New Year's Thoughts

Mitch

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1. I feel much like BA. I am really going to miss watching this Cardinals' team develop and grow. I feel much like Catfish does as well about this being the most enjoyable season. Much of it has to do with suddenly feeling such strong confidence in the coaching, the players' commitment, the genuine family culture, the no b.s. post game pressers, the no "I am bigger than the team" attitudes, and the fact that the team came to play every game, not just when they wanted to...which was a real bane and frustrating tease of past teams. I think this team deserves to be in the playoffs and that the league should reward any 10 or 11 win team with a playoff berth. It would simply mean eliminating one of the byes and it would give teams in loaded divisions like the NFC West added incentive to win.

2. I think this year we will see just how much Larry Fitzgerald wants a ring. He will need to restructure his contract in order to help the FO create the necessary cap room that will allow the team to retain key core players and to add a few key new free agents. Not just Larry, but Dock and perhaps some others.

3. I would like to see Steve Keim reward John Abraham with a new 2 year deal at double his current salary. Not only does Abraham deserve it, it would send a very strong message to incoming veteran free agents. In other words, "you come in and give us a Pro Bowl year, we are going to see to it that you are rewarded."

4. I may be the only one who feels this way...but, as much as I love Patrick Peterson as a cover CB, I do not feel he deserves a record setting new contract until he shows a genuine interest in tackling and, when needed, in getting back to being the most electric punt returner in the game. I just get the sense at times that Patrick is in his own little world out there and that he doesn't really want to do any of the dirty work. I call that playing in a tuxedo. Which in his case fits as well because it looks very clearly like he's trying to ease his way into that new fat contract, when others around him are packing the punches. Say what you will about Rashad Johnson, but here's a guy who lost half a finger and did you see the stick he made on Frank Gore last Sunday? The other thing is---having watched the Honey Badger do his part on the football field this year, I think HB is better football player than PP. Not a better athlete obviously...but he's always totally in the moment, he is dogged in coverage, he is super instinctive, smart and cagy, plus, in my opinion, he's the best take down tackler on the roster, at his size no less. As good as PP was in coverage this year, he underachieved in other key areas of his game.
PP has another year left on his contract. His cap number for 2014 is $5.87M. He wants Darrelle Revis money which is $16M a year. In a year where the Cardinals need to create cap space, why not wait another year? If the Cardinals have to, they can use the franchise tag on him in 2015.

5. Two lunch pail guys that I would love to see back are DE/OLB Matt Shaughnessy and RT Eric Winston. They helped transform the Cardinals into the most physical team it has been in ages. Shaughnessy had some bounce to him on the edge that was surprising. His physical strength on the edge was impressive. I think that with a year of training, Shaughnessy could come back a little lighter, quicker and strong as ever. As for Winston, I singled in on him many times even during the games and I have to say, he packs a punch---and what may be undervalued about him is his leadership and how it helped to solidify the unit. The Cardinals were able to go toe to toe with the Seahawks and 49ers because of guys like Shaughnessy and Winston.

6. Karlos Dansby deserves to be rewarded with a 2 year contract in the neighborhood of $5M per. Like Abraham---double his salary. I think we legitimately have a two year window to make a run for a ring. Signing Dansby and adding another year to Abraham would be key moves. Hopefully Dansby has already realized that there is no better place in the NFL for him than in Arizona. The defense he is in is perfect for his game. Perfect.

7. Johnny Football---wow. Last night I was thinking that Manziel has the arm of Joe Namath, the elusiveness of Fran Tarkenton and the intensity of Drew Brees. Like some others here who have already stated this---I cannot see how the Texans wouldn't snap him up at #1. Let's put it this way---they would never have to worry about selling their stadium out. The fan frenzy this would cause would be epic. Now---like others have said, Manziel needs to learn how to avoid the big hits, a la Russell Wilson---but, Manziel gets so fired up and plays with such an edge, you just know that there will be times that he will push the limits.

8. The Rams at #2 have already said they want to trade out. In my mind I am begging for this to happen. There is nothing electric about Sam Bradford's game and demeanor that suggest that they can win a ring with him. Bradford, imho, is a slightly more talented Marc Bulger. With the offensive speed they have accrued, were they to draft a QB like Teddy Bridgewater, watch out. Blake Bortles even.

9. I think it is quite possible that Carson Palmer will be the best and most productive QB in the NFC West next year. I say this because, as nice of a ride as Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick have had thus far, the game planning for them is going to get more concerted---both their stud RBs are aging---and they both have managed to avoid the big injuries as of yet. Young QBs can feel invincible for a while---but how long can that last? Plus, the pressure of winning starts to wear on young players. Palmer has taken his lumps...he knows how to manage the pain...and he has what neither Wilson nor Kaepernick has: years of experience. Moreover, it is very likely that there will be new OCs in Seattle, San Francisco and St. Louis---as Darrell Bevell and Greg Roman could leave for HC jobs (Bevell, imo would be a great fit in DC, and Roman in Minny) and Brian Schottenheimer has been under scrutiny. What excites me too, is that the reason why BA had Patrick Peterson on offense this year was because he was unable with all the other needs to draft early for a speed WR. He was hoping to make something out of Josh Cribbs, that is until Cribbs couldn't pass a physical. Ryan Swope was a 6th round hope, but, alas, was not an answer. Brittan Golden had a couple flashes, but it's unlikely that BA sees him as a long-term answer. Therefore, this year, BASK are going to try to add two speed WRs and BA is going to use Ellington at WR some of the time too. In addition, there will be an upgrade at TE. This offense is going to play much faster than it did this year and Palmer is going to feel like a kid in a candy store.

10. It will be interesting to see what Steve Keim does to address the secondary. One of the key addition this off-season will be in finding a legitimate DB with the size and speed to cover TEs. This is an issue around the league for so many teams now. Big CBs are in vogue and the good ones don't grow on trees.
 
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Mitch. In my way of thinking a DB is of top priority this coming offseason. Of course so is a left Tackle. I would rather address the Tackle position in FA and draft a higher DB in the draft. Why couldn't PP be the Tight End cover, or draft a safety with that ability high in the draft.
 
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Mitch

Mitch

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Mitch. In my way of thinking a DB is of top priority this coming offseason. Of course so is a left Tackle. I would rather address the Tackle position in FA and draft a higher DB in the draft. Why couldn't PP be the Tight End cover, or draft a safety with that ability high in the draft.

I think you are correct, Bob. A FA LT...and the top 4 picks in the draft (not necessarily in this order): OLB, DB, WR, TE.
 

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- Nit-picking Patrick Peterson is ridiculous. Pay the man. You don't screw up a good thing by tearing the guy down. At what point do we look at the positives he brings to the team and pay him what he is worth. Do people realize how much man coverage we played, and the talent you need to pull it off.

- I know there are more exciting players to re-sign, but my #1 priority for the Cardinals is re-signing Matt Shaughnessy.

- John Abraham is under contract, and is old. There is NO REASON to re-sign him or pay him more. There will be A LOT of extra money in 2015, if he wants to still play, then the money will be there in 2015, but for this upcoming offseason, things will be relatively tight, and Abraham seems fine with his contract, and wants to play here in Arizona. Don't go looking for moves that don't need to be made, IMO.

- Dansby. Great player. I want him back, and the Cardinals want him back. But, it has to be what is best for the team, and if you look over the league, free agency is going to have a lot of big name ILBers this year. It is not crazy to assume that Demeco Ryans, Paul Poslusny, David Harris, and DJ Williams will not be on the market come free agency. If Keim can sign Dansby to a contract that helps the Cardinals, then he goes from Super Scout to Super GM.

- Not a fan of Johnny Manziel (Matt Leinart part 2 when it comes to the mental part of this game).

- Not a fan of Sam Bradford either.

Good post.

Looking forward to throwing offseason game plans at one another this offseason.

I have had some time to do a season recap, offseason preview. Hopefully I get some time to throw it all together.
 

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Good thoughts Mitch. By the way, I am right there with you on PP. IMO if he expended half the effort that Honey Badger and Rashad Johnson did, he might have caused a defensive explosion here in the desert that would still be leaking fall-out. I'm not saying he played poorly, but he could have played much, much better had he even 'tried' to work at it every day. I believe he literally rode along this season and more or less got a free ride. Hopefully the Honey Badger will not be looking up to him for an example this next year. I understand that he gets bored, but sheesh-----he could work at it a little.
 

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I still don't get the Peterson bashing - they have him cover the #1 WR every week, almost always in man coverage; then a few trick plays on offense and then return punts (which is after typically shutting down that #1 WR) - if anything, the coaches are overextending him and Peterson believes (like any highly competitive athlete) that he can do what they are asking of him.

Hopefully this year was the desperation year of overextending Peterson and next year they use his additional strengths infrequently and to our advantage. But bashing him is nonsense, he is a ProBowl cornerback whose skills help shape a top rated defense - pay the man accordingly and go find a new punt returner for next year.
 

Russ Smith

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Good thoughts Mitch. By the way, I am right there with you on PP. IMO if he expended half the effort that Honey Badger and Rashad Johnson did, he might have caused a defensive explosion here in the desert that would still be leaking fall-out. I'm not saying he played poorly, but he could have played much, much better had he even 'tried' to work at it every day. I believe he literally rode along this season and more or less got a free ride. Hopefully the Honey Badger will not be looking up to him for an example this next year. I understand that he gets bored, but sheesh-----he could work at it a little.

That's just silly. If PP was coasting with all the 1 on 1 coverage he's in he'd be getting annihlated week after week. He's had some games where he gave stuff up but again he never has help, we put him on an island. the reason our blitzes work is we have PP taking one guy away all by himself.

Shouldn't be playing offense, shouldn't be returning punts, but to suggest he was carried by the defense is just not accurate IMO.
 

LoyaltyisaCurse

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"There are a lot of winners in that locker room," Arians said. "I'm very proud of the 2013 Cardinals. The shame is that a lot of them won't be back to be the 2014 Cardinals. That's just the NFL."
 

HoodieBets

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"There are a lot of winners in that locker room," Arians said. "I'm very proud of the 2013 Cardinals. The shame is that a lot of them won't be back to be the 2014 Cardinals. That's just the NFL."

That's a nice way of saying thanks for the memories mendenhall and los

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Mitch

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That's a nice way of saying thanks for the memories mendenhall and los

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I777 using Tapatalk 2

I actually think that BA was talking about players that are no longer in the team's plans because BASK have other ideas as to how to upgrade at those positions.

The Cardinals have already reached out to Dansby's agent.

As for Mendenhall---as much as BA likes the kid, the fumbles likely sealed his fate, as the missed FGs likely have for Feely.
 
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Mitch

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That's just silly. If PP was coasting with all the 1 on 1 coverage he's in he'd be getting annihlated week after week. He's had some games where he gave stuff up but again he never has help, we put him on an island. the reason our blitzes work is we have PP taking one guy away all by himself.

Shouldn't be playing offense, shouldn't be returning punts, but to suggest he was carried by the defense is just not accurate IMO.

What I think Catfish was trying to say was that Peterson didn't have to do much of the tackling on defense because others were taking care of it.

It seems to me, and you can argue with me about this, that Peterson was doing all he could to avoid contact. Two things he was doing much better his rookie year were forcing the run to his side and, of course, being the most electrifying, game-changing punt returner in the NFL.

Just not seeing those aspects of his game anymore and that concerns me.

The question I am asking and I think Catfish is too---the reports are that Peterson is looking for guaranteed money in excess of $50M. What he wants is Revis money---$16M per---that's where the bar is---so what I am asking is, is paying Peterson that kind of money, which would take up approximately 1/12th of the cap going to help the Cardinals win a championship? Or---is it going to prohibit the kind of cap flexibility that will enable the Cardinals to field a championship caliber team?
 
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conraddobler

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What I think Catfish was trying to say was that Peterson didn't have to do much of the tackling on defense because others were taking care of it.

It seems to me, and you can argue with me about this, that Peterson was doing all he could to avoid contact. Two things he was doing much better his rookie year were forcing the run to his side and, of course, being the most electrifying, game-changing punt returner in the NFL.

Just not seeing those aspects of his game anymore and that concerns me.

The question I am asking and I think Catfish is too---the reports are that Peterson is looking for guaranteed money in excess of $50M. What he wants is Revis money---$16M per---that's where the bar is---so what I am asking is, is paying Peterson that kind of money, which would take up approximately 1/12th of the cap going to help the Cardinals win a championship? Or---is it going to prohibit the kind of cap flexibility that will enable the Cardinals to field a championship caliber team?

I think I know what you mean but in this case yes pay him.

He's what makes our defense work, try finding another one, it's impossible without drafting one or overpaying in FA.

No one lets a guy like this go unless he's a head case. I'd argue he's just being smart.

Deon Sanders was never going to win any heroic football awards he rarely tackled anyone, because he wasn't stupid, sticking your head in there may be macho and all but he's not paid to do that, he's paid to do something about 1000 times harder and that's handle elite WR's one on one and if that's ALL he does he's worth whatever the market says he worth to do that.

The fact he's not selling out to be a team player like you want him to only means he realizes that ultimately this is more a business than a sport. If it was all for free and glory was the only reward then you'd have a better point.

I don't want him hurt, and I don't care if he takes care to avoid physical contact with bigger players, he should to a degree do just that.

I'd argue that guys like PP are more important than guys like Larry and Larry gets paid a metric ton. I have zero problem with paying him elite CB money because he is one.

Now if he starts failing at his core job then I'd reconsider, the coaching staff should stop using him for anything but his core job, he's that valuable.
 
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Mitch

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I think I know what you mean but in this case yes pay him.

He's what makes our defense work, try finding another one, it's impossible without drafting one or overpaying in FA.

No one lets a guy like this go unless he's a head case. I'd argue he's just being smart.

Deon Sanders was never going to win any heroic football awards he rarely tackled anyone, because he wasn't stupid, sticking your head in there may be macho and all but he's not paid to do that, he's paid to do something about 1000 times harder and that's handle elite WR's one on one and if that's ALL he does he's worth whatever the market says he worth to do that.

The fact he's not selling out to be a team player like you want him to only means he realizes that ultimately this is more a business than a sport. If it was all for free and glory was the only reward then you'd have a better point.

I don't want him hurt, and I don't care if he takes care to avoid physical contact with bigger players, he should to a degree do just that.

I'd argue that guys like PP are more important than guys like Larry and Larry gets paid a metric ton. I have zero problem with paying him elite CB money because he is one.

Now if he starts failing at his core job then I'd reconsider, the coaching staff should stop using him for anything but his core job, he's that valuable.

At least Deion relished his punt return role on top of his super sticky coverage. That's where your Deion comparison falls way short.

There's no reason to expect that Peterson at his size and speed shouldn't be a good run forcer on his side, just as he was in college and just as he was as a rookie.

This is part of his job.

Plus, to be fair, at no point have I argued to let him go.

I see nothing wrong to ask him to step up these aspects of his game before the FO throws him $50M in guaranteed money.

The Cardinals drafted him at #5 in his draft to be an elite corner in all aspects of the position and an elite punt returner.
 
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PJ1

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Agree on Shaugnessy and Winston. I really hope both are retained.

Our OL played far better down the stretch than many are giving them credit for. Also have to ask if Massie is better than Winston why didn't he play ahead of him?

Peterson should not get Revis type money. Heck Revis wasn't worth it. That said do you really believe the Cardinals could afford to lose him?

I would like to see us upgrade from Bell and Rashad Johnson to improve our secondary. I like Jefferson alot going into next year.
 

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For those of you who believe that I am totally bashing on PP, relax. He did a marvelous job of coverage this year. I give him that.

He was also charged with handling punt returns. I know that most punters kicked away from him on purpose. But show me more than a handful of times where he actually ran up to catch a punt that was short. He was content to let nearly all of them hit the ground, and we lost good field position on nearly all of them. It was like he didn't even want to fair catch the ball anymore.

For those of you who want to compare him to Deion Sanders, (don't). No, Deion wouldn't tackle either, but he would steal your eye teeth along with the ball on coverage and return it for six anytime he could. Patrick seems to cover well, but does not seem to contest the receiver for possession of the ball anymore. So far as tackling is concerned, both he and Deion remove themselves from the realm of being 'football players' in my opinion for that failure. I still don't believe that Deion belongs in the Hall because of that. But that is just my opinion and I will stubbornly stick with it.
 

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5. Two lunch pail guys that I would love to see back are DE/OLB Matt Shaughnessy and RT Eric Winston. They helped transform the Cardinals into the most physical team it has been in ages. Shaughnessy had some bounce to him on the edge that was surprising. His physical strength on the edge was impressive. I think that with a year of training, Shaughnessy could come back a little lighter, quicker and strong as ever. As for Winston, I singled in on him many times even during the games and I have to say, he packs a punch---and what may be undervalued about him is his leadership and how it helped to solidify the unit. The Cardinals were able to go toe to toe with the Seahawks and 49ers because of guys like Shaughnessy and Winston.

Outside of Karlos Dansby, I feel Shaughnessy & Winston should be the Cardinals top two targets to re-sign. Neither are all-pros, but they are the kind of medium wage pieces that are nice to have a team. The best thing about Eric Winston is his durability. He answers the bell every week.
 

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Patrick Peterson drives me crazy at times because he gets beat, he actually let's a WR or even TE to catch the ball. Then I have to realize that there isn't a single CB who never gets beat. I agree with everyone who said he allows this D to blitz more and be one of the best in the NFL.

His heart is not into punt returns anymore. He has never had that quick change of direction and his success in his rookie year was due to his speed and ability to keep his balance when hit. I agree, go find a new punt returner and let PP focus on CB and even the occasional O snap.

I really can't even fathom being concerned about how he plays the run since we did have the number 1 run defense in the NFL. No he doesn't come up looking to knock the RB out but he does try to make the tackle, good enough for me.

I want Los and Shaughnessy back for sure. Winston, only if the price is right which means less than he made this year. He did play better towards the end of the year but I think Massie can step in now. If not Massie then So well as we absolutely have to get a LT.

Fantastic year and I'm more excited & confident about our chances than I've ever been.
 

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I agree with Mitch and Catfish, PP may be very good however he hasn't reached elite status in my book yet. To me being elite means you excel at all phases of the game, which means not only good coverage but also tackling and doing the things including the small things which can turn a game. PP could take a page from Fitzgerald and learn that an elite players works on all areas of his game. I would not extend PP just yet. You always have the Franchise designation if needed to use.

As far as punt returning either PP should give it up because he did the team no favors this year at that role. Again if this is part of his responsibility then do it to the best of your ability or don't do it at all. This year PP stunk at it.
 

82CardsGrad

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PP might have had a solid season, but his punt returning desire seems to have faded... And, the play where he was caught watching the jumbotron DURING a play really caused concern.
Nonetheless, he is a great corner and a tremendously positive influence in the locker room and off the field. I honestly don't believe he is worth $16 million per - but, unless we're talking about Brady, Rogers, Manning in their prime, I don't think anyone is worth that type of $$...
I do agree that Honey Badger is a better "football player" than PP...



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NeverSayDieFan

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EXCELLENT POINTS, Mitch...As always. RE: PP21

I believe the guy can flat-out play. I understand that $$ "talks" but I think the "tipping point" in the negotiations will be...his relationship with the Honey Badger.

While I do believe that the kid is on the straight and narrow and getting help from those around him, and more importantly, has GOD-power working in him now...I just can't see his "big brother" (ie; PP) bailing on him. Would you?

$$ be ^^&*(*(!! I WOULDN"T!

NOT If I've really meant all the things I've said about him in the past. ...And I don't believe "phone calls" to a loved one carry the same weight as actually being there with them and for them.

Just my opinion.

HAPPY NEW YEAR, my friend!

Draft Day is going to be a BLAST! :D

Mark in SC :)
 

Arizona's Finest

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That's just silly. If PP was coasting with all the 1 on 1 coverage he's in he'd be getting annihlated week after week. He's had some games where he gave stuff up but again he never has help, we put him on an island. the reason our blitzes work is we have PP taking one guy away all by himself.

Shouldn't be playing offense, shouldn't be returning punts, but to suggest he was carried by the defense is just not accurate IMO.

Not to mention he is a franchises dream off the field aka Fitz, role model, team leader, hardest worker, etc

I agree quit overextending him on offense and ST and let him take over league as CB. And despite all that he still dominates other teams #1. Some fans watch end of Titans game and those incredible TDs by CJ and AJ and think Peterson sucks. LMAO pay attention and pay the man.

AZ is incredibly lucky to have 2 once in a generation role model/all business/ leaders on their teams like Fitz and PP. You pay those guys and pay them well.
 

earthsci

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Go ahead and dicker with PP's contract and he will just wait until free agency. Once that happens, either we will pay more than we needed to in the first place or we'll lose him. Negotiate but get him signed.
 

Totally_Red

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Not to mention he is a franchises dream off the field aka Fitz, role model, team leader, hardest worker, etc

I agree quit overextending him on offense and ST and let him take over league as CB. And despite all that he still dominates other teams #1. Some fans watch end of Titans game and those incredible TDs by CJ and AJ and think Peterson sucks. LMAO pay attention and pay the man.

AZ is incredibly lucky to have 2 once in a generation role model/all business/ leaders on their teams like Fitz and PP. You pay those guys and pay them well.


:thumbup:
 

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Agree on Shaugnessy and Winston. I really hope both are retained.

Our OL played far better down the stretch than many are giving them credit for. Also have to ask if Massie is better than Winston why didn't he play ahead of him?

Peterson should not get Revis type money. Heck Revis wasn't worth it. That said do you really believe the Cardinals could afford to lose him?

I would like to see us upgrade from Bell and Rashad Johnson to improve our secondary. I like Jefferson alot going into next year.

Doubt that Revis will be making 'Revis type $$$' going forward. His contract was in fact a series of 1-year deals and one can expect that ends this offseason.
 
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