clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Op-ed: Cardinals’ handling of QB situation is an utter charade

A struggling offense under Josh Dobbs could make it less likely that Kyler Murray will play this season

Syndication: Arizona Republic Rob Schumacher/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK

During my six decades as a loyal Cardinals’ fan I have witnessed a plethora of ill-advised charades made from the team’s front office —- yet the way in which the organization is handling their current QB situation —- as Cardinals’ charades go —-this one may take the cake.

My ROTB firmed and college RedC had this to say about the QB situation during yesterday’s discussion of the Red Rain podcast:

RedC (SB Nation)

12 hours ago

This L had you fired up, Mitch! I feel similarly - they utterly bungled the QB situation and as a result, the team is doomed to start 0-2 when they could easily be 2-0. If they’re as committed to their franchise QB as they claim, they should have done more to have the team in good standing when he returns to the field.

Signing only Driskel this off-season while Murray was rehabbing his ACL is appalling. Wasting the entire off-season on Colt “Finger Guns” McCoy pointing at receivers for his first-team reps is embarrassing. Failing to give Blough an honest shot in light of all that, then spending a 5th round pick to replace him with a player who has performed worse in every opportunity, is egregious.

Compare Blough’s career stats to Dobbs’, then consider that Blough played much better on a much worse team in 2022 with a similar amount of time to prepare for his starts without getting frustrated challenge: impossible. After watching Blough lead the team to two clutch victories in the preseason, the thought crossed my mind after 4 quarters of Dobbs salting away drives that Blough is exactly the guy I’d like to see coming out down a score with a couple minutes left.

I don’t realistically think Blough or Tune are good enough, or ready enough, to beat the good teams that are coming up but, truthfully, watching Dobbs run into rusher after rusher like a headless chicken made me want to watch anyone else. I certainly don’t want to watch the life drain out of a passionate, aggressive defense over the course of another season of perpetual 3-and-outs on offense.

My Response:

Man, RedC, you are crushing this Cardinals’ charade of a QB situation.

This speaks so incredibly poorly to the Cardinals’ negligent, off-season planning from the owner and GM to the new staff’s failure to find an interim starter amongst 4 capable QBs.

Think of what message this panic move of bringing in Joshua Dobbs brings, not only to the team, but to the QBs still in the organization --- as in —- all of the team’s and the QBs’ hard work since April doesn’t mean jack-fricking-sh^^.

If the current coaches can’t coach the current QBs or demonstrate any confidence in them, then the obvious question is, can they coach Kyler Murray?

I am now having very serious second thoughts about Monti Ossenfort. I still cannot possibly comprehend, and never ever will comprehend, the reality that Ossenfort traded:

  • Isaiah Simmons (67.9 2022 PFF grade)
  • Josh Jones (75.8 2022 PFF grade ---highest on entire team)


  • Joshua Dobbs
  • 7th round pick.

For those who claim that the Cardinals had no other choice but to ship out Isaiah Simmons after you pour effort of a couple of play in preseason game #2 —- the Cardinals DID have a choice.

The GM and coaches could have met with Isaiah to ask him point-blank whether he would prefer to get a fresh start with another team via a trade.

One could easily imagine that Isaiah, out of frustration of having his 5th year option declined, would eagerly express his desire to be traded.

Thus, the solution would have been to showcase his value as a pass rusher in preseason game #3. Isaiah Simmons’ ’2022 pass rushing grade was a stellar 83.5 —- highest pass rushing grade on the team).

Check this video:

So what the coaches do is draw up a series of edge rushes and blitz schemes for him in game 3. Tell him this is go to jack up trade interest from any and/or all of the other 31 NFL teams —- that could serve as a springboard to landing a lucrative new contract in 2024.

As for Josh Jones, who not only had the highest grades of all the Cardinals tackles in 2022 —- he had the highest grades of all the Cardinals’ tackles in preseason —-Ossenfort traded him when there was no clear and respectable backup option at left tackle —- further compounded by the fact that D.J., Humphries is coming off an in jury riddled season, having spent the last 9 weeks on the IR and the fact that D.J. has played in only 64% of the Cardinals’ games during his 8 year tenure with the team.

D.J. Humphries struggled big-time in game one —- to the tune of a 47.8 game grade —- and giving up the game changing strip sack with the team up 6 points in the 2nd half. Currently the backup LT on the Cardinals’ depth chart is Carter O’Donnell, a practice squad player who has yet to play in an NFL game.

How does trading Josh Jones help the 2023 Cardinals’ team?

Plus, thinking ahead to 2024, if the team holds on to Josh Jones and he plays as well as he did in 2022, then the odds are, if the FO is still anxious to trade him, they could have gotten a higher draft pick than a 5th from a tackle-needy playoff contender at the trading deadline —- or —- a potential 3rd or 4th round 2024 compensatory pick.

Since when are the Cardinals so talented, roster-wise, that they can just trade two of their highest graded and most talented players (1st and 3rd round draft picks) for a career backup QB and a 7th round pick?

These trades were bogus and as completely unacceptable.

Career NFL Starts: (heading into the 2023 season)

  • Jeff Driskel —- 10
  • David Blough —- 7
  • Joshua Dobbs —- 2

The reason why Joshua Dobbs wasn’t a Cardinal in the first place was that he preferred to take the Browns’ one-year $2M fully guaranteed contract to be happily ensconced as a low-paid backup —- rather than go a team where he had connections to the GM and OC and a chance to pick up where he left off last season as a starter.

As mentioned on the Red Rain podcast, this contract decision tells you where Joshua Dobbs’ head was coming into this season.

It also tells us where Monti Ossenfort’s head was in March when he didn’t make Joshua Dobbs a more attractive offer.

Another thing that stuck in my craw was that after the trade was made, Dobbs had a chance to join his new teammates in Minnesota to get a head start in getting to know his new teammates and coaches —- and in getting an in-person head start on learning the playbook.

The trade occurred on Thursday August 24th. Dobbs could have been with the Cardinals team Friday and Saturday (game day) and flown back with team. In my opinion, that was very valuable time missed.

Well, Josh Dobbs was no Zach Ertz,

Remember how Zach Ertz jumped at the chance to join his team without wasting another second?

Alas, Dobbs elected to bypass Minnesota.

What coaches should know better than anyone is how new players on the team cannot be as emotionally invested in the team

I would like to think that any QB who is emotionally invested in his team would be the first to hop on a fumbled snap, particularly in a one point ballgame in the 4th quarter, particularly having gotten strip stacked with his team ahead by 6 points on the previous possession.

Having only been with the team for 2 weeks, Josh Dobbs was bound to struggle. The offense wa going to be much more limited in terms of play calls.The chemistry between Dobbs and his receivers was going to be developmental, at best.

What Josh Dobbs should have been more in control of was understanding how turning the ball over in the 4th quart with a 6 point lead is something every QB has to do everything he could to avoid. After all, this is what plagued him in his last start at Tennessee.

Here it is:

One could argue, well, Dobbs didn’t see the rush coming —- but, in that situation it is the QB’s job to sense from the pre-snap where the pressure is coming. Plus, he can’t afford to take too much time in the pocket.

Did the Cardinals Have Better QB Options?

Had they waited for team cuts on August 29th, the Cardinals could have claimed:

  • Bailey Zappe —- 2-0 in two starts as a rookie last season. 4th round pick in 2022 NFL Draft.
  • Matt Corral —- 3rd round pick in 2022 NFL Draft.

The Onus of the Cardinals’ Week 1 Loss?

The onus of the Cardinals’ loss at Washington does not fall most heavily on the shoulders of Joshua Dobbs. It falls on the Cardinals’ owner, GM and the coaches for handicapping the team by virtue of a trade made out of sheer panic and haste.

This week the owner, GM and coaches are very predictably doubling down on Dobbs.

The caustic irony is that the more the Cardinals’ offense look out of joint and the more the team loses games, the less likely it is that Kyler Murray will want to return under such adverse and haphazard conditions.