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Arizona Cardinals ROTB Roundtable, Edition 2: Personnel Changes, Fans, Saving Season

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With the level of disaster this season has been, there's been many questions left unanswered.  Luckily, the writing staff here at ROTB has decided to take on some of these questions, and attempt to answer them.  So, hit the jump to read what three questions they were asked and their answers.

And don't forget to answer the questions yourself in the comment section, because remember, you know as much as us (And possibly more). 

1) 1) The Cardinals had another bad loss vs. the Steelers on Sunday.  Should any personnel changes be made now?

deveau: Yes...But who to change up. Play the rookies at OLB, see what you have. OL. All the pieces you have don't fit. Time for the FO to identify OL free agents they wish to see anchor this team. Even with a good draft, it is foolish to expect rookie OL to step in and save this cesspool of a line. 

CardsFan08: I'd make a few obvious changes on defense; Acho and Schofields in at OLB so they get playing time, and start playing Bradley so he's ready next year with no excuses. On offense you might think I'm crazy, but I'd put Bridges in at left tackle, move Levi to right tackle, and sit Keith. Can Lutui do anything as a tackle? I'd play a constant TE protection, probably Dray and move him left or right accordingly, and use a second TE to chip block and be the check down through King or Housler. With Beanie down there needs to be two TEs in for nearly every play, because we no longer have a running threat.

Tyler: The personnel changes I would make would be mainly at the OLB position. Haggans and Porter simply are not cutting it at their age and with the season already in shambles, it's time to give the young guys a shot. Other than that, I think the other positions need time to gel.

Jessesb: Absolutely. I think on the offensive side of the ball, not many changes can be had. Maybe insert Jeremy Bridges into the starting lineup, but I'm not sure that move would truly amount to much of an improvement from our line play. We've seen that Bridges can play pretty poorly too. Defensively it's time to play the young guys. Bradley in for Lenon, Acho in for Joey and rotate Schofield much more with Haggans. The season is about lost so pretty much any change is good change. 

Khodder: At 1-5 I think some changes need to be made, the major one is getting Acho and Schofield more time on the field at the expense of Joey Porter is a move that should have been made weeks ago. I think it also might be time to start lining Early Doucet up on the outside of the formation and move Roberts into the slot to try and get him some ball in space. But other than that there is not really much else to do, it is not so much the players on the field, but the execution of the play that is killing this team right now, and even in spots of weakness the Cardinals do not have a lot of quality depth to be able to replace a player like Clark Haggans even though he may only be league average at best.

JoeCB1991: Yes, Acho and Scho need to be in the starting lineup, I'm sure all of us think so with that.  They appeared to get better pressure than Haggans and Porter were when they were in there, and when the team is 1-5, you have to start getting tyoung guys in there and let them get experience so they will be better next season. 

Jess: There honestly is not a lot the Cardinals can do with personnel. It makes no sense to change QBs and I would question the sanity of those who think that either John Skelton or Rich Bartel is better than Kevin Kolb. Since the season is essentially over, the only thing I do differently is go younger. Sam Acho and O'Brien Schofield start, Stew Bradley starts and I would give either Stephen Williams or DeMarco Sampson looks over Andre Roberts, as he has given the team absolutely nothing so far. They're already playing young corners. Really, what else could they do?


2) Hamza Abdullah called out the Cardinals fans, saying there were too many Steelers fans at the game.  Is he right to blame them?

deveau: It's nice that someone has some fire, i.e. Mr. Abdullah. Now direct that fire into winning some games. You put Ws in the W/L column and guess what, fans will fill the seats. You expect people to blindly step up and support with the product the Cards have been offering? That's not how business works. Supply and demand. Guess what, there is no demand for your supply.

CardsFan08: Mr. Abdullah has a point but he forgets the economy and the rule of supply and demand. There was a strong demand from Steelers fans to watch their team in AZ and there was little desire from AZ fans to watch their team lose, again. So it was a perfect storm for ticket holders to sell their tickets at a premium. Tickets around me went for $300 each! That's a win/win for the ticket holder. They saved themselves a heartache and made 400 in profit.

Tyler: I disagree with Hamza on his point in a way and in other ways I agree. I don't think fans should be selling their tickets to Steelers fans, but I understand that they were the buyers for this particular game. On the flip side, fans may not be so eager to sell if the team was actually wining, so it's a two way street.

Jessesb: You can't blame the fans, it's the players jobs to bring fans into the stadium with wins. When you play as horribly as you have, what ticket holder isn't going to sell their ticket at a profit to an opposing fan (man I met some Cardinals fans who made a killing last game)? Abdullah can cry all he wants but it's not the fans losing the games. It's the fans who pay for the jerseys, the tickets and all the other things that pay the players salaries. Abdullah needs to keep his mouth shut and beat someone out on the roster before he says anything ever again. The fans come when the team wins, that simple. 

Khodder: In a way I think he is right, a home game should be a place where a team can bank on the supporters coming out and getting in behind them, but the fans are not going to turn up if the team is not putting out a product that is worthy of the ticket prices. Even so, if you have 20,000 opposition fans in the building, the 60,000 home team fans should be able to make more noise anyway. Finally you have to remember that this was the Pittsburgh Steelers they are a team with a fanbase that sprawls, they have fans all over the country and when they travel they often play with ten to twenty thousand Steeler fans there, this is not a one off. 

JoeCB1991: He is right to call out the fans for not showing up, but the players still need to be able to do their job even if it isn't loud enough for them at a home game.  The blame is more on the players than the fans. 

Jess: As I wrote when the Twitter call-out happened, he was out of line. He was not necessarily wrong. The fact that the stadium was full of Steelers fans is the fault of the team. That's the reality of Arizona sports. There simply is not the history of success (or even hope) or the longevity for long-term fandom. Arizona fans are not the most passionate. But his offering 100 tickets to Cardinals fan is a good start. He isn't putting fannies in the seats with his play, so at least it is something.


3) Sitting at 1-5, the Cardinals are in a big hole.  Can they still save the season, and if not, what should they do now?

deveau: A super black hole. And to fix it requires change at the top. Accountability. The willingness to do whatever it takes to win. A better game-plan, offensively and defensively. The ability to draft well. This season, no, it's too late. Hopefully the organization learns from the beatings this year and makes the coaching and personnel changes necessary to negate this question next year. 

CardsFan08: The season is not salvageable, but I want every win possible. The reason is to get the fans back, build the team chemistry and figure out what works. The high draft pick is great, but guess what you'll get that anyway, so you should fight hard for each win and maybe get lucky and win your last 5 of 6 or something like that. Evaluate your talent and be ready to clean house with a clear conscience.

Tyler: I think saving the season is really not possible anymore. They have dug themselves in to deep and they are now in the thick part of their schedule. I just don't see it, but I'd love for them to prove me wrong. Since I think they're all but out, I would just continue to get Kevin Kolb comfortable and play some of the young guys more. It's all about the future now, so the Cards may as well start getting ready for it. 

Jessesb: The season is over in my opinion. We could win out and have a chance at the playoffs, but we won't. We have little chance to beat a recently stung Ravens team at home, on the east coast, and I do not think we will win both of our match-ups against the 49ers. The Cardinals have knocked themselves out of this season with horrible defense and turnover prone offense. I know many want to blame the seemingly sub-par play of Kolb, but it has been our defense (when hasn't it been??) that has been the biggest culprit for our loses. I am tired of seeing our DB's diced, our LB's apply no pressure and our "stud" DE's struggle against lines that are suppose to be bad (ie last game when they had a chance to have a BIG game). The season is over, time to enter rebuild mode and play the youngsters. 

Khodder: At 1-5 I loathe to say it, but the season is done in terms of making the playoffs. I think now is the time you cast one eye to the future, while also trying to remain competitive now. You cast an eye to the future and you give Acho and Schofield time on the field, you rotate David Carter in at all three positions on the DL, you start and play Rob Housler on nearly every offensive snap you have, you begin to install the entire playbook on defense and let the guys go out and try to execute in a game situation, you throw the likes of  DeMarco Sampson and Stephen Williams onto the field in base 2 WR sets on offense opposite Larry Fitzgerald. Most of all you have to make a commitment one way or the other with your offense, you either begin to tailor it more to the strengths of Kolb and push that for the rest of the season, or you force him to adapt to what you want to run on offense in the future, if that means a lot of single-back, four wide shotgun sets where Kolb has not been comfortable at all in his career, then that is the way you have to go, personally I would put Kolb into his comfort zone, lots of 2 wide, 2 TE sets, pound the ball on the ground, work in lots of playaction passes and look to recreate an offense similar to the one that is being run in Atlanta right now.

JoeCB1991: It is possible, but not very likely.  RIght now the only hope is that Kolb starts to improve as he gains more experience, and that the defense starts to get a better grasp of the system and improves their play.

Jess: Is the season saveable? It is possible. It's not going to happen, though. The goal should be to win every week, obviously. But they (and we) do not need to look ahead. They need to focus on each game and improving the problem areas. But instead of playing to win with the older guys, they need to play to win with the younger guys they are counting on now and for the future.

Don't forget to answer the questions below!  

Note: Font sizes are different for each answers because I copied them from Gmail