The Cardinals are off until Monday, when they return with two practices. By then, coach Ken Whisenhunt and assistants Matt Raich, Kevin Spencer, Mike Miller and Chad Grimm will be back from Canton where they attended the induction ceremony for Russ Grimm. So too will players Alan Faneca, Joey Porter and Clark Haggans, who went for both Grimm and their former Steelers coach Dick LeBeau.
By then, I’ll be back in Flagstaff too.
Anyway, it’s a good time to assess where the Cards are (although it’s only fair to note Whisenhunt’s point that you don’t want to too quickly judge anything). But remember, these are just my opinions and not absolutes, so please, no wagering.
I suppose we start with the quarterbacks. While Derek Anderson did lead the offense to the lone touchdown Saturday, I still think Leinart played a bit better during the week as a whole. And the way Whisenhunt talked about Leinart after Saturday’s work — “I thought Matt did good” and “We just have to look at the tape and correct it and move forward” – sounded like Leinart remains in good standing. We’re not going to know until the preseason games anyway.
The battle between Max Hall and John Skelton is going to be very interesting. I don’t know if Skelton can really “catch” Hall before the regular season, given how much experience Hall had in college compared to Skelton’s experience. But Skelton’s potential is the wild card here.
For now, Tim Hightower remains running with the No. 1, but Beanie Wells has gotten reps with the starters. It truly feels like a split situation, which is probably how it will be during the season (although Beanie will end up with more carries, I am sure).
Whisenhunt isn’t necessarily going to mix and match his offensive linemen. I will be surprised if the line changes much to be honest; I think extra weight or no Deuce Lutui has looked pretty good thus far. Then again, he has been going against the “2s” a lot of the time. Deuce vs. Reggie Wells will be the battle of the preseason, but the weight thing is going to be a factor.
The Cards need some health. They are short at tight end and fullback going into the second week. Whisenhunt already said he doesn’t want to make a roster move; they need Anthony Becht and/or Jim Dray to come back.
The cornerback position is definitely one to watch. DRC is fine and we all know that. Other than that … I have said this many times before and I’ll say it again, I still think this team chases a cornerback at the end of preseason – someone released by another team — that will be in the mix.
Now, at linebacker, it may be a little different. Not having Gerald Hayes is still a concern (especially reports he will be out into September, and even then he’ll be so far behind physically). But there is a better feeling about Paris Lenon after a week of camp. We’ll see if the Cards look at bringing in an inside ‘backer on the waiver wire too.
Before I forget, Dustin Stover wants everyone to know he’s OK and was back to work both Friday afternoon and Saturday. Who is Dustin you ask? He’s the ball boy. He actually wouldn’t mind seeing video just to see what happened. And everything is good between him and Skelton. (Oh, and we have a photo too? Sorry Dustin).
Tags: Anthony Becht, Beanie Wells, Derek Anderson, Deuce Lutui, DRC, Gerald Hayes, Hall of Fame, Jim Dray, John Skelton, Ken Whisenhunt, Matt Leinart, Max Hall, Paris Lenon, Reggie Wells, Russ Grimm, Tim Hightower, training camp
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