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This promised to be one of those "preseason game #3 is a huge game".deals, and it didn't let us down.

The Cardinals entered Soldiers Field reeling from a dismal effort 5 days earlier in Nashville, not sure who its starting QB would be and wondering who had hid its offense. At a point in the season where teams look to consolidate their rosters and get them to "gel", Coach Whisenhunt, instead, decided to shake things up - starting Derek Anderson instead of Matt Leinart and moving a few promising youngsters to the first unit. The national and local media had a field day with the Anderson-for-Leinart move. In retrospect, I think what he wanted to do was to better understand what he had in the way of talent before heading into real battle, and the only way to accomplish this was to move a few promising backups into starting roles to see what it would give us.

Although the early media buzz centered around "QB dual inconclusive", I think the Game #3 experiment went as well as we could expect:

  • Both Anderson and Leinart (though by no means perfect) moved the offense, and each threw a TD pass.

  • Greg Toler seized the moment - picking off one pass and playing with consistency - and emerged as the clear cut starter opposite DRC

  • The defense in general played with passion, energy and guts and, at least judging by the Cardinal radio call, appeared to have the Bear offense constantly back on its heels.

  • Steven Williams delivered once again, and (according to the Cardinal radio analysts) may have moved up the depth chart all the way to #2 or #3. (Whatever the case, he looks like he's a lock to make the Final 53; and keep an eye on Max Komar too).

  • Our two bookends (Levi Brown and Brandon Keith) were predictably taken to school by Peppers and Anderson. Hopefully they will learn and improve.

After Watching on TV
One thing picked up on TV that I missed listening to SIRIUS - Leinart's TD pass came right after he was sacked. He simply scraped himself off the turf and hit Breaston right down the middle. Anyone who thinks Matt can't be tough or resliant should think again. Other than that, there was very little additional that the Cardinal radio crew didn't capture - especially since the TV feed was the Bears' home feed (though to their credit, they were pretty objective and credible. Still, most of their analysis and interviews centered on Bear players.

Game Recap

  • 1st Quarter
    Chicago received and Cutler was able to move from his own 28 to the Cardinal 45 before DRC picked off an underthrown Cutler pass. Anderson took over on the Cardinal 39 and picked up a quick 11 yards on a throw to Spach. But after 3 plays went nowhere,Cards were forced to punt. Graham dropped it inside the Chicago 15. Dan Williams was instrumental in stopping two consecutive Chicago running plays, and on 3rd down, Michael Adams shot through and sacked Cultler. Cards returned Maynard's punt to the Cardinal 43. Wright gained 9 powerful yards on the next play from scrimmage, but Wiz then dialed up a double reverse that ended up with Breaston losing 3 yards. Hightower then missed a catchable pass, and Graham punted (this time putting the ball on the Bear 12).

  • Bears mounted a pretty good drive, moving from their own 12 to the 13. But Martz got cutesy - Hester fumbled a direct-snap and lost 3. DRC broke up a pass to Knox. Haggans and Dockett collaberated on a sack. Gould's chip-shot FG attempt was blocked by Cambpell. Hightower had one carry for +0 as the quarter ended.

  • 2nd Quarter
    Anderson engineered a ten play touchdown drive, featuring three terrific catche by Stephen Williams - for 16 yards, 11 yards and  the  27-yard scoring pass on a skinny post. Beanie Wells did a nice job picking up the blitz on the final play of the drive. Cards 7 - Bears 0.

  • Bears returned the KO to their own 27. A 34 yard run by Chester Taylor (Campbell could have gotten him in the Bear backfield) helped put Chicago in FG position. But Gould's 48-yard attempt was NG.  (Ah yes! The football gods are smiling. After a 16-yard completion to Williams, the Cardinal offense sputtered. 2 so-so Beanie runs, a false-start flag on Spach and then Beanie dropped a screen (thrown with too much zip). Once again, Graham dropped his punt inside the 12. On the following series, Campbell sacked Cutler for minus-6 and Toler picked off a Cutler pass at the Bear 49.

  • 2:09 til halftime. Leinart in for Anderson (Wiz wanted to see how he'd handle a 2-minute drill). Matt did well (the radio guys felt he looked "in command"). He pecked away, completing 4 of 5 throws for +7, +5, +7 and +8. On the 7th play of the drive, he hit Beanie Wells - who rambled to the Bear 9-yard line; but Wells had the ball stripped away by Manning. Bears' ball. Cutler took a final knee to end the half. (3- 7 "free points" given to the Bears by Beanie. Unacceptable!)

  • 3rd Quarter
    Cards undermined by a flag on Iwebema on the 2H kickoff  took over on their own 17. After picking up 31 yards on a couple of running plays and a 17-yarder to Dray, Leinart got sacked and lost 5-yards. He was then short of a first down by 2-yards on a completion to Komar. Graham's punt was returned by Hester to the Bear 14. A 9-yard sack by Watson helped the Cards hold Chicago to 3 & out..

  • Check out this series: Hightower for +29. Hightower for +13. Hightower for +0. Leinart sacked (over Levi) for minus-7. But he then hits Breaston (who leaped over the goal line like Superman) for a 13-yard score. Cards 14 - Bears 0.

  • LeFevour in for Cutler. He pecked for one first down but Bears punted on the 6th play of the possession. A holding penalty on Beisel pushed the Cards back to their own 15. Skelton in. A 21-yard completion to Komar and three positive runs by Beanie helped move them out to near midfield, but a 3rd down sack for minus-10 ended the Cardinal drive near the end of the quarter. Skelton's appearance, while not a disaster, wasn't all that impressive.

  • 4th Quarter
    LeFevour completed 5 straight passes (against backup culprits,  Justin Miller and Rashad Johnson. Ware and Abdullah were in there too. but they were close to heroic in making sure things didn't get totally out of hand). An Abdullah stop at the Cardinal 4 set the stage for a Robbie Gould 22-yarder. Cards 14 - Bears 3.

  • 10:03 left. Skelton still in. Cards started on their own 23, but a holding penalty on Bridges pushed them back to their  own 13. Other than a couple of completions by Skelton, the Cards went nowhere. An uncharacteristically rotten punt by Graham went for 24 yards to the Bear 46.

  • 7:44 left to play. Card backup corners are playing way too "off" their receivers). A 17-yard completion (LeFevour to Mathews) on a screen and an 18-yard scramble set the stage for a 3-yard TD throw on a fade to Inglesius. (Oh boy! They still have time to beat us). 2-point try (LeFevour to Inglesius) failed when Ware kept Inglesius from crossing the goal line. Cards 14 - Bears 9.

  • 4:37 left. Max Hall in. So is RB Alfonso Smith. Hall wakes up the crowd with a nifty 30-yard completion to the other Max (Komar). Later on in the series, he hits Onrea Jones for +28. After a couple of running plays (one for +9) and an incompletion, Hall takes 3 straight knees to end the game. Final Score: Cards 14 - Bears 9.

Bright Spots

  • Stephen Williams (caught 5 of 5 for 76 yards and a TD).

  • Both Anderson and Leinart led their units on long scoring drives. Each threw for a TD. Each has work to do, but they showed they could get the job done (a far cry from last Monday).

  • Our first defensive unit pretty much shut down the Bear offense entirely. (4 sacks/2 picks)

  • Toler (one pick) looks like our guy opposite DRC (who also had a pick).

  • Calais Campbell was credited with one sack, and also racked up one QB hurry, one forced fumble and a blocked punt.

  • Dan Williams made his presenced felt.

  • What will the Cards do with Max Komar (All he did was catch 6 of 7 for 79 yards). Will they keep on the final 53-man roster (along with Fitz, Breaston, Doucet and Williams - and, perhaps, at the expense of Roberts, O Jones and/or Gant)? Or will we try to stash him on the PS?

  • With one exception, Graham's directional punting has been surreal.

  • Beanie did a good job on blitz pickup.

  • Michael Adams (one sack and I recall one deluxe hit on a receiver). Probably not your cup of tea as a starter due to his short stature, but can fit in perfectly to fill certain spot roles.

  • It looks to me as though Hall has secured the #3 spot.

Dark Spots

  • Beanie's ball security.

  • Uneven O-line play (Keith and L Brown had blocking concentration lapses..

  • Shaky play by our backup CB's and S Rashad Johnson.

  • What do we do with Skelton and/or Hall? Do we keep 4 QB's or do we try to sneak one or the other past waivers and onto the PS  (in the hope that no team is willing to put him on its active roster.

  • 6 penalties (this figure is starting to inch its way back up the no-no list).

  • Togafau may be doing it again - making a strong early impression and then playing himself out of a roster spot

Updated August 30, 2010 Return to Highlights Page
How Each Player Did"

7 Matt Leinart
6-4 224 USC (D1) Didn't start, but looked in command when he got his chance, effectively moved the team and threw for one TD.
03 Derek Anderson  6-6 230 Oregon State Started and played as well as Leinart (although neither established any separation). Still has touch-velocity and some accuracy issues but does seem more comfortable the more action he sees.
19 John Skelton
6-5 243 ( D5)) In for 2 or 3 series. Did OK, but his rawness was still showing. DId not distance himself positively from Hall.
06 Max Hall 6-1 201 BYU (UDFA) Looked good enough in brief 4Q appearance to lock down the #3 spot. Would probably have led his offens to a TD on the final drive, but Cards opted to run out the clock deep in Bear territory
Running Backs:
34 Tim Hightower RB  (6-0 217 - Richmond D5) Returning to last season's form (& in fact running tougher) but still a bit up and down consistency-wise.
26 Chris "Beanie" Wells 6-1 235 Ohio State (D1) Steady road-grading preformance and has improved in blitz-pickup, but  turned a near-TD run into a turnover. (When a RB gets that reputation, he can expect the other team's defenders to swarm like sharks to pry away the ball).
31 Jason Wright 5-10 215 Northwestern  (FA - Browns) Powerful defender-dragging run displayed another one of his multi-talents.
36 LaRod Stephens- Howling 5-7 180 Pitt (D7a) Did not catch my attention - maynot have played.
46 Alfonso Smith RB 6-1 208 Kentucky (UDFA) Appeared late in game & did OK, but best shot may be on PS
32 Nehemiah Broughton FB 5-11 255 The Citadel Injured.
45 Reagan Maui'ia FB 6-0 260 Hawaii After an early miscue, he cleared a path for a few nice, long ISO runs.
Wide Receivers:
11 Larry Fitzgerald (D1)
63 225, Pitt (D1) Didn't play.
15 Steve Breaston (KR/PR) 6-0 193 Michigan (D5) Caught 2 of 4. One leaping TD catch.
85 Darrin Mougey WR 6-6 230 SD State (Atlanta) Did not play

80 Early Doucet  WR

6-0 211 LSU D3) Brief appearance.  Caught one of two.
12 Andre Roberts WR 5-10 195 The Citadel (D3)
Did not play. Two UDFAs (Williams and Komar) could bump him from the Final 53.
86 Jones, Orea WR 6-0 202 Hampton  1 catch out of three thrown his way. Although he has never done anything to indicate anything but steadiness, he may be being eclipsed by more spectacular and consistent play by Williams and Komar and it could cost him a roster spot.
14 Stephen Williams WR 6-5 199 Toledo (UDFA) CaStarted in place of Fitz. Thrown at 8 times; caught 3. Led team in yardage with 59.

87 Mike Jones

ASU Didn't notice.

16 Edward Gant

6-1 197 No. Alabama Zero for one - and dropped pass (along with the 4-game suspension) could cost him a roster spot
18 Max Komar 5-11 202 Idaho (UDFA) 6 for 7 (Long gain of +30. Led the team withj 76 yards).
Tight Ends:
84 Anthony Becht 6-5 280 West Virginia Didn't notice
83 Stephen Spach 6-4 250 Fresno State Penalized (falsy)
89 Ben Patrick 6-3 252 Delaware (D7) PUP list
86 Dominique Byrd, TE  6-3 255 USC Didn't notice
81 Ken Dray 6-4 251 Sanford (D7) 1 pretty) grab for +18 out of 1 thrown at him.May be emerging as a keeper for the Final 53.
Offensive Linemen:
75 Levi Brown OT 6-5 323 lb Penn. St. Brutalized by Peppers and Anderson (but not the first LT to learn from the experience).
66 Alan Faneca 6-5 307 lb LSU (FA Jets) Has continued not to impress. Pass blocking letdown on one play cost us a sack or a hurry. (You have to respect his reputation, but at what point does his game-performance have to be the standard by which he's judged)..
63 Lyle Sendlein C (6-2, 305) -Texas (UDFA)
Nothing of note.
74 Reggie Wells OT (D6a) 
6-3, 302 Clarion
Whiffed on a run block that cost Beanie yardage.
76 Taitusi (Deuce) Lutui G/T 6-4 350 USC (D2)
2nd or 3rd unit - looked good in power-run blocking schemes. Radio guys expect him to move up the charts and regain his starting role.
70 Rex Hadnot G 6-2 310 Houston (FA Cleve) Didn't notice.
72 Brandon Keith OG/OT 6-5 345 lb No. Iowa (D7) Schooled by Peppers &/or Anderson (If the learning won't kill you, it will only make you stronger). c
73 Jeremy Bridges G/T 6-4 326 So Miss (FA) Holding flag late in game. Veterans aren't supposed to get penalized.
62 Ben Claxton C 6-2 301  
67 Herman "House" Johnson G 6-7 382 LSU D6) Whiffed late in game resulting in a sack and a fumble, but at least fell on the ball.
69 Casey Knips G 6-8 300 So Dakota St (UDFA)  
60 David Moosman C 6-5 293 Michigan (UDFA)  
68 Pestock, Tom G/T 6-6 317 MW Missouri St .
66 Jordan Palmer G 6-5 338 Auburn (2))  
Defensive Linemen:
90 Darnell Dockett UT/DE  6-3 292 Florida State (D3) Brief (outstanding) showing.
98 Gabe Watson NT 6-3 341 Michigan (D4)  Racked up one sack.
93 Calais Campbell (D2) 6-8 283, Miami (FL)

Outstanding game - 3 tackles; one sack (probably should have been credited for being in on another one) one forced fumble; one hurry.

74 Ken Iwebema (D4) 6-4 269, Iowa

A couple of nice stops.

92 Dan Williams NT 6-2 327 Tennessee (D1) Impressive when he was rotated in there. Only credited with one tackle, but I'm pretty sure he was in the thick of at least 3.
.71 Jeremy Clark DE 6-3 09 lb Alabama (FA) In on a couple of tackles in a backup role.
78 Alan Branch 6-6 331 lb Michigan (D2 2007) Radio guys said nice things about him, but he wasn't credited with any tackes.
97 Bryant Robinson (FA) 6-3 304, Fresno St

Didn't see - did he play?

65 John Fletcher DE 6-6 272 Wyoming(FA1)

Didn't notice.

55 Joey Porter OLB 6-3 255  (FA Miami)
In for one tackle for a loss in brief appearance.
54 Gerald Hayes ILB 6-1, 239, Pitt (D3) PUP - Did not play.
58 Daryl Washington ILB 6-1, 230 TCU (D2) Solid but unspectacular game in starting role. 3 tackles.
53 Clark Haggans DE/OLB 6-4 243 (Steelers) Surpisingly impactful. 3 tackles; half a sack; 1 QB hurry and 1 tackle for a loss.
51 Paris Lenon 6-2 235 Richmond 9 (FA Rams) Tied for second in tackles with 4
50 Monte Beisel 6-3 240 Kansas St Took one penalty on special teams. One tackle
56 Reggie Walker 6-0 238 Kansas State Did not notice
52 Cody Brown 6-2 244 UConn (D2) Did not notice.
59 Will Davis 6-2 261 Illinois (D6) Not his strongest game.
43 Chris Johnson 6-2 230 So Dakota St  
57 Stevie Baggs 6-1 245 Bethune Cookman(FA fr CFL)) Said to be extremely well-liked by his teammates. 1 special teams tackle, but I think the Cards are hoping for more from the CFL sack artist.
95 Pago Togafau 5-10 242 Idaho St.FA Penalized or illegal contact. May be playing himself off roster.

96 Mark WashingtonOLB


6-3 245 Texas St. - San Marcus Did not notice
48 O' Brien Schofield 6-2 235 Wisconsin (D4) PUP
Defensive Backs:
24 Adrian Wilson S 6-2 213 (D3) Did his usual thing. A couple of tackles (one for a loss)
25 Kerry Rhodes 6-3 209 Louisville (Jets(Trade) Wasn't mentioned much on radio. One tackle
29 Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie 6015 185 Tenn. St. (D1)
Solid outing after sluggish early showing. One pick. 
28 Greg Toler CB 5-11 191 St. Paul's (D4) Looked good in coverage. One pick. Probably has secured starting role opposite DRC.
21 Jorrick Calvin 5-11 185 Troy Saw some late action but called out by radio guys for playing too far "off.".
27 Michael Adams CB  (5-8, 178) - Louisiana-Lafayette (UDFA) Nifty sack. Also 2nd on the team in tackles yesterday with 4; plus one tackle for a loss and one QB hurry. May not be the answer as a starting CB but has definite (game-breaking) value as a nickel or dime slot specialist..
49 Rashad Johnson S 5-11 205 Alabama (D3) Led the team in tackles (6) but also seemed to get victimized a lot.. May face too much competition from Adbdullah and Ware for spot on Final 53.
41 Hamzah Abdullah  S 6-2 215 Washington State Another solid performance - seems to be outplaying Rashad Johnson for a backup safety spot.
20 A.J. Jefferson CB 6-0 190 (UDFA) Fresno St (UDFA) Not much from the radio guys - we won't know how he and and the other young CB's do until we see the tape of the game in a day or two.
30 Marshay Green CB 5-9 175 Ole Miss (UDFA) Not as big a showing as in earlier games. Return performance not as impressive either. Not much from the radio guys - we won't know how he and and the other young CB's do until we see the tape of the game in a day or two.
22 Matt Ware S 6-0 210 (Waivers Philadelphia) UCLA Played a solid game - only credited with one tackle, but it was the one that kept the Bears out of the end zone late  in the game.
47 Justin Miller CB
5-10 195 Clemson (FA Jets, Raiders) Not so hot this time on kick or punt returns. Burned again in pass coverage. May be a tough late-cut decision.
37 Trumaine McBride CB 5-9 180 Ole Miss

Did not catch my attention.

39 Trevor Ford CB 6-0 188 Troy

Not much from the radio guys - we won't know how he and and the other young CB's do until we see the tape of the game in a day or two.

40 Pat Tillman,   (S) 5-10 208 (3) ASU Permanent part of the Cardinal roster..
Specialty Teams
04 Jay Feely K (FA - Jets) Generally kept KO's deep. No FG opportunities.
05 Ben Graham  P 6-5 235  FA) Jets With one exception in 2H, he consistently kept the Bears bottled up inside their own 15.
82 Mike Leach LS 6-2 240 William & Mary (FA Denver)  
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