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Leinart, Cards grinding away

Posted by Darren Urban on May 27, 2010 – 12:35 pm

The Cards finished up a second week of OTAs today with a lot of passing. The last chunk — in both 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 work — was 99 percent throws. I know so many are curious to know how Matt Leinart is throwing, along with Derek Anderson. Each had some good plays today, and a couple not as good. Leinart on one deep ball in 7-on-7 had Steve Breaston open, but threw over the wrong shoulder, leading Leinart to toss his helmet in disgust. But he made a nice sideline throw to Larry Fitzgerald, and during his three plays of the “competitive” 11-on-11 third-down sequence, he got Fitz on a first-down slant pass and then found Early Doucet — who was wide open — deep down the middle for a perfect score.

“That’s the fun part,” Leinart said on the final 11-on-11 period. “It’s non-scripted. It’s full speed. That’s as fast as it gets, except when you have pads it’s actually a little easier (for the offense) because you can block them. But that’s as fast as it gets and on third downs, they give you every look you can imagine, so you have to read and react. It’s just a great competitive period, and that’s how you get better.”

The defense, if you recall, won last week’s third-down period.

Leinart said he continues to feel good, and sounds upbeat. “Even last year at this time I felt good but it is different being in this position, the mindset,” Leinart said. “I am confident, I know where I am going with the ball and I am seeing the defense. Going against the first-(string) defense … you lack the experience going against the starters. You are going to throw some bad balls, you will make some mistakes. But it’s only going to continue to help me. I am so excited to play.”

Other tidbits of note as the players bail until Tuesday (and actually, so will I):

– WR Ed Gant made a few nice catches today, which was important. The Cards want more consistency out of him, and I’m not sure they had seen enough up until this point. But he handled a two Anderson bullets and a Max Hall throw that caught the attention.

– LB Joey Porter made a nice strip of TE Ben Patrick in the final stanza to prevent a first-down catch.

– RB Tim Hightower continues to run first-team. Will I be surprised if Hightower remains, technically, the “starter” even though I expect Beanie Wells to get more carries? No. I think Hightower, as a person and a player, is exactly what coach Ken Whisenhunt wants on his team and I think Hightower starting can send a message.

– There were definitely some veterans who were ready to get the heck out and start the weekend once practice ended today. I can’t blame them.


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Posted in Blog | 36 Comments »


36 Responses to “Leinart, Cards grinding away”

  1. By JoeVero on May 27, 2010 | Reply

    How has Jorrick Calvin been doing? Do you think he will get some play time in the preseason?

  2. By darrenurban on May 27, 2010 | Reply

    JoeVero –

    Early to tell. Sure he will play in the preseason. I have no doubts on that.

  3. By Connor on May 27, 2010 | Reply

    Darren, who would u say has the strongest arm out of all the Quarterbacks at the OTA’s? John Skelton?

  4. By Nick Pepe on May 27, 2010 | Reply

    Darren – any input on the DB’s performed and how they lined up depth wise.
    Thank you,
    Nick P

  5. By James Wine on May 27, 2010 | Reply

    D-

    Just thought I’d say I love this blog…

    Keeps me updated.

    Appreciate it.

  6. By cardattac on May 27, 2010 | Reply

    Oh man it music to my ears… I know Matt is ready this time. I think that with Matt we have a good chance to just have a well rounded mix of run and pass on the offense. Not sayin I dont like the high flying attack but we became pretty predictable and had nothing to back it up really if the pass attack failed. This will make it harder for other teams to game plan against us. I LOVE IT!!! GO CARDS!!!

    Darren…. What am I gonna do without news from you, for what…. like 4 days???? Your the only person I really trust to be honest and full of helpful insight. Thanks D…. Have a good weekend

  7. By smack28 on May 27, 2010 | Reply

    I am curious what your thoughts are on the offensive line thus far. More importantly, how do we look at both tackle spots – Keith & Brown? Also, where is Hermann Johnson playing right now?

  8. By darrenurban on May 27, 2010 | Reply

    Connor –

    Anderson compares to Skelton.

  9. By darrenurban on May 27, 2010 | Reply

    Nick –

    Nothing has changed with the DBs. DRC was out all week with his sore toe, so Toler and Adams were running with the first unit. McBride and Miller were running with the 2s. They did OK. A.J. Jefferson broke up a pass today and Toler made a deflection that Adrian Wilson picked off.

  10. By darrenurban on May 27, 2010 | Reply

    Cardattac –

    Thanks. There will be no news anyways, so really, it’s not like you are missing anything, right?

  11. By darrenurban on May 27, 2010 | Reply

    smack –

    You see less of the O and D lines than anything else. But I know they are high on Keith and the job he can do. Herman is still running as a backup tackle.

  12. By Ryan G. on May 27, 2010 | Reply

    Hey Darren, Great blog!

    Hows the 1st rounder, Williams, doing? Have any of the Vets on the team been helping him get in sync?

  13. By Brent on May 27, 2010 | Reply

    Hi Darren,

    Just curious, exactly what message does starting Hightower send and to who? I’m happy Hightower is a good back and a great guy but seriously Beanie is simply a special player. His talent level is so much greater I can’t believe this is even a topic. If he isn’t the starter this year in my opinion Wiz needs to get his head examined.

  14. By Gang6230 on May 27, 2010 | Reply

    Any sign that deuce L will sign ??

  15. By darrenurban on May 27, 2010 | Reply

    Ryan G –

    Again, not much to see this time of year from O line or D line. But Williams is a hard worker. I will blog a little about him later today.

  16. By darrenurban on May 27, 2010 | Reply

    Brent –

    Again, my opinion is just that — an opinion. I may be totally off base and Beanie may be starting soon (or later). I have made this point many times though — in some ways, it doesn’t matter who starts. If Beanie gets 20 carries in a game and Hightower 12, does it matter that Hightower was on the field for the first offensive play?

  17. By darrenurban on May 27, 2010 | Reply

    Gang –

    Not that I have heard.

  18. By Bob Christianson on May 27, 2010 | Reply

    Darren,
    Again Thanks!!
    Try very hard to have a great weekend, we’re counting on you to enjoy yourself!!

  19. By darrenurban on May 27, 2010 | Reply

    Bob –

    In the immortal words of Yoda, “Do or do not. There is no try.”

    I will “do.”

  20. By AndyStandsUp on May 27, 2010 | Reply

    Darren, how much can the average fan take away from minicamps and OTAs?
    I would think that the upcoming season is in the infantile stages in determining who’s going to make starters less alone the 53 man squad.
    Is training camp announced mid-June or late June?

  21. By johnnybluenose on May 27, 2010 | Reply

    darren, i’m canadian so i’m more interested in stevie baggs than most others. how’s he look, is he getting much of an opportunity?

  22. By BigAl on May 27, 2010 | Reply

    Darren, how is Andre Roberts looking in terms of speed, patterns, and hands? Is Roberts backing up Breaston or Doucet. Are they lining up Doucet in Boldin’s #2 WR position and still running Breaston out of the slot?

  23. By darrenurban on May 27, 2010 | Reply

    AndyStands –

    Strides can be made this time of year, yes. But no one is making the 53 in May or June. Let’s face it — I could come up with probably 45 or 46 of the guys who will make the final roster right now, regardless of what happens now or in Flag. The other 8 spots are what camp is for.

    Camp dates probably won’t be out until late June, I’d guess.

  24. By darrenurban on May 27, 2010 | Reply

    JohnnyBlue –

    You crazy CFL fans.

    Stevie, No. 1, is a great guy. I hope you got a chance to read my story from earlier this offseason. He’s getting some work, but he will have to make an impression in the preseason to have a chance to stick.

  25. By darrenurban on May 27, 2010 | Reply

    BigAl –

    They are moving the WRs around. Roberts seems to be getting work in a couple of places. He’s dropped a pass or two, but otherwise, he’s been fine. I’m not expecting huge things from him — kind of like what Doucet did his rookie year. I could be wrong.

  26. By Joe-B on May 27, 2010 | Reply

    I’m getting really excited about this season, and it is good to hear the Leinart is doing well. I want him to shut up the haters and the people who have been spreading rumors that he looked awful in the OTAs so far.

    I don’t see much of a change in the offense, but I see them going from passing 63% of the time to something more like 55%. More balance, and that will help a lot.

  27. By Missouri Jim on May 27, 2010 | Reply

    This may be an apples-to-oranges comparison, Darren, but is there a different mindset and feeling around the team this year compared to last year at this time?

    Maybe I’m just trying to find positives, but from reading the various reports, it sounds like things may be at a higher level this year, when it comes to camaraderie, intensity, competitiveness, etc., at least in the OTAs (which, I realize mean not much).

    Thanks for all you do, and enjoy the long weekend.

  28. By darrenurban on May 27, 2010 | Reply

    Missouri –

    Who knows. It always feels good this time of year. As Whiz said the other day, you’re undefeated and there is no pressure. Everyone is always optimistic.

  29. By ross on May 29, 2010 | Reply

    Darren,

    How do Beanie and Tim look as far as speed, quickness, etc?

    Have they both taken it up a notch in anticipation of carrying a heavier load?

  30. By darrenurban on May 29, 2010 | Reply

    Ross –

    They both look good, although I thought they both looked good last year.

    Taken it up a notch? Who knows? I know Tim for one would be offended that it would be thought he wouldn’t be working as hard as possible all the time, even last year when Warner was still around.

  31. By brad oneill on May 29, 2010 | Reply

    i like hightower as the starter. I mean beanie gets the millions they have to give timmy something to keep him happy. and really starter is nothing but a title for runningbacks in this offense. They both are extremely important to the offense. the last great highlight for the cardinals last year was Hightowers run to start the game against the saints.

  32. By Scott H on Jun 1, 2010 | Reply

    Between Timmy and Beanie, I don’t care who is the “starter” and who isn’t. They are both terrific players who complement each other beautifully and who form one of the best RB tandems in the NFL. The Cardinals need a substantial contribution from each of them this year and these guys are up to it. There should be plenty of touches for them both every week. I say we hitch our wagon to these two horses and let them loose!

  33. By brad oneill on Jun 5, 2010 | Reply

    can we officially call matt lienart the most underrated quarterback in the nfl this season yet? I think if he is even below average he will be fine in this offense but i suspect he is going to surprise damn near everyone.

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  2. May 27, 2010: Word From the Birds Blog
  3. Jun 1, 2010: Cardinals OTA breakdown | Arizona Cardinals Report
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