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Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
Matt from Scottsdale, Ariz., writes: Edgerrin James' comments about his role in the offense made the front page of ESPN.com today. Are comments like this going to be an issue for the Cardinals? Do you think James is more upset about his touches and statistics or more upset about how the media portrays his productivity?
Mike Sando: James' comments are irrelevant as long as the team wins and the offense produces. The Cardinals just beat the Bills and Cowboys. The offense is rolling pretty well.
James is right when he says the offense changed from the time he signed with the team, but such is life. Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin and Kurt Warner are the best players on that offense. James is splitting time with a rookie and James is the only one complaining. The rookie, Tim Hightower, is producing situationally and helping the team win.
To answer your question, James' comments seem to speak to the diminished role in the offense more than the portrayal.
Harold from Columbia, Mo., writes: Mike - a couple things from the blog that intrigue me: Julius Peppers matchup with Levi Brown - he has struggled at times - particularly on the road (patrick Kerney/Jets game C Pace). Also - never is a long long time, great answer!
Mike Sando: Thanks, Harold. I don't think Arizona's offensive line matches up very well against the Panthers and I wonder how the Cardinals will compensate. Kurt Warner has to get rid of the ball quickly, I would think.
Mike Sando: Yes, but if you've watched the Rams closely this season, there's no question that team has changed, too. The defense appeared much more sound in the last two games, and even in parts of the Buffalo game before the bye. And the emergence of Donnie Avery is certainly different.
Mike Sando: Any move on the coaching staff has to go through Mike Holmgren, most likely, and I can't recall him shaking up a staff like that during the season. Mora is not going to be the defensive coordinator next season, so it wouldn't be a true transition.
It all seems to have one common thread: Nothing to do with the West Coast Offense or the way the team was run under the previous ownership structure. It seems as if they are desperately trying to avoid any thread of the team's past success from connecting with any success they might (someday) have. What do you think?
Mike Sando: You wonder if they would ever get to a point where the distant past appealed. On the Holmgren front, none of the talk seems to be coming from inside the 49ers. It's just people connecting the dots. My take has been that the 49ers might not appeal to Holmgren or other high-profile coaches. I hadn't thought of this latest Holmgren rumor from your angle. But the evidence does support your angle.
Mike Sando: I appreciate your characterization of stats that actually matter. I brought this up to a friend yesterday. Sometimes people spend lots of time developing complex models to show how good a team is faring. It's tough to argue with points! Thanks for pointing us in the right direction.