Grading The Cards Win; Berry Out For Season

In an action packed 'Inside Slant' we grade the Cards in their Sunday win, from Special Teams that were pretty special to a coaching staff that was 'special'; Rookie Deuce Lutui's wife needs to give birth more often; Fitz is pleased with the zebras; Bertrand Berry was starting to come on, now he's starting to come apart.

INSIDE SLANT
The Cardinals' hopes of getting a better pass rush from their front four suffered a major blow Monday when right end Bert Berry was diagnosed with a triceps tear.
Berry will undergo surgery within the week, and he is out for the year. He is looking at about four months of rehabilitation, coach Dennis Green said.
Green called it "a big loss for us. Bertrand, I've always said, is the No. 1 leader on our team. We're going to really miss him."
Berry was the team's best pass rusher, although he had not played that well through most of the season. Still, he led the club with six sacks, including two in Sunday's 17-10 victory over the Lions.
Berry suffered the injury late in the third quarter, left briefly for X-rays and returned for a couple of plays. But he couldn't push off with the injury and didn't play for much of the fourth quarter.
Afterward, he was optimistic that he had just sprained his elbow, but an MRI on Monday revealed the muscle was torn away from the elbow in two places.
Berry will be replaced by Antonio Smith, a fifth-round pick in 2004. Smith played well last year when he replaced Berry, who suffered a torn pectoral muscle in the eighth game and missed the rest of the season.
If Smith falters, the Cardinals have some other options. Chris Cooper, picked up shortly after the season started, has played both end and tackle. And strong outside linebacker Calvin Pace also is likely to get some work at the position.
He played end before moving to linebacker last offseason.

NOTES, QUOTES
--RB Edgerrin James gained a season-high 96 yards last Sunday and still hasn't had his 50th career 100-yard game.
He does see development in the running game, because of the continuity on the offensive line.
"For a while, it's been like a Rubik's Cube -- it's something different every week, and we're just trying to find that perfect match," he said.
--RG Taitusi Lutui had an eventful Sunday. His wife gave birth to a girl at 10 a.m., and he was starting in a football game four hours later.
"I was asleep in bed and then my wife's water breaks at 4 a.m.," he said, "and I was like, 'Great timing.'"
The Lutuis have a son who was born on the day before the 2005 Orange Bowl. Deuce was in Miami where Southern California was preparing for the national title game.
"This was quite an experience," he said after the game, "so I'm a little emotionally drained right now. I'm kind of running on fumes."
--The Cardinals got a little help from a referee in Sunday's game. Replays showed Larry Fitzgerald probably wouldn't have been able to stay in bounds on a 24-yard catch in the first half. The referee ruled that Fitzgerald was pushed out and that the catch was good.
"That was a great call," Fitzgerald said. "That was the best call of the game right there, if you ask me."

PLAYER NOTES
--G Milford Brown started on the left side, where he'll stay the rest of the year. He played well and the club had success running to that side.
--DE Antonio Smith will start at right end in place of Bertrand Berry, who is out for the year with a torn triceps muscle.
--RB Edgerrin James gained a season-high 96 yards against the Lions. James has 49 100-yard games in his career but none with the Cardinals.
--QB Matt Leinart has rushed for touchdowns in the past two games. He hasn't shown great speed, but he's quick enough to keep defensive backs honest.
--RB Marcel Shipp played in several third-down situations last week and has replaced J.J. Arrington as the backup to Edgerrin James.

STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
REPORT CARD VS. LIONS
PASSING OFFENSE: B -- Quarterback Matt Leinart played his best game in a month, completing 19 of 29 passes for 233 yards and a touchdown. He wasn't sacked and had five completions longer than 20 yards.
RUSHING OFFENSE: B -- This was probably the best game by the offensive line. The left side, T Leonard Davis and G Milford Brown, played especially well.
PASS DEFENSE: B -- The Cardinals intercepted a pass and sacked Jon Kitna five times. The addition of S Aaron Francisco to the nickel package has paid dividends.
RUSH DEFENSE: A -- The Cardinals took away the run early, helped in part by the ankle injury to RB Kevin Jones. The return of NT Kendrick Clancy from an ankle injury has helped immensely.
SPECIAL TEAMS: C -- The Cardinals had a punt blocked, their second of the year, and the return teams are about as non-productive as they can be. The coverage teams were solid.
COACHING: B -- The team played hard and the offense had a discernible game plan. Dennis Green did a terrible job of managing his timeouts, however, and of milking time off the clock late in the game.
 


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