Notes from Fan Fest practice

Posted by Darren Urban on May 1, 2010 – 1:25 pm

Another Fan Fest on the Saturday morning of minicamp is over and with it, the third of five minicamp practices. The fan Fest crowd was big again — around 4,500 — and the practice fairly crisp. Some news, notes and thoughts:

— The Cardinals are hurting at fullback, with Reagan Maui’a nursing a bad groin, leaving Nehemiah Broughton as the lone healthy fullback. “We’re thin, and not from a physical standpoint,” coach Ken Whisenhunt said. “The two guys we have out there definitely aren’t thin. … That’s obviously an area we have to address, just to have some depth. I feel good about who we have there, but when you only have two and one gets nicked up, it makes it kind of difficult.”

The Cardinals were considering bringing back veteran Dan Kreider, but Whisenhunt said that won’t happen.

— The quarterbacks looked good today. Clearly Derek Anderson and John Skelton have arm strength to put some heat on their passes. Whisenhunt said he wants to see how all the QBs react once the defense starts working in more blitzes and the like.

— Speaking of catching passes, linebacker Monty Beisel made an impressive and athletic leaping interception of Anderson, standing at the line of scrimmage and grabbing a missile before it got very far from Anderson. “We had a blitz coming and I was kind of messing around coming on a delayed blitz and he threw it up – it happened really quick,” Beisel said. “I had that one (Friday) when Matt threw me a layup and I dropped it. I had to come back and redeem myself.

The crowd certainly loved it.

— Larry Fitzgerald might be getting the bugs out. He got open deep on a bomb that was perfectly thrown by Matt Leinart, but Fitz couldn’t come up with the catch. Judging on what Fitz has done in the past, though, I’d bet the Cards would rather have a great bomb by Leinart and Fitz get the drops out of his system in April rather than Leinart have trouble getting it there and Fitz rescuing him with a great catch.

— I still don’t think it’s a big deal as I have said many times, so I am hesitant to even bring this up, but Tim Hightower is still running with the first string with Beanie Wells second. Again, Beanie is going to get a ton of carries this season, so it’s basically a moot point, but I know there are fans out there who want to know.

— Speaking of things people want to know, Whisenhunt addressed the progress of 2009 second-round pick Cody Brown. “He does not look anywhere close to be as lost as he was at this time last year,” Whisenhunt said. “He looks more natural than he did. He’s not a rookie. He hasn’t shown what he can do yet, but he’s much further advanced.”

It was suggested that Brown was still lost but not as lost. “That’s a great assessment,” Whisenhunt said. “He’s kind of in that limbo-land. He’s not a rookie but he’s not a vet.”

— As has become the custom, the Cards presented framed Pro Bowl jerseys to last year’s Pro Bowlers: Larry Fitzgerald, Darnell Dockett, Adrian Wilson and DRC.

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37 Responses to “Notes from Fan Fest practice”

  1. By John on May 1, 2010 | Reply

    Hopefully rolle’s jersey was throw in the trash.

  2. By Deveau on May 1, 2010 | Reply


    As a Leinart believer, could you tell me how long that bomb was, and, whether or not it appeared to be the limit of his arm?

    It is good to hear that it was on the money.



  3. By darrenurban on May 1, 2010 | Reply

    Deveau —

    I’d say it traveled about 40 or 45 yards or so. Couldn’t tell if it was the limit, but again, no one is confusing Leinart with Anderson has far as arm strength. It was a nice pass though.

  4. By Adam on May 1, 2010 | Reply

    What are you talk about Darren? We have 4 fullbacks! You forgot Dockett and Watson. Ha!

  5. By steve on May 1, 2010 | Reply

    Darren-Do you think Gerald Hayes back issues have the Cardinals concerned or is he expected to be 100% by the start of the season?

  6. By darrenurban on May 1, 2010 | Reply

    Steve —

    I think they are counting on him to be OK.

  7. By Rich on May 1, 2010 | Reply

    Hey Darren,
    wish I could have been out there today. I know it’s really early, but how did the “new look” defense look? With Hayes’ injury, who’s manning the ILB spots?



  8. By darrenurban on May 1, 2010 | Reply

    Rich —

    Really, really early.

    But with Hayes on the sideline, Monty Beisel is paired with Paris Lenon with the first-string for now.

  9. By bobo on May 1, 2010 | Reply

    The secondary looked EXTREMELY thin and watching them out there today was pretty scary. The Beisel pick at the end of 11 on 11’s was awesome. Skelton hit two of the marks in the net they were throwing to Anderson and Hall each hit one and Leinart missed high everytime. EEKS!! Not really worried about him though he looked better in the offense on defense drills than the others. Hall was surprising to me he had good zip and was accurate but I wonder if he has any chance of making the team. Doucet was my favorite to watch out there though ,he made some pretty sick catches across the middle and had to stretch out for a couple although he did let a pass go through his hands as he jumped up and stretched for it. So Darren, who did you like out there and also how healthy is DRC at this point. He was participating but seemed to be limping a little.

  10. By darrenurban on May 1, 2010 | Reply

    Bobo —

    I will have a DRC update on the blog in about 30 minutes.

  11. By Joe-B on May 1, 2010 | Reply

    I wish I could have gone, but I had class from 9:00 until 12:15. I got to fan fest around the same time everyone was leaving…

    Nice to hear that Leinart threw a nice looking bomb too.

  12. By Eric on May 1, 2010 | Reply


    Kreider was 32 years old last season (if I recall correctly) and the nature of the fullback position would seem to lend itself to injuries during the season. Couple this with the fact that it seems the Cardinals are gearing up to really lean on the run, and it raises questions.

    1. Even when the Cardinals did run last season, it didn’t seem like many of those plays utilized a fullback. Do you see this changing?

    2. Is there any chance the Cardinals carry 2 FBs on the roster? If not, is it likely that one of the two lands on the practice squad?

    3. Jason Wright filled-in at FB for Kreider a few times last season. Although this makes sense, is there any possibility that one of our 250 lb. TEs can be trained to cover the backup FB spot, perhaps with better results?

  13. By darrenurban on May 1, 2010 | Reply

    Eric —

    1. I do think they might use the fullback more.

    2. No. I think they’d rather have an extra tight end. Maybe on the practice squad.

    3. I think Wright did fine for the few times he was needed. But yes, if a tight end/H-back can do the job, maybe they look that way.

  14. By mo on May 1, 2010 | Reply


    Even though it’s mini-camp, I’m wondering if you’ve been able to form any early impressions of Andre Roberts. He came here with a rep for running good routes and being able to fight off corners at the line. Have you seen any of this?

  15. By darrenurban on May 1, 2010 | Reply

    Mo —

    Just too early to tell.

  16. By ross on May 1, 2010 | Reply


    Darren, you say Beanie’s going to get tons of carries this year, but can’t the same be said about Tim?

    Those guys are going to be a force.

  17. By darrenurban on May 1, 2010 | Reply

    Ross —

    There will be plenty to go around.

  18. By AndyStandsUp on May 1, 2010 | Reply

    Did the Cards do punting drills, and if so, who was returning?

  19. By darrenurban on May 1, 2010 | Reply

    AndyStands —

    The Cards have run a few of the rookies back for punts, but I think they’re just trying to see who might be a candidate.

  20. By brazilian fan on May 1, 2010 | Reply

    oh, man, that really hurts… Kreider isn’t coming back, he was great, I turned into a fan of his. What’s the deal? his age, or the guys there will take a shot? please, darren. thanks

  21. By darrenurban on May 1, 2010 | Reply

    Brazilian —

    Whisenhunt just said a deal couldn’t be worked out.

  22. By Amber on May 2, 2010 | Reply

    “Tim Hightower is still running with the first string with Beanie Wells second”
    I dont like this at all, everyone knows Wells brings in the yards and Hightower is all about the fummbles 🙁

  23. By darrenurban on May 2, 2010 | Reply

    Amber —

    Ironic then that the only fumble so far in minicamp was Beanie dropping a handoff yesterday.

  24. By Isaak on May 2, 2010 | Reply

    Darren, how is Kerry Rhodes getting on with the team? Will he be ableto make plays like Rolle?

  25. By darrenurban on May 2, 2010 | Reply

    Isaak —

    I don’t know if Kerry will be as dynamic with the football, but I do think he can prove to be more fundamentally sound at the position.

  26. By BigAl on May 2, 2010 | Reply

    Was out at the practice yesterday, and I would say that there is a smoothness, and efficiency of movement, a comfort in catching the ball, that was obvious when watching Andre Roberts in comparision to all the other WR’s except for Fitz, Breaston, and Doucet. The kid always catches the ball cleanly at the high point. He also has another gear that surprised me. You can’t tell until the pads go on, but if I didn;t know otherwise, I would have said that Roberts was a veteran along with Fitz, Breaston, and Doucet.

  27. By BigAl on May 2, 2010 | Reply

    I also noticed that Lienart throws high most often when he has to throw to the riight. In turning from left to right, he twists his body while fading back in order open his chest to make the throw, which is why his balls float. It seems simply an adjustment of moving his feet instead of just twisting his body to open up his chest for the throw. He could then step into the throw and eliminate the float. Lienart’s relative lack of arm strength also seems to have created excellent anticipation in comparision to the rest of the strong armed QB’s. The ball just comes out much sooner with Lienart, with better touch. I think the strength of the cannon arms kinda enforces the late throws, they know they can stick it in there so why not just wait until the last moment. It may also just be Lienarts comfort with the WRs and the plays.

  28. By BigAl on May 2, 2010 | Reply

    Urban, who was number 10? He wasn’t listed on the numeric roster. He was a WR.

  29. By darrenurban on May 2, 2010 | Reply

    BigAl —

    That was Deryn Bowser, a rookie in on a tryout basis.

  30. By BigAl on May 2, 2010 | Reply

    I just wanted to add that the good ones make catching the ball look easy, no matter where it’s thrown. Andre Roberts does that. He will also end up as our punt returner. Not only did he catch all the punts with his hands, he also put his body in perfect position to run immediately after the catch. It’s easy to see why he was such a good punt returner in college.

  31. By Tyrelle on May 2, 2010 | Reply

    How did Juamorris Stewart do Darren?

  32. By darrenurban on May 2, 2010 | Reply

    Tyrelle —

    I suppose he did OK. Way, way too early to tell.

  33. By john on May 2, 2010 | Reply

    the cardinals are my fav team!i think they are going to do really good this year and it dont matter fitz wont drop a pass its fitz! GO CARDINALS

  34. By Scott H on May 2, 2010 | Reply

    My only comments about the drop by Fitzgerald are these – I hope somebody got it on camera, ’cause that’s about the only chance most people will ever get to see Larry drop one. We have a better chance of seeing the Loch Ness Monster run across the practice field at training camp than we do of seeing Fitz drop anything thrown in the same zip code, let alone a perfect pass! By the way, good to hear that Leinart can zing it with some accuracy!

  35. By Brent on May 3, 2010 | Reply

    Really, Beanie still running with the second team. Please!

  36. By FightOn on May 3, 2010 | Reply

    Fitz said in his tweet that Matt was flying out to MN to practice with him, that can only be a good thing. As for throwing the deep ball….I don’t know if this is even relevent now or not, but Matt threw the ball deep when the opponent stopped the run dead, and the game depended solely on the passing game. Didn’t he throw the ball deep to Fitz in that Patriots game? in the snow, when we were almost shut out? Saved Kurt’s zero shut out stat, lol. Also in the Steelers game with that deep TD pass to Fitz to seal the win. No rocket arm, longest that I can remember is 67 yards vs ND in a clutch situation.

  37. By darrenurban on May 3, 2010 | Reply

    FightOn —

    In all fairness, the “bomb” to Fitz couldn’t have been more than 25-30 yards. Fitz ran it most of the way.

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