OTA again and a Graham honor

Posted by Darren Urban on May 19, 2010 – 1:38 pm

Little bit warmer today but the nasty temperatures have stayed away so far (it is supposed to be 98 tomorrow, so …). Cornerback Greg Toler, now working with the first unit after playing behind Michael Adams in minicamp, made a nice play to break up one pass during some skeleton 11-on-11 work, and there were a couple of impressive cut-and-bounce-upfield runs by Beanie Wells and Tim Hightower.

Other bits and pieces:

— Remember the old punishment thought where if one guy doesn’t get it, the whole unit gets dinged? It looked like that happened to the defensive backs today, when DB coach Donnie Henderson got his guys to do pushups after someone (or someones, didn’t see who) didn’t get the drill just right.

— Speaking of DBs, we will have a live chat with new safety Kerry Rhodes sometime next week. More details to come.

— Coach Ken Whisenhunt on the importance of this year for fourth-year nose tackle Gabe Watson, especially with No. 1 pick Dan Williams here: “There’s no question it intensifies the competition. He understands where he has to be. So it is a critical year for him. Anytime you’re facing a numbers situation like we are with the numbers at that position, it forces you to work harder. That’s why you want it at every position.”

— For those yearning for some national coverage, Sports Illustrated’s Jim Trotter has been out for the last couple of days talking to many players. Expect something on as early as tomorrow, and an upcoming (smaller) piece for the magazine.

— Finally, punter Ben Graham got a hometown honor today when the deputy mayor of the Australian city of Geelong, Bruce Harwood, named Graham as an “Ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary” for the city. There’s no question Graham’s fame in the NFL has brought attention to Australia and Geelong, and Graham’s only the third person to be so honored. So he’s got that going for him.

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Posted in Blog | 51 Comments »

51 Responses to “OTA again and a Graham honor”

  1. By kingdiamond on May 19, 2010 | Reply

    Congrats to Ben! With power of the NFL, I predict that there will teams on every continent and even a World Bowl!

    Good to hear that Toler is looking good!

    Sounds like Beanie and Tim will be like unleashing the dogs!

  2. By JoeVero on May 19, 2010 | Reply

    Darren –

    Are there any other changes in the first unit besides for Toler?

  3. By darrenurban on May 19, 2010 | Reply

    JoeVero —

    Not at this point.

  4. By CMacyn on May 19, 2010 | Reply

    Good stuff D, Did you see any of the rookies making plays today Alfonso smith, Andre Roberts, or maybe even Stephen Williams? Thanks in advance. GO CARDINALS!!!

  5. By darrenurban on May 19, 2010 | Reply

    CMacyn —

    I did not notice. That doesn’t mean they didn’t, but I didn’t notice.

  6. By Dustin D on May 19, 2010 | Reply

    Whats this i hear on “Around the horn” about Kurt Warner possibly returning? Any possability whatsoever?

  7. By darrenurban on May 19, 2010 | Reply

    Dustin —

    None. Zero. Zilch. Nada.

    Kurt Warner is not coming back. Not. Never.

  8. By wampag on May 19, 2010 | Reply

    D when SI posts it will you put a link up

  9. By darrenurban on May 19, 2010 | Reply

    Wampag —

    I will.

  10. By CMacyn on May 19, 2010 | Reply

    Ok,… ill find something on their progress sooner or later LOL. thanks D

  11. By darrenurban on May 19, 2010 | Reply

    CMacyn —

    I’ll keep an eye out tomorrow.

  12. By Cardsfan928 on May 19, 2010 | Reply

    A world bowl would be great. A new olympic sport, and America would be untouchable for at least 15 years.

  13. By Robert on May 19, 2010 | Reply

    Hey Darren,

    On ATH today, they discussed whether Kurt Warner would possibly come back this year. Their arguments were that he was hoping to get a TV gig, didn’t get it, and has had time to recover from the big hits he took at the end of last year (and realize he can still play). Of course, I automatically dismissed this; Warner didn’t just retire on a whim like Brett Favre has done and will do. Having said that, is there any chance of him coming back?

  14. By darrenurban on May 19, 2010 | Reply

    Robert —

    See my answer to Dustin above.

  15. By Jesse Robles on May 19, 2010 | Reply

    Any chance Warner is coming back? 🙂 I am just kidding, I am glad Ben Graham is finally getting recognition, well over due. I was in the Navy with an Ausie, he told me every day how he loved the Cards because we had the only Australian in the NFL on our team, and he is one of the best in the League too. Good to see Toler stepping up, he has his chance and needs to take advantage of it, Rashad Johnson needs to do the same. We need depth on our Defense, Depth at Nose Tackle is looking great… in a nut shell, I love our moves, our draft picks, I love what Ken and Rod are building, I love most of all that we have PAID players to stay and come here. The NEW CARDS are going to be good, if anyone thinks that we aren’t going to be good then you just don’t respect football. Not predicting the Super Bowl or anything because we need to Win our Division first every year, but we are a few positions short of being a real elite team. I am not even going to say we are short, it is just hard to judge anything when we haven’t seen players like Doucet play as consistent as we would like or Toler play for a long time, but I am ready and have NO DOUBTS, LETS GO CARDS!! WE DO THIS TOGETHER!!

  16. By Joe-B on May 19, 2010 | Reply

    Warner isn’t Favre, if he said he is done, then sadly [because I would love to see him play another year] he is done.

    Kudos to Graham, I hope he breaks the record he tied last season.

  17. By BJ on May 19, 2010 | Reply

    Congrats to Ben Graham!! It’s good to see fellow ausies do well in the NFL
    there should be a few more teams looking to australia for punters but instead of that girly game they call aussie rules they should be scouting rugby leauge playes at least you won’t have to worry bout them avoiding contact like ben did last year

  18. By TucsonTim on May 19, 2010 | Reply

    Daren –

    How are the DB’s relating to Henderson. He worked with Rhodes in NY so they should already have a relationship.

    I’m still curious. How did he hook up with the Cards from the California Redwoods coached by Dennis Green?


  19. By darrenurban on May 19, 2010 | Reply

    Tucson —

    Not sure exactly how he ended up here. These coaching trees, though, they extend all over the place. Teryl Austin got his shot to be DC at the U of Florida because Bill Davis and Urban Meyer are tight.

  20. By Rugbymuffin on May 19, 2010 | Reply

    Graham may have put together the best year in regards to punting I have ever seen with my own eyes last year.

    Throw the stats out the window, cause it was where his kicks landed side line to side line that was impressive.

    I hope Graham and LSH can re-create that magic from last year.

  21. By bobF on May 19, 2010 | Reply

    Congrats to Ben. I’m sure he’ll make a great ambassador pliathrhrintropical.

  22. By Chris B on May 19, 2010 | Reply

    Totally diggin’ Beanie’s new bald head. He didn’t have much on there earlier but I’m likin’ how he’s got it now!

  23. By ChrisNelson on May 19, 2010 | Reply


    Any idea how DRC is progressing with his rehabb? Did he look like he was getting back to old form today and yesterday??

  24. By darrenurban on May 19, 2010 | Reply

    ChrisNelson —

    He looks good. I have no worries there.

  25. By Missouri Jim on May 19, 2010 | Reply

    Darren, I don’t know if you’ve seen it, but Jason Cole from Yahoo! Sports did a ranking of each team based on their QB situation. Here’s what he had to say about Arizona …

    “28. Arizona Cardinals: Coach Ken Whisenhunt and general manager Rod Graves were very fortunate to get contract extensions this offseason because this could be an ugly year now that Kurt Warner has retired. Matt Leinart takes over and he doesn’t have a lot of believers inside the Cardinal headquarters. Leinart is, at best, even money to survive the season as the starter. Not that Derek Anderson is much better, but Leinart is considered way too soft.”

    I remember when Leinart and Warner were in competition for the starting job in training camp before the Super Bowl season, and Whiz kept going on and on at the end about how close the competition was. That gives me some optimism that there won’t be such a huge dropoff at the position this year (and obviously Leinart won’t be asked to do everything that Warner did).

    But do you get the feeling from those around the team that there is as little confidence in Leinart within the organization as Cole is “reporting”?


  26. By darrenurban on May 19, 2010 | Reply

    Missouri Jim —

    I think Leinart has something to prove, yes. But if he had so few believers, I find it hard to believe he’d be the starter right now. They would have made a stronger move to bring in a replacement.

  27. By Scott H on May 19, 2010 | Reply

    Graham is awesome! Seems like a good guy, too. Congrats to him on his award. Hopefully at the end of this season, he’ll get the award he should have gotten last year – Pro Bowl honors for the NFC. Seems like a lot of guys get voted to the Pro Bowl the year AFTER they truly should have. If he is as solid ( make that spectacular! ) this year as he was last year, he should get twice as many votes as any other punter in the conference.

  28. By johnnybluenose on May 19, 2010 | Reply

    ben graham was a great pick-up for the birds two years ago and it is nice to see him recognized. we should not have to consider any other punter for several years. he’s a machine. nice goin’ ben !

  29. By AndyStandsUp on May 19, 2010 | Reply

    I would think that Alan Branch, though now playing at DE, should be searching for the scythe more than Watson.
    And Darren, any truth to rumors that the MTP(Meet The Press) site put out that Warner is going to re-sign, be traded with Luitui for McNabb, and then run for McCain’s vacated Senator spot?
    Inquiring minds want to know.

  30. By moe on May 19, 2010 | Reply


    question any way which i would not like to see but do you see a possibility of T.O coming to az to take the slot if he lowers his price i mean we have a good recieving corps but that would bolster our receiving corps and what about another corner

  31. By darrenurban on May 19, 2010 | Reply

    Moe —

    Owens is not coming here. As for cornerback, I have said this many times, I don’t expect anyone new soon. If they add a veteran corner, which is possible, I expect it to be much closer to camp or even after camp breaks.

  32. By Matto on May 19, 2010 | Reply

    Ben Graham was the reason I took an interest in NFL and began to support the Cardinals. Theres no doubt about the fact he has helped make NFL a bit bigger in Australia, and its great that hes been recognised for that.

  33. By cardattac on May 19, 2010 | Reply

    Hey Darren……

    How has Matt looked so far? I am a big fan of his and I fully believe he can do it. Also I was wondering if all the players that were there yesterday came today as well??

  34. By darrenurban on May 19, 2010 | Reply

    Cardsattac —

    Matt looks fine, although again, there is no pass rush this time of year. As for attendance, I didn’t look as carefully, but I believe it echoed the first day.

  35. By cardattac on May 19, 2010 | Reply

    Oh…. and congrats to BEN!!!!! that is…. a pretty amazing award. And what a year he had for us. We are becoming elite at every position!!! GO CARDS!!!

  36. By Barry on May 19, 2010 | Reply

    Congrats Ben! Glad to have you on our team…wish you didn’t get the shaft in the pro-bowl selection last year.

  37. By ChrisNelson on May 19, 2010 | Reply


    Hey did u say that you guys where going to record a OTA edition of cardinals underground?

  38. By darrenurban on May 19, 2010 | Reply

    ChrisNelson —

    It will be posted Thursday morning.

  39. By DRC#1FAN on May 19, 2010 | Reply

    I think it is more possible Kurt Warner would come back tha never. just sayin… he is a football player.

    I love the Cardinals

  40. By darrenurban on May 20, 2010 | Reply

    DRC#1 —

    Sorry, but you are wrong on Warner.

  41. By Skiptim on May 20, 2010 | Reply

    Is it possible for you to just post like literally a 5 or 10 minute video of drills and snaps? I like the videos you have coming up and stuff, but it would be the shib if we could get some videos of just… people throwing balls, catching them… running, defending, stuff like that.

  42. By darrenurban on May 20, 2010 | Reply

    Skiptim —

    We are only allowed to shoot certain things. The coaches don’t want video out there of the 7-on-7 or 11-on-11 stuff — other teams could take it and break it down. But some of the individual stuff? Lemme see what I can do.

  43. By Mailand on May 20, 2010 | Reply

    Hey Darren.
    An off topic. Great that the teaser “4 month” is out on podcast download. U know if the teaser with coach and Wilson is coming to?
    Greetings from Denmark

  44. By darrenurban on May 20, 2010 | Reply

    Mailand —

    Let me check on that.

  45. By Nick on May 20, 2010 | Reply

    Can’t wait for the Cardinals new season all the way from Sydney, the cardinals could make serious use of some rugby league players here in their offensive and defensive units

  46. By Nick on May 20, 2010 | Reply

    also jesse Ben Graham isnt the only Aussie in the NFL

  47. By Skiptim on May 20, 2010 | Reply

    Alright, thanks, I’d appreciate that.

    And I super duper swear my name isn’t Mike Singletary Jr.

  48. By Flood on May 20, 2010 | Reply

    Ben avoids contact? Really? I was at the Rams game when he straight laid out their return man and forced a fumble. Or was that someone else wearing his uniform? Darren, I am not mistaken on that one right?

  49. By darrenurban on May 20, 2010 | Reply

    Flood —

    Ben did force a fumble in the Rams game, yes.

  50. By Brian R. on May 21, 2010 | Reply

    Ben Graham the Beast! Cheers

  51. By Steve on Aug 11, 2010 | Reply

    Ben is great sportsman and bloke,
    Only the special ones become AFL captains – We named our son after him. Good luck Ben – Kick it Long – Go Cardinals!!!
    Scouts take a look at Josh Hunt – He will be the next Geelong player to try out in the NFL….after he wins his third premiership in a couple of months. Go Cats!!!!

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