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You've Got Mail: Giants Week

Topics include Edmonds, Peterson's return and missed kicks at State Farm Stadium


After two straight wins, it's time for another mailbag. I just want to note I appreciate all the questions coming from e-mail and Twitter. We've built the mailbag to the point where there's no way I can answer every question every week, but I try to hit on every subject sent in. As always, you can send in a question for next week's mailbag by going here. On to the questions:

From Jules Black via

"Hi Darren. Two great wins in a row. But in watching the post-game locker room speech by coach Kingsbury, I noticed he says 'We'll see you back in tomorrow.' Which is to say no Victory Monday? You would know better than I, but isn't there sort of an unspoken tradition in the NFL that if you win on Sunday, you get Monday off? Sometimes even Tuesday? I don't remember back to the Whiz days, but I do know B.A. always gave the guys a couple days off after a victory. Could you please explain that. I don't want Kliff accidentally alienating the team by not knowing about Victory Monday, which is very important to players."

So yes, there is a thing called Victory Monday. And yes, B.A. used it. But Arians usually waited for the Cardinals to get to a certain victory level before Mondays became an off day. I want to say Steve Wilks gave one last year, but again, that was after a tough season and he wanted to reward a rare win. But players don't expect it, nor should they. It's supposed to be a reward for good play. Under .500 teams aren't doing VMs usually, especially this early in the year. If they put together a few more wins, maybe we'll see it. (And I'll let you in on a secret -- even when players get a VM, they usually come in anyway, at least to work out, if not to get in some video work. There just aren't any set team meetings.)

From Cene Backus via

"What does the WVB mean on the Cardinal's team jerseys?"

It stands for William Vogel Bidwill, the late owner of the Cardinals who passed away last week. The players will wear patches honoring Mr. B the rest of the season, with his initials within the outline of one of Mr. B's famous bow ties.

Chandler Jones wearing WVB patch in 2019

From Michael Travers via

"Hello Darren, thanks again for this fan forum giving us the opportunity to ask question about our favorite team and players. Speaking of players, the trading deadline is getting close and it seems there has been a recent trend in the NFL for more trades. So we know that Steve Keim is not against making deals. There are some teams with potential players who would be a fit for the Cardinals. Do you believe there could be a trade by the Cardinals before the deadline?"

I don't rule anything out along those lines. But if you are dealing with a player that fans are thinking about as a "fit," usually the price is a draft pick. I'm not sure, where the Cardinals are right now, they are keen on giving up picks. The other way, in terms of dealing a player away for a pick, well, that means creating a hole on your current roster. Again, never say never, but I'm not expecting anything.

From Mike Aaron via

"It will be great to get Patrick Peterson back. Is Robert Alford eligible to return this season and if so when?"

CB Robert Alford is eligible to return after eight weeks on IR, which would be after the Saints game and before the Halloween game against the 49ers. He actually is eligible to return to practice starting this week. But after his broken leg, he is still walking with a limp -- you could see him on the sideline at Sunday's game -- and it doesn't look like he's ready to run yet, much less practice. But he could return at any point to play after that Saints game. We will see if he is able at some point.

I don't know the specifics of Reddick's coverage or what they are trying to do with him or the coverage overall. Obviously, I think the coverage plan will change now that Patrick Peterson has returned.

From Sidney Sexson via

"The Cardinals are in the top 10 for the most penalties, which I find concerning given our small margin of error. I have often heard NFL pundits say this is due to a lack of discipline and that it is more or less an indictment of the coaches. Kliff Kingsbury always talks about cleaning up the mistakes but I am sure that it is not easy with all the rookies we are playing. I am curious your thoughts on this subject and whether Kingsbury is maybe not yet tough enough on the players creating these penalties."

You'd have to break down the penalties before really starting to analyze, but I have a hard time when you are talking about professional athletes listening how coaches have to be hard on them to not commit penalties. I mean, your job is to do it right. This isn't high school or college. And if there is a hold in the heat of a play, that's not usually something you can discipline a player out of doing. Offsides and things like that, OK. But for instance, Terrell Suggs -- who has a habit of jumping offsides, I noticed all the way back in camp, as he tries to get an edge on getting to the QB -- was offsides Sunday. He knows better. Unless the coaches are going to start benching guys, what is it that they should do in that situation?

The streak is alive, now at 140 games and counting. For whatever reason, at kickoff the seats have been more empty than once we get into the first quarter. I'm sure there are still seats open, but remember that sellouts are about tickets sold, not actual people in the building -- hence the term "sellout."


I know that seems to be a popular topic right now -- I had a bunch of similar questions about Johnson/Edmonds -- but Johnson is going to be the workhorse. Kingsbury did say Monday he didn't realize Edmonds had only gotten one touch in the second half Sunday, and he doesn't want that to happen. But I do not expect Edmonds to split the running snaps with Johnson anytime soon. In fact, I'm not sure why people keep thinking there has been this shift when Johnson still gets more carries.

From Saranya Michelle via

"Do you think we've made the official leap from 10 personnel to 12 personnel as our base offense? We clearly are a much better team in 12. **And I'd like to thank my friend Nick, who pointed out that 12 personnel is the base offensive package of ... the Seahawks! Isn't that funny? Our little Kyler Murray plays his best while in the same offensive alignment as Russell Wilson. That's great. Small world (no pun intended.)"

Well, the Cardinals did not play much 10 personnel the last two weeks, only 12 of 66 plays against the Falcons according to But they only played 8 snaps of 12 personnel. Their big grouping of the week was actually 11 personnel (1 RB, 1 TE, 3 WR), which accounted for 32 snaps. Do I think Kingsbury is moving away from 10 personnel? To an extent -- let's see what happens when the Cardinals fall behind, which they have not done the last two games. But I think it does help when they have at least one tight end out there and the defense is left to guess a bit more.

P.S. I'm not sure the quarterback would love your description of him. Just sayin'.

I think Peterson will be used like he always has been, which is if there is a standout receiver for the other team, he'd take him, and otherwise, you might be a little more flexible. I definitely think Joseph will be able to call some plays he has been hesitant to call -- he's all but said that in regards to Peterson coming back.

From Josh Berry via

"WR A.J. Richardson #83. Was cut and a now back on team. Great decision. Been watching him for years. Great potential. Is there any chance we might see him on the field?"

Given that he's on the practice squad, no. We will see how long he sticks around, but there are 7 receivers on the active roster ahead of him right now.

As I noted above, I do think Edmonds has a chance to get more work because of his performance, but Johnson will remain the top back. As for a trade of Johnson, it makes little sense for a number of reasons -- the cap hit it would cost the Cards, the probable unwillingness for another team to take his current contract and, oh by the way, Johnson's performance this season as arguably your best offensive playmaker outside of Kyler Murray.

From Tom J via

"Hi Darren, I'd like your thoughts on the PP trade rumors please. I myself am thrilled the team is saying they aren't trading PP. There are fans with hurt feelings who want to trade him (claiming 'disloyalty,' ugh.) Here's what they don't realize: If you trade PP ... you need to replace PP. Hall of Fame CBs are hard to come by. Almost no pick package is worth his value to us. But, maybe I'm wrong. Who knows. All I know is PP helps us win, he has never helped us lose. Thank you."

I agree with you -- trading away Peterson would leave a large hole, and if anyone wonders about that, we've watched for six games what it would mean to not have Pat P. Look, I understand the argument that Peterson is approaching 30 and his contract is up after 2020 and the Cardinals need to build for the future. Those are fair points. But unless you're going full Dolphins-tank, you have to have some players upon which to build. I wouldn't say no pick package is worth his value -- there's a price for practically any player -- but I think the Cardinals need Patrick Peterson on the field this season.

There's a difference between talent and readiness. Just because you have the tools doesn't mean you have the coaches' trust, which is not unlike many rookies over the years. I'll be honest, I expected them to use Isabella more when we first saw him back in the summer. But it's clear that his opportunities are going to be limited right now for whatever reason, whether it's the fact he has to run routes better, or physically catch the ball more consistently. And maybe he does everything right and the coaches just like other guys better. It happens.

From Bob Kitsos via

"What is your 'Siskel & Ebert' evaluation of the O-line at this point in the season? Thank you."

It's been a minute since I took in a Siskel & Ebert -- RIP to both -- but I'm assuming you're asking for a thumbs up or thumbs down? I'd go thumbs up at this point. I wasn't expecting the Dallas Cowboys offensive line, but I think for the most part they've been fine. Are there issues at times? Sure. Does the quick passing in this offense help at times? Sure. But this team has improved dramatically on offense, and I believe the offensive line deserves some of the credit for that.

It's fair to wonder about the consistency of the pass rush. Chandler Jones is still causing havoc a lot, but Terrell Suggs has been up and down, not a shock for a guy in his 17th season. Their defensive line group, beyond Corey Peters, is patchwork. And I'm sure there has been a nervousness to blitz too often because that takes a guy or two out of coverage when you may feel you need as many bodies back there as you can. It almost always starts with personnel, and then you have to see if there is a way to scheme to overcome your deficiencies.

From David Towery via

"Do you think there is any chance that Larry Fitzgerald will play after this season?"

Knowing that Fitz always waits until after the year to contemplate it, I absolutely think there is a chance he will play next season. Right now, I'd say it's a good chance. Just my opinion.

So I didn't hold to your exact specifications (Cards misses too), and this isn't necessarily an exhaustive list, and I spent entirely too much time looking this up. But at the building now known as State Farm Stadium:

  • 2006 Neil Rackers misses FG from 40 yards to end the Monday Night Meltdown loss. Would've won the game even after everything that happened.
  • 2007 Rackers misses a 32-yard FG in overtime (at that point, sudden death) in eventual loss to 49ers.
  • 2010 Raiders K Sebastian Janikowski misses a 32-yard FG on final play, Cards win by a point.
  • 2010 Cardinals block a 53-yard FG try by TB K Connor Barth with Bucs up three, only to have Derek Anderson throw a pick when the Cardinals got into tying FG range with two minutes left.
  • 2011 Calais Campbell blocks a 42-yard FG by Rams K Josh Brown on the final play of regulation; Patrick Peterson TD punt return wins game in overtime.
  • 2011 Cowboys K Dan Bailey leaves a 49-yard FG try short with two seconds left, Cardinals win in overtime.
  • 2012 After he made a 61-yard field goal to tie the game, Jay Feely has a 38-yard FG blocked by Bills on the final play, and the Bills win in overtime.
  • 2016 Chandler Catanzaro misses a 47-yard FG with 41 seconds left and the Cardinals lose by two to the Patriots.
  • 2016 Catanzaro misses a 24-yard FG in overtime that would've won the game -- and then Seahawks kicker Steven Hauschka misses from 28 yards in overtime. The teams tie, 6-6.
  • 2019 Falcons K Matt Bryant misses his extra point right and the Cardinals hang on to a one-point win.

From Jeshua Witt via

"What's the level of involvement with players that are injured long term such as Hakeem Butler, Marcus Gilbert, or even Robert Alford? Do they still attend every team meeting, position meetings, or is their time mostly spent rehabbing? Or does it vary by player?"

For the most part it can vary. They can go to meetings and I'm sure, for instance, that Hakeem Butler is trying to soak up what he can from a mental aspect. But obviously, rehab takes up most of the time.

I think Edmonds has a chance to have a nice NFL career. And judging any offensive player by what happened and how things were run in 2018 is ... not ideal.

From Steve Raths via

"As an honor to Bill Bidwill, what do you think of the Cardinals logo being surrounded by an outline of the state of Arizona? He was instrumental in changing the name from the 'Phoenix Cardinals' to the 'Arizona Cardinals' to include all of us Arizonans as Cardinal fans!"

An interesting thought, but I think the bow tie for Mr. B makes the most sense.

From Punchy Juan via

"YOU BET I'm talking 2020 draft. So there are two top clear cut offensive tackles. Georgia's Andrew Thomas and Iowa's Tristan Wirfs. Barring injury, these are the guys come draft day. Understandably we will be in the lottery, we are walking out with one of them. A great thing for all Cards fans and the team. If we resign Humphries, then the fella we take will be our long term RT (finally secured). If we let Hump walk, then he will be our new LT, and RT will still be up in the air. I know you said in an earlier chat that health will be a big factor in the Hump deal, but assuming the season just ended, would do you think we re-sign Hump? Even average LTs are hard to find. And going into 2020 with a secure LT and RT will be rarefied air for this team."

I think Humphries will have some choices. Will some team money-whip him? Will it be a situation where he picks a one-year deal here or somewhere else in order to raise his stock some more? Right now, I wouldn't rule out Humphries being back in 2020, but again, I just don't know what the market might bring. If he gets a sense the jackpot is waiting out there elsewhere, that might make the decision for him. As for the draft (such a great topic on Oct. 15), right now the Cardinals are slated to pick 14th in the first round. We'll see if those tackles are there.

From Jrue Yates via

"Why did you call that chat 'Seahawks week part 1' if you didn't release a part 2? How you gonna leave us hanging like that. You're worse than Game of Thrones."

Well, Seahawks chat part 2 will be the week before the second Seahawks game in December, because, yeah, they play twice. And please -- that's a much shorter timeline than HBO or George R.R. Martin have ever used.

From Jeremy Van Dyke via

"Hey there! Life long Cards fan from Iowa! A couple weeks ago I read a article about A.J. Green and how he respects and models his game after Larry Fitzgerald. What do you think the chances are the Cards try to pursue A.J. Green? Thanks for all the great insight!"

I'm going to go with zero percent.

From Leon Astononie via

"Hi Darren. From the first day you met Kyler, to now, has he changed or opened up at all? He's a bit stiff, but early on I figured he was just nervous in a new place. I wonder to myself what is Kyler going to be like five years from now, when hes an old vet. Usually you see long-term QBs very comfortable in front of the media, since it's old hat. In the short time with the team, he does seem more relaxed lately. He cracks jokes talking to you guys. He was smiling after the Bengals win."

Winning always helps. A lot of players get more comfortable with the media as they find their place in this league and the locker room. Don't forget that many college players, especially high-profile quarterbacks, are overprotec..., er, pretty sheltered. Then they get here and the media work goes through the roof. And he's the No. 1 overall pick. Plus Murray's personality is just that way anyway. I am also curious to see how Murray is in five years in that regard.

From 11 4Ever via

"Can you please ask Michael Bidwill directly 'where are the new uniforms?' Please? Kyler Murray, Kliff, new stadium name, man, it's perfect timing. Talk about a new era. We want new unis. Matte would look so amazing. And it's just we've had so little good to cheer for, that news unis and merch would be nice. Even if you don't ask Mike, I at least hope he reads this. Thanks!"

People really love the college idea of 800 different kinds of uniforms, don't they.

Well Scott, I think it's an interesting choice to go through me to find out if Fitz is coming to the wedding when I didn't even get an invitation.

Yeah. Pretty interesting.