Injury News; New O-Coordinator; The Hangover


Posted Oct 18, 2006


Injury news on Fitz, the 0-Line, and the egos; Rowen takes the blame for the Monday Night Meltdown; Leinart showing promise; Defense confused about loss. This wasn't pretty, but could the Raiders be exactly what the doctor ordered?

HOT TOPIC
Matt Leinart's two impressive performances to begin his career as the Cardinals' franchise quarterback weren't enough to save offensive coordinator Keith Rowen from the heavy hand of coach Dennis Green the day after Arizona blew a 20-0 halftime lead against Chicago.
Green fired Rowen and replaced him with quarterbacks coach Mike Kruczek.
"I just don't think we've been scoring enough points," said Green. "Every week I've been saying that. We have not been as efficient. We're 23rd in the NFL in total offense and we're probably worse than that in scoring offense. Again, it doesn't all fall on one guy, but there is a job that has to be done and I'm going to give another guy a chance to do that job."
Rowen will remain with the team, although his specific role has not been determined.
Kruczek has been with the Cardinals since 2004 after 19 years at the University of Central Florida. He has two Super Bowl rings from his days with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Green said Kruczek will call plays from the field.
"Mike Kruczek has been here from the onset, and I think his on the field and also his close working relationship with Matt Leinart will give us a better chance," Green said. "At certain times you have to feel like you have to do something different. Something that we hope will be better for us. I think Mike is a very demanding, taskmaster type of guy and he is "old school" all the way. I think that is what we need right now."

--The Cardinals played one of their finest defensive games in years Monday against the Bears, but breakdowns on offense and special teams proved costly.
That's nothing new for the Cardinals, who have struggled in those areas for years.
The Cardinals have started quickly in both of Matt Leinart's starts, getting off to 14-0 leads in the first quarter. But the offense has faded in both games.
The defense yielded only 168 yards against the Bears and collected six turnovers, including four interceptions.
The Cardinals squandered a 23-3 lead in the second half. The impact of this loss, their fifth straight, could be felt for some time.
"You look at how we played from a defensive standpoint," defensive end Bertrand Berry said. "Did we play well enough to win? Yeah. Did we win? No. But I mean, wow. I'm speechless. I have no idea what to say to you guys.
"This is a first. I hoped I would play long enough to see just about everything. And I've seen just about everything at this point."

PLAYER NOTES
--WR Larry Fitzgerald, who missed last week's game with a hamstring injury, hopes to be able to play against Oakland. That seems unlikely, however. He probably will miss at least another week.
--WR Anquan Boldin has stepped up in Larry Fitzgerald's absence. He caught 12 passes for 136 yards and a touchdown against the Bears.
--RB Edgerrin James gained 55 yards on 36 carries. According to Elias, no back in NFL history has carried the ball that many times for that few yards.
--C Nick Leckey started in place of Alex Stepanovich on Sunday and seemed to play better than Stepanovich did the first five weeks.
--RG Milford Brown might miss another week with a sprained ankle. Chris Liwienski is starting in his place.



Related Stories
Game Snapshot: Bears @ Cardinals
 -by AZRedReport.com  Oct 13, 2006
Fitzgerald Out Again; Warner Out For Good
 -by AZRedReport.com  Oct 25, 2006
Complete NFL Game Shapshots
 -by AZRedReport.com  Oct 27, 2006

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