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Schofield Waits His Turn

Posted Sep 30, 2011

Notebook: Linebacker to wear wristband; Beanie questionable for Giants

Linebacker O'Brien Schofield is patiently waiting for to play more snaps on defense.

Sometimes, O’Brien Schofield admits, he gets antsy.

The second-year outside linebacker would like to play more. So much was said about Schofield’s importance coming into the season as the Cards’ big hope as pass rusher, that playing time was assumed.

But veteran Joey Porter, playing in front of Schofield, has held up through three games, and combined with Schofield’s continuing learning curve, Schofield remains waiting as mostly a special teamer.

“We’ve been in some tight games and coaches feel comfortable with Clark (Haggans) and Peezy (Porter) right now,” Schofield said. “Every day I am getting better and when my time comes, I am going to show up and show out, that’s the goal. It’s nothing to get frustrated about because it’s a long season. My opportunity will have to come sooner or later.

“It’s almost like being a freshman in a college program. The veterans are here and have proven themselves and you have to wait your turn.”

Schofield did get to play some defense in Seattle, but the two series in which he took part were abbreviated three- and five-play possessions for the Seahawks before a punt. Schofield missed out on playing time, but acknowledged “you can’t be upset with that, because the job is to get off the field.”

Defensive coordinator Ray Horton will have Schofield wear a wristband with the plays on it. Horton said players in Pittsburgh did the same thing as they learned the defense, and while Schofield isn’t thrilled with the idea, it’s necessary.

“He’s one of the key guys we have to get on the same page,” Horton said.

That said, Horton added Schofield did seem to have “clarity” in what the Cards need him to do.

Coach Ken Whisenhunt said he is pleased with the current defensive rotation of Haggans and Porter as starters, with Schofield and rookie Sam Acho filling in. Horton said Acho is coming along well for a rookie, saying “he’s a brilliant -- not smart, brilliant -- player for us.”

Schofield, however, is closer to making an impact once he gets down his duties. That’s the biggest stumbling block for Schofield for now. Porter and Haggans know the defense, which engenders a trust coaches like to have.

“It’s not like I haven’t gotten any time,” Schofield said. “At some points, I’d love to be on the field on third downs because I believe pass rushing is my strength. But the coaches know best. That’s their job, to put guys in positions to be successful. I know my chance will come.”

BEANIE QUESTIONABLE

Running back Beanie Wells is officially questionable Sunday with his sore hamstring, and while Whisenhunt said he will be tested before the game, “we still feel very optimistic he will be able to play.” Running back LaRod Stephens-Howling (hand) was back to full practice Friday and is also expected to finally make it back to the lineup, although he too is officially questionable.

The only other player questionable for the Cards is wide receiver Chansi Stuckey (hamstring). Tight end Jim Dray (pectoral) remains out. It’s the healthiest the Cardinals have been since the opener.

For the Giants, defensive linemen Osi Umenyiora (knee) and Justin Tuck (groin, neck) were both listed as questionable, as is long snapper Zak DeOssie (back). Cornerback Prince Amukamara (foot) and receiver Brandon Stokley (quad) are out.

KOLB SHOULDERING THE LOAD

Former Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner recently said it takes a quarterback a year in an offense to truly become comfortable. That current quarterback Kevin Kolb – who just started learning the offense at the tail end of July – is going through growing pains should be a surprise.

Kolb wouldn’t say the Cards’ offense asks more of a quarterback, just that it is “different.”

“I think a lot of it is how much you can grow with it,” Kolb said. “That’s why you see the Bradys, the Mannings, the Breeses, because they have been there a while and the offense keeps growing under their belt. Then they just become spectacular offenses. That’s what we want to get to here.”


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