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September 25 2021

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• Sideline: Yes, Non–Conference Games DO Count
• NCAA Preview 2009
• Sideline: Time For The Talking To Stop
• Sideline: In Memory of Air McNair
• Sideline: Will Goodell Hand Out Hard Time?
• Sideline: Marshall's Not Joshing
• NFL Draft: No Rush To Judgment
• NFL Draft Analysis 2009 (Part 2)
• Sideline: NFL Draft Thoughts (Part 2)
• Sideline: NFL Draft Thoughts
• Sideline: Will Play For Food
• Sideline: Wonderlic Scores
• Sideline: Manning and Sanchez
• Sideline: 2010 Leagues Sci–fi, or Fantasy? / March Madness
• Sideline: Break Out The Brackets
• Sideline: LaDainian Tomlinson On The Record
• Sideline: The Incredible Sulk Continues
• Sideline: Guildford Heat Fired Up
• Sideline: Super Bowl thoughts from the Valley of the Sun
• Sideline: I know I came in here for something
• Sideline: College Football National Signing Day
• Sideline: 27 Points — 27 Super Bowl thoughts
• Sideline: An Epic QB Matchup?
• Sideline: Appreciating Arizona for What They Were
• Sideline: NFL Divisional Weekend Preview
• Sideline: Bowl Season Hangover
• Sideline: Six weeks Later
• Sideline: Wildcard Weekend Preview
• Sideline: Santa's Sackings
• Sideline: A Weis Decision ...for Now
• Sideline: Eye on the Ticker
• Sideline: Lions — An Anagram of Losin
• Sideline: Ready for the Turkey
• Sideline: Making it to the Big Dance
• Sideline: Brighter Days Ahead for Chargers?
• Sideline: Unnecessary Hits To The Pocket / Upset: BYU
• Sideline: Romo's Pause / Seattle Seahawks
• Sideline: Weekend Prep: Red River and More
• Sideline: College Football's 'Crossroads' Weekend
• Sideline: Gramatical Error
• Sideline: Turning The Page
• Sideline: So Cal 'Quizzed
• Sideline: 3rd Tuesday Panic / Forté Yard Dash
• Sideline: Two and Oh; Oh and Two
• Sideline: No More NCAAffeine
• Sideline: Week 1 College Football
• Sideline: How To Spell Heisman / Chad Ocho Cinco
• Sideline: A Second Slice
• Sideline: The Favre story STILL won't go away
• Sideline: Olympic Notes / Ricky's Still Relevant
• Sideline: Committee Meetings
• Sideline: Let the QB Battles Begin
• Sideline: Slinging The Slinger — More Favre
• Interview: Clint Dempsey
• Sideline: Welcome to the 2008 season
• Sideline: Plus One
• 2008 NFL Draft Review
• Sideline: Draft: The Morning After
• Sideline: Draft: Thinking the Unthinkable
• Sideline: Draft: Ready For The Long Haul
• Sideline: Sofa–bound Sport
• Sideline: Post–Winter Wonderland
• Sideline: Six Impossible Things
• Sideline: Brady's Misdirection Play
• Sideline: Colorful Language
• Sideline: Let the Romo–bashing begin
• Sideline: Bowl Bites: The Wrap
• Sideline: All About The Coaches
• Sideline: Bowl Bites 3
• Sideline: Bowl Bites 2
• Sideline: Bowl Bites 1
• Sideline: Coach Situations Vacant
• Sideline: For Some, The Playoffs Are Now
• Sideline: A Certain Lack Of Welcome
• Sideline: Unrelated Notes
• Sideline: Two Thanksgiving thoughts
• Sideline: Halftime: NFC
• Sideline: Halftime: AFC
• Sideline: London / A Tale of Two Chads / Intimidation
• Sideline: Damp Squib / Other London Notes
• Sideline: Rock 'Em, Sock 'Em / Dolphins – The Aftermath
• Sideline: The Dolphins Did What?
• Sideline: Notes on the Defenses
• Sideline: Habits to be Broken
• Sideline: Overtime
• Sideline: This Week's Starters
• Sideline: USF: Covering The Spread / Fantastic Football
• Sideline: Grossman: The Final Act? / McNabb, the Epilogue
• Sideline: Eagles QB in Slight Controversy
• Sideline: Leftwich's Parting Gift / Boos cruise
• Sideline: Notre Dame M.I.A.
• Sideline: Looking Beyond NFL Wk. 1
• Sideline: Best Hope For Heisman
• Sideline: Coaching Hot Seats / AP Poll Feeling ’Appy
• Sideline: The NFL’s Prime Cuts
• Sideline: Michigan Falls to Killer Apps
• Sideline: Look Out Couch / The Taint's On You, Bud

Observations, Opinion & Occasional Silliness by Richard L Gale

Appreciating Arizona for What They Were
January 23, 2009


Steelers v Cardinals – Let's not get used to it.

With two weeks to fill between the conference championships and Super Bowl, the press is leaving no stone unturned in its quest for an 'angle', exploring the history of the players, the coaches, the franchises. The odds–makers are favoring the Steelers, the pundits are all aboard the Cardinals bandwagon — if belatedly — and by the time the game arrives, every participant’s abilities will have been dissected to such a degree that it'll seem perfectly natural that Ken Whisenhunt's Cardinals are playing the Steelers.

So let's try not to lose the wonder of it.

While we're re–evaluating Arizona's season, seeing patterns of success in offensive statistics where previously we saw only a 9–7 team that limped into the playoffs, and declaring that of course Kurt Warner is a Super Bowl winning QB, Edgerrin James a two–time NFL rushing champ, let's remember that neither of these studs were expected to be starting. Only a few weeks ago, James was being used as a pass–blocker, having ceded most of his carries to Tim Hightower. Warner stood on the sidelines for much of preseason, as Matt Leinart was given every opportunity to complete the take–over of the starting role he began last season.

But here's 37 year–old Kurt Warner, here's retread Edgerrin James. Here too is Anquan Boldin, who suffered facial fractures earlier this season from one of the fiercest–looking hits of the year. And here too is a line that has changed both its right and left tackles since Whisenhunt and line coach Russ Grimm arrived two years ago. Safety Antrel Rolle used to be a starting cornerback until Dominique Rodgers–Cromartie was drafted this year, shaking up the secondary.

Despite much of the defense being on the roster during Dennis Green's tenure, this has seemed less a team built for greatness than some alignment of the stars. Now, as with the Giants last year, we are in danger of reverse–engineering the logic of it all, exclaiming how the signs were there all along

So let's not do that.

Let's observe that this team was 6–0 within their pitiful division and 3–7 against the rest of the world. That Miami were the only playoff–bound team they beat. That the only teams who conceded more points in the regular season were the Lions, Rams, Broncos and Chiefs. That their rushing attack was league–worst with James' 514 yards the team high.

Let's appreciate how little the Cardinals deserved to be here. Because only then can we appreciate the post–season magic that brought us to 'Steelers v Cardinals'.

Herm–ane Destruction

Is Scott Pioli ever going to put Herman Edwards out of his misery? It's nearly a month now since the Chiefs ended their two–win season with a loss to the Bengals, and nine days since Pioli was appointed as general manager of Kansas City. Yet still no word on Edwards' future.

Surely this can't end any way other than Edwards' departure? With speculation now turning to Mike Shanahan as the next coach of KC, media discussions mention Edwards' continued tenure as something of a footnote to a job that still has an occupant.

This is one of the longest, slowest death–rattles I can remember. Already, defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham has jumped ship to Detroit, special teams coach Mike Priefer has gone to Denver, and secondary coach David Gibbs has gone to Houston, none of them taking more senior jobs than they had in KC. Surely, the writing's on the wall?

There are so many high profile coaches floating around without positions right now — Shanahan, Jon Gruden, Bill Cowher, Brian Billick — that really, there are only two options at this point: sack Herm now, or enter 2009 with what may be a lame duck coach (and effectively an interim staff) and then sack him later.

Pioli was known as a player personnel guy in New England. Now that he is a full GM, he might like to show a little quicker decisiveness.


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