Ken Whisenhunt admitted, with the regular-season opener just a few days away, the Cardinals can’t be ready for everything. Teams like to address specific situations in training camp and practice, but that’s when there has already been an entire offseason to install offenses and defenses – time that, thanks to the lockout, wasn’t available this year.
“We have so many (other) things we have to work on, to try and carve out time for a situation is difficult,” Whisenhunt said. “I am just hopeful we have covered the situations that will come up and if not, that’s one of the victims of this shortened offseason.”
Does that concern players? Well, to a man they acknowledge everything isn’t exactly as it would be had there been an offseason. For the most part, however, there is confidence heading into this game against the Panthers.
“You know coaches — coaches are coaches,” running back Beanie Wells said with a smile. “They want to get everything in. And that’s a lot. We have put in a lot. There are still a few more things to fine tune. But I think we have done a good job with the things we were able to get together, and being successful when doing it.”
– Speaking of installing the playbook, this is new defensive coordinator Ray Horton’s take on where the defense stands. “We weren’t able to put everything in that we wanted to put in,” he said. “We have enough in to pressure people. It’s not the full package yet, but we will get it in.”
– Quarterback Kevin Kolb has talked about his butterflies before moments before, but he downplayed it to a point this week. He wanted to focus on his start against Green Bay to open the season last year – after he had been named Eagles starter – and using what he learned this week.
“I think the one thing I did (last year) was I over-thought a lot of things, trying to over-think their looks and watching maybe too much film,” Kolb said. “There’s a fine line between still playing the game and being prepared, and I want to make sure I find that line.”
– Whisenhunt remains coy on who his No. 2 quarterback will be. Given how much time John Skelton has missed or been limited with – along with how well Rich Bartel played in the preseason – I’d think it’d be Bartel this week. But Whiz noted that whatever happens this week doesn’t mean it’s all year, and that’s something to keep in mind too. Regardless, isn’t everyone hoping Kolb doesn’t give any reason for the No. 2 to be needed?
– Speaking of the No. 2 QB, Panthers coach Ron Rivera said he will only have two QBs active Sunday. Panthers reporters believe Derek Anderson will get the nod over Jimmy Clausen to back up Cam Newton.
– Looking for something to do pregame? If you like video games, check out the Pros vs. Joes gaming RV (presented by U-Haul) for a chance to match up or with current troops or wounded soldiers. It’ll be out on the Great Lawn (some Cardinals players will take part in Pros vs. Joes next week at the team complex).
– It’ll be up to the off return man to let the kickoff returner – LaRod Stephens-Howling, unless something weird happens – to decide if the kickoff should be returned in this new era of closer kickoffs, Whiz said. It’s based on the arc of the kick and where the coverage team is when the ball comes down. You hope the Hyphen gets a chance. Watching Thursday night and Packer Randall Cobb, the big kick return is still alive and, as always, thrilling.
– Opening day is always exciting. That the 10th anniversary of 9/11 coincides, I mean, the emotions should be pretty intense.
– A few things I am looking forward to seeing: How Patrick Peterson and A.J. Jefferson hold up at cornerback, how Adrian Wilson looks in his return, how much the Cards feed Beanie Wells. Maybe how Newton looks, especially against the firezone blitz that should make every defensive snap exciting for the Cards. And of course, I want to see Kolb.
We’re back to football, everyone.
Tags: Beanie Wells, John Skelton, Ken Whisenhunt, Kevin Kolb, Panthers, Ray Horton, Richard Bartel
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