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Old December 1st, 2008, 02:51 AM   #1
RugbyMuffin
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Why is the running game, and defense so important ?


I'll tell you why.

It is important because football is a great game, and what makes it great is its history, and tradition.

What does this have to do with running the football and defense ?

I had all Sunday to watch non-Cardinals games. The first thing I noticed that while watching some of the games between some playoff hopefuls that there was a lot of bad weather. The second thing I noticed, was during the Steelers game when Dan Deirdorf said that "This part of the seasons is where the Steelers make there run"

Only in football do you need to play games not only in 100 degree heat, but sub-zero temperatures. You play in the rain, the snow, the wind and everything in between.

So the announcers are right, this is the Steelers time of year, and it is no coincidence that the Steelers do better at the end of the year.

The Steeler always try to have a great defense, and a power running game. That way if they can go at least 5-5 in there first ten games they are in place to dominate the last six through a combination of bad weather, running the football, and play great defense.

Watching the Patriots get whooped on their own field Sunday night was an eye opener. The Pats, who are a great passing team, with a decent defense (sound familiar ?) got smoked. They were forced to pass, and because of the elements and the Steelers defense had turnovers and lost bad (sound familiar).

Even the Colts with their sub-par defense when they won the Superbowl had a running game with Addai and Rhodes. The same goes from the Rams with Marshall Faulk.

In some shape or form you need a running game, and a stout defense to make noise at the end of the year, there is no way around it. Whiz knows this very well, and that is why he harps on getting a running game. This is why he drafted for defense in last year's draft.

Whiz knows the Cardinals lack both. While improving, and while having a lot of talent, I go back to what Whiz told the team, media, and the fans at the beginning of the season. In 2007 this team was 8-8, and that is considered an average team. There is still a lot of work needed.

With all that being said, I am supporting this 2008 squad. I don't know how far they can go without having the two elements listed above, but I will be watching and supporting my team.

Go Cardinals
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Old December 1st, 2008, 03:05 AM   #2
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The Cardinals have been bad. Our recent past has had some really poor teams, with dreadful talent.

I bring this up because next offseason will be a situation where our past upgrades need to be upgraded.

Above I said that in the NFL, you need to have a running game, and a good defense.

So where is the problem when it comes to the Cardinals.

Problem #1: Running Game:

A. Find the weak link in the offensive line. At this point I don't care who it is. I can no longer stand to watch non-Cardinal football and see other NFL teams run the ball so easily. Green Bay has only one of its original five starters on the offensive line, and they still run the ball fine Why can't the Cardinals starting five that have played all year together not get the job done.

Is it Lutui ? Sendilien ? Wells ? Brown? Who ever it is, they need to be replaced.

B. Time to go running back hunter. It pains me that Mewede Moore was available this offseason and was not snatched up. He is a better RB then any one on this current roster. I remember many on this board wanted him to be picked up. Hightower, in my opinion, is in-effective when other teams game plan for him.

Problem #2: Defense:

A. This is easy. Our OLB have to be upgraded. Okeafor has to be sent packing this offseason. LaBoy is a dissappointment after a promising beginning to the season. Our two backups, Haggans and Berry are doing there job as backups, and situational players fine. But backups are backups for a reason, and our starting OLB have to be upgraded.

Watching James Harrison, and Lamar Woodley dominate as a pass rush is a thing of beauty. We have nothing close to that here in Arizona.

B. Depth in the secondary. Wilson, DRC, Hood. Those three can start for my team, any time, any place. The problem is after those players. Rolle is coming along, but it is a question of whether he will continue to get better, because he needs to get better. Guys like Eric Green, and Aaron Fransisco have seemed to regress, and neither are needed beyond this season. I have no problems with Ralph Brown as a 4th CB, or Matt Ware as a 4th S since they would hardly see the field when the rest are healthy.
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Old December 1st, 2008, 03:56 AM   #3
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Great post Rugbymuffin. I totally agree about the running game. but i would say one thing about the defense for this season (I agree for next year) we need Hood back and with him I think our D has the ability** to step up and play with the best

** On its day our D can be good it just needs to play for 60 mins

great post though gave me something to think about while at work
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Old December 1st, 2008, 08:09 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RugbyMuffin View Post
I'll tell you why.

It is important because football is a great game, and what makes it great is its history, and tradition.

What does this have to do with running the football and defense ?

I had all Sunday to watch non-Cardinals games. The first thing I noticed that while watching some of the games between some playoff hopefuls that there was a lot of bad weather. The second thing I noticed, was during the Steelers game when Dan Deirdorf said that "This part of the seasons is where the Steelers make there run"

Only in football do you need to play games not only in 100 degree heat, but sub-zero temperatures. You play in the rain, the snow, the wind and everything in between.

So the announcers are right, this is the Steelers time of year, and it is no coincidence that the Steelers do better at the end of the year.

The Steeler always try to have a great defense, and a power running game. That way if they can go at least 5-5 in there first ten games they are in place to dominate the last six through a combination of bad weather, running the football, and play great defense.

Watching the Patriots get whooped on their own field Sunday night was an eye opener. The Pats, who are a great passing team, with a decent defense (sound familiar ?) got smoked. They were forced to pass, and because of the elements and the Steelers defense had turnovers and lost bad (sound familiar).

Even the Colts with their sub-par defense when they won the Superbowl had a running game with Addai and Rhodes. The same goes from the Rams with Marshall Faulk.

In some shape or form you need a running game, and a stout defense to make noise at the end of the year, there is no way around it. Whiz knows this very well, and that is why he harps on getting a running game. This is why he drafted for defense in last year's draft.

Whiz knows the Cardinals lack both. While improving, and while having a lot of talent, I go back to what Whiz told the team, media, and the fans at the beginning of the season. In 2007 this team was 8-8, and that is considered an average team. There is still a lot of work needed.

With all that being said, I am supporting this 2008 squad. I don't know how far they can go without having the two elements listed above, but I will be watching and supporting my team.

Go Cardinals

The one thing I noticed in that Pittsburg/NE game was just how lousy the NE QB was. He was missing people who were wide open and seemed to short arm every pass. No touch what so ever. Throwing hard balls without touch. Without Brady they are only a shade of the old NE team.
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Old December 1st, 2008, 08:29 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john h View Post
The one thing I noticed in that Pittsburg/NE game was just how lousy the NE QB was. He was missing people who were wide open and seemed to short arm every pass. No touch what so ever. Throwing hard balls without touch. Without Brady they are only a shade of the old NE team.
Not to mention Cassell was not keeping two hands on the football.

Ball security!!!!!
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Old December 1st, 2008, 09:19 AM   #6
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And Rugby Muffin gets' a mention on ESPN!

http://myespn.go.com/blogs/nfcwest

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Sando
RugbyMuffin of Arizona Sports Fans Network noticed something while watching NFL action Sunday. Bad weather and tough defense prevailed over teams fitting the Cardinals' profile. The Steelers' victory at New England was particularly instructive.
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Old December 1st, 2008, 09:28 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by KiDStallyn View Post
And Rugby Muffin gets' a mention on ESPN!

http://myespn.go.com/blogs/nfcwest
Two racoons!

Sando is doing a great job! Enjoy it while you can, because in my opinion, the will be a promotion in Sando's near future...
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Old December 1st, 2008, 10:08 AM   #8
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You know what this reminds me of?

It reminds me of when a backetball team, known for its passing and great defense, trades for a pure shooter and their entire game and team chemistry changes. Suddenly everyone on the team is taking a step back and relying on the shooter to deliver the goods. (Danger, of course, is that opposing teams will double or triple team the shooter, take him out of the action, and the team has nothing else to fall back on).

The Cardinals spent the better part of last year developing some semblance of a power running game, with Edge getting his customary 75 - 85 yards a game. Enter Warner, Fitz, Q and Breaston.

Suddenly the Cards found they could put up 28 - 35 points by ignoring the running game and replacing Edge with more of a receiving threat in Hightower. It worked wonderfully - for awhile.

So now we face the question - What if opposing teams ignore our running game altogether and focus on stopping Warner?

Football is all about adjusting to situations, adjusting to the adjustments and adjusting to the adjustments of the adjustments.

Guess whose court the ball is in right now?
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Old December 1st, 2008, 10:12 AM   #9
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Awesome!

The Wooden Nickel gets some virtual print:
http://myespn.go.com/blogs/nfcwest/0...p-forward.html

ESPN here I come. LOL
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Old December 1st, 2008, 10:19 AM   #10
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RugbyMuffin of Arizona Sports Fans Network noticed something while watching NFL action Sunday. Bad weather and tough defense prevailed over teams fitting the Cardinals' profile. The Steelers' victory at New England was particularly instructive.
But the Car*s only play one or two bad weather games a year. 9 games a year they play indoors.

But without a tough defense you'll have trouble winning anywhere regardless of the weather.
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Old December 1st, 2008, 10:28 AM   #11
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But the Car*s only play one or two bad weather games a year. 9 games a year they play indoors.

But without a tough defense you'll have trouble winning anywhere regardless of the weather.
Agreed.

But at some point in time the team has to get through a bad weather game.

The Colts are a perfect example, for years they could not beat the Patriots at home.

Bad weather + NE defense = Colts loss.

It only takes one loss to kick you out of the playoffs.

What makes the Turkey Day massacre so bad......is that the weather wasn't that bad.
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Old December 1st, 2008, 10:32 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by RugbyMuffin View Post
Agreed.

But at some point in time the team has to get through a bad weather game.

The Colts are a perfect example, for years they could not beat the Patriots at home. Bad weather + NE defense = loss.

It only takes one loss to kick you out of the playoffs.
Yes, in the playoffs. That's been true for years. Green Bay,Minnesota, Buffalo and New England have all benefited from home playoff games in miserable weather.

But there usually aren't enough regular season games like that to have a large impact on a west division dome team like the Car*s.
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Old December 1st, 2008, 11:39 AM   #13
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WHY balance is needed...


1st, it's GREAT that we have a dynamic offense. One of the BEST features being that we're NEVER out of any game. We can strike & strike quickly. BUT here's a couple reasons why we need balance. IF all you can do is pass, the other team will just pin their ears back and rush. ...OR blitz. If you counter that with "screens" and swing-passes, chances are their "D" players are already up-field clogging "lanes" because they were expecting pass. Point #2/ If you can run you physically beat up & wear down your opponent. ...And the MORE you can do it the MORE you break their spirit. Nothing is more dis-heartening than to know what's coming and STILL not be able to stop it. I'm very curious to see what the Cardinal coaching staff accomplishes with the time off. GO CARDS!
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