Cardinals Chat: Saints Preview, Warner, Dansby, Adams, Boldin and Doucet

Chris FarmerCorrespondent IJanuary 13, 2010

GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 10:  Kurt Warner #13 of the Arizona Cardinals leads a prayer after his team won the 2010 NFC wild-card playoff game 51-45 against the Green Bay Packers in overtime at University of Phoenix Stadium on January 10, 2010 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Arizona Cardinals Featured Columnists Chris Farmer and Scott Z. Brady square off in another round of Cardinals Chat.

Chris: Scott, people have weighed in on our 5'8" CB Michael Adams across fan forums in particular, and from what I have read the consensus seems to be that he is appreciated for his heart, but ridiculed for getting beat repeatedly in pass coverage in particular.

I am of the opinion that he is a work in progress, and will get better with time. He is obviously very athletic and his major hops will help him close the gap on taller receivers if he continues to improve his technique.
Firstly, what are your thoughts on Michael Adams as a player?

Scott: I like him in every way but one. First, he's still a pup, and has a lot to learn. He plays with smarts in general, and he has the tenacity to play in the NFL, too. It seems he can play the position skills-wise, but the main question is in regards to his height.

He's a terrific prospect, especially in nickle and dime (where he's been getting on the field), because he's one of those ball-hawkish kind of guys. Always around the ball, and/or in the right place at the right time. He also seems to be a very hard worker.

But does he have the size to be a starting, every down CB in the NFL/NFC/West? I'm not sure. He's never going to be able to do anything about his height. And I just don't know if he has the height to play against today's receivers.

Chris: Even though this theory has been repeatedly proven to be false, we still have to hear all the time from "experts" telling us why players can't do certain things because of their physical limitations. It is an absolute misnomer.

Some of the best running backs to ever play the game are "too small to be an every down back." How many times have we heard that phrase? Yet, Walter Payton, Emmitt Smith, and Barry Sanders to name a few are all shorter than the preferred size.

Without getting too carried away, let me just point out that Michael Adams is 5'8"/181, while one of the best defensive backs in NFL history Darrell Green is 5'9"/184.

Green more than made up for being a shorter player by being just as you said, a ball hawk. Adams is extremely athletic, and I think as he improves people will slowly back off the "too short" angle.

Also, is it just me or have we been seeing a lot more of Adams in the last few games? And if you agree, why do you think we have seen so much more of him lately? They are starting to use him in more ways too, as evidenced by how many times they sent him on blitzes against the Packers.

Scott: Yes, which is why I said the coaching staff likes what they see in him. With Matt Ware out with injuries, the Cards needed another CB out there. He has made more plays than rookie Greg Toler, so this will be 'his time to shine' if he has what it takes.

Chris: Do you think Kurt Warner will retire after this season win or lose or do you think that decision will be based on if the Cardinals come home with a Super Bowl trophy or not?

Scott: No, I don't. Warner, once again, didn't start this conversation. It was started in the media. He gets asked about retirement because the season is winding down. But then its "reported" that "Warner says no decision on retirement" as thought Just brought it up! It's ridiculous!

If there's ANYONE in the media that thinks that Kurt Warner's answer to his retirement plans will change from his standard "I wont make a decision until I take some time off, talk with (wife) Brenda, etc...", they just haven't been paying attention these past couple of years. It's a non-story.

Chris: I couldn't agree more.
Karlos Dansby set the tone on the first play of the game by breaking up a pass that was intercepted and eventually converted into seven points, stripped veteran Donald Driver on the Packer's third play from scrimmage that was recovered by Alan Branch and also converted into seven points, and ended the contest with a fumble recovery for a touchdown in overtime to seal the deal.
He has been franchise tagged two seasons in a row. Will he be a Cardinal next season?

Scott: The Cards are going to have their work cut out for them in the offseason. Like all successful teams, they have quite a few high quality players they need to try and keep happy. That's not easy under the cap (even if 2010 is an uncapped years, 2011 won't be).

I'm sure they'd like to sign Dansby long term. But there are reason's they've had to tag him two straight seasons. Besides Karlos, they'll have an upset Boldin, and an upset Dockett standing at the front of the line, waiting to 'cash in'. There are plenty more, too.

Example: How long will Tim Hightower want to start and/or play an integral role, and get paid from the 5th round deal he signed two plus years back? The cards will certainly have more financial questions to answer the deeper they go into the playoffs, too.

Chris: I think Boldin will be traded, and as much of a fan of his as I am, I think it is a smart move given his age and the fact that Fitzgerald, Breaston and Doucet are able to carry the load. Not to mention having other areas with more pressing needs.
Dockett, Dansby and Rolle on the other hand will be harder to replace. My hope is that we are able to bring all of them back. Then again, if we win the Super Bowl it will make it that much harder to do.
It is valid to be terrified of what Drew Brees and the Saints have the ability to do against our secondary after seeing how Aaron Rodgers lit us up. How do you foresee this weekend's game going between the Saints and Cardinals? Who wins and why?

Scott: Terrified? I don't think so. For one thing, Green Bay, with Rodgers and company, pose just as much (or more) of an offensive threat as New Orleans and Brees. Especially late in the season.

For another thing, the Saints offense was the recipient of some incredible defensive play/scoring off turnovers in the first half that, as injuries started piling up, started to come back to earth toward the regular seasons end.

And finally, the Cardinals offense can put up as many points as anyone in the NFL, as the 51 they just stuck on the leagues #2 rated defense showed. I'm not afraid of anyone in this league. The Cards will show again the doubters are wrong.

Chris: When the Saints are rolling they are one of the best offenses in the past decade. With Drew Brees slinging, Sean Payton calling the plays, and all that speed going out on routes they are just as if not more dangerous than the Packers.

Our secondary is vulnerable, but I wonder how much of it is play calling? We had a 31-10 lead, and then we rushed three for the rest of the game.

I have said it before and I will say it again, it may look nice on paper to have more DBs and play prevent with a big lead, but the result for the Cardinals is never good. We are at our best when we are applying pressure at the line of scrimmage and when we get away from that the great QBs in the league can pick us apart.

I prefer man to man coverage because when we go to zone it seems like the receivers all have 15 yards of cushion in every direction.

Still, we have the talent to play with anyone on the league. We will see come game time how much the rest helped the Saints, and how much having a short week coming off an emotional and physically draining game will hurt the Cardinals.


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