Cardinals: Week 3 News & Notes

Get the latest news and notes as the Cardinals prepare for their home opener against Oakland.

--Safety Kerry Rhodes is among the Cardinals veterans trying to keep last week's 41-7 loss to the Falcons in perspective. "It was embarrassing," Rhodes said. "I was talking to some of the guys today after we worked out, telling them that just a couple years ago when I was with the Jets, we beat these guys (the Cardinals), 56-35.

"Well, shoot, they came back and ended up making it to the championship. It's just one game. It could be an aberration."

--The Cardinals need to protect Derek Anderson better, coach Ken Whisenhunt said. "There were a couple of plays where we had big opportunities down the field that we have to do better in pass protection. If we drop back and try to take a shot down the field, we've got to be able to protect the quarterback."

--Coach Ken Whisenhunt remains confident that he has his most talented team in four years in Arizona. "If we work out the issues we have and correct the problems we have, we're going to be a good football team," he said. "I know the perception out there right now is not the greatest but listen, we're excited about showing you we can be a good football team, and that's what our focus is going to be."

--RT Brandon Keith has struggled in pass protection the first two weeks. He's a good run blocker but needs to take better pass sets and move his feet.

--NT Gabe Watson has been inactive the past two weeks as the Cardinals went with Bryan Robinson and Dan Williams at the position. In some nickel situations, Darnell Dockett and Alan Branch saw time at nose in a three-man front.

--Rookie ILB Daryl Washington had 11 tackles last week, but that's only because the Falcons were so successful running the ball. At 230 pounds, Washington is undersized and sometimes has difficulty getting off blocks.

--RB LaRod Stephens-Howling continues to produce both as a running back and returner. In the season opener, he gained 49 yards on seven carries, and last week he had a 98-yard kickoff return nullified by a holding penalty that had nothing to do with the play.

--TEs Stephen Spach and Ben Patrick are not big parts of the passing game. In two games, they have had two balls throw their way and one total reception.

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