Tag:John Skelton
Posted on: June 24, 2011 1:46 pm
Edited on: June 24, 2011 3:00 pm
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Would the Cards trade DRC for Kolb?

D. Rodgers-Cromartie is rumored to be traded to Philadelphia (Getty).Posted by Josh Katzowitz

The Cardinals, without question, need a quarterback for 2011. The Eagles, without question, would like a cornerback to play opposite Asante Samuel.

So, what would make more sense than a trade for Eagles QB Kevin Kolb and Cardinals CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie?

And with all the rumors, started by a Philadelphia radio station, that have occurred the past couple days linking these two teams together for an impending trade, it almost seems like the swap is just about complete.

Except it’s not, according to Arizona’s official website.

Writes Darren Urban: “To begin with, the Cards, who have been looking to solidify their third cornerback spot, finally seem to have that lined up with (Patrick) Peterson, DRC and Greg Toler. That becomes an issue all over again if DRC is dealt. Peterson hasn’t even proven he can play cornerback yet – remember, there are some who think he’ll be better suited as a safety, a la Antrel Rolle – and giving up the team’s best current corner is a pretty big risk in today’s pass-happy NFL. Also, for whatever DRC’s faults might be, his resume is still more complete than Kolb."

And so continues the idea of Kolb as the biggest potential acquisition of the offseason. But, like Urban, I don’t see why the Cardinals would make this move, especially since nobody really knows if Kolb is any good. That’s the point that’s baffling to me. Kolb has started seven games in his career and has thrown more interceptions than touchdowns. Is that enough to know for sure? Would you want to give up one of your starting cornerbacks to take a chance that Kolb is that much better than Derek Anderson or John Skelton or, if the Cardinals go the free agent route, Marc Bulger?

I don’t see why Arizona would take that chance. It doesn’t sound like the Cardinals will.

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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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Posted on: February 2, 2011 1:33 pm
 

Larry Fitzgerald: 'I want to be on a winner'

Posted by Will Brinson

Despite a pretty gaudy stat line, Larry Fitzgerald didn't have the greatest of years in 2010. That's mainly the fault of Derek Anderson, Max Hall and John Skelton, but certainly the Cardinals organization deserves some blame for entering the year with that spectacular group of quarterbacks.

But even if you don't want to point fingers towards the past, there will be some questions about the future if Arizona doesn't improve the surroundings for Fitz, who emphasized this week that he very much doesn't want to suffer through another season like last year.

"I want to be on a winner,"Fitzgerald told ESPN's Mike Sando. "I want to put myself in the best position to hoist the Lombardi Trophy. I would love to do that in Arizona. That is my goal, to retire a Cardinal. They have treated me well. I love the state, but I want to win and that is really where my mind is."

But here's the rub: Fitzgerald is going to be a free agent after 2011, and if he's serious about wanting to win in Arizona, he might need to make some concessions in the negotiations.

That seems fairly unlikely to happen, especially considering the way Fitz saw Kurt Warner treated after he attempted to give Arizona a good-faith discount, which means Fitzgerald and his management will be seeking maximum money.

In doing so, even if he only ends up getting fair market value for his considerable skill set, he's inherently hampering the Cardinals' long-term ability to build a winner around him.

They can obviously still compete and pay him at the same time, of course, because it's been done prior to 2010. But wanting to a) get paid, b) play for a winner and c) stay in the same spot is a lot of cake to have and hold all at the same time.

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Posted on: January 21, 2011 2:47 pm
 

Odds on who will be Cards next QB

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

The Arizona Republic has come up with an interesting way to determine who will be the Cardinals starting quarterback next season.

After the disaster of last season – Derek Anderson, Max Hall and John Skelton all spent some time at starting QB – the Cardinals undoubtedly will be looking for a way to upgrade that position this offseason.

The newspaper has come up with (for-entertainment-purposes-only) odds to try to figure out who will take over next season, and there are some intriguing names on that list.

Including Ravens backup QB Marc Bulger (2-to-1), Denver's Kyle Orton (8-1), Philadelphia's Kevin Kolb (15-1), Washington's Donovan McNabb (150-1) and former Titans QB Vince Young (1,000-1). Interestingly, the paper believes one of three rookies who have declared for the draft – Cam Newton, Ryan Mallett and Blaine Gabbert – has a better chance of starting at 70-1 than Hall does at 100-1.

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Posted on: December 26, 2010 9:50 am
 

Kudos to Larry Fitzgerald

L. Fitzgerald made only one catch in Arizona's win vs. Dallas (US Presswire). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

You know what amazed me most Saturday night about Larry Fitzgerald? The fact that, after the Cardinals had pulled off their 27-26, last-minute victory against the Cowboys, Fitzgerald ran off the field to the locker room, and he had a huge smile on his face.

He was gesturing to somebody in the stands – or across the field, I suppose – and he looked joyous in his team’s win. Not that big a deal, right? Well, then, you don’t know many elite receivers.

With the exception of a 26-yard reception across the middle of the field on a fourth-and-15 on what would be the game-winning drive (as seen in the photo on the right), Fitzgerald played no role in Arizona’s offense. Hell, rookie QB John Skelton barely even looked his way.

Which is insane. Fitzgerald is one of the best receivers in the game, but it seems like, at times, he’s been an afterthought this season with the Cardinals. He’s caught 79 passes this season for 1,012 yards and five touchdowns – numbers that are not Fitzgerald-like – while taking passes from three different QBs, including two rookie QBs (Skelton and Max Hall). Fitzgerald probably wistfully longs for Kurt Warner, but those days are gone. And his team is 5-10 and will not sniff the postseason.

But there was that smile as he ran off the field. You think there are many top-flight receivers in the game who would be so joyful after basically being ignored all game? Not many who would take it as well as Fitzgerald.

“You could just tell," Cardinals quarterback John Skelton told reporters, including the Arizona Republic. "He was getting pretty frustrated. You see the guy, been around him, you know. But he didn't get down on himself or the team."

Before Saturday, Fitzgerald had caught at least two passes in 97-straight games. That streak is over (though now he’s caught at least one pass in 98-straight games (though that's not quite as impressive, is it?)).

“If you would have caught me about four years ago, I might have been pouting on the sidelines," Fitzgerald said. "There just (weren't) many opportunities today. It goes like that sometimes. But you have to stay encouraged, you have to fight. That's part of being a professional."

His teammates – and Cardinals fans – should appreciate that. That trait isn't always present in wide receivers of his quality.

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