Tim Hightower was the Cardinals leading rusher la

first_imgTim Hightower was the Cardinals’ leading rusher last year, but he’s in Washington now.So, while many may look at this as Beanie Wells’ chance to step up and take over as the team’s featured back, rookie second round pick Ryan Williams may be the one who ultimately benefits.“Ryan Williams pretty much does the same stuff [as Hightower], except he’s got a little bit more speed, a little bit more burst,” Sports 620 KTAR’s Ron Wolfley said. Indeed, the surprising selection of Williams was likely to spell the end of someone’s tenure in Arizona, and it just so happened to be Hightower.Now, will the Cardinals be able to make up for the loss of a player who averaged nearly five yards per carry last season with a rookie getting his first crack at the NFL or a third-year pro who is on the verge of being labeled a “bust?”They’re going to have to. Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocation Top Stories 0 Comments   Share   center_img What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinke D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’ Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right awaylast_img read more

The 5 Takeaways from the Coyotes introduction of

first_img The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Comments   Share   Keep the costly contracts? The team won 11 games last season despite numerous key injuries, and there’s a strong and understandable belief that with a healthy squad, the Cardinals can do some serious damage. But that does not mean the team isn’t entering the offseason without some questions. In no particular order, here are five of the biggest: From the moment the clocked ticked down to 0:00 on the Arizona Cardinals’ 27-16 loss to the Carolina Panthers Saturday, attention was turned to the 2015 season. “Normally, when a season comes to an end, I’m ready for a break,” Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said. “But I can honestly say I can’t wait to start this next one knowing the quality of the people that we have in that room and the team that we can build around them is very excited.” Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Top Stories Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img read more

Top Stories

first_img Top Stories Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires ‘Tis better to have played in a Super Bowl and lost than never to have played in a Super Bowl at all. Probably. The Cardinals’ tale of woe is similar to that of Carolina above—underdog gives the favorite all it can handle, only to come up short. Arizona overcame a 100-yard James Harrison interception return and a 13-point deficit to take a 23-20 lead late in the fourth quarter, thanks to Larry Fitzgerald’s 64-yard score.The NFC champs had no answers for Santonio Holmes down the stretch, though. Holmes caught four passes from Ben Roethlisberger for 73 yards on the Steelers’ decisive drive, including a tip-toeing touchdown grab at the 42-second mark. Sounds about right.Thinking back, other options could include the Monday Night Meltdown against the Chicago Bears in 2006 or maybe even last season’s Sunday Night Football defeat to the Seattle Seahawks, a game that had the Cardinals won, would have led to them winning the NFC West. But really, it’s difficult for any game to top a championship affair that, for at least a little while late, seemed to be going in Arizona’s favor. The Arizona Cardinals have lost a lot of games over the course of their history.A lot.But as any sports fan can tell you, not all losses are created equal. SI.com’s Chris Burke sought out to identify the most “gut-punch loss” in every team’s Super Bowl-era history, and his choice for the Arizona Cardinals really comes as no surprise and with no argument.It came on Feb. 1, 2009 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL. Pittsburgh Steelers 27, Cardinals 23. Super Bowl XLIII. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelocenter_img Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Santonio Holmes (10) catches a fourth quarter touchdown pass in front of Arizona Cardinals safety Aaron Francisco (47) during the NFL Super Bowl XLIII football game, Sunday, Feb. 1, 2009, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara) Comments   Share   Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and sellinglast_img read more

While Clayton doesnt seem confident in the Cardin

first_imgWhile Clayton doesn’t seem confident in the Cardinals ability to win out and finish 9-6-1, fellow ESPN NFL insider Ron Jaworski thinks otherwise.“I think there’s more than hope, I think they’re going to be a playoff team,” Jaworski told Arizona Sports 98.7 FM’s Burns and Gambo on Thursday. “I believe the Cardinals will be a playoff team. (Finishing) 9-6-1 will get them in the playoffs. I think they can win their next four games. Obviously, the big test is going to be the Seattle Seahawks, but the other games are winnable football games. Call me crazy but that’s how I see it. I got excited over that win against the Redskins.”Jaworski points to coach Bruce Arians’ decision to go for it on 4th-and-1 from the Cardinals’ 34-yard line in their 31-23 win over the Redskins as reasons why the team could be dangerous down the stretch. It’s reminiscent of last year’s successful 13-3 team that fell one win shy of the Super Bowl, and Arians’ philosophy of his “no risk-it, no biscuit” ways.“It was reckless going for it,” Jaworski said. “Teams like this are very hard to play against because they’re willing to try anything. It’s a desperate football team.” Arizona Cardinals cornerback Marcus Cooper (41) stops Washington Redskins wide receiver Ryan Grant (14) short of the goal line during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo The best chance for the Arizona Cardinals to make the playoffs this year is to win nine games, according to a pair of ESPN analysts. Meaning the Cardinals would need to win their final four games.Is it possible? Yes. But it’s a difficult task that ESPN’s John Clayton thinks is unattainable.“It’s going to be very difficult,” Clayton told Arizona Sports 98.7 FM’s Doug and Wolf on Friday. “The standard right now is that sixth spot and I think it’s going to be nine wins. If they can sweep out and get to 9-6-1 then yeah they can do that. But I think if there is one more loss in there, then I don’t think it will happen. That loss could be Sunday, it could be against the Seattle Seahawks.” Traveling to the East Coast hasn’t been kind to the Cardinals this year, as they are 0-4 when traveling east of the Rockies with losses to Buffalo, Carolina, Minnesota and Atlanta.The Cardinals are 1-4 on the road, with their lone win coming in Week 5 against San Francisco, and play three of their final four games away from University of Phoenix Stadium. They host New Orleans next week before closing out the season with road games in Seattle and Los Angeles.The Seahawks have been on a tear of sorts since tying the Cardinals back in Week 7, going 4-2 to hold a strong grip on the NFC West with an 8-3-1 record.If the playoffs started Friday, Dallas and Seattle would be the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds, followed by Detroit and Atlanta, with New York and Tampa Bay holding down the two wild card spots.If the Cardinals are to make the playoffs, they are going to need some help in leap-frogging Green Bay, Minnesota, Washington and Tampa Bay to secure the final spot.“You look at the dynamics, you know the Giants are going to win 10 or 11, most likely 10,” Clayton said. “Is it going to be Minnesota? I think the nine is going to be dangling there as a possibility, even Tampa Bay at 7-5, I don’t see them being nine. So even nine is a possibility, but to get nine means a sweep.” LISTEN: John Clayton, ESPN NFL insider center_img Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Top Stories Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Your browser does not support the audio element. 0 Comments   Share   last_img read more

Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires

first_img Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo San Francisco 49ers quarterback Blaine Gabbert (2) passes against the Arizona Cardinals during the first half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Thursday, Oct. 6, 2016. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) In fact, all three quarterbacks were drafted by teams that traded up to get them: Trubisky at No. 2 to Chicago, Mahomes at No. 10 to Kansas City and Watson to Houston with the 12th overall pick. Arizona ended up taking linebacker Haason Reddick in the first round.That left Notre Dame quarterback DeShone Kizer on the board at the start of day two, who, like Mahomes, was also linked to the Cardinals heavily in the pre-draft process. Like those three teams, the Cardinals traded up, but not to take Kizer. Instead, they selected safety Budda Baker, giving up multiple selections later in the draft.The Cardinals made seven picks over the the three-day draft, though none were spent on a passer. Top Stories All eyes were on the Arizona Cardinals to add a quarterback in the NFL Draft, but it turns out, instead of drafting one, they are reportedly looking into a different avenue.Multiple reports indicate the Cardinals are interested in free agent Blaine Gabbert, and a source told AZCentral’s Kent Somers the team plans to work him out this week. 0 Comments   Share   center_img Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Arizona Cardinals looking into acquiring QB Blaine Gabbert. Cardinals in talks with quarterback Blaine Gabbert, according to a source— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) May 2, 2017 — Benjamin Allbright (@AllbrightNFL) May 2, 2017Gabbert, 27, was the 10th overall selection in the 2011 NFL Draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars out of Missouri. After spending three seasons in Florida, Gabbert played for three years with the San Francisco 49ers.For his career, Gabbert has completed 56 percent of his passes for 7,351 yards, 38 touchdowns and 37 interceptions. In 2016, 49ers starter Colin Kaepernick was benched in favor of Gabbert, who went on to start the first five games of the season and throw for 925 yards, five touchdowns and six interceptions on the season.Gabbert made one of those starts against the Cardinals in Week 5, with Arizona coming out on top 33-21. Gabbert was 18-of-31 for 162 yards, throwing one touchdown and two interceptions.In Arizona, Gabbert would figure to occupy the third spot on the depth chart behind starter Carson Palmer and backup Drew Stanton. Arizona also has Zac Dysert on the roster, as well as undrafted rookie free agent Trevor Knight.There was ample discussion surrounding the Cardinals and several of the highest rated quarterbacks in the 2017 NFL Draft, such as Mitchell Trubisky, Patrick Mahomes, and Deshaun Watson. With the No. 13 selection, however, the Cardinals saw all three taken before their pick. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img read more

PHOENIX — If Daryl Washington is to once again don

first_img PHOENIX — If Daryl Washington is to once again don an Arizona Cardinals uniform, the process for it to happen began in earnest on Monday.That is when he met with Cardinals president Michael Bidwill as well as GM Steve Keim and head coach Bruce Arians.Wednesday morning, Bidwill went on various shows and essentially said Monday’s meeting was just the first step in a process that, hopefully, will be resolved “fairly soon.” Arizona Cardinals inside linebacker Daryl Washington (58) during the first half of an NFL football game against the St. Louis Rams, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Top Stories Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Now 30 years of age, Washington last played in the NFL in 2013. In 12 games he tallied 75 total tackles, with three sacks, two interceptions and 11 passes defensed. He was a Pro Bowler the prior season, in which he amassed 134 total tackles and nine sacks.Once upon a time, Washington was one of the NFL’s most dynamic inside linebackers; now, who knows.“We really have no clue what type of a player he is anymore,” Arians admitted. “As changed around as a person — he’s learned a lot of things, ups and downs — but that process will take care of itself.”After all, while at the time of his conditional reinstatement Washington said, “Physically I’m in the best shape of my life and have maintained a strenuous six-day per week workout plan for over a year in anticipation of this day and next season,” he still has not been playing football.“Yeah, you can lift weights all you want, but you ain’t chasing anybody around,”Arians said.But if  Washington proves to be remorseful and a changed man and if he shows he is in good enough shape to play football, would Arians have trouble welcoming him back into the fold? No doubt there are certain boxes the linebacker must check in order for the Cardinals to feel comfortable with his return, but if he checks them, will Arians? The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Comments   Share   The meeting was important because it was the first time Cardinals brass had seen Washington since he was suspended in 2014, so if nothing else it offered a chance to catch up a bit and get an idea of where their former Pro Bowl player is at.Aside from that, however, there was not much to be gleaned from what Arians described as a “good meeting.”“Find out what he had been up to and what he had been doing,” Arians said Wednesday afternoon at Steak 44 in Phoenix.Arians, who was on hand promoting the annual fundraiser he and his wife Christine host at the venue to benefit the Arians Family Foundation and Voices for Casa of Maricopa County, continued:“Michael has a protocol set up, and as this thing goes forward, the Cardinals will make a decision and Michael will ultimately make the decision.”An assistant U.S. attorney with the Department of Justice in Phoenix from 1990 to 1996, Bidwill’s approach to Washington — who was suspended after multiple violations of the league’s policy on substance abuse as well as a domestic violence incident — will certainly be something to keep an eye on.If the Cardinals feel comfortable with Washington the person, then it’s possible they could be adding quite a player. “We’ll wait and see,” he said.Follow Adam Green on Twitterlast_img read more

Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impa

first_img Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling TEMPE, Ariz. – With the game still five days away and no injury report needed to be released, head coach Bruce Arians shined very little light on who will play quarterback this week when the Arizona Cardinals visit Houston.The Cardinals practiced Tuesday and according to Arians, starter Drew Stanton was “one of the guys that practiced.” He offered no further details other than to acknowledge that Stanton’s right knee “affected him on two or three throws” last Thursday against Seattle. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Arizona Cardinals quarterback Drew Stanton (5) warms up prior to an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks, Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) 4 Comments   Share   Top Stories A lack of takeawaysAmong the 32 NFL teams, the Cardinals rank near the bottom in takeaways.“I don’t really know (why). I guess other teams are taking care of the football,” Mathieu said. “A few balls haven’t been bouncing our way. A few tipped passes are going over our heads. We just got to stay within the moment, and like I said, those turnovers will come in bunches for us.”On the season, the Cardinals defense has forced nine turnovers, eight of them interceptions. Their one fumble recovery—at San Francisco—is the fewest in the league.“We know turnovers come in bunches, so hopefully this week is the week that we have a five or six turnover game. We just got to be ready for the opportunity,” Mathieu said.Pro Bowl votingFans may now vote to send their favorite Cardinals players to the 2018 Pro Bowl in Orlando.Voting is available online and on web-enabled mobile phones by going to NFL.com/ProBowlVote through Dec. 14.Pro Bowl rosters will be announced on Dec. 19 live on NFL Network’s Pro Bowl special “NFL Total Access: Pro Bowl Players Revealed” at 8:00 p.m. ET. Stanton hurt the knee on a late hit by defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson on the second-to-last play of the first quarter. Stanton finished the game, but then reports surfaced over the weekend he may miss some time, opening the door for Blaine Gabbert to get the start Sunday.The Cardinals also signed quarterback Matt Barkley.Arians, though, wasn’t about to tip his hand.“Yeah, and he got a bunch last week, but he’ll get more this week,” he said, referring to Gabbert’s first-team reps. “We’ll try to get Matt something along the lines.”None of the three quarterbacks were in the locker room during media availability. And the first official injury report won’t be released until Wednesday.Cardinals insider and co-host of the The Blitz on 98.7 FM, Arizona’s Sports Station Mike Jurecki reported Gabbert is expected to start this week.“He’s our quarterback. We believe in him. I thought he did a great job in training camp,” safety Tyrann Mathieu said. “Obviously anytime you play a quarterback that can use their legs, it always adds an extra dimension to the offense. Hopefully he’s ready to go, and we’ll be encouraging him and try and give him the confidence that he needs to just go out there and play football.” The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Budda Baker is readyNever before in his football career had safety Budda Baker had to wait to get on the field. Yet, that was the case this season, his first in the NFL.Sure, Baker played a handful of snaps here and there but most of his work has come on special teams, where he’s excelled. Now, with the injury to Tyvon Branch, Baker is expected to assume a much larger role on the defense.“I’ll definitely be ready,” he said. “Going to have a great week of preparation and hopefully a great game.”Baker played most of the game against the Seahawks—Branch got hurt in the first quarter—and tied for the team-lead in tackles with seven, while adding a pass defensed in 44 snaps.In nine games this season, Baker has played a total of 84 defensive snaps.“(He’s) more than ready,” Arians said. “Rookies around Thanksgiving and the middle and first of November, they shouldn’t be rookies anymore.”For Baker, having veterans like Branch and Antoine Bethea to lean on has helped his transition from college to the pros.“On the field, I know the plays and I know what I’m doing,” Baker said. “It’s just having a veteran, like Antoine Bethea, he wants to make sure I’m right. When I call the call, he just wants to make sure that I’m 100-percent right in what I’m doing. I’m very comfortable. I know the plays. The veterans just try to reiterate it to me when I’m on the field.”last_img read more

AP PhotoRalph Freso

first_img(AP Photo/Ralph Freso) NFL Power Rankings: Making the case for the Eagles’ title hopes with Nick Foles Top Stories Cardinals rank: #20 (▲2)Linebacker Josh Bynes has been a fun story for the Cardinals. He had an unremarkable first six seasons with the Lions and Ravens as an undrafted player, but has found a home in Arizona. Coach Bruce Arians raved about him last week, and he made a huge interception in a win on Sunday.USA Today Power Rankings – Week 15Cardinals rank: #19 (▲4)Maybe they should apply for membership in the AFC South. They beat the Titans, Jags and Colts this year but are just 3-6 against NFC competition. The Arizona Cardinals haven’t made many friends in the AFC South this season.Their tour of the division ended with a 12-7 win over the Tennessee Titans Sunday. It was Arizona’s third win in four games against AFC South foes — and twice in the last three weeks, they knocked off the team atop the division.The win translated to a small bump for the Cardinals in this week’s battery of rankings.Here’s a look at where Arizona lands in NFL Power Rankings from around the country. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactcenter_img NFL Power Rankings: Where Does Every Team Stand Heading into Week 15?Cardinals rank: #20 (▲4)The Arizona Cardinals aren’t a playoff team, but they can’t be taken lightly.Quarterback Blaine Gabbert continues to make a few big plays each week, and Kerwynn Williams has boosted the running game. Even though the defense has been inconsistent throughout the year, it is capable of creating chaos. We saw that against the Tennessee Titans.Arizona’s defense made things difficult for Tennessee’s run game, and it forced some huge turnovers. One came in the red area, and one came late to help put the game away.While injuries have impacted Arizona’s season, the Cardinals are an inconsistent, below-average team as a whole. This is why they’re sitting at 6-7. Still, Arizona can be a pain in the ass down the stretch. Arizona Sports NFL Power Rankings Week 15: Steelers take over the top spotCardinals rank: #20 (▲3) Gabbert won another start vs. Titans, missed some receivers but zero turnovers. — Mike JureckiWeek 15 NFL Power Rankings: Biggest breakthroughs — including a new No. 1Cardinals rank: #20 (▲3) It might be a stretch to call Chandler Jones a breakthrough considering he has had three other 10-sack seasons. But Jones already has a career-high 14.0 sacks and leads the NFL, something no Cardinal has done across an entire season.NFL Power Rankings, Week 15: Pittsburgh Steelers hit No. 1 spotCardinals rank: #22 (▲1)The Cardinals will be playing for .500 this Sunday in Washington. Isn’t that shocking? Doesn’t it feel like Arizona has suffered through a terrible season? Perhaps even more surprising is that the Cardinals own a better record than their opponent, the banged-up Redskins. Maybe the loss of David Johnson in Week 1 and the Cardinals’ other early struggles (including QB Carson Palmer’s broken arm) caused us to write off Bruce Arians’ team. Look, Arizona isn’t going anywhere — as in, to the playoffs. The actual state isn’t moving, either. Let’s hope Arians, Larry Fitzgerald and a couple of other veterans also stay put beyond 2017. Who wouldn’t like to see the venerable head coach, Hall of Fame wide receiver and veteran quarterback give it one more try? I heard Arians on the radio this week gushing over the players on injured reserve. Didn’t sound like a man ready to hang up the beret. NFL Power Rankings Poll: The Top of the League Falls in Week 14Cardinals rank: #22 (▲1)No comment.NFL Power Rankings: Steelers on top for now, but still must take Patriots downCardinals rank: #21 (▲2) The defense has done some really good things the past month. That has to give them hope for next season. Week 14 power rankingsCardinals rank: #22 (▲2)They’d be crazy to bring back Blaine Gabbert.Week 15 NFL Power Rankings: Steelers, Patriots set up epic 1-2 battleCardinals rank: #20 (▲4)The Cardinals have the distinction of being the only sub-.500 team alive in the top-heavy NFC. It’s pretty impressive that Bruce Arians’ team can sniff 8-8 without David Johnson and Carson Palmer. – / 20 Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires 0 Comments   Share   last_img read more


first_img(Screenshot) TEMPE, Ariz. – The health of Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson has been a much-discussed topic, whether it was in-season regarding a possible return that never happened or since the 2017 ended.To say Johnson’s health is of utmost importance to the Cardinals’ success in 2018 would be an understatement.On Thursday, Johnson put any health concerns to rest.“It’s 100 percent,” he said, referring to the wrist he dislocated in Week 1 of 2017. “I’ll be full-speed. I got cleared so I’m good to go” for when the Cardinals ramp up their offseason program with organized team activities (OTAs) and mini-camp. Right now, though, the focus for Johnson and his teammates is strength and conditioning work, which is really all Johnson has done for the better part of six months while rehabbing from surgery.Related LinksArizona Cardinals’ David Johnson participating in offseason programJohnson believes he’s in the best shape of his life “because all I did was run and all I did was work out.”He credited strength and conditioning coach Buddy Morris for being innovative and changing up the workouts early in the rehab process “to where I could still get a bench or a chest or an arm workout in. Even though I couldn’t do a bench press, he was able to use machines and straps and stuff like that.”And it’s because of that, Johnson added, that he doesn’t feel like he’s lost any strength, either in the wrist or upper body.Johnson called dislocating his wrist “the best case of a bad injury” when compared to hurting a knee.When healthy, Johnson is among the better dual-threats out of the backfield. Without Johnson, the Cardinals struggled.In 2017, the Cardinals rushed for 1,386 yards, or 147 fewer yards than Johnson totaled by himself the year prior. Three different running backs started once Johnson went down, with Adrian Peterson (448 rushing yards) having the most success. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling 9 Comments   Share   Top Stories Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact “When I got home and seeing his smile — he’s a very happy boy, he’s laughing at everybody and he’s always cheerful,” Johnson said. “Going home after being down on myself, it really uplifted me and made me realize that there’s a lot more important things in life”Still, there’s nothing like playing the game of football, and Johnson, like many of his teammates after an 8-8 season, is anxious to get back on the field.The question now is whether Johnson will be the same player he was two years ago? Johnson earned his first first-team All-Pro honors and was named to his first Pro Bowl after leading the NFL and establishing a franchise single-season record in scrimmage yards (2,118) and touchdowns (20), including a franchise-best 16 rushing.“I feel like there’s really not going to be any difference. I think, actually, I’m going to be a lot better because with me being hurt last year, I feel like I got smarter in watching,” he said.“Unfortunately, with (former Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer) being hurt, I was able to talk to him on the sideline, and he was able to tell me some of the stuff what quarterbacks look at, and he was able to talk to me and teach me some of the stuff to where I can use it in my offense and use it when I’m out there on the field.” Overall, the Cardinals had their troubles finding the end zone. The offense as a whole finished with 27 touchdowns. Johnson scored 20 in 2016.“We all know what David can do,” cornerback Patrick Peterson said Thursday. “It’s no secret that he’s a special talent, he’s a special running back; and we definitely need him to make our offense go.”And from all indications, Johnson is going to be the focal point of the offense. From Day 1, first-year head coach Steve Wilks made it known he prefers a run-first offense.Johnson smiled when asked that.“I’m very encouraged,” he said. “That was really uplifting to hear Coach Wilks talk about that right away, about how demoralizing it is on a defense to run the ball. I was very excited to hear that.”Even more so, one would think, given that Johnson is entering the final year of his contract. He insisted, however, that the injury and learning the new coaching staff and teammates are his primary focuses.Johnson said having to sit and watch last season was “the toughest year of my football career.” And while his teammates tried to encourage him, it really was his family, specifically his soon-to-be three-month-old son David Jerome Johnson Jr., who lifted his spirits up the most after a bad day. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelolast_img read more


first_img 8 Comments   Share   GLENDALE, Ariz. – Starting quarterback Sam Bradford will take more reps when the Cardinals face the New Orleans Saints in a preseason game on Friday at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, and backup Josh Rosen will get some first-team reps, coach Steve Wilks said Monday.Rosen played exclusively with the second-team offensive line against the Los Angeles Chargers on Saturday and things didn’t go well.There were protection issues, run-blocking issues and center Daniel Munyer had a half dozen bad shotgun snaps. Rosen completed just 6 of 13 passes for 41 yards and the running game managed just two yards on four carries while he was in. “We need to improve with our second offensive line,” Wilks said.“I’m not really concerned about it. I think we have a good group. They made progress back from OTAs and minicamp. It was an opportunity to see where we are right now. We’re going to get better. I think we have some guys in that second group who will step up and perform well.”Wilks also said that starting running back David Johnson would play more against the Saints. Johnson carried two times for 28 yards (14 yards on each carry) before exiting the game on the team’s first offensive series.Johnson is coming off wrist surgery that that limited him to one game last season, so Wilks thinks he has work to do.“You talk about the timing,” Wilks said. “I think it’s important he plays quite a bit. When I say quite a bit, I’m talking my standards.”Wilks said he has a set number of snaps that he’d like his starters to play, numbers that vary from player to player. Johnson may not play into the second or third quarter, but he’ll play more than Saturday.MUNYER FACES MUSICTwo days after he struggled in relief of starting center Mason Cole against the Chargers, Munyer was one of a handful of players to talk to media on Monday. “Everyone saw it wasn’t my best performance by any means. I’ve got to do what these coaches and this organization know I can do. I had about five or six bad ones which was frustrating because I don’t do that,” he said.“I did feel bad because it was when Josh was in at quarterback and I just told him afterward, ‘man, I’m sorry, I didn’t even know I was doing that until it was too late’ and that definitely killed some momentum in terms of timing with the throws.“I think at times it might have been a lack of focus or just a little thing — one slight movement, just not following through. I ended up fixing it in the second half.”Related LinksWilks: Cardinals QB Josh Rosen will see first-team snaps on FridayCardinals RB Johnson focused on proving he’s great, not contract talksCardinals waive injured linebacker Jeremy Cash, sign LB Gerald HodgesArizona Cardinals linebacker Jeremy Cash injures knee, carted off fieldWhile Rosen refused to blame the snaps for his uneven performance, Munyer said it was obvious the snaps had an impact.“If it’s a bad snap it’s on me,” he said. “There’s no one else to blame but the center.”Munyer said the entire second unit was ready to move on and learn from that performance.“When we’re out there and you’re going three and out constantly, yeah, you feel like there’s pressure,” he said.“We talked about establishing an identity. We want to be a physical offense, a physical unit up front and when you don’t do that, you’re not looking at each other pointing the finger but you want to pick it up yourself because you know what you’re capable of. To have it not correlate to the game is frustrating but at that moment that’s when you find out a lot about yourself.” Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo “He looks like the old Iupati, the way he’s playing right now,” Wilks said. “He’s been that way [since] the spring. He has definitely responded and accepted a chance and he’s doing well.”— It’s a little too soon to get excited about defensive end Cap Capi’s performance against the Chargers’ reserves, but his three sacks and a forced fumble caught Wilks’ eye. Now Wilks would like to see Capi round out his game.“This game is all about production,” Wilks said. “He had a great game. Hopefully he can put another one back-to-back. Biggest thing, we need to see him do a much better job anchoring at the defensive end and holding the point in the run game, but he is definitely very exciting to watch when it comes to getting after the quarterback.”— Wilks said injured linebacker Airius Moore and injured cornerback Jonathan Moxey would return to practice on Monday.center_img Top Stories Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Arizona Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen (3) throws against the Los Angeles Chargers during the first half of a preseason NFL football game, Saturday, Aug. 11, 2018, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) ROSTER TURNOVERThe Cardinals signed linebacker Gerald Hodges to a one-year contract and waived linebacker Jeremy Cash, who sustained a knee injury in Saturday’s preseason opener against the Chargers and left the field on a cart.Cash had two tackles and returned a fumble recovery for a touchdown in the game. He had been a strong candidate to make the 53-man roster and was listed No. 2 on the depth chart behind Deone Bucannon heading into Saturday’s game.“It’s just a freak accident,” Wilks said of Cash, who was in Carolina with Wilks the past two seasons.“He understands the defense. He understands the philosophy, the vision that we’re implementing here because he’s been a part of it before. He had a pretty good game, he was having a pretty good camp so [it’s] disappointing for him.”Hodges (6-2, 236) is a five-year NFL veteran who has played in 65 career games (26 starts) with New Orleans (2017), San Francisco (2015-16) and Minnesota (2013-15) after entering the league with the Vikings as a fourth-round pick (120th overall) in the 2013 NFL Draft from Penn State.EXTRA POINTS— Wilks praised the play of guard Mike Iupati, who took a $3 million pay cut this season. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img read more

Go back to the enewsletter Virgin Australia tod

first_imgGo back to the e-newsletter >Virgin Australia today launched the Hat Valet service which provides first-class handling of a racegoer’s most important fashion accessory, the headpiece, for customers travelling from Sydney to Melbourne during this year’s Spring Racing Carnival.The airline will hand-deliver hats and fascinators while offering a host of unique and personalised services commencing this Saturday ahead of Derby Day, to ensure guests arrive in Melbourne in style and race-day ready.Services exclusively available in the airline’s flagship Sydney Lounge include complimentary blow-dries and hair styling, make up touch ups, ModelCo make up kits, and a dedicated shoe shining service by social enterprise franchise, Buffed.Australia’s race carnival darling, Rachael Finch, experienced the Hat Valet service today at the official launch joined by Australia’s premier milliner Nerida Winter.“Headwear is what makes the races so much fun and glamorous!” Ms Winter said.“When you consider Australians spent around $50 million in race wear for the Spring Racing season last year and retail stores like Myer can see up to one headpiece per minute fly out the door during the busy pre-racing season period, we know how important this accessory is to race-goers. They want to be able to wear them again.“And let’s be honest, it can be stressful transporting them. Virgin Australia has porters on standby in their Sydney and Melbourne lounges, complete with spare hat boxes, to ensure a hand-delivery service every step of the way.“I know some of my clients love Virgin Australia’s Hat Valet service and look forward to using it on their trip to Melbourne every year,” Ms Winter said.Virgin Australia Group Executive, Public Affairs, Danielle Keighery said: “The Spring Racing Carnival is one of the biggest events on Australia’s sporting calendar and Virgin Australia will once again ensure our guests arrive in Melbourne race-day ready.“Virgin Australia is continually looking to enhance the customer experience and we are delighted to bring this popular service back to racegoers this year along with a host of complimentary services for our lounge guests such as hair styling and make-up touch up kits thanks to ModelCo.“For the first time this year we welcome Buffed into our Sydney Lounge, which is a shoe shine social enterprise that supports homeless, displaced or marginalised Australians,” Ms Keighery said.Buffed supports people excluded from mainstream employment and provides them the skills, location, equipment and the environment to set up a business as shoe and leather treatment artisans. Buffed is now permanently available in Virgin Australia’s Sydney Lounge for a small fee of $8, all of which goes to the Buffed artisan.The Hat Valet services are exclusively available to all Business Class guests, Platinum, Gold and Lounge members through the premium kerbside entry of Virgin Australia’s Sydney Lounge.Go back to the e-newsletter >last_img read more

Go back to the enewsletter Pioneer operator True N

first_imgGo back to the enewsletterPioneer operator True North Adventure Cruises is preparing for no less than its 32nd season in the awe-inspiring Kimberley region of Western Australia in 2019.The Kimberley Coast is renowned for its wilderness qualities, stunning scenery, vibrant Indigenous culture and some of the best fishing action on the planet. And True North Adventure Cruises is equally revered for introducing all in ultimate style.The company first offered adventure cruises along the Kimberley coast back in 1987, and since then the mantlepiece has been adorned with many awards and accolades. But the company has never lost its lust for breaking the mould, and the soon-to-commence 2019 Kimberley Season will spawn a brand-new version of what is already tried and proven.The old favourites are back: the 10-night Kimberley Waterfalls will still be a big hit with those who can’t resist nature’s majesty, the seven-night Snapshot is the perfect answer for time-poor adventurers, and the 13-night Kimberley Ultimate looks destined to forever be the company’s flagship offering. However, it’s a tantalising mix of the Kimberley Coast and another favoured destination, the Rowley Shoals, that has everyone talking.The 13-night Coast and Coral will kick off on the Kimberley Coast and those lucky enough to be aboard the 750-tonne True North will savour all the icons, including the King George Falls, Mitchell Falls, the Hunter River, the Prince Regent River and Montgomery Reef. Then it’s just an overnight steam to the magnificent Rowleys and more than 300 square kilometres of pristine coral playground.Both destinations have been longstanding favourites with both guest and crew, but this is the first time that True North Adventure Cruises has offered an opportunity to experience the Kimberley Coast and the Rowley Shoals in a single itinerary.“It’s going to be another big year in the Kimberley,” reports True North’s Sales Manager, Stacey Newton. “Sales interest in all our Kimberley products has been pleasing again, and the new Coast and Coral itinerary is proving to be a favourite. Although we still have good availability on our more established itineraries, there are only a handful of cabins left on the Coast and Coral.”The first Kimberley Waterfalls itinerary departs Broome on 21 March, while the maiden Coast and Coral will embark in the frontier port of Wyndham on 24 August.See www.truenorth.com.auGo back to the enewsletterlast_img read more