New insights into Cardinals' offensive struggles
Quarterback Kurt Warner offered excellent insights into new challenges the Cardinals' offense is facing this season. XTRA 910 has the audio here.
"We overcame a lot last year in certain situations where things did not go right," Warner said. "Somehow, we made those plays work last year, which we haven't done nearly as well this year."
The conversation is related to the one I initiated Sunday and continued with Trent Dilfer on Wednesday.
Warner on injuries: We're a little banged up and it has hurt us a little bit. Steve (Breaston) has been banged up most of the year since training camp. Anquan (Boldin) has been banged up, which obviously affects things. And teams are playing us a little bit differently. With those guys banged up and Larry (Fitzgerald) on the back side, everbody knowing and him getting all the notoriety after last year, they are able to double-team him a little bit more and we haven't been able to take advantage of that as much as we would like to. And we have just had some things go against us. We just have to play better. That is the bottom line. We are all disappointed right now in the way that we have played offense and how difficult it has been for us this year after what seemed like pretty easy going last year."
Warner on coverages: "When you are in long-yardage situations, teams are more apt to play that Cover 2. What we are seeing a lot of times is when we are getting into our four-wide sets, teams are playing what we call a P-22, which is a Cover 2 coverage, but they will only rush three guys and they will leave one extra guy kind of roaming the middle of the field, kind of a rover-type player, which Carolina did last week. It makes it tough. When youy get down and you have to throw the ball, there are just a lot of guys in the mix."
That second point could explain why more tipped balls seem to be getting intercepted. More players in coverage means more tipped balls and more defenders in position to make interceptions. On the first point, there's no doubt Breaston's last-minute deactivation in Week 1 affected Arizona. If Breaston and Boldin are diminished, teams will have an easier time defending them, leaving more resources to focus on Fitzgerald.