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Friday Fastballs

NFL: NFC Divisional Round-Los Angeles Rams at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
  1. Amazing that Bruce Arians: (a) retires again amidst whispers of a forced resignation; (b) if this is truly it for the coach, he has retired as having the highest winning percentage in the history of the Arizona Cardinals and the Tampa Bay Bucs; (c) the Bucs will be inducting him into their Ring of Honor this year and perhaps the Cardinals will follow suit in short order; (d) his legacy will always be tied to his eagerness to promote diversity in the NFL coaching ranks; (e) his last game was a loss to the Rams, the once dormant franchise that he helped to revitalize.

Before Todd Bowles was whooshed away by the New York Jets, I was begging the Cardinals to do something unprecedented —- to make BA and Todd Bowles co-head coaches. I think both men would have been fine with that, so they could stay together and keep building on the success they were having with the Cardinals. Clearly, neither one of them has been as successful apart, as they have been together.

I also thought it would have been a wise move by the Cardinals in light of BA’s serious health issues at the time and that if BA had to take some time off, Todd Bowles would take full command until BA’s return. Plus, Todd Bowles would have been a superb successor to BA when it came time for BA to retire on his own terms.

The day will come, in my opinion, when a team owner, who does not want to lose a star coordinator, will pay two men to be co-head coaches who form a “dream team.” Let’s face it, what’s in vogue today are coordinators who are hired as head coaches so they wouldn’t be whooshed away by another team. Thus, sharing the duties of head coach would give them more time to dedicate to their sides of the ball.

2. The Rams’ signing of Bobby Wagner is yet another sign that the Rams know how to maintain the positive buzz surrounding their team, their coaches and their players.

In contrast, the Cardinals have now seemingly lost most of the buzz they created last off-season when they signed J.J. Watt and traded for Rodney Hudson.

Scorecard: since the day of the trading deadline last season, splash acquisitions:

Rams: OLB Von Miller, WR Odell Beckham, Jr., S Eric Weddle, WR Alan Robinson, LB Bobby Wagner

Cardinals: 0 (the Ertz trade happened weeks earlier)

Emotional State of the Franchises and Fan Bases:

Rams —- fired up for a repeat

Cardinals —- mired in the meltdown of last season, while the agent of the team’s QB wrote a public ransom note and has since publicly called out the Cardinals for “not wanting to win.”

If the Cardinals ever needed some sort of a splash signing, they need one asap.

3. The Cardinals’ current depth chart at WR looks like this

  • X WR: DeAndre Hopkins, Antoine Wesley
  • Slot WR: Rondale Moore, Greg Dortch
  • W WR: Andy Isabella, Andre Baccellia

Almost every day now on Twitter some Cardinals’ fans continue to cry out for the team to get rid of Andy Isabella like he is some sort of an abstract curse.

However, when over 100 Cardinals’ fans were put to the test, check out the results of this poll:

  • Good riddance, don’t care —- 16.5%
  • Nothing to worry about —- 21.1%
  • Do not want him on Rams —- 19.3%
  • McV’d know how to use him —-43.1%

109 votes —- 2 hours left

The argument that some fans are making is that if the team is not going to play Izzy, then, for crying out loud, let him go.

I hear this and would love to see Izzy finally get his chance to play, if not in Arizona this season, but for another team (preferably in the AFC).

But two things keep pestering me: (1) the recent history of Cardinals’ coaches’ personnel misjudgments: (2) this:

In Haason Reddick’s case, the Cardinals elected to keep him for his 4th season even thought they signed OLB Devon Kennard to be the starter at SAM OLB opposite Chandler Jones. Early in the season, Haason wasn’t getting many reps or snaps —- but once Devon Kennard was sidelined, Haason took over the position for good and never looked back.

In Andy’s case —- he was the backup to A.J. Green last season. Had Green been the one injured and not DeAndre Hopkins, Andy would have gotten a chance. Instead, A.J. Green played almost every snap in 17 of the 18 games.

You know, the rap against the Cardinals late last season, as best articulated by ESPN’s Mina Kimes was the team’s lack of depth that led to some of the late season losses.

Go back and look at the current depth chart at WR.

Why in the world should the Cardinals cut a player of Andy Isabella’s talents?

If a QB ever syncs up with Andy, watch out.

I am still hoping that Kyler Murray and Colt McCoy sync up with Andy this year, the same way I was hoping the Cardinals would give Haason Reddick his chance to prove his worth at SOLB.

The poll above is convincing evidence that the majority fans do not doubt Andy’s talent, but they doubt that the Cardinals coaches know how to maximize it. Well, at least the coaches knew to stick with Haason for his 4th season.

4. This week’s mock:

  • I am of the belief that all of the top WRs and DEs will be taken prior to pick #23, which is why I would try to move down to pick up an extra 3rd rounder.

Trade: #23 pick to Chiefs for picks #29 and #94

#29: Roger McCreary, CB, Auburn (stick him on Kupp, Deebo and Lockett. literally)

#55: Arnold Ebiketie, OLB, Penn. St. (start him at WOLB that is unless Leo Chenal is available)

#87: Trade to the Dolphins for WR Devante Parker (the kind of playmaker opposite D-Hop the Cards need)

#94: Ty Chandler, RB, North Carolina (put him in Chase Edmonds’ role)

#201: Jake Ferguson, TE, Wisconsin (fits in Cards’ 12 personnel)

#215: Chris Oladakun, QB, South Dakota St. (scout team QB, future QB2)

#244: Doug Kramer, C, Illinois. (need a backup center, despite drafting 4 in last 6 years)

#256: Isaiah Graham-Mobley, LB, Boston College (speedy, good hitter. pesky in coverage)

#257: Marcus McKethan, G, North Carolina (only gave up 4 sack in 3 years blocking for Sam Howell)

Your thoughts?