Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires


first_img Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling “It’s just a matter of throwing the ball better,” he said. “That’s one thing he’s done in his career is been one of the best deep ball throwers. And he’s thrown some 50-50 balls where, in the past, he’s led them up the field. Jump ball stuff.”Of course, there is also the matter of first-quarter points, of which the Cardinals still have none.“We’ve got to change that,” Fitzgerald said. “We put such a big emphasis on that. Coach Arians does a great job of scheming our first 15 plays, and it’s plays that we’re comfortable with — we can go out and we can run them in our sleep, and we need to be able to execute those.“We’ve been getting into third-and-manageable down and distances, what you want to be able to get to. We’ve had a lot of third-and-fours and third-and-threes and third-and-fives, and we just haven’t been able to execute. I dropped a ball on the sideline last week. You know, just things that are slowing down the momentum and the rhythm, and we just have to be on the same accord and we’ll eventually get it done. Hopefully it’s this week.” Heading into Week 6, the Cardinals are 11th in the NFL in yards and 25th in points, and though those rankings are not necessarily terrible, they are nowhere near where the team was last season, when it ranked first and second, respectively.The Cardinals are tied for 13th in third downs, converting 41.5 percent of their attempts, whereas last season they were third at 47 percent.So while the Cardinals are not a disaster offensively, they have not been as good as before or expected.The Cardinals rank 10th in the league in rushing yards, and when it comes to airing the ball out, Arizona is 13th.Receiver Larry Fitzgerald, who has been a bright spot in the aerial attack, is not all that upset.“If we’re winning, I don’t care how we win,” he said. “Honestly, at this point in my career, if David Johnson runs for 160 yards every week and we win, I’m good. I’m good. And I think everybody else feels the same way.”But as Arians himself said, there are things the Cardinals could do better, with the most obvious being connecting on some deep passes. That was an issue heading into last week’s game, and is one the coach thinks can be solved with one simple improvement from QB Carson Palmer. Maybe it will be. Arians was asked how confident he is that the Cardinals will finally punch through in the first quarter this game, and he said he’ll take it when he sees it.“I’ll just take a win,” he said. “I don’t really care about it anymore.”Injury updateThe official injury report came out a day later than normal because the game itself will be played a day later than normal, but if you are wondering, it can be found here. For the Cardinals, the only players who did not practice in any capacity Thursday were guard Mike Iupati (ankle) and defensive lineman Ed Stinson (toe). Arians said when it comes to Iupati possibly being ready By Monday, it was “wait and see,” since he got out of his walking boot Thursday and “looked pretty good.” As for what kind of ankle sprain Iupati suffered, Arians said the only thing he knows is the player moved around OK.David Johnson, never satisfiedLast week against the 49ers, David Johnson ran for 157 yards and two touchdowns in basically carrying the Cardinals to a victory. For his efforts, on Wednesday he was named the NFL Offensive Player of the Week.“It feels great,” he said. “It’s amazing just to, in the NFL, in the NFC especially, to be named the Offensive Player of the Week is very outstanding. Hopefully I can continue to get another one — that’s the biggest thing, is just continue to help out the team and hopefully they can keep coming.” “We’re not running it this week, though,” he said.Time for Nkemdiche?Rookie Robert Nkemdiche played a handful of snaps in Week 1, but failed to make much of an impact. He hasn’t seen the field since, as a combination of ankle issues and practice struggles have led to him being inactive the last four games.On Thursday, however, Arians intimated that the first-round pick’s time may be coming.“He’s had a good week so far, and hopefully he’ll continue and see some time,” Arians said.The coach added with Nkemdiche, it’s not about his ability.“Oh he’s more than physically capable,” he said. “It’s just a matter of knowing your assignments and staying onsides.”That Nkemdiche has not been ready to play yet, Arians said, does not surprise him.“Because he missed so much time,” he said. “It’s just natural; it’s still early October, so I mean, it’s about right. Had he had all of training camp then I would have been really disappointed.” Top Stories It’s the second weekly honor of Johnson’s career, as he was named the Special Teams Player of the Week last season in Week 2 after he returned the opening kickoff against the Chicago Bears 108 yards for a touchdown.Yet, while Johnson is collecting hardware, he is like his head coach in saying there is plenty he could do better. On Monday, Arians said Johnson “had some deficiencies in this game.”“He left another hundred yards out there,” the coach added. “That same damn pass route that he screwed up in the red zone, he did it again. I’m changing the name of that play so he can’t screw it up anymore. Then I can cheer for him. He ran extremely well, but he did put the ball on the ground and he cannot have that.”Johnson, as always, is receptive of the critiquing.“Coaches have very high expectations on me, and I’m glad that they do,” he said. “Especially Stump (Mitchell), he expected me to have that kind of game, and me not getting a game ball, that’s (the mistakes) the reason why.”Oh, and as for whether or not Arians has changed that play the name of that play Johnson allegedly keeps messing up, the coach said they have. Arizona Cardinals quarterback Drew Stanton (5) and wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (11) celebrate after connecting on a touchdown pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers in Santa Clara, Calif., Thursday, Oct. 6, 2016. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo 0 Comments   Share   Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact TEMPE, Ariz. — Evidently, Bruce Arians is not a fan of the idea that his offense has struggled this season.“Well, up until last week I think we were seventh in the league,” he said after practice Thursday. “But when you run the ball as many times as we would, you’re not going to get 450 yards. But I’ll take the 33 points.“Really, the biggest thing for us right now is just deep balls. That’s the only thing missing; started to pick it back up in the red zone, because we ran it better. Third down and deep balls, that’s about the only thing.”last_img