The 2007 Arizona Cardinals: 3-4, second place in the NFC West heading into their bye week. Last season heading into the bye the Cards were 1-7 and losers of seven straight on their way to a 5-11 finish. So from that perspective, this team is much improved. But don’t kid yourselves, there is a lot of work to be done. Here is my list of priorities for the team to address during this extra week off:
1. Review every second of game film you have
A lot of people probably don’t understand how important game film study is. Receivers learn the tendancies of the DBs they will be facing and vice versa. QBs get to see the coverage schemes, O-Lineman can go over their protection schemes, special teams can see their mistakes, I mean there is a lot that goes into game film. The Cards are no doubtedly looking over every game tape so far and are reviewing all of Tampa’s game film as well….and if they’re not, they should be!!
2. Rest and Relaxation – Get Your Injured Players Healthy
Kurt Warner’s elbow, Levi Brown’s ankle, Mike Gandy’s calf, Adrian Wilson’s hamstring, Bryant Johnson’s quad injury, Anquan’s hip, the list goes on and on. This time is for these guys to rest up and get some treatment, because we will need every single one of them down the stretch.
3. Gameplan, gameplan, gameplan……….and then gameplan some more
Head coach Ken Whisenhunt has come up with some great gameplans so far this season, as evidenced by big victories against Pittsburgh and Seattle, as well as the Cards being competitive in every single game they’ve played in this season. But the challenge for this team is to get off to a fast start in the beginning of the game, and then be able to come out strong in the third quarter to put the game out of reach. Too many times have we had to battle back in the fourth quarter because we let opportunities pass us by. So the gameplan for this week has to be to go after the Tampa defense and attack all day long.
4. Work on cutting out dumb penalties
For the third consecutive season, the Cards are leading the league in most penalties committed (59) and most penalty yardage. A large portion of them coming on false start penalties against the offensive line. Asst Head Coach Russ Grimm needs to pay extra special attention to his boys in the trenches and work with them to cut out these mental lapses because they are killing this team right now.
While the bye week is the most miserable time of the season for us as fans, the team should definately take advantage of this time to rest up some of those nagging injuries, review game film and refine every inch of their game plan for the upcoming match up against Tampa Bay. We’ve got nine games left and plenty of time to make a run at that division title.