Hey, folks, I've been away from the board for a while, but now I'm back (as if anyone cares)!
Here are some random thoughts:
1. The last time the Cardinals had a dominating offensive line, they won consecutive division titles ('74-75). Yes, they were in St. Louis, and yes, I am old. Still, that ought to tell you something; namely, success begins with the big guys up front. When will Levi Brown start playing better? When will Russ Grimm start kicking some tail among his OL players and get them to play well, with good technique and aggression?
2. When will Ken Whisenhunt (or "Wheezenhunt," as Brian Billick insisted on calling him last week) start game-planning to his team's strength -- the forward pass? How many times will he open a game by sending Edge up the middle for minimal gain? I'd like to see the Cards use their weapons for an early strike, making the other team play catch-up. Emphasize protecting Warner so he can get the ball to Q, Fitz and Pope/Patrick. Get the lead, then use the run to eat up the clock.
3. The Cards need a consistent pass-rusher. Now that Bertrand ("Don't call me 'Bert'") Berry is hurt again, other guys (Laboy, Okeafor, Haggans) need to step up.
4. Need playmakers in the secondary. Those guys gotta make some picks against the QB and the the man they're covering, and stop just defending grass.
5. Why are professional athletes who are in phenomenally good condition plagued with hamstring strains/tears? I'm not an exercise physiologist or a trainer, but it seems to me that a reasonable program of strengthening and stretching would prevent that. No disrespect to the strength coach, but c'mon. Example: Adrian Wilson -- I love the versatility he brings to the D -- but dude, you have to find a way to get on the field. This team needs you. Especially when you want a contract extension. If I'm Rod Graves, I have doubts about extending a player who can't stay healthy enough to play.
6. Special teams have not impressed me. Why not activate JJ Arrington to return kicks? The blocking and tackling has been bad, causing the Cards to lose the battle of field position.
7. Q is my favorite current Cardinal -- he plays with a fierce passion that I wish was contagious among his teammates. The front office needs to get creative and extend his contract. That's the kind of fiery competitor you build your team around when you're serious about contending.
8. I don't understand why the Cards franchised Karlos Dansby. He's a good player when healthy, but is he one of the top 5 linebackers in the NFL? I don't think he's proven that. How many Pro Bowls has he been selected for? Zero. I know it takes a lot of LBs to run the 3-4, but ...
9. Coach Whis needs to be more flexible, and adapt his offensive scheme to the abilities of the players. As much as he may want to be a power-running team, that's not what these guys do best. I think you have to play to your strengths and pass the ball early and often (see point 2 above).
10. Will the Cardinals ever win a Super Bowl in my lifetime? Too bad Miss Cleo is in jail, or I could ask her.
Seriously, other historically bad franchises have turned themselves around (Packers, Steelers, 9ers, Rams) and reached the top. Some teams stay good longer than others, but these examples show that it is possible, especially in a league that all but mandates parity. People say that defense wins championships; I believe that organizations win championships. I hope that the revenue from the new stadium helps Michael Bidwill do the right thing, as I believe he wants to do.
That's it for now. Cheers to my fellow Cardinals fans, and best wishes for our team's success.