The Cardinals’ defense will be good again this season. Just ask the Cardinals’ offense.
“Every day we go on the field is an unbelievable challenge for this offense,” coach Bruce Arians said.
It’s about more than talent, though. The defense not only has players but it has information. It has watched the offense run its plays over and over, in camp and this offseason. It has heard the audibles.
“Because we see so many pressures, blitz period or not, they are going to know our audibles,” quarterback Carson Palmer said. “Coach Arians said it (Tuesday), as soon as we audibled one play the whole defense knew what was coming. He just wants to see the audible executed, (even if it is) completely covered and blown up. But you see it in a walkthrough and then in practice, it’s pretty easy to pick up. Once you go in a game, you only use that audible once every three weeks. You understand the situation for what it is. But that stuff does get frustrating.”
Palmer emphasized how much respect he has for defensive coordinator Todd Bowles. “You can’t get a bead on what you think is coming,” Palmer said.
Still, it makes success during training camp much, much harder.
“When offense wins a few matches in practice, I am very proud our offense is getting better,” Arians said.
— Maybe that played a part in Wednesday’s practice. At one point during team work, the defense would have come up with a handful of sacks and/or heavy pressures on the passer. Then at the end of the day, when the offense took on the defense — first unit versus first unit, and so on — for an attempt at a mostly length-of-the-field drive, the defense was winning. The first-string offense drove all the way into the red zone, only to have cornerback Antonio Cromartie bring down a beautiful one-handed interception on a fade route to Ted Ginn. The second offense only had a couple of plays before a pass to Jaron Brown was deflected high in the air before linebacker Ernie Sims grabbed the ball. The third offense was successful, eventually scoring a touchdown on a short run by Jonathan Dwyer.
— Darren Fells would seem to have an inside track at a roster spot as the fourth tight end after Jake Ballard’s retirement, but he had his hiccups Wednesday after the news came out, dropping a couple of catchable passes.
— Everybody was out practicing except for DT Darnell Dockett (who was given a rest day by Arians) and center Lyle Sendlein, still out with a calf injury.
— Tyrann Mathieu, on the help he gives rookie safety Deone Bucannon: “I try to tell him what I know. I don’t try to tell him too much because I don’t know everything.”
— Arians said the kicking spot will come down to how the games play out. “All the eggs are in that basket,” he said. “It’ll be a tough decision.” Arians said each kicker will be given a full game to work, starting with Chandler Catanzano against Houston Saturday. Feely will kick in Minnesota the following week.
Tags: Antonio Cromartie, Bruce Arians, Carson Palmer, Chandler Catanzaro, Darnell Dockett, Darren Fells, Deone Bucannon, Ernie Sims, Jay Feely, Jonathan Dwyer, Lyle Sendlein, Todd Bowles, training camp, Tyrann Mathieu
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