File In this Sept 11 2016 file photo Arizona

first_imgFile – In this Sept. 11, 2016, file photo, Arizona Cardinals kicker Chandler Catanzaro (7) walks off the field after missing an NFL football game-winning field goal-attempt against the New England Patriots during the second half in Glendale, Ariz. Catanzaro missed the potential winner from 47 after a bad snap, and New England escaped at Arizona. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri, File) TEMPE, Ariz. — Being a specialist on special teams can offer the highest of highs as well as the lowest of lows.Never has that been more apparent than in Arizona’s 23-21 loss to the New England Patriots last weekend, a game in which punter Drew Butler struggled through an injury to average just 36 yards per boot and a potentially game-winning Chandler Catanzaro field goal attempt sailed wide with less than a minute remaining. The kick, of course, was preceded by a less-than-ideal snap from rookie Kameron Canaday. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Had everything gone according to plan, then Catanzaro would have been the hero and no one would be thinking about Canaday. Instead, following the game, the kicker was taking responsibility for the loss and the long-snapper was answering questions about what went wrong his end.“It’s kind of the nature of the business,” Cardinals special teams coordinator Amos Jones said Thursday. “You hope to go unnoticed — shake a hand and say, ‘Hey, we won, see you next time.’“But hey, it is what it is. We’ve got to bounce back. It wasn’t all bad; there were some good things, so we’ve just got to not focus on the negative and focus on the coaching part of it, the teaching part of it, and get it better.”Jones, who is in his fourth season leading the Cardinals’ special teams, said when it comes to Canaday, the message was all his other snaps were really good.“Make that be what you build on, and don’t overcoach the negative,” he said, adding Canaday knows what he has to do to ensure there are no issues with his snaps.Canaday won an offseason battle with Daniel Dillon for the job, and while his regular season debut may not have gone as well as hoped, it is not as if he is new to the position. He was named an FCS Third Team All-America with Portland State last year, and there has been no indication that the Cardinals were or are considering a change. The same goes for Catanzaro, who is now in his third season with the Cardinals and seems to have a solid grasp on the team’s kicking job. Though he missed a 47-yard attempt at the end of Sunday’s game, over his first two seasons he connected on 57-of-64 field goal attempts, including 16-of-18 from between 40 and 49 yards.“You just don’t get those opportunities,” Jones said of what makes this tough for Catanzaro. “That’s what upsets you the most, is the fact that we just don’t get put in those situations a bunch throughout a career, and when you do have those opportunities, boy you’ve got to capitalize on them because that’s where legends are made.”Catanzaro made the first two game-winning kicks of his career last season, so if nothing else, his resume does include success under pressure.As for Butler, who was been a lightning rod for fan criticism even before an injury-impacted Week 1, Jones said he does not concern himself with what anyone outside of the organization thinks. He said there was no doubt Butler was going to finish the game, even with the injury, and that there is no shortage of belief in him.“He wouldn’t be here if we didn’t have the confidence in him, and it’s not like you’ve got a lot of options, in terms of replacing him, in the middle of the game,” he said. “That’s why it was good to hear (Bruce Arians) tell the team that, ‘Hey, Drew busted his butt for us and finished the game,’ because there’s a lot of guys that couldn’t have done that.” Jones noted how football teams have depth at pretty much every position except for kickers, and if Butler had been unable to continue, Catanzaro would have been asked to punt. With an injured Butler, however, he said the gameplan was adjusted.“You’ve got to manage the game,” he said. “You can’t ask a guy that’s hurt to do too many things, so doing what he did — downed two balls inside the 20, almost had a situation where we had a knuckleball that we looked to try to get a big play off of — I was pleased, particularly, since it (the injury) happened on the first punt.”Some injury newsIn some ways, the Cardinals got some good news Thursday as Evan Mathis and J.J. Nelson both returned to practice, albeit in a limited capacity. However, both Jaron Brown and Kevin Minter were limited with ankle injuries, and Tyrann Mathieu did not participate. According to defensive coordinator James Bettcher, Mathieu’s day off was scheduled.A new option at cornerbackGiven the question marks the Cardinals have at cornerback, it is in no way a surprise that they are doing whatever they can to add talent however they can. The latest addition is Tharold Simon, who was claimed off waivers Wednesday from the Seattle Seahawks. – The Cardinals’ first-team offense has for the most part struggled dating back to Week 16 of last season. Asked if there is a theme to the issues, Goodwin said it is, “Do your job.”“I can’t say what I want to say, but do your job, that’s what it comes down to. Any given play, offensively, defensively, special teams — if one guy is out of sync with the rest of them, it’s not going to work. It’s not like basketball where one guy can take over a game. We all need each other out there on the football field, so we’ve all got to make sure we’re in unison and we’re playing together.”– On Wednesday, safety Tyrann Mathieu talked about playing more of a free safety role, and admitted it’s not something he is particularly fond of. He said then that he believed the change had more to do with him recovering from ACL surgery, and on Thursday defensive coordinator James Bettcher seemed to confirm that.“With Ty, one of the things is just him getting back into things. He hasn’t played a ton of snaps, so we’re doing things with him to get him back in the swing of things. We all know he’s a ballhawk and a playmaker…but he’s a playmaker, we all know that, and we’ll keep working the packages and keep doing things to get him in the best possible position to do what he does best, which is wreck games.” If he stays healthy, the Cardinals may have found someone who can help reach their ultimate goal, which is Super Bowl LI. For Simon, it just worked out to where he was released by a contender but then picked up by one.“That’s one thing about me, I’ve been kind of blessed with that just pretty much in life,” he said. “From high school to college to NFL, always been a good group of DBs and always a winning program.“LSU — went to the National Championship, got drafted (and) my first year went to a Super Bowl, my second year went to a Super Bowl and played in it. I mean, I’m here now so hopefully my first year here we can get to a Super Bowl. I’m hoping.”Random musings– Offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin said he would like to get more from the running game this week, though he admitted that, as an offensive line coach, he selfishly would like to see the ball run a bit more. He does not call the plays, though, and he understands game-flow dictates a lot of the play calls. However, no matter how many carries are given out, he would like to see Chris Johnson get more than the one he did against New England.“Just because we know it’s a long season, especially if we’re trying to get where we want to go, we’re going to need all those backs, so I’d like to see Chris out there. But at the end of the day that’s still B.A.’s call, and it’s all still based off the flow of the game. It’s hard when you’ve got a guy that’s hot, and David’s going to be hot a lot. We’ll see how it works out. Obviously Chris wants to play (and) he’s earned the right to play, so we’ll see how it goes.” Asked if that means, in due time, getting Mathieu closer to the line of scrimmage, Bettcher said, “Absolutely.”Follow Adam Green on Twitter Top Stories “You saw what he did at college at LSU,” Cardinals defensive coordinator James Bettcher said. “Explosive corner; long, tall. Excited to have him. Glad, happy that Steve (Keim) was able to get that done.”A fifth-round pick out of LSU in 2013, the 6-foot-3, 202-pound Simon has appeared in 11 career games, notching 10 total tackles, one interception and three passes defensed. Injuries have plagued him, though he’s hoping Arizona will provide a fresh start.“It’s been crazy, but fun, exciting at the same time,” he said. “I really have no bad feelings; my heart is in the right place. I really don’t feel bad about what happened; I’m just happy — very happy — to be here. I’m moving on; it’s the next chapter in my life, in my career.”Simon said he does not really care why the Seahawks decided to let him go, though he thinks it had something to do with them not using him on special teams. He has not been told anything with regards to a role in Arizona, but plans on just going out and having fun, believing everything else will take care of itself. And if he’s needed Sunday, provided he’s asked to play man-to-man, he thinks he’ll be OK. 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