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In Success, Defense Still Not Happy

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Cardinals defensive end Bertrand Berry hauls down Dolphins quarterback Chad Pennington for a sack during Sunday's 31-10 Cards' win.

Karlos Dansby was mad.

The Cardinals' linebacker couldn't bring down Dolphins running back Ronnie Brown with less than three minutes left in Sunday's 31-10 Arizona win, and Brown managed to get in the end zone on a one-yard run.

"I am sick to my stomach," Dansby said. "It was me and him, one on one. I hit him solid, but he kind of leaned away from me and he got it. I was real upset about that. He shouldn't have gotten in."

It's picky – the Cards were still leading by three touchdowns after Brown's score – but it represented the kind of attitude the unit probably needs as the season moves forward.

The Cardinals held the Dolphins to 236 total yards and 3-of-12 on third downs. There were no turnovers after the Cards generated five in San Francisco, a point that the group wants to correct.

"I still think we are kind of learning on the job," safety Adrian Wilson said. "There were some plays out there that we should've made that we didn't make."

Overall, though, coach Ken Whisenhunt said the defense did its duty, which was to not give up the big play.

"I felt like our defense played our scheme well," Whisenhunt said. "They were in tune to what we were trying to do."

Yet letting Brown sneak in will eat at Dansby.

"We got to go to the next level, so I got to make that play," Dansby said. "That's how we gotta roll."

A-DUB ON OFFENSE

A week after rookie cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie went out for a pass as a receiver, the Cardinals used Wilson as a blocking tight end/receiver on a running play against the Dolphins. Wilson locked up with Miami linebacker Joey Porter on what turned out to be a one-yard loss.

"It's just something we worked on during the week," Wilson said. "Like anything I do, I tried to make the most of it."

Whisenhunt, who used Rodgers-Cromartie as a receiver again Sunday (although the throw didn't go to him this week), said he'd have to try and mix up his use of defensive players on offense.

"I think it's a good thing," Whisenhunt said, adding with a smile, "The only thing is Anquan came to me and said he wants to play safety. We can't get too crazy."

Told of Whisenhunt's comment, Boldin deadpanned, "Just to blitz. I want a shot at the quarterback."

EDGE REACHES 15,000

With 55 yards from scrimmage Sunday (all rushing), Cardinals running back Edgerrin James became the 14th player in NFL history to cross the 15,000-yard mark.

"It's a nice accomplishment, but I've got to continue working," James said. "At the end of my career, I'll look back."

LEINART PLAYS

Backup quarterback Matt Leinart got his first playing time of the season, coming into the game with 2:38 left. Leinart threw two passes, completing one -- a 15-yarder to tight end Leonard Pope.

INJURY UPDATE

The Cardinals had three players get hurt in the game, although all three returned to play after getting dinged: cornerback Eric Green (left calf), cornerback Rod Hood (neck) and tackle Levin Brown (left knee strain).

EXTRA POINTS

Anquan Boldin's 100-plus yard receiving day was the 22nd of his career, tying tight end Jackie Smith for the most 100-yard days in franchise history. He became the first Card to had three touchdown catches in a game since Rob Moore did it of Dec. 7, 1997. …

The Cardinals have scored 20 points in a game in 10 straight games dating back to last season, the longest such streak active in the NFL.


Contact Darren Urban at askdarren@cardinals.nfl.net. Posted 9/14/08.

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