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Cardinals Prep For Up-Tempo Eagles

Notebook: Floyd isn't drawing attention yet; Palmer sticking with 'stache


The Cardinals will have to be ready defensively for the up-tempo Eagles.

The Eagles are going to ramp up their offensive tempo, as they have done since Chip Kelly took over as coach. The Cardinals are doing their best to prepare.

"When you're going against a team that doesn't huddle and is an up-tempo thing, getting everybody in the proper alignments is the hardest thing because it's really tough to simulate that in practice," Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said.

Philadelphia is the fourth-ranked NFL offense overall and first in rushing, but it isn't just the yards but the way the Eagles pile them up. The Cardinals will try in practice to get the scout team to quickly memorize as many plays as possible to simulate

the tempo, but it is impossible to ask them to keep up the same pace so the Cards' defense gets a legitimate up-tempo look.

"It's about communication," cornerback Patrick Peterson said. "We have a good feel with what they want to do. We know it won't be a great show (in practice) but we still want to a feel with how the tempo will be."

The Eagles ran 77 plays in their season-opening win over the Redskins, but during their current three-game winning streak their average plays per game is 59. For the season, the Eagles run an average of 65.4 plays a game. By contrast, the Cardinals have averaged 63.1 offensive plays per game this season.

"You don't need to worry," linebacker Daryl Washington said. "You just try to slow the game down in your head. We need to try and dictate our own tempo.

"We can't worry. It's a simple game. That's what they want us to do is panic. We can't do that."

There is a flip side to the speed. The Eagles are last in the NFL in time of possession – by a relatively large margin – because they go so quickly on offense. That means more time on the field for a defense that could get tired.

First, though, the Cardinals have to find a way to keep up with their own defense and make sure the Eagles don't fast-break their way into so many points.

"The challenge you have going into each week is you're not sure exactly what the next team coming up is going to do and how they are going to defend you," Kelly said. "The scheme is always about players and (the Cardinals) have outstanding players."


Wide receiver Michael Floyd has never been fond of the interview process. At one point a reporter joked with him about how it was his favorite part of the job, and Floyd smiled and said "the best part of the job" with sarcasm intact.

The Cardinals wouldn't mind Floyd getting a little more attention on the field either, if for no other reason than to free up fellow receiver Larry Fitzgerald. But Floyd said that hasn't happened a lot.

"It depends what exactly we are running," Floyd said. "For the most part Larry does (get the attention) and he opens it up for most of us out there."

Perhaps that should start to change. Floyd has 297 yards receiving the past two games, the largest total for a Cardinals receiver in a two-game stretch since Rob Moore had 302 back in 1997.


Arians proclaimed the Cardinals fairly healthy, a notion backed up by a short and benign injury report. Only three players were limited: Floyd (shoulder), safety Yeremiah Bell (knee) and safety Rashad Johnson (ribs). Quarterback Carson Palmer remains on the injury report with a right hand issue, but he practiced full and the injury did not impact last game.

Arians did say he expected Floyd to be dealing with his sore shoulder the remainder of the season.

For the Eagles, the only player hindered was safety Earl Wolff, who did not practice because of an injured knee.


Palmer said he would not be shaving off his mustache before the Eagles' game. Palmer grew the facial hair for no-shave November, which just happened to coincide with Palmer's improved play and the Cardinals' winning streak.

Asked if he was superstitious, Palmer said, "I'm not superstitious at all, but I'm totally superstitious. A little-stitious. I'm quite-stitious."

But Palmer wouldn't commit to the mustache even with a win, saying it would probably be a group QB decision made by Drew Stanton.

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