Despite struggles in all three phases of the game, the Arizona Cardinals’ special teams unit continues to show how non-special they really are
There was a fantastic special teams showing on Sunday afternoon at Univ. of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale. Unfortunately, it came from the team wearing blue and white, not cardinal red.
It’s no secret, the Cardinals have one of the worst special teams units in the NFL. On Sunday, they witnessed one of the best in the league, in the form of the Los Angeles Rams.
For the better part of the last two seasons, special teams play for the Cardinals has been anything but special. But don’t blame that on a lack of preparation, or coaching, according to head coach Bruce Arians.
Amos Jones (Special Teams Coordinator) has to be one of the luckiest guys in the NFL, as somehow he still has employment. His unit continues to disappointment and underperfom, and Arians continues to defend him.
You’d have to ask him, but don’t expect anything other than a reason why the coaching isn’t the problem.
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“It was coached up as well as you could coach it up,” Arians said. “We just didn’t execute.” Another finger pointed towards the players, and not the made men on his coaching staff.
Twice, a field goal attempt was blocked; twice Fassel’s unit exposed a great weakness. Two punts, one by each team, was a major turning point in the game as well.
Backed up and stopped on 3rd down by the defense, Rams’ punter Johnny Hecker booted a beautiful 70-yard punt, flipping the field, and the Cardinals were unable to convert on the ensuing drive. Cardinals’ punter Andy Lee then sent off a 40-yard punt of his own that was returned for 30 yards. The Rams scored a touchdown and never looked back after that, solidifying the win.
With another loss and a terrible showing, coaching is starting to come under question. As to whom will still have employment next year will be the topic of most conversations in the off-season.
Amos Jones seems like the logical choice here to seek employment elsewhere after the season ends. But with as long as Arians has a job in the desert, it’s very likely that he will as well.
Change should be inevitable next season. And one of the first moves to make is finding a replacement for the ramshackle special teams unit.