Skip to main content

Arizona Cardinals Home: The official source of the latest Cardinals headlines, news, videos, photos, tickets, rosters and game day information

You've Got Mail: Commanders Week

Topics include Dobbs arrival, how the waiver wire works, and the emergency QB

Huddle Mailbag 090523

The regular season has arrived. Meanwhile, here is the mailbag. Questions have been edited for length and clarity. You can send in a question for a future mailbag here.

From Dylan Maples Jr.:

"Hey Darren. Why are people down on Josh Dobbs over Colt McCoy? I think Dobbs looked why better in his starts for Tennessee last season than Colt did for us so why the tanking narrative all over a veteran who didn't look good during training camp?"

I can't speak for anyone's quarterback preference, truthfully. I understand skepticism about what Dobbs -- or even Clayton Tune -- can do as opposed to McCoy. Reality says McCoy has a lot more NFL playing experience than either one of them. Dobbs has been around a while but he's played little in games that count. But I would agree that McCoy struggled enough in training camp that it was reasonable to wonder how that would translate in games. They wanted to sign Dobbs in the spring and who knows what would have happened if Dobbs would have been here the whole time instead of, say, David Blough. But this is the direction Jonathan Gannon chose to go and now we'll see how it turns out.

From Neil Bowie:

"Hi Darren, Gannon came in six months ago full of energy. Now every presser he's giving less and less. Sticks with the mantra 'I like where we're at.' I don't think he'll be saying that at the end of the season. Any thoughts?"

I think it's been apparent for a while Gannon prefers to keep his cards close to his chest. That's fine. As someone who has asked questions for more than 30 years, my view has always been, if you are cool know I'm going to ask the questions, you can answer however you want. And don't be so sure about Gannon liking where they are. I understand you are talking about wins and losses, but Gannon sees his job as much bigger than just the standings in 2023.

From Jon David Lair:

"I've heard a lot of different non-Cardinal analysts say that the Cardinals are most likely to move on from Kyler after this season and try getting getting Caleb Williams or another QB from the draft. We've all also heard how much JG loves Kyler. Do you think the Cardinals might actually let go of Kyler after this season? And if so, would Caleb Williams be the guy?"

I get why people would want to speculate but that's way too far in the future for me. I'd need to know what Kyler did on the field this season, and we haven't gotten there yet. Obviously Williams is very talented. But the reality is that the best-case scenario for the Cardinals is if it turns out Kyler is the QB they need him to be and allows them to use their draft capital in other ways.

From Art Pozza:

"I am still on the fence about this and would like an expert's take. How short a leash will Joshua Dobbs have this season? If the offense gets off to a bad start, fans are going to stop clamoring for Tune."

I appreciate you referring to me as an expert. (I assume that's what you were doing and not hoping I brought in someone else.) It doesn't matter who starts -- the backup QB is always the fan favorite, and if the offense struggles, fans will be looking for whomever. That said, I'm not sure about the leash. There are a lot of factors with that. Again, the idea is to create a bridge until Kyler returns.

From Rick Rentschler:

"When teams do cuts how does the waiver wire work? Which players are subject to being picked up off waivers and which become free agents when they are cut? When players are put on injured reserve do they still get paid their full contract?"

If a player has fewer than four accrued seasons and is released, he is subject to waivers. (A player gets an accrued season, basically, if he is on the 53-man roster or IR for at least six regular-season games.) If a player has at least four accrued seasons, he becomes a free agent and can sign wherever he wants. If players end up on injured reserve for the season, yes, they get paid their entire salary. Some players on IR end up being released with an injury settlement, meaning the team and player agree on a partial salary (for the estimated amount of time the player will be sidelined) in exchange for being able to sign elsewhere.

From Stevie Henderson:

"Darren, why have we not seen a Cardinals practice squad list anywhere. The new leadership has done some unusual things, but isn't this a requirement? I thought it was due last Wednesday. Thanks."

You sent this in last week, and obviously the list is officially out now. The Cardinals prefer not to release the list until they have it complete and it wasn't completed until after the weekend. There is no rule that says a team has to have a practice squad done -- there were some names that were recorded as members and the league knew.

From Buddy Meola:

"I heard Gannon deflect questions as 'we are doing what's best for the team.' As a 20-year season ticket holder I'm interested in Mr. Bidwill's commitment to us. I've sat through the 4-12-and-worse seasons and didn't like it but I felt management was at least trying. To cut Colt when he has shown the ability to win is a slap in our face. Tell management don't complain when the stadium is full of Seahawk and Cowboy fans because they'll pay anything to see there team win a cakewalk game."

I like Colt McCoy a lot. I thought he was going to be the starter all offseason and you can find me saying on different platforms that I would be surprised if he wasn't. However, he did struggle at times in practice and this coaching staff spent the offseason judging and watching his play. As I said earlier, if the coaching staff judged that McCoy was having issues, why wouldn't you want to see if something else would work better? I can't tell you how to feel and I don't intend to, but I am curious why the McCoy move as opposed to other moves is what impacted you the most.

From Louis Navarro:

"Hey Darren, born and bread up here in Boston. I have been a Cards fan since 1975. I could go on forever explaining my history and ability to get content on the Cards up here, but since the age of internet and cable TV, and let me stress that I am a DIEHARD fan. I bleed Cardinals red. I can honestly say I have never and I mean never have felt better about the future of this organization with the change of culture the new regime. I love the passion coach Gannon brings, I love the GM and I have noticed it seems like Michael Bidwill has stepped back and let these guys do their thing. What is your take on this new regime? I understand the Xs and Os mean all lot and the passion this regime brings does not always produce results, but again I have been following this organization since I was 12 and this is just different."

This new regime knows what it wants and is working hard to get there as quickly as it can, while knowing it can take a little bit of time. There is no team that has had a bigger changeover on its roster than the Cardinals from last season, and I would not be surprised to see the 2024 roster being almost unrecognizable from the one that ended 2022. But you are right -- it still will come down to victories, especially over the next couple of seasons. They need to show competitiveness and growth this season and trend upward. We can't see any of that until they play games that count.

From Tom Cowley:

"Hi Darren. Here is a good one for you. Would it be beneficial with the current roster flexibility which exists, to combine the QB and WR rooms into one for the sole purpose of getting the newcomers on offense onto the same page and playbook and enhancing their learning and execution process? Has this ever been tried before to your knowledge?"

The offense already meets as a group for part of the meetings, in order to talk big picture. But beyond that, no, I don't think that makes a lot of sense. There is a ton of things both positions have to learn -- more QB, probably -- that have nothing to do with the other and then it becomes a waste of time for part of the group.

From Robert Malicki:

"What I want to see is a team willing to play a competitive game so Washington is pushed hard for four quarters. Can we do that without knowing who will QB the team or if our defense can hold up? The game may be in DC but it's not against the Chiefs, it's a very way-back rivalry and Gannon is experienced against NFC East teams. Week 1 always brings a number of surprises so don't count us out."

Can they do it? They could. I don't think know the QB ahead of time is necessary (and again, it's the public that won't know; the Cardinals will know, I will guess, by Wednesday or Thursday who will start.) The Commanders are not the Chiefs, true, but they have a good defense. It'll be fascinating to watch play out.

From Jayson Wing:

"Thanks again for another informative and entertaining year of the mailbag. How does emergency QB work on game days? Does he dress and doesn't count with other players? And Kent Somers has been another long-time favorite reporter and it's nice he's working alongside you. How can one reach him with Cardinals? Also, what type of possible punishment can the NFL hand the Cardinals with the 'burner phones' during Keim's suspension? Do you think it's a fine or possible loss of draft picks?"

The only was the emergency QB rule comes into play is if a team has three quarterbacks on its 53-man roster, so right now, it does not impact the Cardinals. But essentially, you can dress your third QB even if he is not active, and if the top two QBs cannot play, you can use that third QB. In a change to how the rule used to work, you can bring back a QB1 or QB2 after the emergency QB plays but the third QB can only play because the others are injured and unable to play at that moment. You can send a note to Kent through the questions link at the top of the article and I can pass it along. And as for any potential punishment, I don't know what will happen. The whole investigation has to be completed. I suppose a draft pick could be in play, but I have no idea and until it plays out, speculating doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

From Kyle McKee:

"Hi Darren. We don't ask for much, not seriously really (new unis dont count). but we're asking now: Can you please arrange a guest mailbag drop-in for Kent this week? Mind you it's going to be extra long. That man has 39 years worth of questions to get through. You best believe I've got some what-ifs about the 2007 Suns."

It won't be this week or likely soon, but we can work on Kent doing a mailbag. I've got to give people a chance to know he's doing it so they can have Kent-specific questions.

Related Content