Coach Bruce Arians has shown a great deal of loyalty and some would say favoritism to the ex-players from his previous teams in particular toward running back Rashard Mendenhall and it has caused a loud buzz threw Cardinal Nation, as I spoke with our good friends at fox sports radio “The Freaks” Kenny and Crash today we discussed these issues and it appears all of the freak nation is shimming in on the subject.
I think that Coach Arians means well in backing his players but lets be real here, he has not really protected all of his players, there have been times he just completely threw guys that he has not previously coached under the bus for their mental errors.
I can recall a game this year, when Alfonso Smith fumbled the ball in a crucial part of the game when the Cardinals still had opportunity to stay in the game, and during that press conference Arians criticized Smith for trying to stay up and get one more yard that would not make a difference, which caused him to be stripped of the ball.
But if you look at Mendenhall’s fumble Sunday against the Texans he did the exact same thing, Mendenhall backing into the pile not getting any more yards but trying to push his legs and allowed the ball to be stripped, but after the game Arians justified Mendenhall’s actions stating he may have thought the whistle blew but he could not see from where he was standing, but the fact is, it was in a crucial part of the game that could have cost the team the game and he does not get publicly singled out, that spells favoritism to me and could divide a locker room if the team was losing more games.
Is there a double standard for those that know the system from a previous team under Coach Arians? I think Mendenhall should have been publicly criticized just as Alfonso Smith was for the same exact mental error and the same goes for quarterback Carson Palmer never having gotten any public criticism from his coach that should be warranted without question.
If Rashard Mendenhall had not been with Arians before, this would be a different story and we would see more of Andre Ellington in the backfield, because after Alfonso Smith fumbled in a game earlier in the season we have not seen him carry a ball sense. But I guess in the game of football the trust factor plays a crucial part in the eyes of coaches, and this is a guy Arians trust in, lets just hope this trust is not over done and cost the team some critical games at the end of the season where run production is essential to making a playoff run.