We’ll keep some blog items coming, but here are a few key highlights after the first (quick — they were only on the field about 90 minutes) minicamp practice:
– Everybody but G Deuce Lutui was on hand. Lutui has yet to sign his tender offer. Only LB Gerald Hayes (back) and rookie LB O’Brien Schofield (knee) sat out. CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie was in the lineup, and while he didn’t look 100 percent, it was a great sign to see him playing after his playoff knee injury.
– Coach Ken Whisenhunt passed on talking about Lutui, but did talk about how important it was for the team to be together right now. QB Matt Leinart said he hasn’t talked much to his long-time teammate. “Obviously Deuce has been a big part of this team and we hope he comes in,” Leinart said. “But you’ve got to keep moving forward. Deuce understands that. Hopefully Deuce takes care of his business and we can get him back in here.”
– Leinart seemed at ease with his first chance to be the starter at this time of year in a couple of years. “My accuracy wasn’t where I wanted it to be, but for the first day, it was good,” he said. “This is fun. This is an opportunity I’ve been waiting for for a long time.”
– Some interesting lineup points from the first run-through (with an emphasis that this is still way early in terms of worrying about the depth chart). Michael Adams was running at starting cornerback across from DRC, with Greg Toler as backup. Whisenhunt again emphasized Toler would have to earn any starting job. Rashad Barksdale is backing up DRC for now. The first five offensive linemen, from left tackle across, were Levi Brown, Alan Faneca, Lyle Sendlein, Reggie Wells and Brandon Keith. The second unit from left to right were Jeremy Bridges, Rex Hadnot, Ben Claxton, Jonathan Palmer and Herman Johnson.
– The rookies, as usual, have to fight their way up. Dan Williams is behind both Bryan Robinson and Gabe Watson, although as Robinson noted, “I told (Williams), ‘If I’m playing a lot more than you this year, that means you’re not doing your job.’ “
– New secondary coach Donnie Henderson has no problem making sure his point gets across, even if it is to DRC or Adrian Wilson. That’s for sure.
– Larry Fitzgerald, joking around about all the new faces at the beginning of the practice, yelled out to rookie tight end Jim Dray — who is wearing No. 81 — “I see you, Q!”
Tags: Adrian Wilson, Alan Faneca, Ben Claxton, Brandon Keith, Bryan Robinson, Dan Williams, Deuce Lutui, Donnie Henderson, DRC, Gabe Watson, Gerald Hayes, Greg Toler, Herman Johnson, Jeremy Bridges, Jim Dray, Jonathan Palmer, Ken Whisenhunt, Larry Fitzgerald, Levi Brown, Lyle Sendlein, Matt Leinart, Michael Adams, O'Brien Schofield, Rashad Barksdale, Reggie Wells, Rex Hadnot
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The Cardinals re-signed all eight of their practice squad players to “future” contracts, meaning all eight will be under contract heading into the offseason:
- WR Onrea Jones
- CB Rashard Barksdale
- LB Ali Highsmith
- WR Ed Gant
- DE Ryan Kees
- G Jonathan Palmer
- T Tom Pestock
- LB Mark Washington
Tags: Ali Highsmith, Ed Gant, Jonathan Palmer, Mark Washington, Onrea Jones, practice squad, Rashard Barksdale, Ryan Kees, Tom Pestock
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Safety Antrel Rolle sat out practice today with a bruised thigh, but coach Ken Whisenhunt sounded like he wasn’t that worried about the situation. Defensive end Kenny Iwebema was limited with a head injury as well. A handful of guys that were listed as limited — K Neil Rackers (groin), TE Ben Patrick (head), FB Dan Kreider (neck), CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (toe), special-teamer Sean Morey (head) and RB Beanie Wells (groin) — should be fine. Also fine are WR Larry Fitzgerald and CB Greg Toler, each of whom hurt their elbows Sunday.
Much of the talk today was about the same subject as Monday — what to do against the Packers when there is a good chance the Cards will see them a second time. The answers were all the same: We play hard, but it’s the coach’s decision. Whisenhunt reiterated he will likely make choices Sunday.
(Packers coach Mike McCarthy, by the way, said on the conference call the Packers will play to win and keep momentum.)
The Cardinals also had a change in the practice squad after guard Trevor Canfield — one of the Cards’ seventh-round picks this year — signed with the Seahawks. Replacing him was guard Jonathan Palmer, who has bounced around the league.
Tags: Antrel Rolle, Beanie Wells, Ben Patrick, Dan Kreider, DRC, Jonathan Palmer, Kenny Iwebema, Larry Fitzgerald, Neil Rackers, Packers, Sean Morey, Trevor Canfield
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