Deuce Lutui still has to fend off Rex Hadnot to stay the starting right guard, but Lutui is the guy for now, coach Ken Whisenhunt said. So everyone wanted to talk to Lutui after practice today, and while Deuce was holding court in front of the cameras, fellow O-lineman Jeremy Bridges nailed him in the face with a shaving cream pie.
(I think everyone should have known the “pie” was shaving cream, although Deuce admitted after, “I thought it was a cream pie until I started licking my lips.”)
It’s been a long offseason for Lutui, taking criticism from everyone because of his weight. He shrugged it off. “It’s not the first time I’ve been called fat before,” Lutui said. He insisted he was working out on his own and was thinking about other things, like working on his U.S. citizenship, so “It’s not like I was just standing in one place.”
“I came back in shape,” Lutui added. “Maybe not the weight they wanted, but I passed the condition test.”
He said he was surprised Reggie Wells was in his starting spot when he returned, but he kept working with the backups and the starters. Lutui played a lot in the preseason, deep into games unlike previous years, but he was OK with that. Now Wells has been traded and Lutui has his job back. “I just became that hungry dog, fighting to get my position back,” Lutui said, adding it helps him if he is in a constant battle to fight for his team. But he also never thought he’d be anything but a starter.
Among other things as the Cards returned to practice today:
— No injury report, because the Cards don’t need to put one out yet. Whisenhunt did say WR Larry Fitzgerald is still on pace to to return although he is working on his conditioning after missing so much time. I am guessing that won’t be an issue. RB Beanie Wells’s knee “is not 100 percent,” Whisenhunt added, and “we will see how he progresses during the week.” I still think Beanie plays.
— The Cards are slowly putting together their practice squad. None of the players reportedly claimed yesterday were here yet, but I still expect all three to show. G Tom Pestock, T Herman Johnson and WR Isaiah Williams were brought back to the practice squad, so there are five spots left. I still think CB Marshay Green is a possibility.
— Speaking of Green, Whisenhunt was asked what it was about fellow undrafted rookie CB A.J. Jefferson that kept him on the squad. Many, including me, thought Green was ahead of Jefferson. But Jefferson got the nod. It doesn’t hurt that A.J. is 6-feet, plus there were a pair of plays Whisenhunt noticed. One was Jefferson’s raw speed when he chased down a Redskins’ kick returner. The other was a deep pass Jefferson defended and “didn’t panic” on, which can happen with young corners. My guess is that Jefferson will still be a project.
Tags: A.J. Jefferson, Beanie Wells, Deuce Lutui, Herman Johnson, Isaiah Williams, Jeremy Bridges, Ken Whisenhunt, Larry Fitzgerald, Marshay Green, Reggie Wells, Rex Hadnot, Tom Pestock
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