Cards Re-Sign Humphries
Tues. Feb 18 - Cards signed their starting LT, DJ Humphries to a 3-year contract extension.
For many of the Cardinal Faithful, this was a very big deal - some fans were happy that one roster-problem had been erased from Steve Keim's agenda. Others (who blamed many of the team's offensive woes on the Cardinal OL) were less positive.
From this fan's perspective, (1) we couldn't afford to lose a starting lineman, (2) have other fish to fry. and (3) Could ( & should) place additional trust in O-line coach Sean Kugler's ability to identify and develop offensive linemen.
One final note - a lot of web space has been filled with fiery pro and con commentary about various veteran players, cap-hits, franchise taggiing free agent statii and other Inside Football minutae. The only thing I know about all that book-keeping stuff is that - if, let's say, the conventional wisdom guarantees we'll be in "salary cap heaven", you can bet your boots that we'll wind up with cap space roughly one-half of what we thought we'd get. (I truly believe it's a "League thing").
So I have no idea which front-office move will turn out to be cool or uncool, and, instead will advocate for keeping the players who play well and saying "buh-bye" to those who don't. (example - Would I rather draft a big 'ol RT or roll the dice on Gilbert? (That's what they pay Kugler the big bucks to figure out). Would I want to sign Kenyan Drake or rely on a David Johnson comeback? I'm a believer in the "hot hand" theory and, therefore, would like to sign the hot hand (Drake) while hoping that "cool hand" D Johnson regains his mojo.
Happy Combine, everybody.
2020 - Where are we?
Mon. Jan 20, 2020 - Wrapping up a losing season isn't exactly a thrilling exercise - one of the most avid segments of the fan base typically wants to fire the entire FO and coaching staff, cut every player and, if they could do it, have the owner "fire himself."
Go too easy on evaluating the organization and you get labeled a "homer." Go too hard and you risk being categorized as a "hater."
This year's 5 - 10 - 1 Cardinals are hard to analyze - mainly because, within the context of changes that accompany a new offensive system, this is a young team with its players part of the process of improving at differing rates of speed. Add a young coaching staff willing to "adjust on the fly"at various stages of the off-season, pre- season and regular season and you get the feeling that figuring out this team is kind of like trying to hit a moving dart-board blindfolded. With that in mind in the early throes of off-season, a few observations:
Murray's upside remains huge (listen to Fitz wax poetic) - but that doesn't mean he's a finished product or a lock to become League MVP. He still has a lot of learning challenges to overcome and adverse situations to bounce back from.
Team chemistry is said to be "special" - most notably amongst offensive linemen. How this translates into protecting the QB better or a higher tun-blocking success rate remains to be seen. But better to hear good news than otherwise. But, of course, the proof still lurks in the results - I'd like to see a higher "batting average" opening holes and protecting Murray.
Fitz is back - The "body language" of the final quarter of the regular season kind of pointed to Fitz wanting to come back for at least another year, but what iced the cake were his comments of wanting to remain part of a dynamic, young team with its best years ahead of it.
And we still have Chandler Jones - For more than 50-years as a Cardinal rooter, I've always wanted us to have a deluxe pass rusher. We now have a league sack leader in sacks who keeps his level of play high from year to year.
Welcome to the desert, Jordan Hicks - He brought consistently solid play to a less than solid LB unit whose consistency remains a work in progress in both run defending and pass coverage.
There are other things we can get excited about - our young receivers (including TE), and the possibility of having Kenyan Drake back at RB, but, to me, there are still questions to be answered - they still belong in the "prove-it"category. We'll have to see what rabbits Steve Keim pulls out of his FA and Draft Pick hat between now and next Sept. before we jump up and down and do a dance.
Until then, we'll keep combing the wires looking for more good things to happen. - JGG