On Day 2, DRC looked darn good

Posted by Darren Urban on August 1, 2010 – 6:54 pm

The first hitting of training camp was today, even if it was inside — the Cards were driven to Walkup Skydome because of the wet fields. But that didn’t seem to stop the defense, which slowly but surely ratcheted up the physical play.

— Cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie was particularly sparkly, making play after play after play. He said it all started because he was battling with Larry Fitzgerald.

“It goes back to Fitz,” DRC said. “Anytime he is on that side, I am licking my lips. I am ready. If he is out there, I have to be that much better … when I am out there, I want to work. I want to make a statement it’s not going to be easy. Usually they can catch me sleeping, but this year I want to be focused on every play.”

He certainly looked that way today. He also looked like a Pro Bowler, while some of the other corners — Tru McBride and Greg Toler, for example — had their moments of weakness. Coach Ken Whisenhunt even said DRC is about 85 percent coming off his knee surgery, and fighting his way through practice is part of the rehab. If this is rehab, I am anxious to see what DRC looks like totally healthy.

— The first tussle of training camp went down between safety Rashad Johnson and tight end Stephen Spach. Spach, who got under the skin of safety Adrian Wilson last year, continues to fight to make the roster. Johnson said it was no big deal. “That’s football. It’s been a long time without pads on. The first day we had them on, it was expected someone was going to get a little excited to have them on.”

— Safety Hamza Abdullah has a sore hamstring, so he joined DL Dean Muhtadi (calf), LB Gerald Hayes (back) and LB O’Brien Schofield (knee) on the sideline. Abdullah’s injury isn’t considered serious, Whisenhunt said.

— Darnell Dockett was messing things up in the backfield. On one play, he pushed back guard Reggie Wells enough that Wells knocked down quarterback Matt Leinart. Whisenhunt said “yes” when asked if the team is considering signing Dockett to an contract extension at some point during this season. A reporter joked with the way Dockett was dominating inside, the offensive linemen might like it that Dockett get his deal sooner rather than later (ostensibly to cool Dockett down). Whisenhunt realizing a new contract won’t affect Dockett’s motor, said “With Darnell it doesn’t matter, so they’ll have to suffer with that.”

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28 Responses to “On Day 2, DRC looked darn good”

  1. By aaaaudio on Aug 1, 2010 | Reply

    exciting to get these updates. I wish I had your job Darren. Hopefully a few guys can step up thier games here on D. That CB position and LB position have me a bit concerned. I hope Derek Anderson makes the best of this new opportunity. I can’t wait to see him in preseason. To have a probowler as a backup is pretty cool. What do you think the estimated crowd numbers this weekend were Darren?

  2. By darrenurban on Aug 1, 2010 | Reply

    aaaudio —

    There were a few thousand. The Skydome was pretty packed this afternoon.

  3. By Eric on Aug 1, 2010 | Reply

    Where the heck is Williams? If he was a top-10 pick, I could understand a few days delay, but he was a late pick, why isn’t he signed??

  4. By darrenurban on Aug 1, 2010 | Reply

    Eric —

    Again, I say worry about it if we get to Tuesday afternoon and he isn’t signed yet.

  5. By moe on Aug 1, 2010 | Reply


    i was wondering when you would have an update on how max hall and skelton are doing who is more likely to back leihnart and anderson if and gos forbid any of tose two got hurt

  6. By darrenurban on Aug 1, 2010 | Reply

    Moe —

    They have done OK. Hall has been more accurate than Skelton, but it is way, way early.

  7. By Paul on Aug 1, 2010 | Reply

    Hitting on the second day, indoors too ! I’m getting the feelings that the coaching staff is going to crank up the intensity even more this year. The position battles are going to be fun to watch.

  8. By Are You Serious? on Aug 1, 2010 | Reply

    “Usually they can catch me sleeping?” DRC, dude, learn when to keep your mouth shut!!!

  9. By darrenurban on Aug 1, 2010 | Reply

    Are You —

    If you have followed DRC, this is something he has admitted multiple times.

  10. By Brian R. on Aug 1, 2010 | Reply

    “With Darnell it doesn’t matter, so they’ll have to suffer with that.”


  11. By AzCardsFan911 on Aug 1, 2010 | Reply

    It’s SOOOO nice to hear DRC is kicking but! He is obviosly a HUGE part of our defense! I hope he continues his comback from the knee injury without any set backs.

    I was worried DRC might lose a step from his injury. Did he look like his old self or has he lost a step?

  12. By darrenurban on Aug 1, 2010 | Reply

    911 —

    Considering he is still “85 percent” according to his coach, I don’t even want to see what he’s like at 100 percent. He looked very very good today.

  13. By Walter L on Aug 1, 2010 | Reply

    As long as the ILB position gets settled, the D will dominate this year. Every year they seem to make big strides and this year is looking they will finally emerge with that smash-mouth mentality.

  14. By brad oneill on Aug 1, 2010 | Reply

    I am glad drc is all business this year. last year i felt he got taken to school by a couple of veteran quarterbacks. but then again who wouldn’t Peyton Manning take to school. I suspect DRC is going to make some quarterbacks very uncomfortable this year.

  15. By Mike T on Aug 1, 2010 | Reply

    Hey Darren,
    Think theres any chance of seeing Dockett on the other side of the ball again this year? It was pretty cool watching him clear the way at full back on the goal line last season, even though i think it was just once…

  16. By darrenurban on Aug 1, 2010 | Reply

    Mike T —

    There is always a chance.

  17. By cardattac on Aug 1, 2010 | Reply

    I could write a whole bunch of stuff like I usually do…. But tonight I’m just gonna say… F-in A RIGHT!!!

    GO CARDS!!!

  18. By Thomas77 on Aug 2, 2010 | Reply

    RE: “Darnell Dockett was messing things up in the backfield….”

    Yaaay, Dockett!

    Boooo, offensive line….

  19. By card62 on Aug 2, 2010 | Reply

    Guys I think our o line and d line battles in practice will be awesome all of camp as guys fight for playing time. Our best lines both sides of the ball since I can remember. GO Cards!!!

  20. By Ross on Aug 2, 2010 | Reply


    How are Beanie and Timmy looking this year?

  21. By darrenurban on Aug 2, 2010 | Reply

    Ross —

    Pretty much the same as last year. Beanie still has a close cut, and Tim kept the dreads.

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

    Darren –

    Funny that you mention Spach because the TE position has been on my mind recently. And my question is will there actually be a Cardinals TE that any one outside their own locker room has heard of any time in the near future??? Naming anyone who plays TE for the Cardinals would make an excellent trivia question because I doubt anyone who is not a fan of the team could do it! Honestly, why does this team not utilize the TE as an offensive weapon, year in, year out? Sure, they have needed the TE to block for the running game but it’s hard to see where we’ve benefitted tremendously from that. And, sure, this team has been loaded with awesome talent at the WR position but that doesn’t stop teams like the Colts and Eagles from having TE’s who are consistently among the league leaders in receptions. Having a true pass-catching weapon at TE benefits the QB as well as the WR’s for many teams with TE’s that we HAVE heard of! Well, with the team making the transition to Leinart this year, wouldn’t it seem to be a good time to get the TE more involved, perhaps as a “safety valve” for your QB? That would make sense to me. Kurt Warner never needed a safety valve, but Leinart might benefit from a TE that is more “available.” When we refer to a more balanced offense for the Cardinals this year, might that mean more involvement of the TE as a pass-catching option?

  23. By darrenurban on Aug 2, 2010 | Reply

    Scott H —

    Beanie. Hightower. Breaston. Fitzgerald. Doucet. I’m not worried about offensive weapons, to be honest, tight end or no tight end. This team hasn’t been hurting in the passing game.

  24. By Scott H on Aug 3, 2010 | Reply

    Darren –

    Yeah, this team has not been hurting in the passing game – with Kurt Warner at QB. That was my whole point. With a change in QB – from a future HOF’er to a very unproven player – and what is sure to be a more “balanced” offense, why continue to ignore the TE? And what’s wrong with adding one more weapon to what you already have??? That’s a bad thing???

  25. By darrenurban on Aug 3, 2010 | Reply

    Scott H —

    Hey, they would have considered Gresham in the draft. But they are happy with who they have for now. Maybe Ben Patrick, for instance, hasn’t gotten as much work because Warner wanted 4 WR sets. Maybe Patrick will prove to be better with that change in QB.

  26. By Scott H on Aug 4, 2010 | Reply

    I would love to see Patrick or Spach get more opprotunities. I don’t think either is Dallas Clark in disguise but both have made some plays when given the chance. Loved the TD catch that Patrick had in the Super Bowl! I get your point about Warner, though…and with the way he was playing, he should have been given whatever he wanted for the offense. Perhaps Leinart will have other tendencies. I can’t say I remember what those were back in 2007 & 2006…

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