first_img Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Tampa Bay quarterback Jameis Winston will present Bettcher with his own set of issues this Sunday in Glendale, but as the Cardinals prepare for Week 2, Bettcher and the players were focusing inward.“We’ve got to leverage the ball correctly and we’ve got to tackle well,” Bettcher said. “When you start playing the game at whatever age you start playing it at, those are two things you start talking about early on. The little things are always big things; keep stacking them long enough, they become what it’s all about.”Whatever personal revelations some introspection produced for Bettcher, he wasn’t saying, but linebacker Kevin Minter said the Cardinals are “champing at the bit” to take the field against the Buccaneers on Sunday and prove that their Week 1 performance was just an anomaly.“It’s time to show and prove,” Minter said. “People keep talking about the talent we have. It’s time for us to display that talent.”Follow Craig Morgan on Twitter The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Top Stories AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and sellingcenter_img Patriots QB Jimmy Garoppolo produced a near-perfect passer rating vs. the blitz in win over Cardinals pic.twitter.com/KPDKFE2QMr— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) September 12, 2016When asked specifically about his game plan for pressuring Garoppolo, Bettcher gave the shortest answer of his interview, saying only “they do some great stuff and that’s why they’ve had success as long as they’ve had it. Hats off to them.”This is not a LaMarr Woodley-esque indictment of Bettcher. The truth is almost always more nuanced than blowhards suggest, but Bettcher is also a 38-year-old coordinator entering his second season in a position he’s never filled before. He’s learning on the job, and Sunday was not his best resume builder.“James is bright; he’s a bright dude and he loves the game,” safety Tony Jefferson said. “I was talking to him today and he was telling me he puts in hours just for one blitz. He’s a dedicated guy and you can tell he loves the game.” Pro Football Focus reported that Garoppolo posted a near-perfect rating when the Cardinals did blitz, but only two things really stand out from those statistics. First, eight blitzes is too small a sample size to form any kind of sound conclusion. Second, why the heck was the sample size so small against a young quarterback? Don’t you want Jimmy Garoppolo to beat you instead of Bill Belichick or Josh McDaniels? 0 Comments   Share   Every coach who’s been around the game for a while knows that when a team loses or when his unit performs poorly, he is going to eat a large helping of blame.Bettcher didn’t miss tackles, Bettcher didn’t miss reads and Bettcher didn’t blow assignments against the New England Patriots. That’s on the players, and there is enough blame to spread it around as thick as peanut butter on a 4-year-old’s sandwich.Even so, there were more than a few analysts questioning Bettcher’s approach against a backup quarterback making his first career NFL start. There were more than a few analysts that left University of Phoenix Stadium with the belief that New England coach Bill Belichick and Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels took Bettcher to Sunday school, after Jimmy Garoppolo completed 24 of 33 passes for 264 yards and a touchdown in a 23-21 Patriots win in which he was rarely under duress.Why not pressure Garoppolo more? Why not make him even more uncomfortable than he was likely feeling already? Why not force him into quicker decisions? Why not force him to look beyond the first read he locked onto so often against the Cardinals, which made his job a whole lot easier? TEMPE, Ariz. — James Bettcher looked in the mirror after a Week 1 loss to the New England Patriots and didn’t like what he saw.“We came in Monday morning and set down and were obviously all sick to our stomachs with disappointment in our performance defensively,” Arizona’s second-year defensive coordinator told reporters on Thursday. “At the end of the day, it starts with me. We didn’t play well on defense. It starts with me. I stand in front of the room, stand in front of you guys and say that it starts with me.”last_img

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