First day in the books

Posted by Darren Urban on July 31, 2010 – 5:40 pm

The first practice came and went in relative sunshine! Stunning, I know. But the rain stayed away and the Cards’ first practice — in shells, looking much like a minicamp or OTA workout — was good. But as Ken Whisenhunt said a couple of times, “It’s only the first day.”

The first day did cost the Cards defensive tackle Dean Muhtadi, who hurt his right calf on basically his first step of the conditioning test. For a guy working so hard to stay in shape all offseason, a killer result. Whisenhunt said Muhtadi will be out for a while, although he added, “it’s a long camp.” Whether it is long enough for Muhtadi to make enough of his impression, we will see.

Many of the depth chart choices this early were not unexpected. Trumaine McBride was running across from DRC as first-team cornerbacks, not Greg Toler. Defensive coordinator Bill Davis stressed to me that job opposite DRC is “wide open.” The inside linebackers, with Gerald Hayes hurting, are Monty Beisel and Paris Lenon. Daryl Washington knows what it is to be a rookie; he is third-string behind Lenon and Ali Highsmith.

On offense, Matt Leinart looked pretty good although Derek Anderson got a good chunk of reps too. The offensive line is the same that ended OTAs, with Levi Brown (LT), Alan Faneca (LG), Lyle Sendlein (C), Reggie Wells (RG) and Brandon Keith (RT). Deuce Lutui is second-team RG, next to tackle Herman Johnson. Ben Claxton is second-team center, with Jeremy Bridges at left tackle and Rex Hadnot at left guard.

I’ll have more tonight on the homepage, with notes about Gabe Watson, Alan Branch and their weights, DRC’s injury feelings and a story about the spotlight on the quarterback position.

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Posted in Blog | 26 Comments »

26 Responses to “First day in the books”

  1. By Jasen on Jul 31, 2010 | Reply

    It’s good to get camp started and get back to work. We got more banners to hang up in the UoP!!!

  2. By Fitz4Mtrushmore on Jul 31, 2010 | Reply

    Good stuff Darren. Who in your opinion looked better between the rooks, Skelton ot Max Hall? Did either do anything to stick out. I’ve been a Leinart believer since the day he arrived, but anxious to here about the young guns.

  3. By darrenurban on Jul 31, 2010 | Reply

    Fitz4Mt —

    Way too early on the rookies. That’s what preseason games are for.

  4. By cardattac on Jul 31, 2010 | Reply

    Nice!!! Good to hear. I hope both QBs will grow some good chemistry together and with WRs. I mean God forbid Leinart gets hurt or under performs…… MR. ANDERSON can roll in throw it down there respectful throats!!! Dont get me wrong though…. I am a huge Matt fan… Just ask anyone who knows me. lol Anywho….

    Bill Davis is a great addition from last year. I think he will help us shape a great CB for the future. I believe the talent is there in all three McBride, Toler And Adems. Man Toler even reminds me of DRC… Just look at him… And he is really fast too. I cant wait to see the line up.

    GO CARDS!!!

  5. By Eric on Jul 31, 2010 | Reply

    Hi Darren, thanks for all your updates. I have a quick question. Debating whether to head up for Sunday afternoon’s practice or Monday morning’s. Do you have any info as to which one might be more physical? Would prefer pads to shells. Thanks

  6. By darrenurban on Jul 31, 2010 | Reply

    Eric —

    Sunday is scheduled for shoulder pads. Monday morning would not be (but Monday afternoon would). Weather can always mess with it too.

  7. By Gage on Jul 31, 2010 | Reply

    i like seeing D.Anderson getting reps. He has alot of potential as well as leinart

  8. By Chris B on Jul 31, 2010 | Reply

    Daren, What is your guess at the size of the crowds? Do you think it’ll be close to or as busy as last year?

  9. By darrenurban on Jul 31, 2010 | Reply

    Chris B —

    I don’t think they will be as big as last year, since the team was coming off the Super Bowl. But it was pretty good sized today.

  10. By Jesse Robles on Jul 31, 2010 | Reply

    Shouldn’t all of the Corner spots be wide open to create competition? Bill Davis should listen to Whiz, only DRC has his position set in stone.

  11. By darrenurban on Jul 31, 2010 | Reply

    Joe B —

    I think McBride probably had a better offseason.

  12. By Joe-B on Jul 31, 2010 | Reply

    Do you think McBride is ahead of Toler because he has more experience right now?

  13. By Tinted Face Shield on Jul 31, 2010 | Reply

    I like how the Cards lined up on the offensive line, but I really like how the lined up at inside linebacker! I’m glad Beisel is getting an opportunity, and it allows Lenon to practice his position when Hayes comes back, instead of adding confusion by moving Lenon all around. Didn’t all the confusion happen was it last year at wide receiver, with Boldin hurt and Breaston hurt, and then they didn’t know who was playing at what position, and then they just looked terrible. I think Walker should have to take Beisel’s roster spot.


    Two questions.

    Who lined up with first team nose tackle?

    Also, I know it’s early, but wasn’t Bridges supposed to compete with Keith at RT? If so, why is he getting 2nd team reps at LT to start training camp?

  14. By darrenurban on Jul 31, 2010 | Reply

    Tinted —

    Bryan Robinson is first team NT. As for Keith, it is his job to lose. And Herman Johnson is better at RT, so Bridges is on the left side.

  15. By Pheenic Cromartie on Jul 31, 2010 | Reply

    Darren, a normal day for me is checking this website more than once. Thanks for writing article after article. I love seeing this website full of articles I haven’t read, and I read them all over and over.

    Thanks for writing such quality articles and making the cardinals website one of the best out there!


  16. By Sedona Chris on Aug 1, 2010 | Reply

    we’re doing our best down here to keep the rain from hitting Flag… its rained 19 of the last 24 hrs down here in Sedona… I hope Sheik can recover in time because I think we need that guy on our team, not necessarily for depth but for overall work ethic, constantly pushing Dockett, and just the joy he beams everytime he steps on the field… I think that’s what AZ teams have in general… Through last season the Suns had Lou Amundson who hustled every time on the court and he is credited with the overall energy and vitality the bench gave us late in the season…. the Dbacks have Clay Zavada (on DL) who knows what it means to get to play the game, the constant competitor, and his work ethic is the baseball equivalent to Sheik’s… I wish all of those vying for spots on the roster the best of luck and only ask that they heed Hightower’s comments you posted earlier “It doesn’t matter which players are playing, so long as they buy into the system, and believe the system will work” (for lack of a better paraphrase)…

    A couple quick questions: Provided the weather holds up, what time would you recommend fans show up to beat most of the lines for the autograph session before the Red/White game… and approximately how many regulation footballs would i need to bring should i want to get everyone?

  17. By darrenurban on Aug 1, 2010 | Reply

    Sedona Chris —

    It’s not official, but I believe the Red/White autograph time will be 8:30 a.m., so the doors would usually open somewhere between 60 to 90 minutes before that. Keep in mind, though, two big factors — it only lasts between 20 and 30 minutes, and it is limited to fans 12 and under. If you are an adult looking for autographs, you need to come on the other days of practice. I wish it were easier, but getting everyone is virtually impossible.

  18. By Brent on Aug 1, 2010 | Reply


    Who is first team running back as of now? Wells or THT?

  19. By darrenurban on Aug 1, 2010 | Reply

    Brent —


  20. By card62 on Aug 1, 2010 | Reply


    Great info. Love the articles.

    Do you see a possibility of the Cards trading Branch or Watson?

  21. By darrenurban on Aug 1, 2010 | Reply

    Cards62 —

    Maybe. More likely they hold on. If someone gets hurt, you don’t want to blow out your depth.

  22. By Scott H on Aug 1, 2010 | Reply


    I know you don’t have a crystal ball but given what we have seen Coach Whiz do in the past ( using Warner as a change-of-pace QB back in early 2007 ), do you think we could see something similar this year with Anderson being used situationally during games? To comment on my own question, I guess we would only see such a thing if Leinart were struggling and Whiz had enough confidence in Anderson to spark the offense. One thing I think we all know for sure – Whiz will not hesitate to do what he feels is best for the team, gives the team the best chance to win.

  23. By darrenurban on Aug 1, 2010 | Reply

    Scott H —

    I think the Leinart/Warner switching was unique because of Kurt. I think it would be terrible for Matt to go through that again.

  24. By Scott H on Aug 2, 2010 | Reply

    Darren –

    Agreed, and I don’t want to see Matt have to go through it again! As it turned out, Warner truly was the better QB for this team at the time. Derek Anderson is nowhere near Warner’s league and I WANT to believe that Matt is the right guy for this team now.

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