‘Smell The Glove’
As the old adage goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” And while that may be true in most cases, the above photo of Arizona Cardinals cornerback Michael Adams getting up close and personal with Aaron Rodgers’ face, I believe only three words are necessary:
“SMELL THE GLOVE”
Of course, we all know now that Karlos Dansby scooped up the loose ball after it caromed off Aaron Rodgers’ foot and returned it 17 yards for a thrilling 51-45 overtime victory for the Cardinals. It was a game where neither defense seemed particularly inclined to, you know, prevent the opposing offense from moving the ball the requisite 10 yards on three successive plays, thereby forcing a change in possession (Arizona and Green Bay each only punted once) – a novel concept that I recommend Arizona looks into before heading to New Orleans next weekend.
Rumor has it that by not allowing an opponent to score every time they get the ball on offense can drastically improve a team’s chances of winning. Look it up. Maybe if one of Green Bay’s assistant coaches had bothered to wake up defensive coordinator Dom Capers in the booth – did it not look like he was dozing off a few times when FOX cameras spotlighted him? – he could have pointed that out to his vaunted 3-4 defense.
Despite the putrid effort by the defense, there is no reason for any member of the Packers’ offense to hang their heads about their performance. Aaron Rodgers in particular was especially brilliant, despite his shaky start (interception on his first pass) and untimely fumble in overtime. If the defense had bothered to show up for even one half of football, the Packers likely would have won the game. Further, whether or not Adams should have been flagged for an illegal hands to the face penalty during the play is somewhat a moot point. If Neil Rackers hadn’t completely blown it when he missed a 34-yard chip shot at the end of regulation, the game wouldn’t have even had to be decided in overtime.
But hey, there’s always next season for the Green Bay Packers. The team can certainly take the performance by Rodgers as a sign that they will have a competent and competitive player at quarterback for years to come. It could also be said that Rodgers took yet another step in completely exorcising the Brett Favre Demon once and for all that to this day continues to torment the young quarterback.
Offensive line play and defensive philosophy are other matters entirely. Remember, before he was placed on injured reserve after injuring his knee in Week 11 against the 49ers, Capers had sack specialist Aaron Kampman routinely dropping back into pass coverage instead of having him to what he does best – wreaking havoc beyond the line of scrimmage – certainly not the brightest idea.
Arizona, on the other hand, lives to fight another day. One thing: if the Cardinals do not bother to shore up their defense in the next week, “wait until next season” will become the mantra for the Cardinals quicker than Super-Jesus-Lover-God-Is-Great-Hey-Look-My-Wife-Is-On-TV-Again-Maybe-I’m Retiring-But-I’m-Not-Going-To-Say-Anything-About-It Because-It’s-About-The-Team-Not-Me-But-By-Not-Talking-About-It-I’m-Allowing-It-To-Be-About-Me-But-It’s-God’s-Will-Anyway-Not-Mine Kurt Warner appears to be delivering the ball to his talented and incredibly deep receiving corps. It should be pointed out that another week of Warner’s heroic efforts may not be enough against the formidable Saints, who, despite struggling during the final weeks of the season, will be playing on their home turf and more have the offensive firepower to go toe-to-toe with the Cardinals.
That is, unless the Cardinals are once again able to force an opposing QB – Drew Brees, in this instance – to “smell the glove.” So to speak.