Paulie Pigskin's Sideline Notebook: Cards beat Rams
When you hear Adrian Wilson shout on the sideline: "…He got his five, he got his five…" AW is reacting to a Patrick Peterson punt return.
As for "P-Twice," when he says "gimme five," like he did in a special teams meeting before the Baltimore game, he's not talking about a handshake. The rookie is talking about giving him some room. As in, five yards of space on a punt return. Ding.
Like Peterson repeated during our live on-field interview: "give me five yards and I'll meet you in the end zone." My next question: "When did you know that you had a real shot?" Answer: "Once I got past the first surge, that's all I needed. I knew that nobody else was going to catch me…"
Quoting Andre Roberts from our postgame interview when I asked him about Patrick Peterson: "They're calling him special, but he's something else. I don't know what it is, but it's something more than special."
As for the locker room scene, let's just say it was entirely different from the past month and a half. In fact, Ken Whisenhunt cited the postgame vibe when I asked him what the OT win does for confidence: "There's no question that we got some confidence, if you could see the locker room after the game - you could feel it. Success always helps that. I think our team now has more belief now that we can make a play at the end of a game to win it, where we saw 4 or 5 games this year where we didn't do that."
Arguably, the most telling single play of the game was the blocked field goal. Why? As Coach W said during our postgame radio interview: "If you want to judge a football team, you put on the (film of) PAT/FG block and you see the effort by those guys…" (By the way, Calais told me after the game that blocking a FG is not like blocking a shot in basketball. Sometimes you just have to throw your arm up and pray. As Calais said - "That one, I got lucky..." )
Although the running game may have been lacking against the Rams, there was no lack of yelling about the running game. By my count, a half-dozen Cards coaches & players took turns airing/chewing out the offense during the first half, including captain Lyle Sendlein and Beanie Wells himself. After the game, Coach W said about his halftime message: "Wasn't pretty. I said we were getting beat up front. It was a shame, it was embarrassing, and we had to change it."
Can you make a play and still blow the assignment? Sure. O'Brien Schofield told us on the Big Red Rage radio show that he did exactly that in Baltimore. On his sack and strip of Joe Flacco, he said he actually made a mistake: "I was supposed to stunt the B-gap." Therein lies the challenge for Cards coaches - can you count on young guys to make plays, when they may not know the plays?!
Holy Cannoli Stat: So far this season, the team winning the coin toss in overtime is 1-5. #SoYou'reTellingMeThere'sAChance?Yeah!
Is it worth pointing out that the original "P- Twice" happens to be "Paulie Pigskin?" Uh, didn't think so.
And, finally, could the win against the Rams prove to be a turning point of sorts? Well, listen to the point that Coach W made during our postgame radio interview about winning close games: "You have to learn that lesson somehow. I go back to our first year in '07, when we had a bunch of games that were close games. At the end of the year, we won a game against Atlanta where we made a play at the end of the game to win it and we were pretty good from that point on. Hopefully, that's the way we're going right now."