New era notes: Lack of technique, explosives doom Cardinals vs. Chiefs
Aug 19, 2023, 10:01 PM
(Jeremy Schnell/Arizona Sports)
GLENDALE — The Arizona Cardinals walked out of State Farm Stadium last week with a very clean showing behind just four penalties.
For a new coaching staff, it was the icing on the cake of a strong first game, preseason or not.
Fast forward to Saturday’s 38-10 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, and that number not only grew, it doubled with the Cardinals committing eight penalties for 82 yards.
Of the eight, three were for offensive holding.
“I don’t think it’s lack of focus or lack of discipline, it’s lack of technique,” head coach Jonathan Gannon said postgame. “When you play with bad technique, you get penalized and that’s what happened.
“You obviously have to get that corrected knowing that they kind of go in waves a little bit and sometimes that’s how the crew’s calling it, but we got to play within the rules and typically when you get penalized, it’s for a bad technique.”
About the only positive out of the evening from a penalty standpoint was the fact the team only committed one pre-snap foul in a Marquis Hayes false start.
But while penalties were a reoccurring factor in Arizona’s loss to Kansas City, they weren’t the biggest issue of the night for Gannon and Co.
No, that moniker belongs to the amount of explosive plays the Cardinals allowed.
Arizona was dinged with eight explosive plays of 20 yards or more throughout the evening. It’s a trend that cannot continue in Gannon’s eyes.
“You’re not going to beat anybody like that,” Gannon said. “That’s one of our core principles on defense. Truthfully, that’s what I’m most displeased about.”
Cool like Cooney
After only seeing one punt in last week’s win over the Broncos, Nolan Cooney handled the bulk of the work Saturday night.
And he certainly seized the opportunity, averaging 54.3 yards across four attempts that included a 65-yard boot. Two of the four punts landed inside the 20-yard line.
It’s a step in the right direction for Cooney, who continues to battle with former Arizona State Sun Devil Matt Haack.
Haack was used mostly in Arizona’s preseason opener behind four punts for a 42.3-yard average. This time around, he saw just one attempt in the second half.
After the second week of exhibition action, it’s advantage Cooney.
Feet = wet
A handful of projected Cardinals starters in running back James Conner, wide receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown, offensive lineman D.J. Humphries, safety Budda Baker and linebacker Kyzir White did not see their numbers called in last week’s win.
That all changed Saturday night, though, with all five getting some run in the first quarter of action.
White finished with a pair of tackles and one massive hit. Baker also chipped in a tackle.
Conner meanwhile ran the rock twice for 15 yards while Brown reeled in one catch for 12 more.
In addition to taking an L on the chin, the Cardinals saw a few players exit the game due to injury.
They include linebacker Dennis Gardeck and cornerbacks Marco Wilson and Kris Boyd.
Per Gannon, Gardeck is dealing with a knee issue, while Boyd injured his ribs. Wilson’s injury was not disclosed.
Gannon will meet with reporters next on Monday before the team travels to Minnesota for a pair of joint practices and a preseason game.