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Extra Point Change No Problem for Arizona Cardinals’ Chandler Catanzaro

July 3rd, 2015 at 3:22 AM
By Steve Smith

A longer extra point attempt will face all kickers in the National Football League this coming season – that is a change that was long overdue.

Arizona Cardinals kicker Chandler Catanzaro, now entering his second NFL campaign, isn't fazed by the new NFL rule for kickers – starting this coming season, the ball will be snapped from the 15-yard line instead of the one.

Catanzaro is taking the new rule in stride.

"What it comes down to is that kicking is kicking,” Catanzaro said via the team's website. “It’s me, the ball and my target. That doesn’t change much. Nothing changes technique-wise. Rules are rules, and I am ready for the challenge.”

The numbers back up his confident attitude. Last season, the University of Clemson product went 7-for-7 on field goals between 30 and 33 yards – at the 15, it will likely be a 33-yard attempt for extra points – and in the past 10 seasons, Arizona kickers have made 45 of 46 field goals from that distance.

Two-point conversion attempts will still be snapped at the 2-yard line, although the move would seem to squash any attempt of a fake kick on extra points. With little fear of a fake, edge rushers can now come off harder.

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Former Arizona Cardinals Player John Abraham Wanted After Strip Club Fight

July 2nd, 2015 at 5:24 AM
By Steve Smith

It's been a rough year plus for former Arizona Cardinals outside linebacker/defensive end John Abraham.

The 37-year-old Abraham is wanted by police on a misdemeanor charge of battery after he allegedly got in a fight at an Atlanta-area strip club. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the alleged incident took place on Feb. 28 at the Pink Pony strip club in Brookhaven, Ga.

The University of South Carolina product is accused of punching a former business associate in the face, giving him a "bloody nose."

The alleged victim, Vladmir Ako, said that he used to be friends with Abraham before they had a falling out. He reportedly saw Abraham at the club and approached him to "squash" their issues. But instead, he said that Abraham repeatedly punched him in the face.

Ako said that he never threatened or fought with Abraham.

Abraham was the Cardinals' sack leader (11.5) in 2013 but then considered retirement in 2014 after he suffered from concussion-related memory loss. He was placed on injured reserve after Week 1 of the 2014 season.

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Defensive Coordinator James Bettcher Off to a Good Start with Arizona Cardinals

July 1st, 2015 at 5:23 AM
By Steve Smith

If all goes well, the Arizona Cardinals' defensive unit should not miss a beat in 2015.

New defensive coordinator James Bettcher would be one of the main reasons why.

Replacing Todd Bowles as the Arizona Cardinals' defensive coordinator is not an easy task indeed. However, Bettcher seems to be more than up to the task so far.

Safety Tyrann Mathieu certainly thinks so.

"He’s very intelligent,” Mathieu enthused via espn.com. “I think the biggest thing is that he communicates with us a lot. He asks for our input a lot on different situations, coverages and everything’s been going smooth so far.”

The Cardinals had a Top 10 defense under Bowles' tenure and because of that Bowles was able to secure the head coaching post with the New York Jets. He'll certainly be missed in the desert but Arizona's top notch defense appears to be in good hands with the soon-to-be 37-year old Bettcher.

The Red Birds blitzed on 46.5 percent of quarterback dropbacks during the last two seasons, the most in the NFL during that span. Whether the Cardinals will be quite as aggressive under Bettcher is still yet to be seen at this point in time.

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Small-School Players Hope to Make Impact for Arizona Cardinals

June 30th, 2015 at 5:51 AM
By Steve Smith

There were doubts about how well third-round draft pick John Brown would perform last season with the Arizona Cardinals.

The wide receiver out of Pittsburg State burst onto the scene immediately last year, catching 48 passes for 696 yards and five scores, including four game-winning touchdowns in the first nine games.

John Brown, coming in and producing the way he did, it opened up a lot of doors for a lot of small-school guys,” J.J. Nelson said via the team's website.

Brown's performance can hopefully serve as inspiration for Nelson, a fifth-round selection in May, and fellow small-school rookies David Johnson (Northern Iowa) and Rodney Gunter (Delaware State). They are all from small programs but that does not mean that they can't have an impact on the football field in 2015.

“As long as the guy has the physical traits, he certainly has a chance,” Arizona general manager Steve Keim stated. “Then you couple that with a guy who has the right mindset, the passion, the work ethic, the right intangibles, now you’re really cooking with gas.”

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Watch Out for Arizona Cardinals Wide Receiver John Brown in 2015

June 29th, 2015 at 6:06 AM
By Steve Smith

Watch out for Arizona Cardinals wideout John Brown during the 2015 NFL season – he may be ready to become the best wide receiver on the club.

A club that has Super Bowl aspirations.

By all accounts, wide receiver John Brown had a very productive rookie campaign last year for the Red Birds – 48 receptions for 696 yards and five touchdowns.

Not bad.

But he could always improve on those numbers.

"He hit the wall around Dec. 1," head coach Bruce Arians said via azcentral.com. "like most rookies do."

The third-round pick is an explosive player but he dropped too many passes and had trouble beating press coverage. He did not score a touchdown over the last seven games and grabbed only nine passes for 127 yards over his last four contests.

So Brown decided to change some things.

He changed his lifestyle this offseason. He's no longer a foreigner to massages or the team's athletic training facility. No longer is he a fast-food fanatic as well.

Good bye junk food.

"It was hard to give up because I used to eat it every day," admitted Brown.

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