Cardinals coach Dennis Green still would not commit Monday to a new-look offensive line that featured guard Jeremy Bridges and tackle L.J. Shelton in the starting lineup.
"We moved the ball a lot better," Green said. "That doesn’t necessarily mean that’s why."
But Bridges and Shelton are getting the first-team reps, and the players they replaced — Cameron Spikes and Anthony Clement — dutifully announced they would handle their demotions because it is what is best for the team.
"If my role is backup, then that’s what it will be," Clement said. "I will take responsibility and practice like I will play on Sunday. . . . (Green) could change later, he could change by the end of the week, could change next week, could change after the bye. You never know, man."
In the two series Clement and Spikes played Sunday, the Cardinals gained four yards. In the nine series the Cards played after Bridges and Shelton came in, they gained 369 yards.
Clement, who makes $2.4 million a season through 2006, has reportedly been on the trading block (the NFL trading deadline is a week from today). Meanwhile, Spikes loudly got in Green’s face on the sideline Sunday after being replaced, a move that couldn’t have endeared him to his coach. "Obviously I overreacted on the situation," Spikes said. "I am just happy my team got the win."
Bridges, who was a tackle when he was drafted by Philadelphia last year but who never played in a game, called his move to Arizona a "blessing in disguise."
Defensive end Calvin Pace is playing less than last season but is more productive. Pace already recorded his second sack Sunday, after getting just one during his rookie season last year.
Green said both blocked punts Sunday weren’t from a special punt block but simply because the Cards got beat one-on-one. Adrian Wilson was the player who missed the Saints’ Steve Gleason when Gleason got the block that led to New Orleans’ lone touchdown. . . .
Cardinals receiver Nate Poole got an earful from running back Emmitt Smith during the game Sunday after Poole "celebrated" a play by getting on his hands and knees and lifting his leg like he was a dog doing his business. Smith chastised Poole for the move.