Given that Levi Brown is on injured reserve, there are just seven players left on the Cardinals’ roster who were there when the team made its last flight to New England: Adrian Wilson, Larry Fitzgerald, Darnell Dockett, Michael Adams, Lyle Sendlein, Calais Campbell and Early Doucet. What happened that day – an ugly, ugly 47-7 loss in a horrible snowstorm – had both good and bad repercussions.
The showing was terrible. It was the one, in the next-to-last week of the season, where analyst Cris Collinsworth declared the already-NFC West champs the worst to ever make the playoffs. But coach Ken Whisenhunt used it as a jumping-off point to have a padded practice in the rain that week – time to refocus – before the Cards won the season finale against Seattle to finish 9-7. They didn’t lose again until Santonio Holmes decided to rip their collective heart out.
That game means nothing Sunday, really, although it’s tough for any of those players who were around last time to just forget.
“There’s not a lot of guys on this team from the 2008 year, but we remember that butt kicking we took up there in 2008 out there and that didn’t sit well with us then and four years later it still stings,” Fitzgerald said.
“For me I’ll never forget walking off that field and looking at that scoreboard. Just the feeling of embarrassment, disappointment. … They totally tore us down that night. That’s something I still remember very vividly. That was a tough game, the worst game that I ever played in in my professional career.”
There will be no snow this time. The Cards want to make sure a lot of things are different this time around.
— The irony of Fitz saying it was the worst game he ever played in – his career-long reception, 78 yards, came in that game, a late catch-and-run from Matt Leinart for his team’s lone score of the game.
— Leadership means a lot in a game like this, I’d think. I was wondering if a guy like cornerback William Gay, who has faced the Patriots multiple times in his years as a Pittsburgh Steeler, might be able to help a little in terms of familiarity. He quickly dismissed that.
“We have leaders that have been around football for quite some time,” Gay said. “I listen to those guys. Just because I have played them a lot, those veterans still have years over me. Seeing those guys calm, it will calm the rest of the guys down, and that’s what you need. If your leaders are rattled, everyone will be rattled.”
— I don’t know how the Cards are going to approach covering the Patriots’ tight ends. I don’t know if it’ll be the safeties (pictured below) or linebackers, or a combination. The latter seems likely. I know some out there disagree, but Wilson did well in coverage last season. Now, how that will translate against guys like Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, we will see. Those two have been impressive.
— The Cards have faced Tom Brady just once – in 2004, when he came to Sun Devil Stadium and won, 23-12, when the Patriots were at the peak of their Super Bowl-winning powers. Matt Cassel, of course, was the QB in 2008 after Brady wrecked his knee in the season-opener that season.
— This is only the third visit the Cards have made to New England since moving to Arizona. The score of the 1996 trip was 31-0 Patriots, so adding in the 2008 game, it hasn’t been a pleasant place to play.
— Fitz needs three catches for 700 in his career. Tight end Todd Heap needs six for 500. And speaking of milestones, Sunday will be defensive end Vonnie Holliday’s 200th game.
— The constant talk of Skelton/Kolb has been exhausting to a point this week. Obviously I think Kolb will start this week. Everyone does, and even Ken Whisenhunt has sent everyone in that direction even if he didn’t officially name a starter. But this is a big deal for Kolb. He had his moment last week, but the moment is over. There will be plenty of eyes on him across the NFL landscape Sunday, not just those in Arizona.
— Defensive coordinator Ray Horton called his unit’s first game “an excellent start” but that it could have been better. “I was looking at the things we left on the table, and we left a fantastic, great, dominating game on the table,” Horton said. “We have room to improve.”
— This is a testing ground for the string of tough road games the Cards have this season. Trips to Green Bay, Atlanta, the Jets all come later. The long plane rides are par for the course. The Cards need to have a good showing. In a game where the Pats are opening the home schedule, and adding former fan favorite and team MVP Troy Brown to the franchise’s Hall of Fame, fighting those emotions won’t be easy.
See you Sunday.
Tags: Aaron Hernandez, Adrian Wilson, Calais Campbell, Darnell Dockett, Early Doucet, Ken Whisenhunt, Kevin Kolb, Larry Fitzgerald, Levi Brown, Lyle Sendlein, Matt Cassel, Michael Adams, Patriots, Ray Horton, Ron Gronkowski, Todd Heap, William Gay
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Every NFL team must have it roster cuts in by Friday afternoon. To be exact, by 6 p.m. Arizona time. I expect the Cardinals – and coach Ken Whisenhunt – to have announced them before, since Whiz will hold a press conference at 2 p.m. that day. Until then, though, this is a guess at how this 53-man roster shakes out.
Whisenhunt made it clear the other day that this last preseason game does matter when it comes to a spot or two on the roster, and I believe that. It means trying to approximate who will be on the roster before that last game is somewhat fool’s gold. I’m certainly not Nostradamus here. Last year, for instance, I had Ben Graham holding off Dave Zastudil for the punter job. I was very wrong. And this only holds for as long as it might take for the Cards to claim/sign a guy or two over the weekend, which would obviously change things. That always happens.
But it’s fodder to chew on until Friday, speculation upon which this time of the NFL schedule is built around. So with apologies to those I miss on, and with a nod to old school Letterman, this is only an exhibition and not a competition, so please, no wagering.
QB – (3) John Skelton, Kevin Kolb, Ryan Lindley. No, we don’t know the starter yet. But it’s hard to believe that with everything Lindley has shown as a rookie he doesn’t get the nod over Rich Bartel (who is one of the best guys you’ll meet and someday will be a very good coach.)
RB – (4) Beanie Wells, Ryan Williams, LaRod Stephens-Howling, William Powell. This is one of the sticking points. Powell has had a good preseason, but as I have mentioned many times, I think Alfonso Smith has as well. It may come down to how Powell looks Thursday night. Will I be shocked if Smith is the choice instead of Powell? Nope.
FB – (1) Anthony Sherman. The Sherminator running unopposed. It’s like a boring political “race.”
WR – (6) Larry Fitzgerald, Andre Roberts, Early Doucet, Michael Floyd, DeMarco Sampson, LaRon Byrd. This is a close one, in my mind. The top four are obvious. I think Sampson has had a good camp and he can play special teams. Byrd versus Stephen Williams may just be about Byrd’s upside. I’m not sure Byrd would make it to the practice squad but — given some other positional issues, like, at say, offensive line – I’m not sure either if the Cards may try and keep just five receivers and use the practice squad for relief.
TE – (4) Todd Heap, Jeff King, Rob Housler, Jim Dray. Given the injury history of, well, all of them, I think the Cards play it safe and keep four guys around again.
OL – (8) D’Anthony Batiste, Daryn Colledge, Lyle Sendlein, Adam Snyder, Bobby Massie, Rich Ohrnberger, Jeremy Bridges, Senio Kelemete. This is a very difficult one from the outside looking in. The Cards might keep nine linemen, given their . Has Kelemete shown enough, even as a draft pick? Would Nate Potter be possible given the tackle issues? Where might a free agent or waiver claim fit in? I could see Potter, D.J. Young and/or center Scott Wedige as practice squad material too.
DL (6) – Calais Campbell, Dan Williams, Darnell Dockett, Vonnie Holliday, David Carter, Nick Eason. Seems fairly cut and dried at this position, one of the few like that.
LB – (8) Sam Acho, Paris Lenon, Daryl Washington, O’Brien Schofield, Stewart Bradley, Reggie Walker, Clark Haggans, Brandon Williams. This is another spot that might come down to the Denver game. The backup outside linebacker spot figures to have two places for three guys: Haggans, Williams, Quentin Groves. Groves made some plays early. Williams plays some special teams and has been higher on the depth chart.
DB (10) – Patrick Peterson, William Gay, Adrian Wilson, Kerry Rhodes, Jamell Fleming, Justin Bethel, Rashad Johnson, James Sanders, Greg Toler, A.J. Jefferson. Usually, the Cards wouldn’t keep more than nine defensive backs, and that’s still possible. With 10, Bethel is a special teams keeper despite being a raw DB. Michael Adams is the odd man out there, but it will not shock me to see Adams stick around either and maybe someone like Jefferson out. Watching the reserve defensive backs closely in the finale, because I think that will be part of the equation.
ST – (3) Jay Feely (K), Dave Zastudil (P), Mike Leach (LS). Never should have doubted Leach’s return.
Tags: A.J. Jefferson, Adam Snyder, Adrian Wilson, Andre Roberts, Anthony Sherman, Beanie Wells, Bobby Massie, Brandon Williams, Calais Campbell, Clark Haggans, D'Anthony Batiste, Dan Williams, Darnell Dockett, Daryl Washington, Daryn Colledge, Dave Zastudil, David Carter, DeMarco Sampson, Early Doucet, Greg Toler, Jamell Fleming, James Sanders, Jay Feely, Jeff King, Jeremy Bridges, Jim Dray, John Skelton, Justin Bethel, Kerry Rhodes, Kevin Kolb, LaRod Stephens-Howling, LaRon Byrd, Larry Fitzgerald, Lyle Sendlein, Michael Floyd, Mike Leach, Nick Eason, O'Brien Schofield, Paris Lenon, Patrick Peterson, Rashad Johnson, Reggie Walker, Rich Ohrnberger, Rob Housler, Roster, Ryan Lindley, Ryan Williams, Sam Acho, Senio Kelemete, Stewart Bradley, Todd Heap, Vonnie Holliday, William Gay, William Powell
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The story of the night tonight was John Skelton and Kevin Kolb, obviously. I think both players will still have their proponents and detractors, especially after adding in the offensive line issues. It sure feels like the game didn’t exactly clear up the picture, and it will be stunning now if a starter is named before the last preseason game.
But I am sure there will be much more QB talk, and I covered a lot of it in the game story. Besides, I’m quarterback-talked out. So here are some other things out of this game (which sometimes have to do with the QB, I will admit):
— The Cards wanted to take a look at D.J. Young at left tackle. Well, they looked, and it wasn’t pretty. They had to find out quickly if Young was viable. “That’s what you have to do,” coach Ken Whisenhunt said, although he acknowledged Young probably didn’t play well. “You want to look at the tape, but that’s the way it seemed.” The offensive line looked better with D’Anthony Batiste at left tackle and rookie Bobby Massie on the right. We’ll see if the Cards go in that direction.
— Beanie Wells looked just fine back on the field, with six carries. He only gained 12 yards, and some of that was on him and some on the line that just didn’t look good early. “Beanie looked like it was his first night out there,” Whisenhunt said.
“I still have rust to knock off,” Wells said. “I have to pick my legs up a little more. It’s one of the reasons I needed preseason. I always need the preseason. I haven’t played football since Dec. 24. But it’s progress.”
Wells was sporting the aerodynamic bald look now that he was back on the field. Well, at least I tried to give him that option. Nope. Just the reaction after he got a bad haircut two days ago. “I’ve already got a sensitive hairline, so …,” Wells said. “I’m gonna be thinning out pretty early”
— Larry Fitzgerald got five catches for 91 yards as he finally made an impact. Not that he was worried about it. “It’s just preseason,” Fitzgerald said. “We don’t gameplan.”
— Ryan Williams only had three carries but averaged five yards and Whiz was pleased with how he bounced back in game No. 2 for him. He certainly seems on pace to be ready when the bell sounds.
— Guard Daryn Colledge finally has an NFL reception (that’s him barreling through the defense below). And he’s converted 100 percent of his catches for first downs.
— Running back William Powell is leading the NFL is rushing this preseason. He had another 71 yards (on just seven carries) and has 231 yards on 33 carries (a 7.1 average) and three touchdowns. Yes, it’s against deep backups usually, but seven yards a carry is seven yards a carry. When you have the head coach bringing up your name, unprompted, in the postgame presser, that’s a good sign. It’s going to be a tough call between Powell and Alfonso Smith.
— Jamell Fleming saw some time at cornerback tonight with the first nickel package with William Gay playing the nickel role. Patrick Peterson didn’t have his best night, getting beat a couple of times by rookie receiver Kendall Wright. Defensively, though, the Cards were OK when turnovers weren’t putting them in bad spots. The Cards outgained the Titans, 410 yards to 217.
That’s it. It’s late and I have to be up in four hours to leave for the airport (no charter for me in the preseason, so …) Whiz will have an afternoon press conference tomorrow, and there’s a chance we will hear about most if not all of the initial cut from 90 to 75 players.
Tags: Beanie Wells, Bobby Massie, D'Anthony Batiste, D.J. Young, Daryn Colledge, Jamell Fleming, John Skelton, Kevin Kolb, Larry Fitzgerald, Patrick Peterson, Ryan Williams, William Gay, William Powell
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So here it is, the day before the game in which Ken Whisenhunt promised to play his starters until they got it right. That was the message at the beginning of the week, and then Whisenhunt and his staff worked the Cards pretty hard over the next few days in Flagstaff.
It seems to me – and really, what do I know? – it worked.
“I don’t quite understand why he was trying to take us out of the preseason earlier anyway,” defensive tackle Darnell Dockett said. “I guess it’s (being) cautious, but we’re not out there to protect guys. We’re out there to get better, to make strides. For him to have to come and say that to us is disappointing, and we have to take care of our Coach because he takes care of us. I can guarantee that will not be the same Cardinals’ team (Friday night) that you all saw the last two weeks.”
The stars line up well for the Cards. It’s their first home game. There is desperation by a defense that has been disappointing and a starting quarterback fighting to stay in the hunt to be a starter. There is a clear edge in the air from a coaching staff that wants more, and an opponent who just played Monday night.
We’ll see if the attention to detail Adrian Wilson was searching for shows up.
— Assuming Ryan Williams finally plays, and all indications are that he will, Friday marks 364 days since he ruptured his patella tendon in Green Bay. It will also be his first game at University of Phoenix Stadium, since the Cards began with a pair of road preseason games last year.
— It’s been said many times, but this game will be important to Kevin Kolb. A poor showing doesn’t necessarily eliminate him from being a starter – at least, Whisenhunt hasn’t said that – but it’s hard to think, with time running out, that this is crucial. I’ve already been asked a bunch of times if the Cards will trade for another QB if Kolb doesn’t play well, or if they will cut him. I say the same I have been: I expect whoever isn’t starting to be the backup this season. But never say never.
(I will say that I can’t see trading for the contract of Tavaris Jackson, for instance, at $4M when he’s not necessarily an improvement. Same with Colt McCoy. How do they make you better? Especially when they’ll be coming in cold? Makes no sense to me.)
— Speaking of the QB competition, offensive coordinator Mike Miller said nothing is different even though the Cards haven’t settled on a starter. To the contrary, the changes come after a starter is named.
“I don’t change anything about how we install or operate day-to-day,” Miller said. “Once a decision is made, and as any team does at any position, there are strengths and weaknesses with each guy. So you try to cater your game plan to meet that player’s talent. What does he do best? It’s the old saying: Who are your best 11, and what do they do best?”
— Just because this game feels more important to Kolb, it doesn’t mean that John Skelton, whenever he comes in, should be ignored. He needs to play well too. Everyone is watching.
— While watching quarterbacks, how can you not look forward to seeing how Matt Leinart does for the Raiders? He’s backing up Carson Palmer these days and this will be his first visit back to UoP since being cut by the Cards. Against Dallas, he was 11-for-16 for 98 yards, fairly typical numbers – high completion rate for not a ton of yards.
— We don’t know exactly how Michael Floyd’s year will go yet, but at least he’s not tossing his cookies because of nerves. Then again, that’s been normal for him. “I’m surprised because usually I get sick and feel a little nauseated,” Floyd said. “But no. I feel comfortable and as long as I keep practicing and getting these plays down, I can have that comfort and be faster.”
— A tip of the cap to the long and good life of my grandfather, Raymond Urban, who passed away Wednesday afternoon. He had just turned 101 July 30.
— Interesting that DC Ray Horton mentioned to Kent Somers no cornerback has really challenged William Gay for the starting spot opposite Patrick Peterson. I didn’t get the impression that was because Gay has been flawless either. It’s one of the reasons this game means a lot to the defense too – where is that unit with the 2011 closing kick?
— Well, maybe they were around in practice this week. “There’s been no b.s.ing around,” Dockett said. “It’s been about business.”
Yeah, that’s what this Oakland game feels like. It definitely doesn’t feel like an exhibition. Not from this side.
Tags: Colt McCoy, Darnell Dockett, Kevin Kolb, Matt Leinart, Michael Floyd, Mike Miller, Raiders, Ray Horton, Raymond Urban, Ryan Williams, Tavaris Jackson, William Gay
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The Cardinals put out their first official depth chart of the season today. This stuff is fluid given certain competitions, but they have to make someone No. 1 and No. 2 and so on. There are no shocking developments, but:
— Kevin Kolb is listed as the No. 1 QB right now. John Skelton is the No. 2.
— Jeremy Bridges is the No. 1 right tackle over Bobby Massie, and as I have said many many many times, I expect that to be the case for a while.
— With Jeff King still rehabbing his quad, Todd Heap is the No. 1 tight end, Rob Housler No. 2.
— Behind Fitz is DeMarco Sampson and then Stephen Williams. At the other receiver spot, it officially goes Andre Roberts, then Early Doucet, then Michael Floyd.
— William Gay is the No. 1 right cornerback across from Patrick Peterson. Greg Toler is listed as Gay’s backup, with Michael Adams listed as Peterson’s backup.
— Brandon Williams is Sam Acho’s backup, with Clark Haggans as O’Brien Schofield’s backup at OLB. Quentin Groves is behind Haggans.
— With the large roster, the only second team rookies (no starters) are LG Senio Kelemete, FB Jared Crank and Massie. (And the Cards are incredibly unlikely to keep two fullbacks.) T Nate Potter is third-string, Floyd is third-string, S Justin Bethel is third-string and, with the large amount of veteran cornerbacks, Jamell Fleming is technically fourth-string behind Gay, Toler and A.J. Jefferson (although he will be on this roster, no doubt.)
Tags: A.J. Jefferson, Andre Roberts, Bobby Massie, Brandon Williams, Clark Haggans, DeMarco Sampson, depth chart, Early Doucet, Greg Toler, Jamell Fleming, Jared Crank, Jeff King, Jeremy Bridges, John Skelton, Justin Bethel, Kevin Kolb, Michael Adams, Michael Floyd, Nate Potter, O'Brien Schofield, Patrick Peterson, Quentin Groves, Rob Housler, Sam Acho, Senio Kelemete, Stephen Williams, Todd Heap, William Gay
Posted in Blog | 18 Comments »
The first week is over, and what stuck with me after today’s Red-White practice (while I thought about it on my drive home to see the family) was John Skelton’s comment that there was a long way to go. Cliche, sure. But it’s truth. Take away walkthroughs, which are limited in their value, and the Cards had exactly three practices before today. Did the offense or the quarterbacks wow today? No. But we’re a week away from the first of five preseason games. There’s a long, long way to go.
— I know everyone wants to make assessments of Skelton and Kevin Kolb after today. Coach Ken Whisenhunt even said Friday he expected that to happen. But Whiz also said today there would be no snap judgements. He talked about dropped passes, about missed assignments. Bottom line, and I’m sure I’m sounding like a broken record, but this will come down to preseason games. Something tells me no one is going to reference Red-White whenever the regular-season starter is named.
— I thought Michael Floyd looked pretty good today. It’s early, but that would be nice to have him emerge. He made a couple of catches and you can see why his big body works in tight coverage, blocking out the defensive back.
— Cornerback A.J. Jefferson got a lot of action today. He gave up some catches but made some other plays. He’s intriguing. He’s kind of been lost in the CB discussion with William Gay signing and Greg Toler coming back and Jamell Fleming getting drafted.
— With the NFL in the middle of using replacement officials while contract negotiations go on with the regular officials, one possible replacement would be a woman, who was working today’s Red-White practice. I didn’t get her name, but Mike Jurecki got a picture.
— The abductor injury to running back Javarris James could cause some roster movement. It’s not that I thought James necessarily was going to make the roster, but James now won’t play against the Saints in all probability, and Beanie Wells was already going to miss that game. I’m not sure they’d want to use Ryan Williams either, given their desire to be conservative. So that leaves just LaRod Stephens-Howling, Alfonso Smith and William Powell. Not that Powell can’t do it — remember, when the Cards lost Williams and wanted to protect Wells last year, Powell had an astounding 29 carries in the final preseason game (and then was cut the next day.)
— A crowd of 14,500. Simply amazing. I ran into former Cardinals wide receiver and kickoff returner MarTay Jenkins (1999-2002) who looked over the throng for autographs and said, “Damn, it was never like this for us!” Which I can say since I was covering the team back then, it wasn’t.
— Finally, there seemed to be a difference of opinion between Williams and Patrick Peterson about whether Peterson would have made the tackle on Williams during his 44-yard run. I managed to get a shot of the moment of contact. You make the call.
Tags: A.J. Jefferson, Alfonso Smith, Beanie Wells, Greg Toler, Jamell Fleming, Javarris James, John Skelton, Kevin Kolb, LaRod Stephens-Howling, MarTay Jenkins, Michael Floyd, Patrick Peterson, Ryan Williams, training camp, William Gay, William Powell
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I’m not a big fan of doing any play-by-play or recaps of practice, because in the end, it just doesn’t matter. Each play is a snapshot, with little or no context. But, with the Red-White practice tomorrow — which will basically be a series of drives, offense versus defense, with play calls like it’s a game — the Cards worked on red zone and two-minute drills today. It provided some highlights.
— Tight end Rob Housler made a couple of nice catches at the back of the end zone, one time banging into the pad on the lower upright. Michael Floyd couldn’t haul in a high jump ball in the end zone, but later in the two-minute drill caught a pass while tippy-toeing toward the sideline. DeMarco Sampson beat Greg Toler in the end zone for a touchdown.
— But on the defensive side, Patrick Peterson broke up one pass over the middle, while Kerry Rhodes managed to control a bouncing, tipped pass to finally nab it for an interception.
— Interesting that, in the two-minute drill in the defense’s dime package, the defensive backs were Rhodes and Adrian Wilson at safety, and then four cornerbacks: William Gay, Peterson, Michael Adams and A.J. Jefferson. Toler worked with the second dime unit. It’s early, but these are the things you notice.
— The second unit of the offensive line during the two-minute drill were, from left tackle to right tackle, D.J. Young, Senio Kelemete, Ryan Bartholomew, Chris Stewart and D’Anthony Batiste. Eventually, Bobby Massie was put in at right tackle, Batiste slide to right guard, and Scott Wedige at center. I’ve said it a few times, but I think the wait for Massie to start will be awhile.
— Running back Alfonso Smith blew up linebacker Sam Acho on a block during the two-minute work. Smith has worked hard to earn a spot on the team, which I think is pretty assured at this point.
— If you are coming to the Red-White, don’t forget to come early. All the details are here, but last year, there were about 13,000 fans on hand.
Tags: A.J. Jefferson, Adrian Wilson, Alfonso Smith, Bobby Massie, Chris Stewart, D'Anthony Batiste, D.J. Young, DeMarco Sampson, Greg Toler, Kerry Rhodes, Michael Adams, Michael Floyd, Patrick Peterson, Rob Housler, Ryan Bartholomew, Sam Acho, Scott Wedige, Senio Kelemete, training camp, William Gay
Posted in Blog | 9 Comments »
OK, so I missed a year (darn the lockout!) but with the end of offseason work and with my time off finally arriving, it’s that time. The proper sendoff into that dead area prior to training camp is my educated guesstimate for the starting lineups come Sept. 9 when Seattle visits University of Phoenix Stadium. Defense today, offense tomorrow. We’ll see if these choices come to fruition, although there is a long, long way to go. A lot can change. So, as always, remember this is just an exhibition and not a competition, so please, no wagering:
DE – Darnell Dockett. I’m anxious to see how he performs with a full season of knowing what he’s doing in Ray Horton’s scheme.
NT – Dan Williams. He was playing better when he got hurt. David Carter was solid as a rookie, but Williams is the key here. He needs more consistency. He knows that.
DE – Calais Campbell. New contract in hand, time to build on what he started.
ROLB – Sam Acho. He was better than anyone could have expected as a rookie.
SILB – Paris Lenon. Maybe Stewart Bradley emerges at some point, but Bradley’s time on the bench has been as much about Lenon’s incredibly solid play as Bradley’s own play. Lenon just won’t let anyone dislodge him.
WILB – Daryl Washington. Hard not to see him as emerging star.
LOLB — O’Brien Schofield. He’s itching to be a starter and to prove he belongs. Now’s his chance. He wants to have the same impact Acho did, and the Cards need him to do just that.
RCB – Greg Toler. Yes, William Gay was there this offseason and yes, Gay has a good chance to be the starter. But for some reason, I think Toler finds his way there. Both are going to play regardless.
LCB – Patrick Peterson. Pro Bowl status as return man. Now he needs to make it so as cover guy.
FS – Kerry Rhodes. Remember how Adrian Wilson burned so much in camp last year – before he got hurt – to make up for his struggles the year before? That’s the sense I get from Rhodes, who is still frustrated from last years’ broken foot and I think wants to show everyone how good he can be.
SS – Wilson. One thing you never have to worry about from Wilson is motivation. The boulder on his shoulder draws from different places, but it never goes away. Horton thinks Wilson will be even better this year now that he’s comfortable in the defense.
Offense is up tomorrow.
Tags: Adrian Wilson, Calais Campbell, Dan Williams, Darnell Dockett, Daryl Washington, Greg Toler, Kerry Rhodes, Paris Lenon, Patrick Peterson, Ray Horton, Sam Acho, Stewart Bradley, William Gay
Posted in Blog | 41 Comments »
William Gay spent his Tuesday night on the internet, looking up flights. He’s hoping to go to the Olympics in August, although no, the cornerback is not some crazy two-sport star.
His girlfriend, Natasha Hastings, is a track star, Olympic veteran and gold medal winner in 2008. He’d like to support her effort in the 2012 Games in England, and coach Ken Whisenhunt is open to working with Gay. It’s not a simple process, since the cornerback will be in the middle of training camp. The finals for Hastings’ events are on Aug. 5, which is the same day the Cardinals play the Saints in the Hall of Fame game in Canton, Ohio. That’s a long way from London.
“I’d like to see at least one round, fly out and fly back from the game,” Gay said. “Coach told me to try and set up a schedule and let him know, because when I called her and told her the information, she was excited.”
Hastings was a part of the USA’s top 4×400 team in 2008. She’s hoping to compete in the individual 400 too. She and Gay have been together for almost two years – “July 23” he notes proudly as the anniversary – after meeting in Miami when Gay said both were “chilling with friends.” The relationship grew despite long distances and both working as pro athletes.
Gay was long a track fan before that, though. He ran in high school – “Obviously, I wasn’t that good,” he said – and playing for the Steelers, he would attend the Penn Relays. Even now, some of Hastings’ friends don’t get why Gay sits up in the stands during competitions, until she tells them Gay is there to watch the whole meet, not just her.
He’ll talk to her – athlete to athlete – after a competition about what she did right or wrong, just like the two have similar discussions after Gay plays a game. Both are smart enough to let the emotions of a bad outing fade first, Gay said with a smile.
There’s also a dream scenario: “In the same year … she starts it off with getting a gold, I finish it by getting a Super Bowl ring,” Gay said.
Gay will watch Hastings in Eugene, Ore., next week in the U.S. Olympic Trials. In the end, that’s the first step. Nothing else really matters.
“I’m going to look up flights and see what I can do and this week and next week, show Coach my plans,” Gay said. “Then next week, she’s got to make it happen. Because if she don’t go (to London), all the plans go away.”
UPDATE: Hastings did not make the team.
Tags: William Gay
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The Cardinals had almost everyone on the field today to start OTAs. One man who had hoped to be out there was veteran tight end Jeff King, but it turns out he suffered a partial tear of his quadriceps tendon recently working out at the facility. He had surgery to repair it and is scheduled to return for training camp.
UPDATE: King saw this post on Twitter and responded via Twitter: “Will come back stronger….“The finest steel has to go through the hottest fire.” ”
The OTAs, which are voluntary, got great turnout once again. Those who weren’t practicing couldn’t because of injury or other reasons (rookie guard Senio Kelemete isn’t here because the University of Washington remains in session.) As expected running backs Beanie Wells and Ryan Williams were both off to the side rehabbing their respective knee injuries.
Wells expanded on some of his thoughts about sitting out during OTAs, and coach Ken Whisenhunt addressed them as well, saying it was the plan all along to have Wells sitting at this point. Beanie still has no desire to talk details about his surgery. He reiterated it was “a scope, clean things up.” When asked if it was to repair the meniscus, Beanie said it was “a little more complicated.”
“I am pretty confident in being ready when the time is right,” Wells said. “It’s football. I’m just glad to have a job.”
— CB Greg Toler, rehabbing from an ACL tear, has returned. He is limited in his number of reps but did everything. More on him in a later blog post.
— Lineups mean little right now, but William Gay was working on the top unit at cornerback with Patrick Peterson (although the secondary coaches were careful to call their lineups 1a and 1b right now). Jeremy Bridges is working as the top right tackle. Kevin Kolb was with the top unit at quarterback. At receiver — although that’s a position that always tends to be fluid during OTAs and practices when everyone is trying to get reps — Andre Roberts joined Larry Fitzgerald, DeMarco Sampson was with Early Doucet next, and then came Michael Floyd and Stephen Williams.
Tags: Andre Roberts, Beanie Wells, DeMarco Sampson, Early Doucet, Greg Toler, Jeff King, Jeremy Bridges, Kevin Kolb, Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd, OTAs, Ryan Williams, Senio Kelemete, Stephen Williams, William Gay
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