7-15-14: Rob Housler was primed to breakout in 2013, but was bogged down by injuries and inconsistency. Despite rookie tight end Troy Niklas being on the shelf with an injury of his own, Housler is reportedly entering Arizona’s training camp as the fourth tight end on the depth chart. That could lead to Housler being cut or traded soon after camp opens for veterans on July 25th. On the bright side, Arizona seems to be enamored with expected starting running back Andre Ellington, who they project to see 22-25 touches per game. Ellington should lose some carries to goal-line back Jonathan Dwyer, but for the most part is being viewed as the Cards’ top offensive weapon heading into 2014. On the defensive side of the ball, Arizona feels good about the progress of safety Tyrann Mathieu (knee) who is targeting a week one return.
6-5-14: The Arizona Cardinals were dealt a major blow earlier this week, as stud inside linebacker Daryl Washington was handed “at least” a one-year ban thanks to his second violation of the NFL’s substance abuse policy for the second year in a row. A combination of Kevin Minter and Larry Foote will attempt to fill in for Washington, who was easily one of the game’s best inside presences leading into his suspension. Elsewhere, Arizona brought on veteran linebacker Ernie Sims to increase depth at the position. The team also pumped up the hype for second-year running back Andre Ellington, as well, suggesting his role could balloon to an insane 25-30 touches per game.
5-19-14: The Arizona Cardinals entered the 2014 NFL Draft needing help at safety and had also been rumored to be interested in landing a quarterback prospect for Bruce Arians to develop. Here is how their draft unfolded:
Round 1. Pick 27 Deone Bucannon, S, Washington St.
Round 2. Pick 20 Troy Niklas, TE , Notre Dame
Round 3. Pick 20 Kareem Martin, DE , North Carolina
Round 3. Pick 27 John Brown, WR, Pittsburg St.
Round 4. Pick 20 Logan Thomas, QB, Virginia Tech
Round 5. Pick 20 Ed Stinson, DL, Alabama
Round 6. Pick 20 Walt Powell, WR, Murray State
AZ reached a bit for safety Bucannon in round one, but he fills a big need and is a balanced safety with some interesting upside. Niklas offers some much needed competition for the somewhat disappointing Rob Housler at tight end, while John Brown’s explosiveness could also help open things up in Arizona’s passing game. Logan Thomas was a minor reach in round four, but has amazing size, a big arm and very good athleticism. Thomas gives Arians a pet project at quarterback and could potentially be an ideal fit for his vertical offense down the road. Kareem Martin and Ed Stinson are solid depth add ons for Arizona’s aging defensive line.
5-9-14: The Arizona Cardinals were responsible for the second major reach in round one, as they drafted safety Deone Bucannon. While Bucannon fills a need and has the size and range to be an excellent pairing with Tyrann Matheiu at the back of Arizona’s pass defense, he probably is a second round talent that they could have waited on. Despite the mild reach, the Cardinals did address a key need and will look to keep adding impact defensive players moving forward in the draft.
4-28-14: The Arizona Cardinals were a solid 10-6 in 2013 and no one even knew it. To make a greater imprint in the NFL in 2014, they’ll need to work on establishing the run, while their defense will have to get even nastier. They seem to be set in most spots, but they are aging on the defensive line, quite possibly making defensive end their biggest need. Ra’Shede Hageman is a popular pick for them in round one, as he has the size and athleticism to play all over the line. They’ll also be on the lookout for a stud pass rusher, as they continue to age in this area, as well. They could grab someone like Kony Ealy early, or they could take advantage of a deep 3-4 OLB class and grab one in round two. Tight end is probably the lone offensive position they could make a splash at, as Rob Housler has been a disappointment so far. Carson Palmer is also not getting any younger, so it wouldn’t be crazy to see the Cards grab a big-armed passer to learn behind him.
4-18-14: Carson Palmer and the Arizona Cardinals narrowly missed out on a trip to the playoffs last year despite finishing 10-6, so they know they’ll have to be even better in 2014. They’ll start their plight for a post-season run in week one of the preseason, as they welcome the Houston Texans into the desert. They take their first road trip of the preseason a week later, as they look to dispose of Adrian Peterson’s Minnesota Vikings. Palmer and co. will hit the field for extended action in week three, when a solid contest with the Cincinnati Bengals will be televised for the entire nation to see. Arizona will likely rest it’s top players a week later in the finale, as they work out any lingering wrinkles in a tough road game against the San Diego Chargers.
4-7-14: Arizona’s main issues entering the offseason were their sometimes shaky offensive line and overall depth on defense. They started to address both early on, as they brought in stud offensive tackle Jared Veldheer from the Raiders, while also shoring up their secondary with talented veteran corner, Antonio Cromartie. Running back Jonathan Dwyer and return man Ted Ginn were added for extra offensive and special teams depth. Arizona suffered just two significant losses with Karlos Dansby taking off for Cleveland and Andre Roberts going to Washington.
3-21-14: Arizona kicked off free agency by saying no thanks to running back Rashard Mendenhall, who quickly retired. The Cardinals replaced him with former Steeler Jonathan Dwyer, although they could still wind up being in the market for a running back to pair with the explosive Andre Ellington out of the backfield. With Andre Roberts jetting to the Redskins, the Cardinals landed their likely slot replacement in return specialist Tedd Ginn Jr., while also spicing up their passing attack with tight end John Carlson. With Rob Housler failing to stay healthy or live up to the hype, Carlson could have a shot at proving to be a huge addition. On the defensive side, the Cardinals lost inside linebacker Karlos Dansby, but were able to hang onto solid depth pieces in Marcus Benard and Matt Shaughnessy. The biggest move of all, however, was landing former Oakland Raiders stud tackle, Jared Veldheer, who should help protect the immobile Carson Palmer and help improve an inconsistent offense. Moving forward, Arizona still will be on the hunt for pass-rushing help, as well as general depth on defense and in the offensive line.
12-31-13: The Cardinals needed to win and have the New Orleans Saints lose to get into the playoffs. Neither would happen in week 17. Carson Palmer did all he could to make it as close as possible, however, as he topped 400 passing yards and tossed two touchdowns before his Cardinals fell to the San Francisco 49ers, 23-20.
12-24-13: Carson Palmer played horribly for much of his week 16 battle with the Seattle Seahawks, but he saved his best for last in a thrilling 17-10 road win. Palmer connected with wide receiver Michael Floyd on a fourth quarter touchdown and Arizona’s defense held the Seahawks in check to get the huge win.
12-17-13: Arizona blew a 17-point fourth quarter lead in week 15, but managed to survive in overtime thanks to a Ryan Fitzpatrick interception setting up the deciding field goal. Andre Ellington totaled over 150 yards in this one, while Rashard Mendenhall punched in two touchdown runs to help the Cardinals escape with a 37-34 win.
12-10-13: Rashard Mendenhall and Andre Ellington took advantage of the St. Louis Rams’ weak run defense, as they both found the end-zone in a solid 30-10 home win. The big win kept Arizona in position to make a run at an NFC wild card playoff spot, setting them up with a huge week 17 season finale with the division rival San Francisco 49ers.
Carson Palmer kept the Cardinals in the game. Then he got them back in the game. But he was ultimately arguably why Arizona lost the game. Palmer put up 302 yards and three touchdowns, but also turned the ball over three times as Arizona dropped to 7-5 with a 24-21 loss on the road to the Philadelphia Eagles.
11-26-13: Bruce Arians coached Andrew Luck as a rookie in 2012. In 2013, he abused him. Arians gave his Cardinals’ defense the tools and knowledge needed to hold Luck to just over 160 yards passing and just over 51% completion percentage. On the flip-side, Carson Palmer did as he pleased en route to over 300 passing yards and two touchdowns in the 40-11 Arizona win at home.
11-19-13: Rashard Mendenhall and Larry Fitzgerald scored early to help keep pace with the home team Jaguars, while Michael Floyd piled on over 190 receiving yards in a 27-14 win for the Cardinals. Arizona’s gritty defense put the clamps on the Jaguars after a big passing score early, and shut Chad Henne and co. down in the second half to help get the Cards to 6-4.
11-12-13: Carson Palmer turned the ball over twice but also topped 240 passing yards and threw two scores as Arizona combined it’s efforts on both sides of the ball to nail down a close 27-24 win in week 10. The Houston Texans kept it close throughout, but an early fumble recovery for a touchdown sparked the Cardinals to start the game and they used solid balance on offense to keep Houston at bay to help get to 5-4 on the year.
10-30-13: Andre Ellington stepped up with starting running back Rashard Mendenhall out with an injury, as he piled on 162 total yards and a touchdown in a big 27-13 win for the Cards. This one was more about the dominance of Arizona’s defense, however, as the Cardinals picked off Matt Ryan four times and sacked him four times, as well.
10-22-13: Arizona head coach Bruce Arians said earlier this season that he didn’t “see the dominance” in the NFC West. Unfortunately, his Cardinals couldn’t backup his confident talk at home in week seven, as the Seattle Seahawks out-muscled them in a 34-22 rout. Arizona simply could never get their rushing attack going, while Carson Palmer threw his 12th and 13th interceptions of the year to help Arizona drop to 3-4 on the year.
Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians said earlier in the year that he didn’t “see the dominance” in the NFC West. He was referring to the notion that the Cardinals didn’t stand a chance against the Seattle Seahawks and the San Francisco 49ers for the division. Arizona ended up being wrong in the short-term, as they fell to San Francisco 32-20 on the road in week six. However, Arians may have had a point in the long-term. The Cardinals kept this one close throughout, as the score sat 22-20 up until just under seven minutes remained in the game.
The Arizona Cardinals welcomed back linebacker Daryl Washington as they played host the Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers. What proceeded was a thing of beauty, as the Arizona defense racked up a ridiculous seven sacks and four turnovers in a huge 22-6 win to send themselves to a solid 3-2 start. Washington was easily the spark Arizona needed, as he racked up nine total tackles, two sacks, an interception and a deflected pass in the win. Arizona’s offense wasn’t even close to as impressive as their defense, but it didn’t have to be, as the Cardinals dominated the Panthers in the desert in week five.
The Arizona Cardinals avoided falling to 1-3 by the skin of their teeth in week four, as star cornerback Patrick Peterson stepped up with two huge interceptions late in the game to help set up a touchdown and the game-winning field goal by Jay Feely with under two minutes remaining. Arizona’s offense was ineffective for much of the game, as Carson Palmer tossed two interceptions and the running game could only muster up 56 total yards against a tough Tampa Bay Buccaneers run defense. Peterson’s heroics came just in the nick of time, however, as the huge turnovers gave Arizona a short field and allowed Palmer to connect with Larry Fitzgerald for a 10-10 tie with just over three minutes left. The second interception of rookie quarterback Mike Glennon helped seal the deal and keep the Cardinals in the race for the NFC West division.
9-10-13: Carson Palmer was introduced to the tough NFC West when he took on the St. Louis Rams in week one, who picked him off once, forced a fumble and sacked him four times. Despite being knocked around, Palmer still looked good in his Arizona debut, connecting with Larry Fitzgerald for two touchdowns, while putting up over 320 passing yards. It wasn’t enough in the end, however, as the Rams got the ball back late via their defense, which ended up leading to the eventual game-winning kick by Greg “Legatron” Zuerlein. Next week, the Cardinals will host the Lions.
9-3-13: Hare are the Cardinals' final roster cuts heading into the 2013 NFL season: Cuts: S Jonathon Amaya, C Adam Bice, WR Dan Buckner, DT David Carter, TE Alex Gottlieb, WR Charles Hawkins, OT Jamaal Johnson-Webb, G Senio Kelemete, LB Zack Nash, LB Colin Parker, TE Richard Quinn, G Chilo Rachal, LB Kenny Rowe, DT Padric Scott, S Curtis Taylor, WR Kerry Taylor, WR Mike Thomas, LB Reggie Walker.
8-20-13: In the lowest scoring game in week two of the preseason, the Cardinals won their second straight, defeating the Cowboys 12-7. Arizona made it 7 straight quarters without allowing a point until allowing a 4th quarter TD to Cowboys backup Alex Tanney. Carson Palmer was 7 of 15 for 66 yards, while Drew Stanton completed 10 of 20 passes for 152 yards and an interception. The Cardinals offense left much to be desired by Jay Feely knocked through 4 field goals which was enough for the win. Next weekend, the Cardinals will host the Chargers.
8-11-13: The Cardinals opened up the 2013 preseason with a 17-0 win over the Green Bay Packers. Rookie Stepfan Taylor rushed for 63 yards on 21 carries. QB Drew Stanton threw for 107 yards and a TD.
7-10-13: The Arizona Cardinals were a complete mess in 2012, but have a legit chance at turning things right around now that they have a competent quarterback in Carson Palmer under center. The team also beefed up their rushing attack by adding veteran Rashard Mendenhall, and are now just some better offensive line play from a drastically improved offense. On defense, the Cardinals are still a very talented and aggressive unit, and might be even more solid against the run this year with new safety Yeremiah Bell added to the mix.
6-12-13: AZ watched a spirited 4-0 start drop the team down to the bottom of the AFC West. However, with the addition of veteran quarterback Carson Palmer and hopes for a solid draft, fans could have hopes for a trip to the playoffs for the first time since the days of Kurt Warner.
While that’s no guarantee, the Cardinals’ schedule at least has some big-time matchups to look forward to, as well as some excellent value buys on their 2013 home schedule.
2013 Cardinals Draft Overview:
Round 1, Pick 7 (7): Jonathan Cooper, OG, North Carolina
Round 2, Pick 13 (45) (from Chargers): Kevin Minter, LB, Louisiana State
Round 3, Pick 7: Tyrann Mathieu, CB, Louisiana State
Round 4, Pick 6: Alex Okafor, DE, Texas
Round 4, Pick 19 (from New York Giants): Earl Watford, OG, James Madison
Round 5, Pick 7: Stepfan Taylor, RB, Stanford
Round 6, Pick 6: Ryan Swope, WR, Texas A&M
Round 6, Pick 19 (from New York Giants): Andre Ellington, RB, Clemson
Round 7, Pick 13 (from Carolina through Oakland): D.C. Jefferson, TE, Rutgers
12-4-12: The Arizona cardinals got off to a great start at 4-0. Not many people saw them losing the next eight, but that is exactly what happened. In one of the ugliest games of the year, the cardinals could only muster two field goals behind Quarterback Ryan Lindley. Up next for Arizona is a trip to hostile Seattle which many have chalked up already as an automatic loss.