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Toler Hopes To Bounce Back

Notebook: Cornerback picked on Sunday; Cards lose three running backs to injury


Cornerback Greg Toler dives to tackle Seahawks receiver Mike Williams in the Cards' 36-18 loss Sunday.

Greg Toler led the Cardinals with eight tackles Sunday and knocked down a pair of passes.

But the cornerback was sullen following the 36-18 loss, down after getting repeatedly picked on by the Seahawks and ultimately being benched for a while in favor of backup Michael Adams.

"I've just got to put it past me and capitalize on the next game," Toler said quietly, just before exiting the locker room. "Correct my mental errors and not getting the recognition of my play call and stay on top of my game."

The Seahawks used big wide receiver Mike Williams early and often, and Williams ended up with 11 catches for 145 yards. They weren't all on Toler, but the second-year starter was a better choice for the Seahawks than Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.

"Rodgers-Cromartie is a good corner," Williams said. "He's instinctive. He's fast. We kind of worked out way to him, but we took advantage of the guy on the other side more so."

Rodgers-Cromartie made sure he talked to Toler – who spent much of the open locker room time with his head down, tucked facing the wall in his locker – to remind him he has talent.

"I said, 'Man, us -- me and him -- we got to play how we did to get us here," Rodgers-Cromartie said. "I know this is a technique game, but there are certain things we have that other corners don't possess and you have to use them. Playing their game is killing us. We can't play their game. We've got to play our game."

Toler tried to sound optimistic.

"God's not going to put too much on me that you can't (deal)," Toler said. "He will see if I can handle it and bounce back."


Running back Beanie Wells was inactive Sunday because of his knee issues, leaving three backs – starter Tim Hightower, LaRod Stephens-Howling and Jason Wright. Then Stephens-Howling pulled a hamstring, and while he came back briefly, he was eventually rendered sidelined. And Wright suffered a concussion while blocking on a kickoff return, leaving Hightower alone.

Steve Breaston took Stephens-Howling's spot as kickoff returner, while Hightower ended up with 13 rushes for 39 yards and two receptions for 23 yards.

"I don't think I got the job done," Hightower said. "They relied on me to come out with the big plays and I didn't. Running backs were down so I've got to step up my game."


The defense wasn't helped by the absence of Pro Bowl defensive tackle Darnell Dockett, who missed a game for the first time in his seven-year career. Dockett hurt his shoulder in Minnesota, and when he was tested for strength before the game, it was determined Dockett couldn't go.

"You run the chance of aggravating it and missing more time," Whisenhunt said. "That's unfortunate because we obviously missed him today."

"He brings a lot to the table but we have other guys that have to step up," linebacker Gerald Hayes said. "That's what it comes down to."


Safety Adrian Wilson ended up downfield in coverage on a couple of long completions again, but Whisenhunt said it was a "combination of things" that set up such situations and not necessarily just Wilson's fault.

"There were a couple of times where we made the check and it wasn't played correctly and a lot of times that puts your safeties on an island when it's not their fault," Whisenhunt said. "That's part of the reason we gave up so many yards and so many points today."

Wilson declined to speak to the media, saying through a spokesman he would do so Monday.

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