Well, here we are. A game is about to be played and we just got to August, and there is still about a month’s worth of training camp to go. Still, once the games arrive, things get into more of a rhythm, work for a week and then a game, and so on. The players like it when we get to that point (and so do writers.) This game is a little different, of course. There is only so much you will get out of your main guys in any preseason game and of course, in this one, Bruce Arians already said there will be no starters. All about the young guys. Makes sense. The starters barely play in the first preseason game normally — and that game is still more than a week away.
This is about the young guys, as Arians said. Seeing what happens when the lights go on. Even last weekend, at the Red-White practice, which was still just a practice but had 25,000 in the stands, one particular rookie struggled with things he hadn’t previously struggled with. That’s the power of “under the lights” that coaches always talk about. There have been plenty of players who have looked good in the offseason and in camp and then looked different in preseason games. That won’t get you on a roster.
— It’s early but we’re already talking about injuries. Cornerback less so, especially with the signing of Tramon Williams and the return of Justin Bethel to practice. But inside linebacker will be interesting. Karlos Dansby was never going to play, but he’s nursing a sore knee. Gabe Martin is out for a while with an Achilles problem. Newly-signed Philip Wheeler is sidelined with some sort of leg issue, which shouldn’t be long, Arians said, but it will almost certainly keep him out Thursday. Of course, Deone Bucannon is still on PUP.
Rookie Haason Reddick will play (one starter who will be out there; I’m guessing there might be a couple of others), but Arians doesn’t want it to be long. One guy to watch is Scooby Wright. Wright has had a solid offseason of work. He’s good on special teams. If he can make a push in these preseason games, he’s got a good chance to make the roster.
— There’s a lot of talk about Blaine Gabbert and his start Thursday, but there will also be a half of play for undrafted rookie QB Trevor Knight. Knight is a major longshot, but he’ll have a couple opportunities. Thus far, Knight in camp has been the Knight people know from college — good athlete, can run, inconsistent with accuracy.
— This will become a growing storyline as we go, but while the starting offensive line is all but set, those backup spots on the 53-man roster are not. There are a lot of guys who are fighting for a place. I want to see Cole Toner, who is basically the backup center, in a game situation. Rookie guard Dorian Johnson, and rookie tackle Will Holden are third string trying to move up the depth chart. Unknowns like tackle Givens Price and guard Kaleb Johnson, both current second-stringers, who want to provide the upset by sticking around.
— Of course, all the draft class tends to get your attention. I do like what I have seen from safety Budda Baker. It’s tough, because of his stature, you’re always going to compare him to Tyrann Mathieu and Mathieu is having a great camp as we go. But you can see why the front office was so enamored by Baker.
— Don’t know how much Robert Nkemdiche we will see, but I am anxious to watch him against another team. He’s looked very good thus far.
— I will be staying in Canton for the Kurt Warner Hall of Fame induction. I have a big Warner story posting Friday morning which I think you’ll enjoy, and all our Warner coverage — including a series of videos from our sit-down interview — can be found by clicking here on our Warner Hall of Fame page.
Tags: Budda Baker, Cole Toner, Cowboys, Dorian Johnson, Gabe Martin, Givens Price, Haason Reddick, Hall of Fame game, Justin Bethel, Kaleb Johnson, Karlos Dansby, Kurt Warner, Philip Wheeler, Robert Nkemdiche, Tramon Williams, Trevor Knight, Will Holden
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The Cardinals will have an extra preseason game this year but that doesn’t mean everyone will be playing in an extra game. Coach Bruce Arians said Saturday that quarterback Carson Palmer and wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald will not play in the game against the Cowboys in Canton, Ohio, on Aug. 3. Veteran linebacker Karlos Dansby may not play. “I doubt Karlos plays,” Arians said. “We’ll see.”
It’s not a surprise, nor will it be if there are others who also do not play (for instance, all-everything running back David Johnson, whom Arians was not asked about.)
Arians did say the more-rested Palmer will play more this preseason, although he followed up by saying that just meant that instead of six plays in a a game, he might get 12.
Most of the main players usually don’t play in the preseason finale either, a point Arians reiterated Saturday about Palmer in particular.
Tags: Carson Palmer, Hall of Fame game, Karlos Dansby, Larry Fitzgerald
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The Cardinals will get a fifth preseason game. That was announced Thursday, with the Cards facing the Cowboys in the Hall of Fame game (the Cardinals also have to play Dallas during the regular season). While the game likely eases the problem of having to be out of University of Phoenix Stadium Aug. 4 for a concert — the game in Aug. 3, and it’s possible the Cards could just take a couple days off and start again Aug. 6 or 7 — it does make camp longer. The official start date of camp won’t be announced for a while, but teams can begin up to 15 days before their first game. Mid-July, anyone? OK, it probably is going to play to mixed reviews.
Worst news ever! 5 pre season games & an extra week of training camp. Smh…
At least we can go to the @WGC_Bridgestone. Lol
— Larry Fitzgerald (@LarryFitzgerald) February 23, 2017
Another interesting part of this is Bruce Arians’ recent comments about hitting/tackling more in training camp. An extra week of practice plus another game adds to the risk.
But it also plays into a 2017 season that will already feature a trip to London. Those dates and length of the trip still have to be announced, but it seems likely the Cardinals will be across the pond for a week or so. The schedule also includes trips to Washington D.C. and Philadelphia (which could be wrapped into the London trip, possibly), Indianapolis, Houston and Detroit, the two remaining NFC West rivals, and whomever the Cards may play on the road in the preseason. The miles will add up.
Tags: Cowboys, Hall of Fame game, Larry Fitzgerald, London, training camp
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There is no inactive list technically for the preseason because there doesn’t have to be any inactives, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be guys who will not dress. Most are injury related. Some we knew about, some we didn’t.
Don’t Didn’t know the details on every injury, but I’ll try to track them down when I can know I do. Don’t expect any to be serious:
— CB Crezdon Butler (hip)
— DT Darnell Dockett (hamstring)
— DE Nick Eason (He isn’t here; His mother has been very ill, as he has pointed out on Twitter)
— CB Marshay Green (hamstring)
— RB Javarris James (abductor strain)
— TE Jeff King (PUP — quad)
— LB Zach Nash (ankle)
— RB Beanie Wells (PUP — knee)
— RB Ryan Williams (patella)
— WR Stephen Williams (hamstring)
— S Adrian Wilson (calf)
Tags: Adrian Wilson, Beanie Wells, Crezdon Butler, Darnell Dockett, Hall of Fame game, Javarris James, Jeff King, Marshay Green, Nick Eason, Ryan Williams, Stephen Williams, Zach Nash
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It’s time to go to Canton.
From the day it was announced back in February, the Cardinals have looked forward to this weekend. As usual, it seems both that training camp just started and that camp has been going on for weeks rather than less than two. But the games are here, as the Cards and Saints begin the NFL preseason schedule Sunday night at 8 p.m. in Ohio (5 p.m. in Arizona). It’s an extra game. That’s good and bad. One more chance for guys to get hurt, one more chance to spread around some playing time.
Watching the quarterbacks will be interesting but not definitive – I mean, I guess it could be definitive depending on what happens, but that’ll only happen with an injury – because I would like to see both Kevin Kolb and John Skelton in a game to see if it looks much different. They spent the offseason working on fundamentals, and with Kolb in particular, he’s had his time to prep that he didn’t get last year.
Another thing I want to see is just how much attention the NFL Network pays to the Cardinals. The Saints have had one mess of an offseason. Hopefully that’s not all the crew talks about.
— Coach Ken Whisenhunt will have to juggle his running backs. Beanie Wells is still on the PUP list. Whisenhunt officially said Ryan Williams won’t play, although that seemed likely all week with Williams taking a couple of days off from practice to rest his rehabbed right leg. Javarris James has his abductor strain, and William Powell got hurt in the night practice Wednesday – something in his leg, I believe, although I wasn’t able to find out exactly what – and I would think is unlikely to play. That leaves LaRod Stephens-Howling, Alfonso Smith and newcomer Thomas Clayton (who barely was able to practice.) Maybe the Sherminator will be unleashed.
— Speaking of not playing, I don’t expect safety Adrian Wilson to go with his calf injury. It’s minor, but again, five preseason games. The first means nothing. (Besides, how many series will the starters play? Two at the most? What would Wilson really be missing?)
— It’s time to break in the newcomers. Wide receiver Michael Floyd is obvious, and so is cornerback Jamell Fleming. But drafted offensive linemen Bobby Massie at right tackle and Senio Kelemete are important. Those guys are supposed to be on the roster and be able to play if there is an injury (and Massie, in theory, could still start). This is the first test. Massie has looked better as camp has gone on. I’ll be honest, I haven’t watched Kelemete much yet.
— There won’t be gameplanning, but I remember how Aaron Rodgers ripped up the defense in the preseason last year. That was early, early, early in the defense’s understanding of the scheme. Now they get Drew Brees (even if it might only be a series). Let’s see how the Cards handle a high-powered passing attack.
— Individually, the passing would play well toward the Cards’ cornerback battle, right?
— If you don’t get NFL Network, the game will be televised locally in Phoenix on Ch. 5 KPHO.
— I’ll be with the team Saturday night when they get a private tour of the Hall of Fame, and we will have a story sometime before the game. This should be a pretty cool trip.
Tags: Adrian Wilson, Alfonso Smith, Beanie Wells, Bobby Massie, Hall of Fame game, Jamell Fleming, Javarris James, John Skelton, Kevin Kolb, LaRod Stephens-Howling, Michael Floyd, Ryan Williams, Senio Kelemete, Thomas Clayton, William Powell
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Beanie Wells has said a few times that he isn’t frustrated with his current status on the PUP list, that it was all part of the knee rehab he was going to go through in training camp. And he is likely going to return to practice next week, so he doesn’t have to wait much longer.
That won’t make this weekend’s trip to the Hall of Fame game and the Canton/Akron area any easier. Wells finally had a chance to play at home, and it won’t happen.
“It does suck because I’d like to play there for the first time since high school,” Wells said. “It is what it is. Circumstances are what they are.”
For Beanie, this is different than going to play in Cleveland or Cincinnati. When he played for Akron Garfield High School, he went against Canton GlenOak in a game at Fawcett Stadium in 2005, where the Cardinals and Saints play Sunday. (Beanie ran for 263 yards and five touchdowns in an overtime loss.) His mother lives just a five-minute bike ride away.
“I went there (to the Hall of Fame) as a kid all the time,” Wells said. “It was absolutely a fun thing to go to, to see all the monuments there.”
Beanie wanted to give a tour of his hometown to teammates, but that may not work out since the team is staying outside Cleveland about an hour away. Still, Wells was animated when talking about local eateries he grew up with.
“You have to try Swensen’s,” he said. “And Tiffany’s Bakery.”
Tags: Beanie Wells, Hall of Fame game
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With Javarris James (abductor) ailing, Beanie Wells (knee) still on the PUP list and Ryan Williams — who rested Tuesday, sitting out practice as his rehab continues — still a question whether he will play Sunday in the Hall of Fame game, the Cardinals signed an extra back. Thomas Clayton, who has 29 yards on 15 carries in six career games with three teams, was inked Wednesday. The Cardinals also added guard Rich Ohrnberger, who was drafted by the Patriots in 2009.
To make room on the roster, the Cardinals released wide receiver Stanley Arukwe and waived-injured center Ryan Bartholomew.
Clayton was a sixth-round pick of the 49ers in 2007 out of Kansas State. He has spent time with the Browns, Seahawks and Patriots as well. I wouldn’t expect this to be any more than a let’s-get-through-the-next-game-or-two kind of move. Ohrnberger could be more intriguing given the uncertain depth on the interior line, but like Russ Hochstein, we’ll see how he fits in.
Tags: Beanie Wells, Hall of Fame game, Javarris James, Rich Ohrnberger, Ryan Bartholomew, Ryan Williams, Stanley Arukwe, Thomas Clayton
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You know, just in case you weren’t aware that the Cardinals’ first training camp practice is a mere 13 days away, that the Red-White practice is only 16 days away, well, Beanie Wells has a video out to remind you the Cards’ first game of 2012 — the Hall of Fame tilt against the Saints, who won’t have their coach and might not have their quarterback — is only 24 days away.
Dang. Where does the offseason go?
(And how much will Beanie be able to do in camp at that point?)
Tags: Beanie Wells, Hall of Fame game, training camp
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The full camp schedule is still to come, but the Cardinals will report to Flagstaff for training camp July 24 — a Tuesday — and the first practice will be the following afternoon on the 25th. Sorry, but no further details at this point while the schedule is being worked out.
The Cards have their first preseason game Aug. 5 in Canton, Ohio, against the Saints for the Hall of Fame game. The Cardinals could have gone to camp 15 days prior to that — three days before they will end up going — but coach Ken Whisenhunt had said the Cards wouldn’t go that early. I’m not sure yet if there is going to be a Red and White practice, but as soon as I know more camp info, you will too.
Tags: Hall of Fame game, training camp
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The punishments for the New Orleans Saints — at least most of them, since the player punishments are still TBD — came down Wednesday and they provided the expected doozy: A year-long suspension without pay for Saints coach Sean Payton, an indefinite suspension for former DC Gregg Williams of at least a year, and an eight-game ban for general manager Mickey Loomis.
Obviously this isn’t about the Cardinals, although there are parts of this that do impact the Cards:
— To begin with, the Cardinals will be the first team to play the Saints, since the teams will match up Aug. 5 in the Hall of Fame game to kick off the preseason. Wonder what the talking points will be during that broadcast? You wonder if the Cards are just going to be in the background, because it’s hard to see the Saints’ storylines not dominating.
— The Saints lose second-round picks this year and next. That’ll move up the Cards’ third-round pick a slot sooner. We’ll see what it means in 2013.
— Once the regular season begins, the Cards know that Williams, who had since been hired as the Rams’ defensive coordinator, won’t be around. Williams may never be around in St. Louis; commissioner Roger Goodell isn’t assuring anyone that Williams will be reinstated. Not that new head coach Jeff Fisher can’t work around it — former Cards head coach Dave McGinnis, on staff with the Rams now as an assistant head coach, could drop into the DC role like he once did for the Cards. UPDATE: Fisher said the duties won’t go to a permanent DC. He, McGinnis and Chuck Cecil will split the work.
— Then there is the Kurt Warner tie-in. The original investigation sprouted from the way the Saints treated Warner, then the Cards’ QB, and Brett Favre, then with the Vikings, during the playoffs after the 2009 season. The Cards’ playoff game, in fact, was mentioned a couple of times in the NFL’s official release about the punishments, including Warner himself. “The investigation showed bounties being placed on four quarterbacks of opposing teams – Brett Favre, Cam Newton, Aaron Rodgers, and Kurt Warner.”
Warner, appearing on NFL Network Wednesday, had this to say about the punishment: “I’m shocked, like a lot of people, but not fully surprised. … But this is what Commissioner Goodell has done from Day One. And I love he is trying to make statements trying to protect our game for the long-term.”
Added Warner, “To a degree, this has gone on through the history of our game, where guys have gone out to hit guys really hard to knock them out of the game or at least knock them off their game so it affects (the hitting team) in a positive manner. Of course, not to the extent to where you are paying guys to hurt other guys, and I think that’s where this takes a different turn.”
— The NFL also made clear that they won’t let this happen again, sending a memo to all teams directing the owner of every team to meet with the head coach to confirm bounty systems aren’t in place in any other organization. Said the NFL release, “Each principal owner and head coach must certify this in writing to the commissioner by March 30.”
Tags: Dave McGinnis, Gregg Williams, Hall of Fame game, Jeff Fisher, Kurt Warner, Rams, Roger Goodell, Saints, Sean Payton
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