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You've Got Mail: Seahawks Week, Part Two

Topics include P2's anger, Hopkins' future, and miscommunication

Mailbag 110122

The trade deadline is today, and so is the mailbag. Questions have been edited for length and clarity. As always, you can send in a question for a future mailbag here.

From Matthew Chadduck:

"We need Rodney Hudson back bad, and probably a different replacement center until then. Greg Dortch's double muffed punt followed by a drop on the 3rd down slant comes to mind. Or the double holding penalty by McBride. Overall this game felt like a couple specific non-starting players made repeated mistakes that caused the team to lose, and some changes should be considered. Do you agree or is this where we say it's a team game and try to move on without specific adjustments?"

I mean, I'm not sure what changes you are talking about. With Hudson out with injury, they tried Sean Harlow and it didn't work, and they went to Billy Price. What other options are you thinking? At wide receiver, all I have heard is that Dortch should play more -- he's made one mistake as a punt returner, and yeah, it hurt, but he wasn't the only one to drop a ball. We will see if McBride keeps his reps, but Maxx Williams isn't fully healthy and so he's not walking through that door. I get the frustration but the roster is the roster.

From Raine Voights:

"Why is there so much hostility between Patrick Peterson and the Cardinals. I know he has said critical things about the organization before, but even in the game on Sunday he got into an argument with Kliff, he mocked Kyler's celebration, and kept yelling at the Cardinals sideline. What is he so mad about?"

He's mad because they let him go. I get it. When it got to the end in Arizona, they basically felt they didn't need him anymore and it's only natural to be salty about that, even if it was time for the two sides to go their separate ways. Patrick was never really one to hide his emotions so I wasn't surprised to see it Sunday (and he was mic'd up, so I'm sure he wanted to play for the cameras). Plus, they won. It's easy to crow then. I'll be honest, it's interesting that so much of the stuff he said wasn't last season, when the two teams played, but again, if Patrick wants to hold a grudge, that's his right.

From Paul Denali:

"Hi Darren. I'm happy our offense started to finally move the ball with the return of Hopkins, but isn't it inherently a big problem how our offense literally thrives or dies based on him alone? With Nuk's $27M cap hit, I fear he's going to be a cap casualty, possibly as soon as next year (or maximum the year after). So with Nuk not long for the Cardinals, are we ever going to figure out how to play without him?"

Feels like you are getting a little ahead of the story here. Hopkins isn't going anywhere for the time being. He's their best offensive weapon and let's face it, if you want an elite receiver, this is the going rate (unless you are suggesting they don't want one.) Now, as for the other question about the offense thriving or dying? Yes, I think that is a concern. Although it felt like Sunday, Rondale Moore was a bigger part of things and Hop's catches, although still 12, felt more of a part of a balanced offense.

From Matthew Stroh:

"Hey Darren thank you again for the mailbag. I'm normally a patient man. I feel like I'm pretty good at looking at different point of views. But something has got to give. I believe a lot of the problems against the Vikings were the offensive line. I want the team to improve but I don't think firing everyone is the answer. We are not that far away. If you were the owner of the Arizona Cardinals what would you do? P.S. I'm a long-time listener to all the podcasts. I loved the old Red Sea Report with Roy Green and Bertrand Berry. But I love the new cast. I like the one offensive and one defensive perspective."

If I was the owner I would be very happy to have my many, many dollars. More importantly, if I was the owner I would know everything -- which I do not right now. That's the long way around of saying I'd need more information. No way to know the true situation. And yes, this is a little Jim Mora "you think you know, but you have no idea." I do agree that Michael Bidwill likely is not happy with the situation. But I know I wouldn't do anything until after the whole season plays out. There are still 10 games to go.

From Blake Ripley:

"Hey Darren, is it just me or does it seem like we have a lot of miscommunication (like the one between K1 and Zach Ertz) and timeouts burned because we can't get lined up before the play clock expires, especially in the red zone. Do you think this is a reasonable take? Thanks and hopefully the Cardinals can fix this season and make a playoff run!"

It is not just you. This is an issue for the Cardinals and they know it. Exactly how and why it is happening is only known by them. They are moving to huddling to try and fix some of it, but even that has been difficult.

From Jerry Brown:

"Hi Darren. How did Josh Jones play against the Vikings? I would hope by now he is at least a decent backup tackle. Also, our running game was horrible. How much of that do you put on our offensive line woes? Thanks."

Jones was one of only a couple of offensive players that was given a good Pro Football Focus grade, for what that's worth. I think the Cardinals want and need D.J. Humphries healthy enough to play. As for the run game, it was disappointing. I would guess some of that had to do with the offensive line injuries. The Seahawks defense is playing so much better than it was earlier in the season, so we'll see if the Cards (with Hop back) can create some things on the ground this week.

From Kevin Lyman:

"Hey Darren. LOVE Connor, he's a heart-and-soul guy, but the Saints game was yet another reminder why you should never pay RBs. They are a dime-a-dozen. Eno and Keontay both appeared to be perfectly capable running backs. And now that we have an ultra-paid QB, you have to be smarter with your money."

I don't know if I'd call backs a dime a dozen, but I do think after the David Johnson era the Cardinals aren't ever going to pay huge money for a running back. James Conner wasn't huge money per se, but I get what you are saying. The running game wasn't great against the Vikings; some of that was about the offensive line injuries. As for Conner, you need him to be on the field, so yes, that is something to monitor.

From Aaron Guzman:

"With the trade deadline coming up, do you feel that the Robbie Anderson trade was all that we need or is there more pieces to add. I've read some areas saying that if we lose to the Vikings that we need to trade J.J. Watt considering how good Zach Allen has come along this year."

With the deadline in an hour or so, I'm not sure I'd expect a trade. Watt has a no-trade clause, so I never thought dealing him was a real option.

From Walker:

"Has our offense ever scored five touchdowns in one game with Kliff and Kyler? If so which games?"

It has happened three times: In 2019 at home against the Browns, in 2020 at Dallas, and in 2021 at Tennessee.

From Shane Bernside:

"I give big kudos to Kyler's personal growth this season, with how he composes himself and is doing so much better with body language. But an on-field issue with has persisted all the way since his rookie year is still a major problem, and that's his inability to throw the ball away. Why does he do that?"

My best guess is that he always thinks he can turn nothing into something and doesn't want to give up that chance. But I understand the concern and there are definitely times when you'd think he'd just chuck it.

From Art Pozza:

"At one point in the preseason, all I had to hang my hat on was the tight end room. What has happened? Ertz has played well but McBride and Maxx Williams are missing. What gives?"

Maxx Williams isn't healthy, and he's trying to get there while on the practice squad. I'm not sure it'll happen. McBride struggled mightily in Minnesota. He's getting the opportunity but it's not there yet. As we know with rookies, sometimes it takes guys longer than others.

From D.J. Wilson:

"Hey Darren how are you? I've got a question about the defense. This defense struggles in certain areas but gets the job done. This coming draft is stacked with defense. The Cardinals IMO will go defense first. They love hybrids. Maybe a bit much. Do you think a freak linebacker who can help on all phases outweighs the potential value of a true shutdown cornerback or the next Aaron Donald?"

Generally, no, I wouldn't rank a freak linebacker over a shutdown corner or a beast on the defensive line. But when you are talking about "freak" and "shutdown" and "beast," that becomes a case-by-case basis. I think the Cardinals may have passed on Simmons had one of those other candidates been there, but they didn't think they were. You still have to go after a great player that high if you believe they are great.

From Az Cards House:

"Hey Darren, what did you have to do to get your job?"

I got a journalism degree and then worked as a sportswriter for 15 years -- seven of which I spent covering this team -- and did a damn good job before the team approached me and asked if I would be interested in doing this work.

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