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Thursday, December 10, 2009
Chat wrap: Boldin's value to Cards

By Mike Sando

Anquan Boldin's name came up a few times during the latest NFC West chat. His future seemed worth revisiting after a strong performance against the Vikings. Chat transcript here. Highlights below:

Paul (Albany, Ore.): Ok Mike, I am going to go against the grain here. As bad as the Rams quarterback play has been, I think if they have a shot at Suh in the draft they HAVE to take him. The "miss" potential on Suh is way less than that of any quarterback that is out there. Heck, none of these guys are as gifted physically as Ryan Leaf and we know he did not pan out. If they spend huge money on a QB, they will have to throw him out there in 2010 and he will get hammered. With Suh, they can try and play 14-10 games and build some confidence, while grooming a second or better yet third round qb (go for O line in the second round). Tell me why I am wrong please? Thanks.

Mike Sando: You do not sound wrong to me. The only way you take a quarterback that early is if you don't see any red flags. There were some red flags with Ryan Leaf. The Rams have not gotten dynamic enough players early in past drafts. Adding a dominant defensive lineman -- and I'll trust conventional wisdom on Ndamukong Suh -- would give Steve Spagnuolo someone to build around up front. The team does need offensive playmakers, too, so that must be a consideration early as well.

Chris (Phoenix): Can we officially end the argument and say the Cardinals ARE a better team with a healthy Anquan Boldin than not?

Mike Sando: The healthy part is indeed important. That performance Sunday had to make the Cardinals feel very good about what Anquan Boldin has to offer. One question I've had in the past is whether having a healthy Boldin has sometimes led the Cardinals to rely too heavily on four-receiver personnel groupings at the expense of their run game. The team ran a fair amount of two-tight end stuff against Arizona. I think it's important for the Cardinals to keep doing that stuff even when they have a full contingent of healthy wideouts.

Will (Va.): Looks like the 'Hawks are big underdogs at Houston this weekend. With Steve Slaton on the shelf and our offensive line gaining some consistency, what is it going to take for Matt Hasselbeck and the boys to come out with a win? Also, is Cory Redding going to be back?

Mike Sando: The Seahawks do expect Cory Redding to return. The best way to beat the Texans will be to hit Matt Schaub, who is hurting right now and not known as a durable player. The Seattle pass rush is a weakness, however, so the Seahawks could be vulnerable defensively. You raise an interesting point about the Seattle offensive line gaining some consistency. Left tackle Sean Locklear had problems against the 49ers. Mario Williams has sacks in three of the Texans' last four games. He was hurting and ineffective when I saw him against the 49ers, but if he is playing at a higher level, that matchup could favor Houston. Let's see if Justin Forsett can get something going in the running game for Seattle.

Tyson (Calistoga, Calif.): Do you think Kurt Warner and the Cardinals passing attack will be able to put up enough points to win over the 49ers? The 9ers always seem to be able to score against the Cardinals, and the Cardinals have had trouble against 3-4 defenses to protect the quarterback, so I see a relatively close game this monday. Hopefully the Cardinals can win by more than a ghost tackle of Frank Gore this year on Monday night!

Mike Sando: Justin Smith has given the Cardinals problems. Parys Haralson was a big problem for Arizona in the opener. The Arizona offensive line surprised a lot of people, including me, with its solid protection against the Vikings. The Cardinals will win easily if Warner has time. That is hardly a given. I think the Cardinals have enough balance and talent offensively to control this game.