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NFL: Preseason-Los Angeles Chargers at Arizona Cardinals Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

These are my opinions:

Cardinals Notes:

  • To blame Steve Keim for trading for RT Marcus Gilbert in light of Gilbert’s season ending ACL injury is unwarranted. Yes, Gilbert was coming off an injury marred 2018 season, but to only have to risk a 6th round draft pick to acquire one of the best pass blocking right tackles, whose $4.865M base salary was not guaranteed, is a move that warrants praise.
  • You have to feel awful, not only for the Cardinals, but for Gilbert, who was showing good leadership and strong play—-and now his career might be in jeopardy coming off an ACL injury at age 31.
  • If you were Steve Keim, would you offer Gilbert the same kind of one year deal he gave A.Q. Shipley last year when Shipley tore his ACL at age 32 (he’s now 33)? I certainly would.
  • While RT Justin Murray settled down and played a respectable game having only had a few days to learn the offense, it was hard to see why Steve Keim called Murray and Brett Toth “huge upgrades” at tackle. Well, it looks like Korey Cunningham is going to start this week at RT for the Patriots, as Marcus Cannon is dealing with an a shoulder injury that apparently is not season-ending, but could keep him on the sidelines for a few weeks.
  • It’s amazing to me how incredibly threatened some pundits, columnists, broadcasters and ex-coaches are by the potential success of Kliff Kingsbury and Kyler Murray. Coaches all around the NFL are adopting and incorporating Air Raid principles into their offenses—-little that Kingsbury is doing is completely foreign to coaches around the league—-nor is the challenge on a defense to defend a short, but multi-talented QB. For some reason, some people will always hold Kliff and Kyler to higher standards and at the highest level of disdain. But, with Kliff and Kyler—-no one is going to outwork them. Whatever setbacks and bumps in the road they will face—-it won’t be for lack of effort or preparation.
  • Even though teams don’t give out game balls after ties—-the Cardinals’ assistant head coach and special teams coordinator, Jeff Rodgers, deserves a game ball many times over for turning years of head cases on STs into head hunters. Rodgers’ dudes are getting after it, big-time. The Gardeck punt block was one of the most pivotal plays down the stretch—-that and the Lions calling timeout just before they got what appeared to be an easy first down on another blown coverage by the Cardinals’ defense.

Around the NFL:

  • Antonio Brown. This guy needs serious help. It was so bad for the league that he punked the Steelers, then the Raiders and wound up sitting in Tom Brady’s lap.
  • Shame on the Patriots if they don’t act quickly to remove Brown from their roster, especially in light of Robert Kraft’s recent transgressions. If the Patriots keep an alleged rapist on their roster, what does this say about the Patriots’ respect for the victims of rape and sexual manipulation? Just don’t ask them about it because they “won't comment any further.”
  • Watching the Panthers self-destruct versus the Rams, man, RB Christian McCaffrey did just about everything humanly possible to win that game. Now here’s a guy that many pundits said wouldn’t even hold up in the NFL because of his diminutive size. The fight in this junkyard dog is enormous.
  • At the same time, is it just me, or is it getting harder and harder to watch QB Cam Newton? if I were a Panthers’ fan, i would be so annoyed to have to watch this guy over and over again. The body language is flat-out awful. Case in point, in a tight game versus the Rams, Newton throws what appears to be a backward pass to his RB, but the pass was tipped by one of the Rams’ defensive ends, which should have had any competitive QB running up to the refs to point out and argue that the pass was forward and was tipped backward. After the Panthers’ RB made a feeble attempt to hop on the ball and the Rams recovered down near the Panthers’ 10 yard line—-all Cam Newton did was stand there in a trance looking totally resigned to what had just happened. He never made a gesture or uttered a word to the refs. Then, he walked ever so slowly back to the sidelines.
  • Did anyone wonder about the significance that the Colts only gave their new starting QB, Jacoby Brissett, a 2 year contract extension which expires at the end of the 2020 season? The first thought that came to my mind was that the Colts may be trying to tank again as they did when Peyton Manning was on his way out in order to land Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence in the 2021 NFL Draft. Curiously, they signed backup QB Brian Hoyer to a 3 year deal which expires at the end of the 2021 season. I guess they think it’s a good idea to have Hoyer help to mentor Trevor Lawrence—-or if they tank this year, maybe Tua Tagovailoa or Justin Herbert. In all fairness, no team should be able to land 3 #1 pick franchise QBs in a span of two decades.
  • The whole tanking issue needs to be addressed—-it’s just so bad for the game and for a league that tries to achieve parity and competitive balance. This Dolphins’ situation is awful. At least the Cardinals last year were making moves to try to be competitive. But, unlike Steve Wilks, Brian Flores won’t get fired after one year because the Dolphins’ front office is leading the way.