TEMPE Ariz – The sample size is small yet almo

first_img TEMPE, Ariz. – The sample size is small, yet, almost a fifth of the way through the season, the Arizona Cardinals have not performed well when the ball is placed inside the 20-yard line, either on their side of the field or the opponent’s.Only three times in 11 red-zone trips have the Cardinals scored a touchdown, while their opponents — Detroit, Indianapolis and Dallas — have been successful punching the ball across the goal line seven times in eight chances. Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (11) stretches for yards as he is hit by Dallas Cowboys cornerback Jourdan Lewis during the first half of an NFL football game, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) “Yeah, he was obviously a monster down there in the red zone because he caught a bunch of touchdowns, and he ran in a bunch of touchdowns,” Palmer said. “He’s one of those guys. He’s irreplaceable. No matter what team he’s on, if he gets injured, he’s irreplaceable. So, you go into the season with a ton of stuff built around him, and as soon as you lose him, you’ve got to change some things. Like I said, we’re still working on execution. We’re going to continue to do that as the season goes on with Dave.”Division games count twiceAmong the four NFC West teams, the Cardinals have yet to play a division game. That changes, of course, this Sunday when they host the San Francisco 49ers.Games within the division are always tough, according to defensive lineman Frostee Rucker.“There’s something about it. It’s almost like the teams are built to play verse each other, as for when you play outside your division you’re playing different teams and they’re built for a different style of play,” he said. “(The 49ers) are fighting and scratching to get a win and we want two wins.”Only the Los Angeles Rams (2-1) have a winning record in the NFC West. Both the Cardinals and Seattle Seahawks are 1-2, while the 49ers are winless. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling “It’s kind of disappointing,” head coach Bruce Arians said Wednesday. “We’ve run, probably, too many RPOs (run-pass options) down there and didn’t execute them properly or didn’t make the catch or the throw, like the 4th-and-1 in Indianapolis. We’ve got to run the ball better, for sure.“Defensively, we’ve got to stop the run better, and it’s usually after a big play. We’ve got to play better defense after a big play that put us down there.”On Monday night, the Cowboys recorded touchdowns on all three of their trips inside the red zone; and all three scores followed big plays, as Arians referenced. A 13-yard pass and 20-yard run helped set up the first and second touchdowns, respectively, while a 53-yard completion came three plays prior to the third score, an Ezekiel Elliott touchdown to make it a two-score game, 28-17.Offensively against the Cowboys, the Cardinals made four trips inside the red zone and came away with but a single touchdown.“We just haven’t executed the way that we expect ourselves to execute,” quarterback Carson Palmer said.Making life more difficult for the Cardinals offense when they reach their opponent’s 20-yard line has been the absence of running back David Johnson. A year ago, Johnson, currently on injured reserve, scored 16 of his NFL-leading and franchise-record 20 touchdowns in the red zone. “I expect all those guys to be out in pads (Thursday),” Arians said.Guard Alex Boone (chest) did not practice, while dollar linebacker Deone Bucannon (ankle) was a full participant.For the 49ers, starting safety Eric Reid (knee) and rookie linebacker Reuben Foster (ankle) did not practice; neither did tackle Joe Staley, though his absence was not injury related. Also, linebacker Brock Coyle (concussion), running back Carlos Hyde (hip), fullback Kyle Juszczyk (concussion) and safety Jaquiski Tartt (concussion) were limited. Top Stories center_img 2 Comments   Share   The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires “Their record does not matter,” Palmer said. “Every time we play San Francisco, they give us their best shot. They’ve always played really, really well against us—really, really hard against us. They’re playing hard on film, and this is a very good defense.“We’re in a difficult spot, coming off a loss on a short week with a team that’s got 10 or so days of rest. This is a huge game for us.”Elijhaa Penny impresses on scout teamOne option the Cardinals have not tried in the red zone, especially near the goal line, is running back Elijhaa Penny, who, at 6-2 and 234 pounds, may be able to overpower defenses because of his bigger size.Thus far, much of Penny’s playing time has come on special teams. He does have 10 offensive snaps but no carries. No carries, yet, at least.“He’s getting close to earning it,” Arians said. “He had a good preseason, but he’s still a little bit down the totem pole. If he got it, I’d have all the confidence in the world. The way he’s been (on the scout team)—Elliott, and then (Thursday) he’ll be (Carlos) Hyde—and he’s shown what he can do.”Injury reportThe list is a long one.Arians rattled off seven different names as being limited in practice on Wednesday: wide receiver John Brown (quadricep), tight end Jermaine Gresham (ribs), tackle D.J. Humphries (knee), guard Mike Iupati (tricep), linebacker Chandler Jones, wide receiver J.J. Nelson (bicep) and tackle John Wetzel. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img read more

ExpansionStage Executives Are You Standing Too Close to Your Canvas

first_imgLast week, my colleagues and I met with some executives from a prospect company to introduce OpenView Labs, and describe what all of our respective teams within the Labs focus on with our portfolio companies. The CEO of this company was intrigued, particularly as Tien Anh explained the types of projects that his Research and Analytics team typically executes with our portfolio. In short, the Research and Analytics team works with OpenView’s companies to help them better understand the markets that they should be targeting, the buyer personas within those markets, and what messaging will resonate best. They conduct primary and secondary research to attain such data, and some of their most valuable insights come from survey calls with customers, lost customers, and prospects. Upon hearing about these research projects, here’s how the CEO of the company responded:“Wow… what you are describing sounds pretty incredible. It would be so amazing to have someone be able to execute this research as one of our partners and give us the raw data to help us better understand out market. We don’t do research like this often enough because we are so busy with our day to day.  So often executives of companies are so close to their canvas, that they aren’t able to take a step back and see what the whole painting really looks like.”This really caught my attention. His statement was so spot on. It’s easy to get wrapped up with something that you care so much about (and are so “close” to), and loose sight of the big picture in the process.6 Ways to Step Back and Regain Perspective on Your BusinessIf you are in OpenView’s portfolio, you can take advantage of the Labs services and leverage our Venture Partners’ operational experience to help you see the big picture. But even with that leg-up you should still make it a point to pause and reflect on your own organization from time to time. Try it now — take five good steps back from your canvas and see how the masterpiece is really coming together. Here are six things you can do:Jump on a call with some of your customers: What do they like about your product, what do they not like about your product?Reach out to one of your lost customers: Why did they go with your competitor? Was there something that your organization could have done differently?Walk the hallways: Sit down with some of the more junior people in your office who you may not engage with on a daily basis — what do they like about your company, what changes would they like to see made?Get outside the building: Ask someone outside your company (but in your industry) to give you an honest opinion of what they think of your website, your content, and your message — does it resonate?Analyze your email: Try using a tool like Xobni to understand the trends — who are you responding to most? Who you are NOT responding to most? What other interesting facts about your engagement with people from inside and outside your organization can you gather?Sit in on a product demo: How is your company/product being positioned? What are your prospects are saying about your technology? How are they responding?Believe me, I get it — executives at expansion-stage companies are busy as hell — so, I’m not suggesting you do all of these things all of the time. What I am urging you to do is to consciously step back from your canvas from time to time to get a fresh perspective on your company and its development. And if you don’t like what you see, then now is the time to make some changes before the painting is too far along!AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to PrintPrintShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThislast_img read more