Arizona Cardinals

NFC West

2014 Schedule

  • Week 1

    SD @ ARI

    09/08/14

    10:15 pm

  • Week 2

    ARI @ NYG

    09/14/14

    1:00 pm

  • Week 4

    bye

  • Week 5

    ARI @ DEN

    10/05/14

    4:00 pm

  • Week 7

    ARI @ OAK

    10/19/14

    4:30 pm

  • Week 8

    PHI @ ARI

    10/26/14

    4:00 pm

  • Week 9

    ARI @ DAL

    11/02/14

    1:00 pm

  • Week 10

    STL @ ARI

    11/09/14

    4:30 pm

  • Week 11

    DET @ ARI

    11/16/14

    4:30 pm

  • Week 12

    ARI @ SEA

    11/23/14

    4:00 pm

  • Week 13

    ARI @ ATL

    11/30/14

    4:00 pm

  • Week 14

    KC @ ARI

    12/07/14

    4:00 pm

  • Week 15

    ARI @ STL

    12/11/14

    8:30 pm

  • Week 16

    SEA @ ARI

    12/21/14

    8:30 pm

  • Week 17

    ARI @ SF

    12/28/14

    4:30 pm

PYRO Fantasy Depth Chart

The PYRO Fantasy Football Depth Chart is a rundown of where Team PYRO projects the fantasy production for each team at each position. It is NOT an attempt to inform you of the current starters for each team. For example, we are well aware that Brandon Manumaleuna is currently the starting TE for the Chicago Bears, but if you look at the Bears Team Page, we have Greg Olsen listed at TE. Why? We’re projecting that Greg Olsen will be the most Fantasy Football relevant TE for the Bears this season. Since Olsen will be the Bears leading FF point scorer at TE, it’s his name at the top of the TE column on our PYRO Fantasy Depth Chart.

Birds of Prey: The 2008 Cardinals

Ken Wisenhunt was hired after the firing of Dennis Green and led the team to an 8-8 record in his first season at the helm. 2007 was a season with a mash up of Kurt Warner and Matt Leinart at quarterback that would eventually be their undoing. The 2008 season began much more promising as Kurt Warner was named the starter from week one and the Cardinals would begin the season 7-3. The 2008 Cardinals Team was a group that finished the season with a 9-7 record but everyone knew they did not want to play them going into the playoffs. Kurt Warner would end up starting all sixteen games in 2008 and complete 402 of his 599 attempts for 4,582 yards and 30 touchdowns to 14 interceptions.

The 2008 Cardinals featured a number of future hall of famers starting with Kurt Warner to Edgerrin James to the dynamic duo on the outside of Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin, and Steve Breaston who although not a hall of famer racked up over 1,000 yards receiving. Edgerrin James would be slowed by injuries all season long and finish with just 514 yards on the ground and being used in a committee with rookie Tim Hightower who would punch in 10 touchdowns on the season in addition being the third down back and compiling 629 total yards. The passing attack however was not slowed as Larry Fitzgerald caught 96 passes for 1,434 yards and 12 touchdowns, Anquan Boldin caught 89 passes for 1,038 yards and 11 scores, and Steve Breaston added 77 catches for 1,003 yards and three trips to the endzone. All three receivers would finish the season as top 30 options in fantasy with Larry leading all receivers in standard scoring.

9-7 was good enough to win the NFC West in 2008 and get the fourth seed in the playoffs. The Cardinals would host the Falcons and the young gun Matt Ryan in the first round of the playoffs. The game had no shortage of aerial excellence as Warner would throw a 42 yard touchdown to Larry Fitzgerald and a 71-yarder to Anquan Boldin. The Cardinals would advance to the next round by a score of 30-24 and take on the number two seeded Carolina Panthers.

The Carolina Panthers were heavily favored going into the game but the Cardinals would provide a balanced offensive attack that would stun the Panthers. Hightower, James, and Fitzgerald would all score in the first half and Neil Rackers would tack on 4 field goals throughout the game on the way to a 33-13 victory on the road. Fitzgerald would set the franchise record for receiving yards in a postseason game with a stat line of 8 catches for 166 yards and a touchdown. The defense had also played much better than they had at any point during the season as they would force Jake Delhomme into six turnovers. The Cardinals would end up hosting the Eagles in the next round as they were the sixth seed that upset the number one seed New York Giants the previous week in what would be the Cardinals first NFC Championship game in their history.

The NFC Championship game started off in familiar fashion with Warner taking the team down the field after the opening kickoff and throwing a touchdown pass to Larry Fitzgerald. In the second quarter Warner would find Fitzgerald again, this time for a 62 yard score. Warner and Fitzgerald would hook up again for a one yard score before the half. The Cardinals would go into the half with a 24-6 lead but the Eagles would storm back after halftime and take a 25-24 lead. Warner would lead the Cardinals back in the fourth quarter and score on an eight-yard pass to Tim Hightower, then complete the two-point conversion to Ben Patrick.  Fitzgerald would finish the day with 152 yards receiving and three touchdowns. The Cardinals would hold on for the victory and secure the first Superbowl appearance in franchise history. Larry Fitzgerald caught 23 passes for a postseason record 419 yards and five touchdowns during their postseason run to the Superbowl.

Superbowl XLIII would feature the Arizona Cardinals against the Pittsburgh Steelers with Wisenhunt facing his former team in Tampa Bay. The Cardinals were looking to win their first NFL Championship since 1947, which is the longest drought in the NFL, while the Steelers were looking to become the first franchise to win six Superbowls. The Cardinals would start the game slow scoring only a touchdown through the first three quarters and also a costly interception that would be returned 100-yards by James Harrison just before the half. Trailing 20-7 at the start of the fourth quarter the Cardinals would storm back with 16 unanswered points that included a 64-yard touchdown pass to Larry Fitzgerald. The Steelers got the ball back with 2:37 left in the game and marched 78 yards for a score with Santonio Holmes capping it off with a 6 yard touchdown catch that will go down as one of the best in Superbowl history. Holmes would be named the MVP after accounting for 73 of the final 78 yards and totaling 9 catches for 131 yards and this brilliant toe-dragging touchdown:

Fitzgerald would catch 7 passes for 127 yards and two scores in the Superbowl. His four game stretch in the Cardinals postseason that year is something to be marveled at as he caught 30 passes for 546 yards and seven touchdowns. The Cardinals were one of the more exciting teams to watch in the NFL that season and showed that the spread offense could work at the highest levels of football as they nearly secured a Championship if it weren’t for Santonio Holmes heroics on the final drive.


 







 


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Larry Legend of the Gridiron

Larry Fitzgerald is the best Cardinal Wide Receiver ever and it is not even close. Fitz leads the franchise in almost every receiving category including receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns. Fitz’s closest competitor for the top spot among Cardinal receivers belongs to former teammate Anquan Boldin, but Fitz is the unquestioned GOAT when it comes to the Cardinals.  Larry is known as one of the best pass catchers of his generation because of his polished route running, incredible catch radius, and unmatched hands. Larry Fitzgerald is so well respected among his peers that many of them strive to be invited to his receiver camp that is said to be the best in the business.

Larry has had some up and down play at the quarterback position but has been very good for his ten year NFL career to this point. Fitzgerald has compiled 846 catches for 11,367 yards and 87 touchdowns to this point in his career and is showing no signs of slowing down as he had a mild resurgence in 2013 with Carson Palmer at the helm. Fitz has caught over 100 passes twice in his career and has caught double digit touchdown passes in 5 seasons. Fitz’s best season came in 2008 with Kurt Warner as his quarterback, Fitz caught 96 passes for 1,431 yards and 12 touchdowns and helped the franchise to an eventual Superbowl birth. Larry Fitzgerald caught 23 passes for a postseason record 419 yards and five touchdowns during their postseason run.

Larry will go down as one of the best receivers of his generation along with teammate Anquan Boldin as they currently rank 28th and 29th on the all time receiving yards list, and to think these guys played together. Larry Legend is a name not commonly thrown around but for Fitzgerald it is fitting.


 


Larry fitz chart


 







 


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They are who we thought they were!!!

Dennis Green was a very angry individual and it all came to a head when the Cardinals took on the Bears on Monday Night Football in October. The Bears entered the game undefeated at 5-0 and the Cardinals entered the game reeling at 1-4. The Cardinals would jump on the Bears with a 20 point lead at the half. The Cardinals had already defeated the Bears in Week 3 of the pre-season so they knew who they were and this rant ensued:


 







 


This rant along with the collapse itself was one of the reasons the Cardinals opted to fire Green after the season and hire Ken Wisenhunt. The rant has since been referenced many of times including being featured in a Coors light which can be seen here:


 







 


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Palmer out

Carson Palmer has been ruled out of today's game against the Giants. NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport has reported. Palmer tested the shoulder before the game and was declared a no-go.

Pyro's take: Hard times for Palmer owners as this was going to be a nice match-up for him. Instead, Drew Stanton will get the call, and still probably put up some good numbers, yes, the Giants defense is that bad.

No, need to make any decisions as Palmer will be back most likely in week three.

09/14/14, 10:17 AM CDT by Vaaal-verde
Source: www.cbssports.com

Ellington still a ?

The first injury report of the week came out on Wednesday and both teams had a few players who sat out of practice.

Arizona had three. Running back Andre Ellington (foot), linebacker Alex Okafor (thigh) and defensive end Frostee Rucker (calf) all sat out.

Rucker has already been declared as doubtful for the game on Sunday.

The Ellington injury is interesting. Reports say he cannot injure it more. Ellington says it is sore more than it is causing him pain. But he was in a walking boot. It looks like the plan for him in practice will be to sit out the start of the week and give him more reps as the week goes on.

Pyro's take: Ellington received 18 touches in week 1 which is encouraging for him to be able to handle and RB2 workload each week. The team seems to be playing it safe with him giving him very little practice time during the week. He is currently listed as questionable but looks like he will be a go unless he suffers a big set back.

Ellington still figures to be the feature back this week and get a nice load of carries as well as plenty of work in the passing game. Stepfan Taylor and Jonathan Dwyer will continue to spell the Duke if he suits up this week.

09/12/14, 03:20 PM CDT by Stagg Party
Source: www.revengeofthebirds.com

Busted

Former NFL quarterback for the Arizona Cardinals, Max Hall, got busted for cocaine on possession and shoplifting outside a Best Buy store.

Apparently, he possession of "several stolen items from Best Buy and a nearby Walmart," according to a department spokesman.

Pyro's take: Max Hall only had a three-game career, passing for 370 yards and one touchdown. He was out of the NFL in 2011, and took a year off before playing in the CFL in 2012.

09/11/14, 11:05 PM CDT by Vaaal-verde
Source: www.foxsports.com

Not targeted?

Nobody expected that Larry Fitzgerald to get zero targets by the end of the third quarter. When the fourth quarter came around, Bruce Arians must have been notified that this was a situation, because Fitzgerald got four targets in the quarter, and finished with one catch for 22 yards.

Pyro's take: This is surprising aspect that serves one or two purposes. Either the Cardinals just game planned it that way, or their phasing him out of the playbook. Carson Palmer went on to say: "The offense is the offense, regardless of what jersey guys are wearing and who is catching the ball," Palmer said. "You've got to go where the best opportunity to get a completion is. More often than not, that's Larry, even when he's double covered. You just don't want to force balls into him."

At this point there is no need to worry about Fitzgerald, he is too skilled to get locked down, but, the Cardinals do have a plethora of weapons, which could hamper him. Keep playing like you normally would.

09/09/14, 01:32 PM CDT by Vaaal-verde
Source: www.azcentral.com

Palmer and crew

Carson Palmer led the Arizona Cardinals offense in a victory against a good San Diego Chargers defense. The offense had "gained 403 yards, rushed for 109, converted 6 of 13 third downs (46 per cent), scored touchdowns on two of three red zone situations and gained a first down to put the game away in the final minute."

What seemed like an offense struggling, only six points through three quarters, took off when it needed too. Palmer marched the offense down the field in the fourth quarter for a touchdown deciding victory. The absence of Larry Fitzgerald was also a concern for the Arizona Cardinals, but even though he didnt have one target in three quarters, the Cardinals still pulled it out.

Pyro's take: The defense played great for Arizona, which is a little scary considering they lost some key personnel. This allowed Carson Palmer and the offense to keep working their game plan, and keep them in the game. Michael Floyd, Andre Ellington, Rob Housler, John Carlson, John Brown, and of course Larry Fitzgerald bring together a talented offense, and all will play a key role.



09/09/14, 12:38 PM CDT by Vaaal-verde
Source: www.azcentral.com

Ellington Active

Andre Ellington will be active tonight against the San Diego Chargers.

Pyro's take: The issue is how much he will play. I can't see a whole lot of work out of him, as his importance to the offense out-rides a week one injury disaster. Proceed with caution this week, and see how much he is used.

09/08/14, 08:15 PM CDT by Vaaal-verde
Source: arizonasports.com

MRI on foot

Andre Ellington has undergone an MRI on his foot, according to Mike Jurecki of KGME-AM and the Arizona Republic. Jurecki is also reporting that Ellington could miss a significant amount of time, and could return after bye-week.

Ellington changes the way the Cardinals run their offense because of his impressive receiving skills, and the drop-off is steep after him. Stepfan Taylor and Jonathan Dwyer are next in line for carries and would split work if Ellington is hurt.

Pyro's take: For all PPR owners this is brutal news, as he was drafted because he has the possibility to catch 70 receptions. The good news is that he will be back, and owners just need to hold on, and don't overreact. Owners that don't have him, try to acquire him through a trade, there may be a disgruntled owner, who does not want to deal with long-term effect.

09/05/14, 11:47 AM CDT by Vaaal-verde
Source: www.nfl.com

We love The DUKE

Andre Ellington will be a major part of the offense when the regular season begins, but carried the ball only four times combined in the first two preseason games to avoid wear and tear on his frame.

Ellington upped his workload against the Bengals, finishing with nine carries for 46 yards, a 5.1-yard average. He highlighted the effort with a 24-yard burst in the second quarter, hitting the edge quickly before cutting back up the middle.

“The one run, you see the explosion,” quarterback Carson Palmer said. “It’s a guy almost playing at a different speed than everyone else. His vision, his cut. Once he puts his foot in the ground and goes. He’s special and he showed that on one simple run.”

Pyro's take: We have been on this guy earlier than any other website, and 2014 looks like it is going to a fun year for The DUKE. The video of the 24-yard runs shows just how explosive he is. He is going to get a good amount of carries, but will also be heavily utilized in the Cardinals passing game. Andre is not sneaking up on anyone this season, but his upside is huge!

08/26/14, 09:00 PM CDT by Houdini
Source: www.azcardinals.com

Needs Space

Ellington has shown that he is amazing when it comes to open space and his blazing speed makes the best defender look confused. Now a year after his rookie season Ellington is now a starter. The job for offensive coordinators is learning how to get him into the open areas. "Andre could start on our team as wide receiver," Arians said, "so you want to be able to use that skill and still have another back in the game who can do everything else. It's fun creating things with a player like him."

The Cardinals have been inserting a two-back set, with the 5-11 and 235 pounder Robert Hughes. Ellington cannot be a lone backer, because of his inadequacies as a blocker.

A sixth-round pick out of Clemson in 2013, Ellington gained 1,023 yards from scrimmage (652 rushing, 371 receiving) as a rookie. His 5.53-yard rushing average led all players with at least 100 attempts.

Pyro's take: Andre "The Duke" Ellington has been on Pyro's list of players for a long time now, and he continues to impress. With word that he will be lined up anywhere on the field. Carson Palmer went on to say that "You just don't know what he's going to do," Palmer said. "He's so explosive, so quick and his vision is so good. You want to put him in the pass game It's hard to predict, 'Oh, he's going to have 'X' amount of yards and 'X' amount of catches.' He's so talented in both. I want to use him in the pass game, but selfishly I want to use him in the run game, too."

Dont be shocked to see anywhere near 60-70 receptions and 400-500 rushing yards from Ellington, he is gonna be a PPR monster.

08/08/14, 06:15 PM CDT by Vaaal-verde
Source: www.sportsmanias.com

Rookie John Brown impresses in AZ

Brown was an unknown before the Cardinals drafted him in the third round in May, but has thus far wowed the organization with his progress. The
Pittsburg State product picked up significant buzz with his offseason production and played well on the first two days of training camp.

Monday was the first day of full pads, and coach Bruce Arians was interested to know how he would handle the change.“Can he play that fast? Can he get off the jam?” Arians said. “It’ll be more physical.”

Brown did his part to give answers, highlighting the practice with an 82-yard touchdown catch from quarterback Drew Stanton in 11-on-11 action.

Pyro's take: Brown landed in a perfect situation in Arizona. The rookie is only 5'10", but he has blazing 4.34 speed. That speed in Bruce Arians offense is a weapon that will be used. Arians has always favored a speedster that can challenge defenses, stretching the field and creating big play opportunities. Brown has a good chance to win the slot job, and hit on some long touchdown plays this season.

07/28/14, 09:03 PM CDT by Houdini
Source: www.azcardinals.com

Floyd performing well

Michael Floyd looks as though he is continuing where he left off last year. He was singled by the Arizona Republic for having a great spring, and was commented by the paper stating that he
Michael Floyd was one of several "caught nearly everything thrown his way."
Floyd led the Cardinals with 1,041 yards on just 65 catches with five touchdowns last season.

Floyd is also getting constant praise from his coaches,statements such as "his play is going to dictate more and more attention," reports the team's website. But, its not only the coaches excited over Floyd. Quarterback Carson Palmer reported through the team's official website. "The way Mike Floyd is playing," Palmer said, "just jumped out at me." Added Palmer: "I have very high expectations for Mike this year."

Pyro's take: Floyd is entering his third year and second year under the Bruce Arians system. He put up stellar numbers last year, and all signs at camp show he will continue the trend upwards. I think there is no doubt he will improve his receptions, yards, and touchdown, as he is a huge red zone target, standing at 6'3 and weighing 220. 2014 totals for him should be in the range of 75-1200-7.

06/20/14, 05:24 PM CDT by Vaaal-verde
Source: www.azcentral.com

Dwyer signs one-year deal with Arizona

The Arizona Cardinals have signed RB Jonathan Dwyer to a one-year contract worth $795,000. The deal included a $65,000 signing bonus, but no guaranteed money beyond that.

Pyro's take: Just days after one former Pittsburgh Steelers running back retires, the Cardinals go out and grab themselves another one in Dwyer.

I don't know if the bulky 24-year-old is really any better than Mendenhall was before his recent retirement, but at least he's a couple of years younger. His potential is a little higher, as he is basically a healthier version of Mendy at this point.

Still, there's a reason he was Mendy's backup when they played together in Pittsburgh, and he'll remain a backup now that he's in Arizona.

As for the fantasy effects of the signing, RB Andre Ellington's stock actually goes up due to Dwyer posing no real threat to his touches and/or starting job.

03/14/14, 04:50 PM CDT by Dawgmaticå
Source: blog.azcardinals.com

John Carlson, Green Bay Bound?

The Green Bay Packers have interest in free-agent tight end John Carlson (Minnesota).

Pyro's take: John Carlson has been a dud since leaving the Seattle Seahawks, and with Kyle Rudolph already at tight end, there is no desperate need for Carlson, especially on a team with an absentee for a quarterback.

Carlson has had some success, his rookie year he totaled 55 receptions for 627 yards and five touchdowns, and if he landed in Lambeau, I'm sure Aaron Rodgers would make sure he felt very comfortable in the passing game.

Other teams such as the Arizona Cardinals and New York Jets have shown interest in the veteran, but passing over Rodgers for Geno Smith and Carson Palmer, may not be the best career move for John Carlson.

03/06/14, 09:49 PM CST by Vaaal-verde
Source: fansided.com

Mendenhall muses about possible retirement

A little more than two years ago, while sitting still on my couch in Pittsburgh, I saw something very clearly. Some people would call it a vision. I could see myself swimming in a large body of water, most likely an ocean. It was very late at night, remote from any shores and the waters were far from steady. It was not a comfortable place to be. Such a circumstance would seem to be very dangerous, or at least frightful; however as I watched myself journey those dark waters, for some reason, I knew I'd be okay. Deep down inside, I knew I was protected.

I was moving towards something, that I could barely see in the distance. I would have to work hard to get there. There was no way I could stay where I was and survive, nor did I want to. Getting there would be anything but easy. But it would ultimately be worth it.

What I saw in the distance was a statue of the Blessed Mother.

That day I sat on my couch two years ago was the very next day after I tore my ACL in week 17. The journey I envisioned is the two years of rebuilding that would follow. And as I write this, today is the day that the journey is over and I am fully at peace. Eagerly looking to a new way, which lies ahead.

Pyro's take: This is a good portion of a strange blog that Rashard Mendenhall posted to the Huffington Post. It is clear that he has found peace in his life, although it remains unclear what his stance is on football.

Needless to say this was quite a weird way and place to let this out, but so be it. Rashard is a free agent and is not going to get resigned in Arizona, and this appears to be his coming to grips with life after football.

He only averaged 3.2 YPC last season, and seemed to have lost his burst. Mendenhall is still only 26 and will be 27 when the season starts, but he is just not the same player since his injury.

02/25/14, 07:10 PM CST by Houdini
Source: www.huffingtonpost.com

Housler is not going to light it up in Arizona

The best tight end in the NFL? Bruce Arians doesn’t name Jimmy Graham or Rob Gronkowski. He picks Heath Miller. “Not because he catches 90 passes,” the Cardinals’ coach said at the Scouting combine Friday. “But because he blocks big defensive ends.”

Herein lies the Arians philosophy on tight ends, and why those guys piling up catch totals in spread college offenses might not be the guy the Cardinals will want going forward: “Tight ends for me block first, catch second,” Arians said.

Pyro's take: Housler is a tight end that has a lot of talent, but that talent is as a receiver. As long as Bruce Arians is around, and he is not going anywhere, Housler is not going to be a relevant fantasy tight end.

The best chance he would have is to be like Heath Miller and be a factor in the redzone. There is only one problem, he only has one touchdown in three seasons, and there is a target in Arizona by the name of Larry Fitzgerald that has a better track record.

It is time to put Housler out to graze in the pasture until he finds another home.

02/21/14, 06:27 PM CST by Houdini
Source: blog.azcardinals.com

Arians finally listens to Pyro

Arians’ description of Ellington’s situation was the most intriguing Friday as Arians met the media
at the NFL Scouting combine. A day after General Manager Steve Keim again cautioned that the second-year back wasn’t going to be a 25-carry a game guy, Arians made it clear Ellington’s role will expand from his rookie season.

Arians said Ellington has been in the weight room and has already added 10 pounds to his 199-pound frame, something Ellington already said was an offseason priority.

“I’ve never been around a running back who stepped on the field and tried to do things he’s never done before and played wide receiver as good as he does,” Arians said. “He plays it as well as most of our starting wide receivers.

“He has a unique talent we want to look at and continue to build our offense around this year.”

Pyro's take: Halleluiah!!! We have been saying, for what seems like forever, that the DUKE should be main running back for the Cardinals. Now that Rashard Mendenhall will be seeking employment elsewhere the opportunity is there for Ellington.

Arians flat out contradicted what his General Manager said, and I will side with the coach, as he calls the plays. He knows that Andre was everything and more last season. With the added strength he should be in good shape to take on the extra carries in 2014. We love the DUKE and his stock will continue to rise as we get closer to your drafts, so don't expect to sneak him past anyone. Hopefully you nabbed him last year if you are in a Dynasty league.

02/21/14, 06:19 PM CST by Houdini
Source: www.azcardinals.com

Arians confident in Palmer for next year and beyond

Though Palmer is a veteran who just finished his 10th NFL season, Cardinals coach Bruce Arians sees no reason to think the former number one pick is nearing the end of his career.

In fact, the coach believes Palmer has plenty of football left in him.

"He's in great condition, he's always in great condition," Arians said from the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis Friday. "So I would think he could be playing up to 36, 37 easily."

And with how the offense fared last season, especially in the season's second half, the coach has reason to believe big changes are not needed.

"I thought the last eight games we were real close," Arians said of the offense being where he wanted it to be. "We were running the football much better, and it helped our offensive line so much. Our receivers and quarterbacks got on the same page. Third-down efficiency improved, red zone started to improve.

"So we were playing the way we want to play the second half of the season. I was extremely pleased with where we were offensively."

As to the quarterback specifically, Palmer completed 65 percent of his passes for 2,361 yards and 14 touchdowns with just eight interceptions over the second half of the season, posting a QB rating of 95.3 over that stretch.

Pyro's take: You have to remember that the Cardinals were basically a playoff team last season, they just got screwed by the NFC North having to have a playoff representative.

When you look at his stats over the second half of the season and he threw eight interceptions, that does not tell the whole story. In their week 16 victory, in Seattle, Palmer was intercepted four times. He followed that up by throwing for 407 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in a 23-20 loss to the 49ers. Palmer should continue to improve in Arians offense.

The toughest thing going against Palmer is that he plays in the AFC West. All of those defenses are tough, and that represents six games. They also face the NFC East and AFC West, so if Palmer improves, he will have done it against some real tough competition.

02/21/14, 06:06 PM CST by Houdini
Source: arizonasports.com

The steal of the draft

“We rode him like a mule (in 2012) and the year before. People thought if he wasn’t an every-down guy, that he was an injury-prone guy. There’s this perception of him that wasn’t accurate, for whatever reason. He didn’t miss many games at all. Missed maybe one as a junior and senior.” -Clemson coach Dabo Swinney

Pyro's take: Nobody was on Ellington earlier than us...

He's bulking up a bit, which is ok if it doesn't lose the explosive nature of his game. But Mendenhall is gone and this is Andre "The Duke" Ellington's backfield. He led all RB with yards per rush and catch last year - beast!

He'll get buzz heading into draft's so I don't see him being invisible, but keep your eye on this fella', he's got as much if not more potential than any other running back in the NFL right now, no exaggeration.

02/12/14, 10:41 PM CST by d-Rx
Source: www.orangeandwhite.com

Fitzgerald restructures contract

Larry Fitzgerald was back in Arizona Tuesday after a week at the Super Bowl and made an appearance at the team’s Tempe facility.

The Pro Bowl wide receiver made it a business visit.

With the Cardinals facing Fitzgerald’s bulky salary cap number for the 2014 season, Fitzgerald officially restructured his contract, easing the impact of his deal on the cap and giving the Cards much more flexibility in which to maneuver this offseason.

Specific details of the restructuring were not immediate available, nor how much cap space was created. However, Fitzgerald’s cap number had been scheduled to be more than $18 million, and the Cardinals were expected before a restructuring to have less than $2 million of cap space once the new league year commenced in March.

Fitzgerald had been scheduled to make $12.75 million in salary for 2014. The easiest way to create cap space would be to convert some of that into a signing bonus that could be pro-rated cap-wise over the life of the contract. Fitzgerald’s deal runs through the 2018 season.

Pyro's take: This should put an end to the rumors that Fitzgerald would be traded this off-season. Fitz had a bounce back season with 10 touchdowns, which is the first time he has had double-digit scores since 2009. Although, he failed to have more than 1,000 yards for the second season in a row.

Now that his contract is out of the way, #11 can focus on getting back to the top of his craft. The biggest concern for going forward for Fitz is that he will continue to lose looks to Michael Floyd, as he continues to develop. This could be most concerning in Bruce Arians offense as Fitzgerald is not the deep target, as evidenced by his 11.6 YPC average last season. At the same time Michael Floyd's YPC averaged jumped from 12.5 in 2012 to 16.0 in 2013.

02/04/14, 04:49 PM CST by Houdini
Source: www.azcardinals.com

Ellington to play this week

No one likes missing games, let alone a rookie who has quickly established himself as one of the more dynamic players on a team.

Yet, that's exactly what Arizona Cardinals running back Andre Ellington had to do last Sunday as a left knee injury suffered in practice kept him on the sidelines during his team's 24-21 loss.

"It was tough," Ellington said. "Unfortunately we didn't win the game and I felt like I wanted to be out there and contribute what I know how to contribute, but it's behind us and we've just got to move on from it."

Part of the process is getting back on the field, and Ellington said he's ready to go Sunday when the Cardinals host the St. Louis Rams.

"I feel great just thanks to the rehab that I was getting," he said. "I got some time off, rested a little bit and I feel great."

Pyro's take: Ellington will be back to face the Rams who are giving up over 22 points a game to running backs. The DUKE has the ability to break the big run, but he has been held in check as of late. Andre should get between 10-12 touches in this game, but he is still a risky fantasy start as Mendenhall will get his share of carries as well as the redzone looks.

12/07/13, 11:34 AM CST by Houdini
Source: arizonasports.com

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