Eventually, the cap situation for the Cardinals was going to force further roster moves, and while they had been out there over the weekend, the team officially announced the cuts of guard Rex Hadnot and wide receive Chansi Stuckey Monday.
Hadnot started all of 2011 but the team had been looking to upgrade and when they signed Adam Snyder it gave the Cards the room to make a move. Stuckey never seemed to find traction for playing time after his costly fumble in Washington ended the Cards’ chances on a late drive.
And in the end, the Cards also need to clear salary cap space where they can. UPDATE: By my calculations, Cards saved about $3 million in cap space with the moves.
Tags: Chansi Stuckey, free agency, Rex Hadnot, salary cap
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The subject of wide receivers came up again today with coach Ken Whisenhunt. Obviously this has been a constant topic during camp, although it’s been clear the Cards want to look at their young receivers and have faith in them. In fact, if there was any uncertainty of that, the idea that veteran Chansi Stuckey might have a hard time making this team with Andre Roberts, Early Doucet, Stephen Williams and right now, Max Komar and rookie DeMarco Sampson ahead of him speaks loudly to the situation.
Whisenhunt also spoke bluntly about it too.
“We ask our receivers to do so many different roles, and just to have guys that you can believe in to do it, that’s the purpose of building a team is,” Whisenhunt said. “That’s why you draft guys, that’s why you develop guys. At some point, they have to step in and play.
“It would be kind of counterproductive if we didn’t continue to try and bring in (young) receivers and develop them. I don’t understand what people think from the outside about how you build your football team. You don’t just go and get a receiver in free agency (every time) when you lose one. At some point, you’ve got to have young players that step in and play well.”
Whisenhunt pointed out Steve Breaston as an example of a receiver who showed promise in practice and the Cards leaned on him.
“At some point you have to put guys in the game and see if they can do it,” Whisenhunt said. “I have seen Andre make plays in games, I have seen Early make plays, Stephen Williams make plays. It’s not like it’s a complete unknown entity. Isaiah Williams (pictured below scoring against Oakland) has looked good, and I think we all know about Sampson and how he has performed. Everybody wants to beat the drum about a second receiver. I think we have some young receivers that I would like to see what they can do.”
Tags: Andre Roberts, Chansi Stuckey, DeMarco Sampson, Early Doucet, Isaiah Williams, Ken Whisenhunt, Max Komar, Stephen Williams
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A successful first step. That was the general theme coming from the Cards Thursday night after beating the Raiders. It’s hard to look at it any other way. I will say this, the game looked to me a lot like any other preseason game. In other words, it wasn’t overly sloppy, it didn’t reflect to the naked eye (or typical fan) the lost offseason or lack of practice time. We’ll see if that holds true once games start for real.
— Running back Beanie Wells said he could speak for the team when he called the performance “encouraging.” On being unable to get into the end zone with those four straight rushes, he admitted on one, “I knew I was going to get in, but I was too high. I thought it was a walk-in. If I had been lower, I would have gotten in.”
— Quarterback Kevin Kolb, on the playcalling on the failed TD drive: “Of course, we were trying to find out a little bit about ourselves. Some of the guys were tired, there is a lot of strategy that go into those four plays. We didn’t execute down there, but we learned a lot. We’ve have had some pretty intense goal line drills in practice and been pretty successful, so when we get back down there I think we’ll be pretty successful.”
Translated: That wasn’t what will happen in the regular season.
— Running back Ryan Williams looked explosive at times in his first work, but he played behind both Beanie and LaRod Stephens-Howling. I thought the Hyphen flashed on a few of his runs too.
— You could see the experience working for the second-unit offensive line, especially when they took on the Oakland backup defenders.
— The first-unit pass rush didn’t create a ton of pressure. It’s early but that’s something to keep an eye on. The defense did make a lot of third-down stops when it had too, though, with batted balls and some hurries.
— You can see why the coaches like cornerback A.J. Jefferson. I still don’t know if he holds off the competition to remain a starter, but it is hard not to see him ending up in the mix for playing time.
— The first-unit offensive line improved on Kevin Kolb’s second drive, and on a couple of his incompletions/scrambles, he had time just no one open.
— Rookie fullback Anthony Sherman, as both a blocker and special teamer, looks like he is going to be a good one.
— The Raiders’ captains screwed up on the coin toss, which is the reason the Cards got to receive the kickoff to open both halves. The Raiders won the toss, but instead of electing to defer, they said kickoff. They wanted the ball to start the second half, but language counts and it let the Cards get the first kickoff and then choose to take the second kickoff.
— Speaking of kickoffs, it was interesting to see so many kicked short as teams looked at their players on special teams. I think, with kickoffs moved up to the 35 this year, we will have more touchbacks than that.
— The outcome is meaningless and usually Whisenhunt doesn’t go out of his way to ensure a win in preseason, but his mood definitely reflects a win. It was also hard not to notice last night, after Janikowski belted the 57-yard field goal to take the lead, that the Cards were going to give some end-of-the-roster wideouts playing time – Sean Jeffcoat, Daiveun Curry-Chapman and Aaron Nichols – yet before the drive started, the Cards instead decided to give Max Hall better weapons in Isaiah Williams, Chansi Stuckey and DeMarco Sampson.
— On that point, however, the Cards did go with their end-of-the-depth chart rookies on the offensive line on that drive.
— Tight end Todd Heap was the only injury, and he looks like he’ll be fine long-term. That may be the best news of all.
Tags: A.J. Jefferson, Aaron Nichols, Anthony Sherman, Beanie Wells, Chansi Stuckey, Daiveun Curry-Chapman, DeMarco Sampson, Eaiders, Isaiah Williams, Kevin Kolb, LaRod Stephens-Howling, Max Hall, Ryan Williams, Sean Jeffcoat, Todd Heap
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Here is the reality of camp: The Cardinals walked through their two-minute offense at the end of the morning workout, because they are going to work on the two-minute offense this afternoon at practice and coach Ken Whisenhunt realized they had yet to go over it on the field. Whiz wanted to make sure they went through the concept before trying it at full speed. In a normal year, with a normal offseason, this would be the fourth time the offense would have been going over the two-minute offense.
— Whisenhunt said there is an “ebb and flow” to practice right now, between the good and bad. It’s to be expected, and it’ll make that first preseason game in Oakland next week interesting to say the least.
— Asked about the No. 2 receiver job, Whisenhunt not only praised Andre Roberts but also mentioned holdovers like Early Doucet, Chansi Stuckey, Stephen Williams and Max Komar as players that continue to show signs of progress.
— RT Brandon Keith said he is still getting comfortable with football moves after his surgery last season to repair a bad knee and a torn hamstring. He was back training at his old high school and his college, Northern Iowa, in the offseason. “I’m 90, 95 percent right now,” Keith said, and feels confident about his ability to take another step forward this season. He knows he has yet to prove himself, but he felt he was playing much better when he got hurt in mid-November.
— Kent Somers reports the Cards don’t have interest in FA DE/LB Matt Roth. And heads up, WR Malcom Floyd went back to San Diego.
— For those asking, here is a picture of Fitz’s one-handed TD grab past Patrick Peterson, courtesy of fan Alex Lowry.
Tags: Andre Roberts, Brandon Keith, Chansi Stuckey, Early Doucet, Ken Whisenhunt, Larry Fitzgerald, Max Komar, Patrick Peterson, Stephen Williams, training camp
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The Cardinals will have a conditioning test this morning, but given that a chunk of their guys can’t even do it (the same rule keeping the vets out of practice until Aug. 4 keeps them out of the run test as well), it’s all relative.
“It’s just to assess where our guys are,” coach Ken Whisenhunt said. “Honestly, it’s all about player safety. When you are talking about practice, you want to know which guys are in the shape you want, which ones may need a little extra work.”
— Looks like the Cards got a veteran cornerback. Former Panther Richard Marshall tweeted this morning he is on his way to Arizona.
— On acquiring WR Chansi Stuckey, Whisenhunt said the Cards got a physical, intense player. “When you lose a player like Steve Breaston, this is an effort to bring that kind of effort to the position.” Whisenhunt was asked about getting yet another receiver. He didn’t say they would, but he didn’t say they wouldn’t. He wants to see the current WR corps work first.
— LB Stewart Bradley can play any of the four LB positions, even an outside rusher as possible. His key will be staying healthy.
— On the free agent chase and signings: “It’s by no means behind us,” Whisenhunt said. The roster churn will probably be ongoing for at least another couple of weeks. The Cards are talking to tight end Todd Heap, for example.
— With Deuce Lutui going to the Bengals, Jeremy Bridges and Rex Hadnot will have a shot at RG but Whisenhunt did note the Cards are still looking at the market for linemen.
— For the vets who can’t practice until Aug. 4, they can watch practice and go to meetings. They can’t do anything else.
— Whisenhunt said the Cards should have their top three draft picks under contract “in the next day or two.” Third-rounder Rob Housler actually showed up, and that’s a no-no when you aren’t under contract. “I had to say, ‘You can’t be here,'” Whisenhunt said.
P.S. Needed to pass on this message, that because football has returned, Papa John’s is running a weekend special: Double Papa Rewards Points for every order you place on PapaJohns.com
Tags: Chansi Stuckey, Ken Whisenhunt, Richard Marshall, Stewart Bradley, Todd Heap
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