Coach Ken Whisenhunt certainly noticed the spike in temperature Thursday: “We went from pre-heat to bake,” he joked. But he did say he was impressed with his team bringing up its level of play during the 11-on-11 session despite it all.
He also talked a little bit about his job of playcalling, quipping, “What I took away from last season was I can’t let Russ (Grimm) and Mike (Miller) call all those bad plays.”
“You lose a little touch with that when you are not involved with the playcalling,” he said. “There is a lot going on on game days, and it was nice to get back into that routine. It’s fun when you (call plays). You have to put a lot of work into it and a lot of preparation, and we have had guys here that have been good in helping with that.
“I enjoyed it last year, obviously because of some of the games where we were productive offensively. You think back to Chicago, you think back of the first half against Houston, even Green Bay, that’s rewarding. … It makes you feel like you contributed. And it is a rush. It’s as close as you can get to playing and being back on the field.”
Among other tidbits:
— Whisenhunt noted CB Trumaine McBride has “shown up” in offseason work and will be in the mix at the position.
–Speaking of defensive backs, safety Hamza Abdullah was active Thursday, making two interceptions, dropping a third and making a nice play to break up a pass to Andre Roberts. Abdullah was signed late last season when Antrel Rolle was banged up and Matt Ware was already on IR, and was forced to play a lot when he probably wasn’t ready, given his short shelf life on the roster. “It’s difficult anytime a guy comes in late in the season and he was thrown to the wolves like he was,” Whisenhunt said. “I respected the way he worked. There were no excuses. But he has stepped it up. It makes you think he has a chance to contribute to our team and I think, because of the way he came in and worked, you pull for him.”
— Injury update: G Rex Hadnot was on the bike after tweaking his knee Wednesday, but Whisenhunt said the injury wasn’t serious and Hadnot may return next week. The same goes for LB Gerald Hayes (back), who Whisenhunt said wanted to work out today but was kept out. Hayes will try it next week. “He’s made dramatic improvement.” DL Alan Branch has also been sitting with his back. Later, on the subject of injuries, Whisenhunt smiled and said, “I think they’re all out for the game this weekend.”
— WR Larry Fitzgerald, as he is prone to do, chucked a pass at me after making one of his own in early drills. Fortunately, I caught it. The Republic’s Kent Somers wasn’t as lucky, reaching up with one hand (Kent was holding his notepad in the other) and having a Fitz pass bounce off, leading to this exchange:
Fitz: “Comon, Kent!”
Kent: “I only had one hand!”
Fitz: “I catch it with one hand all the time.”
Kent” “But you can’t write.”
Fitz: “I wrote my paper for the University of Phoenix last night!”
Fitz is always thinking on his feet.
— DRC cut off the other side of his hair, making him look normal again (sorry, I didn’t snap a photo).
— It looks like I’ll have Steve Breaston on for a Tuesday afternoon chat next week, so keep that on the radar.
Tags: Alan Branch, Andre Roberts, Antrel Rolle, DRC, Gerald Hayes, Hamza Abdullah, Ken Whisenhunt, Larry Fitzgerald, Matt Ware, Rex Hadnot, Steve Breaston, Trumaine McBride
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