to try and break a play. Much better chance trying to make something happen against the opposing offense. Adrian Wilson told Peterson to take a knee.
  • "The old guy told me to get down," Peterson said.
  • Peterson is the "most natural fielder of punts that I've ever seen," Whisenhunt said.

For more on this game, visit Revenge of the Birds Cardinals blog.


Cardinals vs. Seahawks: Kolb's Mistake Dooms Arizona In 13-10 Loss

NFC West football is certainly hard to watch sometimes, and today's game between the Arizona Cardinals and the Seattle Seahawks was no exception. Despite a dominating defensive display, the Cardinals offense was completely suffocated by the 12th man at CenturyLink Field.

Kevin Kolb's stat line was more Derek Anderson than Kurt Warner, completing 25 of 39 pass attempts for 252 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions. The running game was less than effective as the brunt of the carries fell upon rookie Alfonso Smith, who picked up 54 yards on 17 attempts.

This game literally came down to who could make the least mistakes, and trust me - there were a lot of them. From fumbles to interceptions to a plethora of sacks, it was a comedy of errors on the field today.

It's very difficult to see Arizona Cardinals fans approving of this performance against a very beatable Seahawks squad. This game proves that picking up Kevin Kolb was not a cure-all for this team's problems, and time is needed before true improvements can be implemented after a lockout-shortened offseason.

With the loss, Arizona drops to 1-2 on the season. They face off against the New York Giants at home in Glendale on October 2.

For more reaction to this disaster, check out Revenge of the Birds.


Cardinals vs. Seahawks Halftime Report: Arizona Holds Lead Over Seattle, 10-6

There was a lot of scoring in the second quarter of the Cardinals/Seahawks game on Sunday afternoon. Going into the quarter, Seattle held a 3-0 lead, but the Cardinals bounced back and took a lead going into the half.

Jay Feely nailed a 44-yard field goal to even the score. On the next Arizona drive, Kevin Kolb showed his playmaking ability by escaping pressure and hitting Larry Fitzgerald on the left side of the endzone for a touchdown.

The Seahawks brought the score within four points on a 52-yard Steven Hauschka field goal.

Kolb completed 14 of 18 passes in the half, gaining 139 yards and showing good leadership in the no-huddle offense. He commited a big mistake with just second left on the clock, throwing an interception to Marcus Trufant, who returned the ball 15 yards before being tackled.

Seahawks quarterback Tavaris Jackson was rushed all half, completing only 9 of 16 passes and throwing an interception to end the half. 

With Beanie Wells out, Chester Taylor and Alfonso Smith are shouldering the load out of the backfield for Arizona. They have combined for 12 rushes and 39 total yards.

The Cardinals are getting to Jackson, and they have sacked him four times. Calais Campbell is having a great game, recording 2.5 sacks in the first half and being a huge presence on the defensive line for Arizona.

This has been a messy game and the Cardinals need to improve their running attack in order to win this game today.

For more on the Cardinals, head over to Revenge of the Birds.


Cardinals vs. Seahawks: TV Schedule, Kickoff Time, Radio Coverage & More

The Arizona Cardinals look to recover from their heartbreaking loss to the Washington Redskins, while the Seattle Seahawks aim to regroup after an 0-2 start to the 2011 NFL season. 

It looks like Sidney Rice will finally take the field for the Seattle Seahawks, while Arizona is optimistic that Beanie Wells should be able to go. Expect a big game from Kevin Kolb, regardless.

Kickoff: 1:15 p.m. PT

TV: FOX, though the regional broadcast can only been seen in Arizona and Seattle (and Anchorage), since Green Bay vs. Chicago is the game of national interest during this time frame.

TV announcers: Chris Myers, Tim Ryan

Radio: Arizona Sports 620 AM

Radio announcers: Dave Pasch, Ron Wolfley, Paul Calvisi

Line: Seattle is currently favored by 3.5 points.

Watch it online at:, if you have the money to pay for it.

Complete online coverage Revenge of the Birds is our Arizona Cardinals blog, though you can get updates every quarter right here.


Cardinals Defense Scaling Back Horton Confirms, Defense 'Embarrassed'

The Arizona Cardinals defense is taking plenty of flack for giving up 932 yards in their first two games. The coaching staff remains confident, however, that it's only a matter of time before things fall into place. They continue to cite the lack of offseason prep time which was taken away by the lockout and stress the complexity of the new system.

Defensive coordinator Ray Horton said Friday that he didn't think it would take this long for the players to adjust to the changes, but in light of what they've seen so far they will scale back for now.

"I think you are going to get a scaled back game on both sides of the ball," Horton said. "I heard (Seahawks coach) Pete Carroll up there saying the same thing. We're trying to figure out what we can do best. We're trying to get them to not think and play fast so we've cut down some things, the complicated things, out of the package."

If you are an optimist you can take solace in the fact that all but one of the big plays allowed were the result of blown assignments which are mostly coming from miscommunication on the field which results in guys not being on the same page. 

On the plays when the defense has properly executed the scheme, the results have been positive. The hope is that with more time and by scaling back more of the complex parts the defense can gain some momentum and eventually build back to the full scheme.

"They were embarrassed and they're mad that we're cutting back on this," Horton reported. "They said, 'Coach, don't do that to us.' I told them as we learn, we'll put it back in."

Darnell Dockett getting there

The Cardinals star defensive lineman told Coach Horton this week that he feels like things are starting to click for him. He explained to the media on Wednesday how challenging the new system has been for him.

"Me personally, speaking for myself, I've played in the same defense for seven years. The same job. So this is a new assignments, some new responsibilities but it's OK because you look at over the last seven years how many games did we win."

Horton said that Dockett previously lineup on the outside edge of his man and rushed from that position every time. Now he's being moved around to the inside or nose-over and being asked to "two-gap" which is more of a traditional nose tackle responsibility. In two-gap responsibility the lineman has to read the play and go either to his right or left as opposed to having a clearly define gap on each play.

Steelers model

The defense Ray Horton brought over from the Pittsburgh Steelers was on display in Week 2 against the Seahawks. Horton showed the film to his players to demonstrate how things are supposed to work.

"We showed our players and they were marveled at how fast (Pittsburgh) played and how fast they can get to a point. They know the call, they don't have to think."

Injury update

Coach Ken Whisenhunt reported that RB Beanie Wells is a game-time decision but Wells said Friday that he's confident he will play against Seattle. If you are having to make a fantasy start/sit decision, we can't help you any more than that.

Wells was limited in practice on Thursday due to tightness in his hamstring. Whisenhunt said they were being conservative "as opposed to injuring it". 

RB Chester Taylor got more reps in practice with Wells resting. Whisenhunt said he's confident in Taylor and his other running backs, Alfonso Smith and LaRod Stephens-Howling.

LaRod (hand) and ILB Daryl Washington did more in practice but are also officially being called a Sunday decision. Whisenhunt did say, "But I'm excited to see those guys back on the field."


Cardinals Vs. Seahawks: Scouting Report And Prediction From Seattle Expert

We called on a Seahawks expert to help us all understand what the Arizona Cardinals are facing this Sunday when they head to Seattle to take on a division rival in a big early season game. It's way too early to call this game a "must win" for Arizona but a loss to Seattle would be a severe setback to team and fan confidence. We talked to Danny Kelly of SB Nation Seattle and Seahawks blog, Field Gulls about the game.

Seahawks slow start

Seattle is 0-2 with two road losses to start the season. The record on its own isn't as bad as the way the team has lost. They've scored just 17 total points in those two games (49ers and Steelers) and are 25th in points allowed (57). 

According to Kelly, the big reason for the struggles are the youth the Seahawks have on the field. Head coach Pete Carroll remade the roster since taking over in 2010 and has just 10 players left from the previous regime. That leaves a team trying to get on the same page at the same time they are adjusting to the NFL.

"It's apparent some of the schemes and personnel they are putting in this year still have some work to do," Kelly said.

Specifically, the main problem with the defense is the lack of pressure on the quarterback. Given time in the pocket, the Steelers picked on inexperienced cornerback Brandon Browner in Week 2 with Ben Roethlisberger taking apart the secondary for 297 yards allowed through the air.

The Seahawks haven't been too aggressive with their defense bringing blitz pressure relying instead on their base 4-3 defense. The defensive line, however, is more designed to stop the run with DE Red Bryant, DT Brandon Mebane, DT Alan Branch and DE Chris Clemons. 

Tavaris Jackson

Pete Carroll is reportedly happy with Jackson's performance so far despite his underwhelming results and outside opinion.

"Most of the fans are hoping for a little bit more," Kelly said. "The general consensus from what I can tell, is that people hope that he gets a little bit more aggressive and decisive passing the ball. He's been a little bit timid and hesitant. It's really shown up on the field."

Jackson is 30th in the league with just 5.4 yards per attempt on mostly check downs and dump off passes.

Kelly thinks Seattle needs to get the run established to help Jackson. Seattle is last in NFL in rushing offense (95 yards) through two games. He's also looking for Jackson to be more aggressive with his opportunities.


Kelly says the key for the Seahawks is getting pressure on Kevin Kolb. CB Brandon Browner was picked on a lot last week by WR Mike Wallce but his size will theoretically help him match up better with Larry Fitzgerald. The biggest hope for Seahawks fans is simply a change in scenery.  

"The Seahawks are just 100 percent better at home than on the road...They are going to have to play a lot better than they did the last two weeks but I don't think they've shown the potential that they have yet. I think it's going to be a close game but I think the Seahawks will win by a field goal (20-17)."

For more on this game visit Revenge of the Birds.


Cardinals Vs. Seahawks Practice Notes: Defense A Work In Progress But For How Long?

At this point we get it, the Arizona Cardinals defense is a work in progress. They have a new defensive coordinator in Ray Horton and with him, a new defensive philosophy and scheme. The defense is complicated and we've been told (repeatedly) that without the benefit of OTAs and mini-camps, they are behind schedule. We can guarantee the Seattle Seahawks don't care about those excuses and at some point soon, Cardinals fans won't either.

The team claims they made progress this week and they are confident that once they stop making the mistakes they are making that they can and will be a good defensive team. Obviously, the proof will be in beating the pudding out of teams on a consistent basis.

"If last week's game was any indication, an East Coast game where things could have gone wrong and we hung in there and made enough plays to have a chance to win it, ultimately we're going to be OK if we can keep that up," Ken Whisenhunt said on Thursday.

If you want to get specific, the issues on the defensive end have to do with a lack of understanding of the concepts. As Whisenhunt explains it, when the team sees things they haven't prepared for on film (which always happens) they don't have enough of a gut-level knowledge of the new rules to fall back on and that leads to mistakes.

Darnell Dockett echoed that and took it a bit further stressing the need for the defense to communicate better on and off the field, "This week was very huge for us as a team, just communicating and putting a lot of egos to the side and just focusing on doing the right things no matter who makes the plays."

The Cardinals fully understand that the Seahawks will be fired up for this game and despite Seattle's 0-2 start to the season and poor showings in those losses, aren't taking anything for granted.

"They have players that can make a lot of plays. They have really good running backs, they've got some good receiving threats and  tight ends are active. The have a quarterback who can make plays with his feet and definitely has a good arm. It's a challenge but it's a challenge I'm looking forward to," Paris Lenon said about Sunday's content.

Asked how long this learning process should take, Dockett said it takes time and dedication and there's no time limit on getting better.

Other notes and quotes:


  • We feel good about our defense going into Seattle but it's a process. It's hard, you live with it. Guys really focused on trying to get better.
  • "There's times in games where we're doing it right and we're very good and that's what we're going to hang our hat on. When we do it right we've got a chance to be a good football team. Our goal is to do more things right this week."
  • It's two games. Don't know if you can have a desperate team after two games.
  • "I know that Seattle beat us twice last year. I know that Seattle is a tough place to play. We're preparing this week to go in there and not make as many mistakes and hopefully get a win."
  • They are like us. They've made mistakes. They've got young guys they are trying to bring along. It's tough to win games in this league. 
  • Hopefully get opportunity to see more tomorrow on Daryl Washington.
  • "I would think that where he (Washington) is, the way he studied, the way he's done in preseason without making a lot of mistakes that he could certainly go in there and play well (despite missing practice time)."

Paris Lenon

  • "I'm not going to speak specifically on the linebacker group. I think as a total defense we're not where we want to be and we're trying to work to get to playing the kind of football that we want to play."
  • Dont' have timeline. Need to be ready to roll this week. 
  • "Every football team in the National Football League is dangerous. I don't think they're more dangerous because they're 0-2. I think they'll definitely be pretty fired up to be 0-2 and playing at home. They're going to come out there with the guns blazing. We've got to jump on 'em and try and keep them down."

Darnell Dockett

  • Trying to focus on ourselves and get things straight on our end. Not worried about Seattle and what they have going on. Nobody buying into only 17 points, 0-2 start.
  • They will be fired up playing at home for the first time and getting the NFC West banner.
  • "When you play against a team that's 0-2, they will do anything to win."
  • "I don't buy into that. Any time the Arizona Cardinals go play Seattle it's a football game. They play their best game and bring out all their bullets."
  •  It's a lot of stuff. It's a complicated defense but we're learning it. Guys are buying it. Main thing is trying to learn it.
  • When made plays were doing the right things. Times that hurt when 10 guys doing the right thing and one guy not.
  • Biggest thing being communication and studying. 
  • "Once we get it all down, and we will get it all down because that's our job as professionals, we're going to be one of the best defenses."
  • "Me personally, speaking for myself, I've played in the same defense for seven years. The same job. So this is a new assignments, some new responsibilities but it's OK because you look at over the last seven years how many games did we win."
  • Coach Horton is a fair guy. He says if we don't like we, we don't have to run it but he explains why we should.
  • Effort is there when you watch film. Might have blown assignments but effort is there.
  • As a defensive line, we make a mistake you don't see it. But if a cornerback or safety makes a mistake it's all on SportsCenter.
  • "As a D-line we have to do a better job when we get our one-on-one opportunities to win so we can help our secondary out. That's what it's all about. It's about the team defense."
  • Can't have dumb penalties but can't take away aggressiveness. 
  • "I always emphasize to my team, don't ever be a punk. If somebody do something to you, you do something back. If you continue to let them do it then you're going to have a long day. I always emphasize that. We're ain't going to let nobody just come push us in the helmet, push us in the back, step on our hands or do crazy stuff to us and not do nothing back. We're some grown men and to play with that attitude you have to respond sometimes but also you've got to be smart about it."

Beanie Wells, Cardinals RB, Suffers Hamstring Injury In Practice

Arizona Cardinals running back Beanie Wells is pretty much an integral part of this team's offense. Behind Wells at running back is ... well, nothing. Kevin Kolb might have to go back under center and throw as much as Brock Osweiler at ASU and Nick Foles at Arizona do for their college pass-heavy teams, because there's no one to rely on for the tailback. Wells needs to stay healthy or the Cardinals could be in serious trouble.

And down he goes!

RB Beanie Wells apparently suffered a hamstring injury in practice today. He is listed as limited on the injury report

Behind Wells for the Cardinals at running back? Chester Taylor. So far this year, Taylor has one carry for zero yards. Behind Taylor? Alfonso Smith, who has yet to see a snap of play. Behind Smith? LaRod Stephens-Howling, who appears to get injured on every snap he takes from scrimmage and currently has a cast on his right hand.

So aside from all that, I have a good feeling that the Cardinals offense is going to be A-OK! What do you guys think?

For more on the Cardinals, go to Revenge of the Birds.


Cardinals Vs. Seahawks: Whisenhunt Wants To Run More Too But...

The Arizona Cardinals came back from their Tuesday off day to begin preparation for the Week 3 division meeting with the Seattle Seahawks. Coach Ken Whisenhunt said he's excited for the opportunity.

"We know it's going to be a tough road going into Seattle and playing there. it always is and that's a credit to their fans and their organization," He said.

The big topic of the day was the number of carries running back Beanie Wells is getting. We already heard from Kevin Kolb that he would like to see Wells run the ball more. Whisenhunt admitted Wednesday he's also getting a lot of calls and emails questioning why Wells (who's seventh in the NFL at 5.7 yards per carry) isn't getting the ball more.

"When we do a New England on somebody and put up 600 yards of offense then maybe you won't (see those questions)," Whisenhunt said.

He added, "Every game is different. Would we have liked to have got Beanie more carriers when he's averaging his yards per carry? Yes. But there's other things that are going on that fall into it that you have to take into consideration."

Whisenhunt said he's happy with the way the offensive line, tight ends and even wide receivers are blocking in the run game and he's pleased with the progress Wells is making pushing the pile and turning one and two yard runs into five and six yard runs. Whiz is even happy with the job Well's is doing in protection, but...

"We've got to get a little better at running it when teams know we are going to run. We've got to be smarter about how we attack them in other ways. We had opportunities in that (Redskins) game and we didn't execute," Whisenhunt said without really explaining what he meant.

For more discussion of the Cardinals, head to Revenge of the Birds.

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