There are things to work on, and that didn’t change for Ken Whisenhunt from Thursday night to Friday afternoon.
When he looked at one play, for example, that ended up being a Beanie Wells run for “six or seven” yards. In reality, Whisenhunt said, a tight end moved to the wrong side of the formation and let a defender come off the edge clean. Beanie made it work.
“To a lot of people it looks like a good play,” Whisenhunt said. “To us, not so good. Those are the things you have to balance.”
Many of the mistakes are hard to see unless you know exactly what the Cards are trying to do. Obviously, if an opponent breaks off a 12-yard run, it’s easy to see the end result, but it could be an issue as little as moving half-a-yard to the right or left of where the defender is supposed to be.
“Say an outside linebacker is playing head up or shaded a bit to the outside,” Whisenhunt said. “We can talk about it in the classroom all we want, but when you have to execute it in the pressure environment of the play being run, a lot of times it doesn’t get communicated right and it doesn’t click. The only way to get better at that is with practical experience. That is what we are lacking (with no offseason).”
Among the topics Whiz noted:
— The starting offensive line had too many mental mistakes, but he thought they did a good job in pass protection. Whisenhunt emphasized he thought the line will improve with more time together. He pointed out there were two plays where the guard was supposed to pop out and handle an outside blitzer and didn’t. One time resulted in a sack. Another turned into a quarterback scramble.
— He was happy with Beanie Wells in a couple of pass protection situations. Doesn’t mean Wells is good at it yet, but it’s a start.
— He praised the work of cornerback A.J. Jefferson (I will have a story on Jefferson tomorrow).
— In the end, it was the preseason. The needs for game one were basic. “Getting in and out of the huddle and the communication were good,” Whisenhunt said. The coach was happy with the defensive alignments, not that they were wrong at times, but “they weren’t scattered. We got into a spot, we lined up, we looked ready to play.” As for the offense, “we didn’t have motion penalties, a lot of false starts, fumbled snaps, backs going in the wrong direction, we didn’t have a lot of that. I was pleased with that.”
Tags: A.J. Jefferson, Beanie Wells, Ken Whisenhunt
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