Whiz’s “feel” for his team

Posted by Darren Urban on August 20, 2010 – 1:15 pm

It seemingly came out of nowhere, coach Ken Whisenhunt’s decision to cancel Friday morning’s practice (he surprised the team with the news at their 7 p.m. meetings last night). But it was done with careful thought.

“One of the things I learned from coach (Bill) Cowher in Pittsburgh is you have to have a feel for your team,” Whisenhunt said. “There were many times with my time during my time with him and I thought after the fact how that was the right decision.

“I just sensed after Wednesday night, we ran 67 offensive snaps plus another 15 snaps of 7-on-7, so over 80 plays on that (artificial) turf, I knew it was going to be tough coming back out (Thursday) for the guys to get up for an afternoon practice, especially one in pads. They fought through it. It wasn’t our best practice but they did fight through it. That’s when I though, ‘It’ll be good to rest their legs, heal up their bodies, get some treatment, do some weightlifting.’ I just thought this was the right time.”

It was the last two-a-day scheduled day of camp. The Cards finish up their time in Flagstaff tomorrow with a lone morning workout, and fly to Tennessee Sunday morning. When it was all said and done, the Cards had just five days of two-a-day practices in Flag. The Cards will be in pads this afternoon.

— Whisenhunt said he has been pleased with the play of both Greg Toler and Trumaine McBride at the cornerback spot opposite DRC, and “we obviously feel a lot better about that position three weeks into camp than we did four months ago.” Whiz also said he likes “some of the young guys.” It’d be hard to think Whiz isn’t talking about undrafted rookie Marshay Green.

— As for inside linebacker, Whisenhunt clearly wants to see what Reggie Walker — who suffered a setback with his hamstring injury — can do. In my opinion, Walker still has a shot to start over Pago Togafau, if Walker can show some things. Then Whisenhunt gave veteran Paris Lenon a pretty nice endorsement: “Paris has been, I don’t want to say a surprise, but has performed very well and I am as pleased with Paris as anyone on our team, just from the standpoint of what he brings to the table. I thought from having played against him a couple of times that he was a good player, but I didn’t realize all the intangibles he brings to the table that makes him such a great fit for us.”

— Whisenhunt reiterated that he hoped quarterback Max Hall will play in Tennessee, adding “I intended to play Max last week.” But given what they are trying to do with Matt Leinart and Derek Anderson, I won’t be shocked if Hall doesn’t play again, or if John Skelton sits after his big first game.

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29 Responses to “Whiz’s “feel” for his team”

  1. By Johnny V on Aug 20, 2010 | Reply


    Just got done listening to the Big Red Rage, and it was interesting to hear a comment made from Adrian Wilson regarding Daryl Washington. He said that it would be Daryl’s own fault if he wasn’t starting week one. So my question to you is, based on Adrian’s comments, is that the general consensus among players and coaches? One would have to think a player like Wilson and his words and opinions would speak loudly on how others may feel. I know we haven’t seen much of him so far, but are you getting the sense that the coaches are downplaying him until the pre-season is over? Meaning that Whiz could come out week one and based on Washington’s play, declare him the starter? It just seems like the kid is such an athlete and it would be a shame to keep him off the field too much. Thanks.

  2. By Darren Urban on Aug 20, 2010 | Reply

    Johnny V —

    Like Hightower starting over Beanie but Beanie getting more time, let’s see how much Daryl is playing before we worry about if he is the “starter” or not.

  3. By OLdude on Aug 20, 2010 | Reply

    As enamored as most seem to be with Mr Skelton and his obvious physical talent, I have put my money on Max Hall as the sleeper in this horse race and look forward to seeing him prove me right in my assessment of him. Though he lacks the level of physical talent of some, he has a saavy, an instinctual knack for the position that many overlook. I will be surprised (and disappointed) if he fails to acquit himself well when given his opportunity. DARREN – I’m not sure why we let Rackers go….was it a $$$ thing or was it a performance based decision?

  4. By Darren Urban on Aug 20, 2010 | Reply

    OLdude —

    With Rackers, it was a lot about circumstances. Neil wanted to shop himself around. By the time he realized he wasn’t getting the offers he wanted, the Cards had a chance to get a kicker they liked and it was for probably a little cheaper. I think if Neil had signed when they originally talked contract, he’d still be here.

  5. By footballdad79 on Aug 20, 2010 | Reply

    I hope to see the top two QB split the game Monday. I know it may set up more chance of injury but i would like to see them get into a groove and succeeded. The two young guns won’t get reps, but there is plenty of time for them to show their stuff down the road. Darren, any whispers on how much Matt and Derek will play Monday?

  6. By Darren Urban on Aug 20, 2010 | Reply

    footballdad —

    Whiz said today that’s for their meetings tonight.

  7. By Brad ONeill on Aug 20, 2010 | Reply

    i think adrian was motivating washington. I think the coaches have told him he isn’t going to start but adrian wants him to give everything he has to get that spot. I thought another part of the broadcast that was interesting is when A dub said he and the other guys were going to get on roberts if he didnt start catching some balls.

    about roberts. i wonder if putting him in the slot has him out of his element a little bit. i am not sure where he played in college, but i wonder if the increased speed of the game in addition to being a little closer to the quarterback in heavy traffic is the real obstacle. maybe he would do better on some out routes at least until he gets comfortable?

  8. By Darren Urban on Aug 20, 2010 | Reply

    Brad —

    They don’t need Roberts on the outside. They have Fitz and Breaston. He’s a pro. He needs to take care of business wherever he is.

  9. By irvinandprime on Aug 20, 2010 | Reply

    hey darren i got a feel for your team and it is john skelton looks great and derrick anderson need glasses and leinart boy u got some work to do there. and your line didnt look to great neither.

  10. By Darren Urban on Aug 20, 2010 | Reply

    Irvinandprime —

    It’s preseason. You’re not panicking about the Cowboys’ complete inability to score touchdowns with the first-unit offense, are you?

  11. By trigidy22 on Aug 20, 2010 | Reply

    Im so glad we have a coach to take us too a whole new level!!! thank god we have Wiz!! everything he does i trust!!! HEY Darren wiz is going to be are first HOF GUY GO BIGRED!!! next to ADUB AN FITZ!!

  12. By trigidy22 on Aug 20, 2010 | Reply

    Hey Darren i will always be a cards fan!!! an always bleed RED GO BIGRED just wish we could keep are key players!! i hope ur right that dockett will resign!! maybe just maybe cards are willing too keep are own??? besides wilson an fitz its been draft an let walk!!! i really hope the cards ownership is behind are coaching staff. we have something special going on now these last couple of years too build on now!!! Now lets go out an win the division again!!!! GO BIGRED!!

  13. By irvinandprime on Aug 20, 2010 | Reply

    well darren its like this not really worried at all cause we only keep romo in there and the rest of the ones two series at most so know both times we walk down the field on are opening drives and we dont have r newest weapon out there either and are defense is looking really quite nice if i dont say so my self and lets not forget its preseason injurys worry me more. but when we have all of the weapons out there at one time watch out player. I didnt see your boy matty do any scoring or anderson i think it was your 3rd and 4ths that did all your scoring so how u feeling

  14. By Darren Urban on Aug 20, 2010 | Reply

    Irvinandprime —

    I’m feeling like it’s the preseason. Hey, if that’s your excuse, it’s mine too.

  15. By trigidy22 on Aug 20, 2010 | Reply

    DALLAS COWBOYS are a joke!!! Romo is a BUM! I guess cowboys dont have a hands on guy like Darren that will answer your questions about your team??? leave my dude alone brother!!! ur lookin for the Blue an slilver report dog!!! GOOOO BIGRED!! Xmas hope 2 hear from u after we beat u again!!! thats just as good as a superbowl since we get 2 see 40000 fans leave are stadium crying!!!

  16. By Brad ONeill on Aug 20, 2010 | Reply

    Darren- i dont disagree with you that they dont need him on the outside. i am just trying to figure out why a guy that was money in college cant seem to hold on to the ball in the preseason. looking at his highlight tape he seems ok in the middle but obviously the ball isnt coming quite as fast from the citadel quarterback as it is from Lienart, anderson, or skelton. at this stage I dont think he is going to be starting for the cardinals anyway so i was just trying to throw out ideas on how to get him going the right direction. i am sure wiz is very appreciative of my insight. he he he.

  17. By Darren Urban on Aug 20, 2010 | Reply

    Brad —

    It could be a lot of those things. Trust me, they are trying to figure it out.

  18. By Myman"Larry" on Aug 20, 2010 | Reply

    Hey Darren,
    Have a crazy question. How has the team been responding to fans at training camp? We live in Bakersfield California (Go Joey!) and with it being a long drive to Flag we could not make it to the Cards camp. However, the hubby is a huge Cowboys fan so we went to Oxnard to their camp. The rookies were really cool. Dez even came out and signed some autograghs, Choice heckled the crowd a bit and some of the Cali boys like Tepper and Miller signed autographs but the veterns were pretty stand-off-ish. I know they are there for camp but let’s be honest, without the fans support who would they be. No Lie, I sat in line for 4 hours to get a place along the fence only to get no veterans come over and sign a ball or a helmet or nothing. Other than Witten catching a ball at the sidelines and falling over the fence into the crowd there was no interaction. I hope our Cardinals have shown their fans more respect and given them a little love over the past few weeks cause at the end of the day we love to watch as much as they love to play. We are all part of the same team. Go Cardinals!

  19. By Darren Urban on Aug 20, 2010 | Reply

    Myman —

    Well, I don’t know if it is fair to compare the two camps, because undoubtedly the Cowboys have larger crowds and it is that much harder to interact. I do think Flagstaff is one of the most fan-friendly camps there is (perhaps other fans here can chime in) and a lot of veterans sign a lot of autographs. Does everyone all the time? No. But I can’t think of any who consistently blow off the fans. Plus the weather here is often perfect.

  20. By kingdiamond on Aug 20, 2010 | Reply

    I am thinking that Andre Roberts will be a practice squad guy. Steven Williams and Max Komar are making it awfully hard for him to be part of the 53. Marshay Green also trumps him as punt returner.

  21. By Darren Urban on Aug 20, 2010 | Reply

    kingdiamond —

    Not sure Roberts clears waivers as a third-round pick. Only way to get him to PS is to expose him to the rest of the league first.

  22. By irvinandprime on Aug 20, 2010 | Reply

    Myman”Larry” the cowboys u have to be a member of the true blue fan club and they give u special pass for a entrance a members only area and u get more autos that way i dont remember what it is called off had but thats how it works and the also did most of the signing in the alamo dome work days u got better chance than week days i have learn with the cards and cowboys

  23. By Darren Urban on Aug 20, 2010 | Reply

    Irvinandprime, Myman —

    I echo what Irvin said. Definitely midweek is the time. Naturally fewer people.

  24. By trigidy22 on Aug 20, 2010 | Reply

    Darren when is the next set of cut??? an what players are on the bubble too be cut???

  25. By Darren Urban on Aug 20, 2010 | Reply

    Trigidy —

    Five players must be removed from the roster after the third preseason game, and the rest after the final preseason game.

  26. By robleezy on Aug 20, 2010 | Reply

    hey Darren i just want to say thank you for answering our questions. Its a nice feature to have and it allows us to get some insight on whats going on with our team i love it. One thing i want to say is im impressed with Daryl Washingtons performance and i would like to see him start during the regular season. One more thing whoever that was that tried to break Fitz’s leg on that play All i gotta say its gonna take more than that to faze the best Fitz got up like nothing with poise and a positive attitude so I wont get to upset because Fitz wouldn’t do that so I’ll show a little class but next time that happens i probably wont be so kind with words haha

  27. By robleezy on Aug 20, 2010 | Reply

    I give credit to the whole team because they kept at it and even though they were down by three scores they didn’t give up until the last whistle and i think that’s something we lacked in the past. As far as i can see this is a great organization and we have something special here so keep it up. Another thing i was very very impressed with was the way rook Skelton came to play i felt like i was getting a glimpse in to the future watching Skelton connect on about five different recievers for the Win that was an amazing performance good luck to him i would like to know what you think the future holds for this amazing young man. thank you have a great day!

  28. By ed on Aug 23, 2010 | Reply

    It appears that Wiz is getting more comfortable with is overall teaqm. However Wiz has always got an eye out for improving the team and creating more competion and adding debth. It is part of his formula for success.

    Do you know if the Cardinals still have an eye on the waiver lists for additional support in the linebacker position? I saw an article about a second year player Prescott Burgess of Baltimore who is an inside linebacker fighting for a position. If they add a player do you think they will go young for the future…or would they go Old and experienced which would give some young players more time to develope?

  29. By Darren Urban on Aug 23, 2010 | Reply

    Ed —

    I am sure the Cards will be watching the cut players very carefully, especially at ILB and CB.

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