Tag:Max Hall
Posted on: August 24, 2011 1:39 pm
Edited on: August 24, 2011 2:00 pm
 

Wilson returns to practice, hopes to play Week 1

Posted by Ryan Wilson

It's been more than two weeks since Cardinals safety Adrian Wilson suffered a torn bicep muscle. At the time, the hope was that he'd be ready for the start of regular season on September 11.

For the first time since the August 6 injury, Wilson was in shoulder pads and a helmet, taking part in non-contact drills during Tuesday's practice.

"No, it's all good," Wilson said, according to the Arizona Republic's Kent Somers. "Just getting some rust off. We'll see where I'm at in September. Hopefully there are no setbacks. Everything is on the up and up."

The goal remains Week 1, now 18 days away.

"Training camp is such a grind, and whenever you have an injury, it kind of takes a toll on you," he said. "The guys are very excited, and I'm very excited as well."

And there's plenty to be excited about. Arizona appears to have found their replacement for Kurt Warner in Kevin Kolb (in related news, team released second-year quarterback Max Hall, who started three games for the Cards last season). They also locked wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald up for another eight years.

As for Wilson, he's clearly an integral part of Arizona's defense, but ESPN.com blogger Mike Sando makes a good point: assuming Wilson's back for the season opener against the Panthers, what happens the first time he tries to deflect a pass or make a tackle?

We've seen the effect injuries can have on safeties who make their living dishing out licks and disrupting the passing game. Ed Reed and Troy Polamalu, two of the best safeties in NFL history, not only haven't been effective when on the field at less than full strength, they've been targeted by opposing offenses. We saw it most recently during the Steelers' 2011 postseason. The question then becomes whether the injured superstar is better than the No. 2 guy on the depth chart.

And in most cases, they are. Which is why we'll probably see Wilson to open the season.

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Posted on: August 6, 2011 11:41 am
 

Dockett on Kolb: 'It's like night and day'

Posted by Ryan Wilson

The Arizona Cardinals have been an active participant in free agency and for good reason: the 2010 starting quarterbacks included Derek Anderson, John Skelton and Max Hall, a group that combined for 10 touchdowns, 18 interceptions, a 51 percent completion rate and five wins.

So when offseason rumors about landing Eagles' backup Kevin Kolb became a reality shortly after the lockout ended, it came as a surprise to absolutely no one.

And in just a few days of practice, Kolb has has already made an impression on his teammates. Defensive tackle and alligator caretaker Darnell Dockett got right to the point.

"It's like night and day from last year," Dockett said, according to ESPN.com's Mike Sando. "I don't want to disrespect nobody, but I mean, he's good."

We suspect Anderson, Skelton and Hall wouldn't disagree.

"He's the leader, goes out there and gets the job done," Dockett said. "You can tell the last couple days when he wasn't practicing, he was just so anxious to get out here. That is what you want from a quarterback. You want a true leader that is going to get the ball there and lead the offense down the field, no matter what pressure -- just go ahead and get the job done."

It's early, but this is a huge deal. One of our concerns about any team trading for Kolb wasn't that he could be a legit NFL starter but that it would cost too much to find out. The Cards had to part with starting cornerback and former first-rounder Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, a high-round draft pick, and give Kolb a $63 million deal (including $20 million in guarantees).

But maybe for head coach Ken Whisenhunt, no price was too steep after watching Arizona's offense last season.

"I have been impressed with how he has handled himself, his demeanor," Whisenhunt said. "I think he'll quickly adapt and get better as we go, and that is exciting. He has the right makeup mentally and physically to be successful."

You know what might help Kolb get better sooner? A new (old) pass-catching weapon. PFT.com points us to recent comments from former Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner who, appearing on 620 KTAR, made the case for Arizona adding Randy Moss, who is quickly becoming the retired wide receiver equivalent to Brett Favre.

“I don’t think there’s any question he could help,” Warner said, via PFT. “I still think there’s something in the tank for Randy. . . . He has a great relationship with Larry Fitzgerald. That could be a huge plus coming to this organization. I think a deep threat is something that they need. They need somebody that can stretch the field. As good as Larry is, that’s not the player that he is.”

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Posted on: July 18, 2011 9:50 pm
Edited on: July 18, 2011 9:54 pm
 

Report: Cards will go after Kolb, could trade DRC



Posted by Ryan Wilson

It's no secret that the Arizona Cardinals are desperate to find a starting quarterback. After Kurt Warner retired following the 2009 season, the team decided to release former first-round pick Matt Leinart and take their chances with Derek Anderson, Max Hall and John Skelton. Head coach Ken Whisenhunt may not have thought enough of Leinart to keep him around but we can't imagine he would have performed worse than the three guys the Cards trotted out their in 2010.

Either way, as soon as the lockout ends, Arizona will move to find their next franchise QB. And according to the Arizona Republic's Kent Somers, the most likely target is a name we've heard often in recent months: Eagles backup Kevin Kolb.

"Look for the club to immediately attempt to trade for Eagles backup Kevin Kolb," Somers wrote Monday. "He is the first choice, but the Cardinals don’t want to give up a ransom for him. They also have interest in the BroncosKyle Orton, who is under contract. The path of least resistance would be to simply sign Marc Bulger, a free agent, and let John Skelton back him up."

Although he has little starting experience, Kolb will cost the most to acquire (more on that in a second). Meanwhile, NFL.com's Steve Wyche thinks that Orton, who has thrown for more than 7,000 yards the last two years in Denver, could be had for a third-rounder. As for Bulger, Mike Jurecki of XTRA 910 in Phoenix tweets that he "doesn't want to play in Arizona according to my source."

The Seahawks, another team in dire need of a quarterback, reportedly offered the Eagles a first- and third-round pick for Kolb earlier this offseason, which sounds unreasonably steep given that Kolb has started seven games in four seasons and has thrown three more picks (14) than touchdowns (11).

But it's all about upside. And NFL Films' Greg Cosell thinks that Kolb is "very, very good" with his first reads although he struggles when he is "forced to reset and look elsewhere."

This sounds like a lot of young NFL quarterbacks. While it's not a glowing endorsement, it could be much worse. Like, say, what Whisenhunt had to endure last season with Anderson, Hall and Skelton. The only question is how much will Arizona have to give up get Kolb. Which brings us back to XTRA 910's Mike Jurecki, who hears things: "Kevin Kolb is the guy, Cardinals are prepared to offer DRC straight up...according to source."

This isn't the first time a Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie for Kolb trade has made the rounds. In fact, CBSSport.com's Josh Katzowitz wrote about it last month. It seems like a long shot, but who knows, maybe it will allow the Cardinals to go after Ike Taylor. Then all that will be left to do is petition the league and officially change their name to Pittsburgh West.

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Posted on: July 1, 2011 7:38 pm
Edited on: July 2, 2011 5:12 pm
 

Kafka ready, Kolb to bring 'surprise' in return?

Posted by Will Brinson

There's a reasonable argument that no one's benefited more from the lockout than Eagles' quarterback Kevin Kolb.

Sure, he might be the starter for a team right now if the league weren't locked out, but his value's gone through the roof as teams have found themselves in need of capable signal callers and unable to make personnel moves.

In fact, Kolb's been getting so much love that Sports Illustrated's Jim Trotter tweeted today that the Cardinals, where Kolb landing is supposedly a "slam dunk" are offering up a name for the quarterback that "will surprise" people.

Right off the bat, Patrick Peterson pops in my head for this, if only because he was initially considered a strong possibility as a draft-and-trade, and it would be pretty shocking if the Cards ended up handing a No. 5 overall pick for Kolb.
Kevin Kolb: So Hot Right Now

Other names that would qualify as a "surprise" include: Larry Fitzgerald (not happening), Darnell Dockett (the tweets would make it worth it), Alan Faneca (since he's, you know, retired), Beanie Wells (the Eagles don't need a running back and wait, what, he still has value?), and Max Hall (because that would be a bamboozling).

Realistically, Peterson is the only name that can shock at this point, but even that seems like a stretch, right?

But, hey, you never know, and if the Eagles have that deal in place, they have to take it. Especially since Mike Kafka's already got John Beck-like confidence coursing through his veins.

"I definitely think they’re confident I can run their system and run the plays they call," Kafka said recently, per Tim McManus of Philadelphia Sports Daily. "I’m excited for the opportunity to go out and do that."

Alright, that's a stretch, but Marty Mornhinweg's got even better things to say, pointing out to McManus that Kafka might "be the best rookie that I’ve ever had in 15, 16, 17 years."

That's high praise, and a clear-cut indication why the Eagles will be willing to move Kolb for a player that can improve their team in another area.

Fortunately for them, the offseason's given plenty of teams reason to up the ante.

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Posted on: April 30, 2011 8:39 pm
 

What the NFL draft taught us

C. Newton will try to make it big in Carolina (Getty). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

NEW YORK – Well, the 2011 NFL draft has come and gone. The ESPN and NFL Network sets, the podium and the big-screen TVs can be placed back into storage – along with the 2011 NFL season for now.

That being said, the draft taught us quite a few things about where the organizations are going and, maybe, why they won’t get there. Here are a few observations about what we learned.

1. The Panthers still have no idea about their quarterback situation – and about their direction in general: It feels like Carolina HAD to take Cam Newton with the No. 1 pick, and if the Panthers hadn’t, Newton could have fallen all the way until the middle of the first round. So, Carolina has taken a quarterback in the second round (Jimmy Clausen) and a quarterback in the first round (Newton) in back-to-back years. Are they any better now than they were three days ago? Probably not. Are they actually in a worse spot than they were three days ago? Quite possibly.

2. The Raiders still are too in love with speed:
Their third-round pick (CB DeMarcus Van Dyke) is really fast, but other than that, he has many way too many deficiencies. Their fourth-round pick (CB Chimdi Chekwa) is really fast, but he isn’t a great cover guy. Their second fourth-round pick (RB Taiwan Jones) is really fast, but he’s very brittle. It’s a replay of almost every other season. Which likely means Oakland still isn’t going to be much better than average for the foreseeable future.

3. The Patriots might be the new Bengals: OK, that’s perhaps a bit of a stretch, but maybe could you make the case that Bill Belichick’s arrogance of drafting players with off-the-field issues this year compares to Mike Brown’s indifference of drafting players with off-the-field issues. Either way, the Patriots took QB Ryan Mallett (you know his story well by now) in the third round and TE Lee Smith (who left Tennessee for Marshall after he was arrested on a DUI charge). Now, the Patriots will have to make sure they keep those guys in line. The Bengals haven’t always done such a great job of that, but I think Belichick can manage just fine.

4. Apparently, everything is cool with quarterbacks in Arizona, Seattle and Buffalo: Maybe those front offices forgot they’ll enter 2011 with Derek Anderson/Max Hall/John Skelton and Matt Hasselbeck/Charlie Whitehurst, and Ryan Fitzpatrick, respectively. I kid, I kid. The Bills apparently like Fitzpatrick, and the Cardinals almost certainly will go to free agency to find a QB. Maybe, though, those three teams also subscribed to the theory that this year’s quarterback class wasn’t really all that tremendous and decided to try another route to fill the needs of their team.

5.Maybe teams should look more toward the north part of the South for pro prospects:
Nine (!) North Carolina players were drafted (that’s right; I double-checked), six Clemson players were taken (and Da’Quan Bowers was only the third picked!), and, hell, even three Appalachian State players were nabbed. Why, then, were the Tigers and the Tar Heels a combined 14-12?

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Posted on: April 18, 2011 12:13 pm
Edited on: April 19, 2011 6:00 pm
 

Offseason Checkup: Arizona Cardinals

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

L. Fitzgerald could walk into free agency at the end of next season (US Presswire).

Eye on Football's playing doctor for every NFL team with our Offseason Check-ups



Let’s see, when your choices to fill the starting quarterback spot boil down to Derek Anderson vs. Matt Leinart, you know your season is pretty much screwed before it even begins. And that’s pretty much what happened with the Cardinals last year (though, to be fair, quarterback was far from the only problem in Arizona).

I bet you don’t remember this, though. After beating the Saints in Week 5, Arizona actually was 3-2 before falling through the floor. The only player worth a darn on offense was WR Larry Fitzgerald, and it seems like most of the defense underachieved (most notably, LB Joey Porter). Suffice to say, it was not a good year for the Cardinals.




Best player is unhappy

Fitzgerald, the only bonafide superstar on this team, was visibly frustrated last year with the offense (and the quarterback play in particular), and even though he somehow caught 90 passes for 1,137 yards last season, the Cardinals front office has to convince him that Arizona has a blueprint for the future. Otherwise, Fitzgerald could walk away after his contract is up after the 2011 season.




1. QUARTERBACK
This is an easy spot to pick on, because if you look at the current roster of QBs, here’s who you find: Anderson (consistently terrible throughout his career, and he doesn’t like taking questions about laughing on the sideline during losses), Max Hall (probably doesn’t have the skill set to start in the NFL), John Skelton (perhaps a little potential) and Richard Bartel (no idea who this is). Missouri’s Blaine Gabbert has a pretty good shot at landing in Arizona, and if he doesn’t, the Cardinals could elect to go after Marc Bulger.

2. RUNNING BACK
The Cardinals tried two years ago, selecting RB Beanie Wells in the first round, but that hasn’t worked out so well. Wells had a tough time staying healthy last season, and Tim Hightower had a big problem with fumbles. In fact, Arizona was last in the league in rushing offense – which kinda doesn’t help the quarterback. I actually think LaRod Stephens-Howling is a pretty good player, but I’m not sure he’s a featured back kind of guy.

3. LINEBACKER
Although the defense ranked No. 29 last season, I like the three players across the line (NT Dan Williams and DEs Darnell Dockett and Calais Campbell), and the secondary could be very, very good. But the linebackers are brutal. Texas A&M’s Von Miller would be a blessing for the Cardinals, who pick fifth, but he might not be around by then. Besides, Gabbert might be the more exciting (though not the safer) pick.




It’s hard to believe the Cardinals are only three seasons removed from playing in the Super Bowl, and it’s hard to imagine them getting back there anytime soon. If only Arizona had a good quarterback, a dependable running back, a second WR, a decent offensive line, and some players in the LB corps, the Cardinals would have a good chance of getting back to .500.

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Posted on: March 1, 2011 6:23 pm
 

Palmer really, really wants out of Cincinnati

C. Palmer wants out of Cincinnati quite badly, it appears (Getty). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

It sounds like Bengals QB Carson Palmer is adamant about not returning to Cincinnati to play football. As in really, really adamant.

According to my buddy, Dennis Janson of WCPO, Palmer told a confidant that “I will never set foot in Paul Brown Stadium again. … I have $80 million in the bank. I don't have to play football for money. I'll play it for the love of the game but that would have to be elsewhere. I'm prepared to live my life."

So, that sounds like he’s serious, and he makes a good point. He has tons and tons of money – in 2005, he signed a six-year extension worth about $118 million – and after starting at QB for the Bengals for seven seasons, he’s probably determined that he just doesn’t need the aggravation anymore.

That’s not to say he wants to retire if he can play for another team. For a squad like the Cardinals – who brought us the trio of Derek Anderson, John Skelton and Max Hall last season – Palmer could be a useful player.

Normally, owner Mike Brown has a habit of saying, “Screw you,” (but in a nicer way) to players who demand things, like trades, to him. Chad Ochocinco knows what I’m talking about. But apparently, the Bengals think Palmer is serious.

And they’ll most likely want to get some kind of return on their investment, so they might very well listen to trade offers for Palmer.

By the way, I assume if Palmer is playing for another team that has to play a road game in Cincinnati, he will actually show up at Paul Brown Stadium on gameday. But, if he can get that written into a new contract, maybe not.

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Posted on: February 6, 2011 12:56 pm
 

Report: Fitz gave Cards a list of QBs he wants

Posted by Will Brinson

Larry Fitzgerald is heading into the final year of his contract and he's made it clear that he wants to stay in Arizona. If they give him a lot of money. And if they get him a quarterback who will help the team win.

He's reportedly gotten even more specific, too, naming Kevin Kolb and Marc Bulger as guys he wants in Phoenix, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Kolb is apparently Fitz' top choice, but the most glaring part of the report is the lack of Derek Anderson, Max Hall, John Skelton and Donovan McNabb on the list.

McNabb should be one of the top free agent quarterbacks on the market, despite his age and poor 2010 performance, but the Cardinals aren't a team that's been considered likely to show any interest in him, should the Redskins end up not picking up his option.

Kolb's a nice target, but the problem is the Eagles will probably want a first-round draft pick in exchange for their talented backup signal caller. (Which would mean if the Cards give Fitzgerald everything he wants, they're going to severely hamper themselves long-term.)

Bulger's a much more realistic target, obviously, because he's simply the backup in Baltimore.

Either way, though, the Cardinals would be heavily catering to a single player's demands and still leaving themselves open to a nightmare situation if either Bulger (he is old) or Kolb (he is still somewhat unproven) didn't work out in 2011.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com