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.
Tags: Ed Gant, Matt Leinart
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