Author

Howard Balzer

Browsing
Howard Balzer is in his 47th year covering professional football as a writer, editor and broadcaster and has covered 41 Super Bowls. His connection with pro football began in 1976 with College and Pro Football Newsweekly, and since then he has been a featured columnist for The Sporting News, Pro Football Weekly, USA Today Sports Weekly and The Sports Xchange. Balzer moved to St. Louis in 1978 to work for The Sporting News, where he became Pro Football Editor in 1979. He was an analyst on ESPN's initial broadcast of the NFL Draft in 1980 and continued in that role through 1988. He has won seven writing awards in the Professional Football Writers of America competition, won an Emmy for commentaries on KPLR-TV in St. Louis in 1986 and was nominated for an Emmy in 1988 and 1990. He was named the 2016 winner of the Bob Broeg Media Award presented by the St. Louis/Tom Lombardo Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame. The award is for enthusiasm, integrity, professionalism and devotion to the game of football and is reserved for individuals whose contributions to football in the St. Louis area have made a significant difference. Balzer was an officer (secretary and secretary/treasurer) for the Professional Football Writers of America for 33 years and was inducted into the St. Louis Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 2010. Balzer relocated to the Phoenix area in 2020 as the publisher of the FanNation AllCardinals site and is now the Cardinals reporter for PHNX. He is entering his 19th year as one of 49 voting members on the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee and is also on the Hall's Seniors Committee. He is the co-host of the weekly Pro Football Hall of Fame radio show on SiriusXM NFL Radio and is a part-time host at ArizonaSports 98.7 FM.

There is a certain kinship among head coaches in the NFL, especially those that are among the younger ones. It’s certainly the case with the guys that will be on opposite sidelines Sunday at State Farm Stadium: Kliff Kingsbury and Sean McVay. McVay is currently one of four NFL head coaches in their 30s and he is now 36 after being hired as he was turning 31 in 2017. All of those coaches, including Zac Taylor, Cincinnati; Mike McDaniel, Miami; and Kevin O’Connell, Minnesota were hired after McVay. Kingsbury was 39 when he was hired in 2019, although he turned 40 later that year. When San Francisco’s Kyle Shanahan was hired in 2017, he had recently turned 37 and he…

After the Cardinals’ astonishing win over the Raiders Sunday, the first line of my story was succinct: Sometimes it’s simply impossible to explain the unexplainable. That was mostly in reference to what quarterback Kyler Murray and the offense were able to do in the fourth quarter, overcoming a 23-7 lead by scoring two touchdowns with the necessary still-can’t-believe-it 2-point conversions....

[vc_row][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_column_text single_style=""]

Not a Subscriber? Start now and get your first month for only 50 cents!

[/vc_column_text][vc_btn title="Subscribe" style="flat" shape="square" color="black" size="lg" align="center" link="url:%2Fnew-membership%2F|||" css=".vc_custom_1548708374881{background-color: #09285e !important;}"][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_column_text single_style=""]

Login for Subscribers

[theme-my-login]

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Sometimes it can be difficult to read between the lines and figure out what coaches really mean when they talk to the media. It’s understandable when they are guarded and only communicate what they want the public and an opposing team to know. Frequently, coaches will refuse to answer a direct query and give a response that has little to do with the question. Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury can be adept at that when he feels he has to be. It happened this week with a question about linebacker Isaiah Simmons as it did during training camp involving center Rodney Hudson, who contemplated retirement in the offseason. That was rumored after Hudson was a no-show for the team’s June…

Some things I hope for, some I wonder about and some I just know as the Cardinals prepare to play the division-rival Rams I hope … That cornerback Byron Murphy Jr. has learned a big lesson after letting the ball go out of his hands as he crossed the goal line for the game-winning points Sunday in Las Vegas. As head coach Kliff Kingsbury recounted Monday, “I was telling everybody to get in the locker room and get on the bus and get out of here. It was one of those that was bang-bang. We’ll learn from that, and luckily he’s not a meme for the next 30 years of his life.” I wonder … If running back James Conner…

As is often the case in the NFL, or in all sports for that matter, there are unexpected heroes that make the difference in any given game. That was surely what happened on a crazy Sunday in Las Vegas. We expect the best players to be difference-makers when a game is on the line. And quarterback Kyler Murray certainly was otherworldly down the stretch in the Arizona Cardinals’ 29-23 overtime victory. Aside from Murray, it was a total team effort. As Murray said, “Everybody chipped in.” After missing the opener, defensive end J.J. Watt played 42 snaps (63 percent) and contributed two solo tackles, one for loss, a sack, quarterback hit and pass defensed. Safety Jalen Thompson, who didn’t practice…

Sometimes it’s simply impossible to explain the unexplainable. That’s what Sunday felt like, watching the Cardinals play dreadful football for the first two quarters, fall behind the Raiders 20-0 and have just as much trouble stopping quarterback Derek Carr as they did Patrick Mahomes in Week 1. After all, the Raiders and Chiefs combined for 525 yards in the first half of the two games, outscored the Cardinals 43-7, while Mahomes (21-for-28, 223 yards, three touchdowns) and Carr (18-for-24, 210 yards, two scores) totaled 433 yards and five touchdowns on 39-of-52 passing. That, of course, is the equivalent of one game. And it sure looked like this game would conclude the way last week did with another dispiriting loss, especially…

The wake-up call theme was prevalent at Cardinals practice this week after a Week-1 beatdown by the Kansas City Chiefs.

[vc_row][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_column_text single_style=""]

Not a Subscriber? Start now and get your first month for only 50 cents!

[/vc_column_text][vc_btn title="Subscribe" style="flat" shape="square" color="black" size="lg" align="center" link="url:%2Fnew-membership%2F|||" css=".vc_custom_1548708374881{background-color: #09285e !important;}"][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_column_text single_style=""]

Login for Subscribers

[theme-my-login]

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Chandler Jones will be facing his former team Sunday when the Raiders host the Cardinals in Las Vegas, and while he claimed Thursday, “It’s another week, honestly,” when someone adds the word honestly to a statement, it’s usually a cry that means, “Please believe me.” To be sure, Jones had this game circled when the schedule came out in May,...

[vc_row][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_column_text single_style=""]

Not a Subscriber? Start now and get your first month for only 50 cents!

[/vc_column_text][vc_btn title="Subscribe" style="flat" shape="square" color="black" size="lg" align="center" link="url:%2Fnew-membership%2F|||" css=".vc_custom_1548708374881{background-color: #09285e !important;}"][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_column_text single_style=""]

Login for Subscribers

[theme-my-login]

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Are Cardinals asking too much of Isaiah Simmons? Have the Cardinals placed too much on linebacker Isaiah Simmons’ plate? That argument could surely be made after Sunday’s game against Kansas City, where Simmons was relaying the defensive plays from coordinator Vance Joseph for the first time in a regular-season game while also having to do his own job from different...

[vc_row][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_column_text single_style=""]

Not a Subscriber? Start now and get your first month for only 50 cents!

[/vc_column_text][vc_btn title="Subscribe" style="flat" shape="square" color="black" size="lg" align="center" link="url:%2Fnew-membership%2F|||" css=".vc_custom_1548708374881{background-color: #09285e !important;}"][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_column_text single_style=""]

Login for Subscribers

[theme-my-login]

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

>
X