Williams gets his first carries amid FanFest

Posted by Darren Urban on June 13, 2012 – 10:33 pm

I remember, once upon a time, when the Cards had their annual fan-watching-minicamp practices at Sun Devil Stadium when it was called Select-a-Seat. Those days were hot — those metal bleachers really intensified the heat — and didn’t quite have the same vibe as Wednesday night at University of Phoenix Stadium. The turnstile count was just north of 15,000 (the FanFests at the Tempe facility usually get around 5,000), an impressive turnout.

The biggest news of the night, however, was the return of running back Ryan Williams to 11-on-11 work. There is no tackling, no real contact at all, but for Williams to cut and dart like a regular play for the first time since rupturing his patella tendon meant a lot. Williams got just three carries (plus a handful of plays in 7-on-7) but was beaming afterward.

“I haven’t run that fast since I got hurt,” Williams said. “They sprinkled me in there. My first carry (pictured below), I was like, ‘Wow, I’m almost back. I’m almost back.”

Coach Ken Whisenhunt called it “an important part of the rehab process.”

“He looked good,” Whisenhunt said. “You forget his quickness, his vision. There is always a little trepidation on your first action like that. It was good to get it out of the way. Now it’s out of his head.”

— There were two big highlights. Rookie receiver Michael Floyd hauled in a long touchdown pass, and then linebacker Reggie Walker did a nice job blanketing tight end Rob Housler and making an end zone interception. Unfortunately, Walker’s post-play celebration was a dance that just left his defensive teammates laughing at him.

“I told them whenever I get a pick or score a touchdown, I’m going to do a dance,” Walker said, “but four (dances) came out at once. I hope no one was taping it.”

— Whisenhunt, with his team down to one practice left for the offseason Thursday morning, said he was pleased with the first workout at the stadium ever.

“What a great atmosphere,” Whisenhunt said. “There were an amazing number of fans with how loud it got. Something like this you don’t know how the team will react. It was a good sign.”

Posted in Blog | 52 Comments »

52 Responses to “Williams gets his first carries amid FanFest”

  1. By Cards4ever on Jun 13, 2012 | Reply

    Was at the fan fest, I think it could’ve been better coordinated, but not bad for first year. I notice Kolb and Skelton shared first-team reps even though it was Skeltons “turn”. Does this mean Kolb is emerging as the favorite? Or did Whiz want to showcase both QBs to the public?

  2. By Darren Urban on Jun 14, 2012 | Reply

    Cards4 –

    RE: QB reps

    I think reading anything into anything with the QBs at this point isn’t smart. Was it Skelton’s “turn?” I don’t know that. Let’s let this play out.

  3. By Cards4ever on Jun 14, 2012 | Reply

    i know, D. I’m smarter than that. It’s just, summers so damn boring and I need football in my life! 🙂

  4. By Mark on Jun 13, 2012 | Reply

    Darren, Will There Be Photo’s Posted On The Website From Fan Fest?

  5. By Darren Urban on Jun 14, 2012 | Reply

    Mark –

    RE: Pix

    Yes, although I will admit my shots didn’t turn out, with the lighting, as well as I wanted.

  6. By Jeremy on Jun 13, 2012 | Reply

    Williams looked GREEEEAAAAT! No joke. I am really excited for his return but what really excited me was how well the defense was moving around and making adjustments and flat out killing it. REGGIEs touchdown saving interception dance was AWESOME too bad it was littered with boo’s from the crowd. (Great job walker cant wait fir your dance in a game)Just cause kolb threw it. Don’t forget cards fans our defense is in my opinion one of the best now. And they WILL be taking away a lot of would be TDs this year. GO CARDS!!!!

  7. By cardsalltheway on Jun 14, 2012 | Reply

    “He looked good,” Whisenhunt said. “You forget his quickness, his vision. There is always a little trepidation on your first action like that. It was good to get it out of the way.”

    I agree!

    “Now it’s out of his head.”


  8. By Darren on Jun 14, 2012 | Reply

    Why do you post? I can’t recall a positive or meaningful question or comment, ever.
    Other sport team message boards I have seen ban posters that bait and are argumentative.

  9. By Savage6200 on Jun 14, 2012 | Reply


    I was curious at who through the nice pass to Floyd.

  10. By Darren Urban on Jun 14, 2012 | Reply

    Savage6200 —

    RE: Pass to Floyd

    It was Skelton in a 7-on-7 drill.

  11. By Mike white on Jun 14, 2012 | Reply

    Walked in, stood in line for over 30 minutes, turned around and walked out! I am a die hard cardinal fan, and I was extremely disappointed in how the fan fest was run. My wife and I went to dinner at a local restaurant after we left the stadium, and there were many other people ther that were feeling the same thing we were. What a shame.
    Mike white
    Season ticket holder 10+ years

  12. By Darren Urban on Jun 14, 2012 | Reply

    Mike White —

    RE: Feedback

    Mike, we appreciate the heads-up and rest assured, we are listening.

  13. By infitzwetrust on Jun 14, 2012 | Reply

    Darren I Read a blog on about the fans booing kolb… Didn’t get all the details, was he just performing bad in the practice?? Or was it based on last year’s performance?? I honestly kinda feel bad for the guy lol he’s taking a lot of heat… All though he did play crappy

  14. By Darren Urban on Jun 14, 2012 | Reply

    infitz —

    RE: Kolb

    I think it was a combination of both, although I didn’t think he did poorly. I think some fans are going to jump on every bad play he makes. The first one I remember hearing was when he pulled it down and ran in the red zone. No one — and I mean no one — was open, yet they got on him because he didn’t throw the ball. It was the right play, but he heard about it. I get frustration, but booing in June doesn’t make sense to me.

  15. By exatraz on Jun 14, 2012 | Reply

    Hey Darren,

    I just wanted to pop in and say thank you to everyone involved in posting all these pictures and videos and such on the Cardinals website. As a Sailor stationed out here in Hawaii, I dont get to go to the Fan Fest and such and the more images I can see of my Cards the better. Keep up the good work and the more Pictures/Videos and Podcasts the better!

    Go Cards,

  16. By Robert on Jun 14, 2012 | Reply

    Cards Fan Fest was a mess! Completely disappointed. Show up at the opening and are immediately informed there are no more wristbands for autographs for my 3 kids. That sucks but that’s not all I’m here for. One of my kids is in a stroller and we cannot get through the crowds because of this huge line of people standing in the way for autographs and there is no one to help. Finally get through and take a seat. It’s dinner time so my wife stands in line for the touted $1 hotdogs and $1 sodas…45 minutes later she’s still 3 back when the staff informs the masses that they are out of hot dogs and do not have any more cups for the sodas. I left pissed off. Whole family was disappointed. Worst FF ever!

  17. By usmcSergeant on Jun 14, 2012 | Reply

    What us fans have to remember is that this was the first event like this at UoP. The only numbers that the team had to go off was the days in Tempe and some other teams. The planning for thid event doubled from years past, but the turnout quadrupled. I got there late and waited in line, but my friends that got there early got in quick and got autographs. Just like for games, if you try to get into the game last minute, youre stuck waiting in a line. If youre a real fan, STOP COMLAINING. If you want to help, give constructive criticism. My parents taught me when I was youn, “If you have nothing good to say, DONT SAY IT”!!!

  18. By Andrew Pardue on Jun 14, 2012 | Reply

    I met Ryan Williams last night and i talked to him for a little while too! He is a really awesome guy and i can’t wait to see him on the field.

  19. By Chris Robot on Jun 14, 2012 | Reply

    Mike White —

    Not to downplay your comments, but, I would try to keep some perspective on the event. Typical attendance for Fan Fest has always hovered around 5,000 people. I don’t think the organization planned on having 15,000+ people there. I’m sure, in the future, they will plan better for an event that occurs at UoP like that.

    I wasn’t able to make it out there because I had to pickup the Mrs. from the airport at that time but I figured it was going to be super busy.

    Give it another shot next year as I’m sure they’ll be better prepared/equipped for the number of fans that come out.

    Sorry you had a bad experience.

  20. By Andrew Pardue on Jun 14, 2012 | Reply

    Yeah, and the fan fest wasnt well coordinated at all. My dad asked where the line for autographs were and they put us in a totally diffrent line and we ended up at the play ground Stuff… My dad was very angry so we asked the same person at the same spot and she said “o, its right here!” Me and my Dad were so angry!! I said ” YOU AREN’T GONNA MAKE ME GO TO THE BACK OF THIS LINE ARE YOU??????????????” gladly she let us in and i met many players, but still it needs to be better next time!

  21. By Mike in Mesa on Jun 14, 2012 | Reply

    So Skelton threw the TD to Floyd and Kolb threw the interception. Hmmm. As I stated before I can’t wait to see Skelton throwing passes to Floyd this season. Floyd’s qb in college couldn’t throw passes to utilize his speed. Just out of curiosity Darren did Skelton hit Floyd in stride? What kind of pass was it? How many yards? Thanks

  22. By DontTakeLoses on Jun 14, 2012 | Reply

    Can feel the momentum building. Go Cards.

  23. By DontTakeLoses on Jun 14, 2012 | Reply

    Mike White:

    Just saw your post… where/what was the line/wait for? To get in door?

  24. By DesertDawg on Jun 14, 2012 | Reply

    Season ticket holder 12 years. Fan 1988.
    Fan Fest was nice to have at the stadium. Crowd management could have been
    better. Do it again there next year, just be 1 year smarter. See you in Flagg

  25. By rjrjn on Jun 14, 2012 | Reply

    May I know who’s pass was picked by Reggie Walker? 🙂

    A die-hard cards fan from the 49er territory. Can’t wait for the season to start…

  26. By Darren Urban on Jun 14, 2012 | Reply

    rjrin —

    RE: Walker pick

    That I don’t remember.

  27. By Ben on Jun 14, 2012 | Reply

    Sounds like a blast, wish I was there. Fans need to get behind BOTH our QBs, I like the competition, whoever makes it out on top we will know won the position and it was not given to them.


    I got your back Kolb, prove the doubters wrong..

    P.S> But then again I had MLs back too, so I may not be the best judge.

  28. By TUCSTEVE on Jun 14, 2012 | Reply

    kolb getting booed like he did was unacceptable. it has made me think about following another team. thats just sad. the guy didnt deserve that.

  29. By AB on Jun 14, 2012 | Reply


    I’m reading both positive and negative feedback from the comments. It sounds like some people were expecting it to be empty and easy to get autographs from players. I knew we weren’t going to get autographs from players, so we didn’t bother to try.

    I took my little brother and I to the Fan Fest last night, and at first it was really packed. I think it was because everyone was moving around so much, and no one was heading to the seats.. Some people left right away because it was so packed even though it just started. As the night went on it started to die down, as people were making there way to the seats. We didn’t get autographs from players, but we did get autographs from cheerleaders, Big Red, and even pictures taken which was nice.

    Overall, I think it was bad at first, but got better as the night went on. It was the first year at the U of P Stadium, free parking, free admission, $1 red dogs, and $1 souvenir cups from last season. Because of that, I think that should be expected to be so packed and crazy. At the end, the most money I spent was $4 on a couple of red dogs and nice souvenir drinks plus gas to drive there. That’s the best $4 I ever spent at any event as big as this, and we got to go home with cheerleader autographs and pictures. Thank you and the other employees for all the hard work you put out there last night! I know it looked rough the whole time, but I’m sure it will get better next year, and the years to come.

    Thank you for reading this. Have a great day!

  30. By Demwildcats on Jun 14, 2012 | Reply

    Hey Darren,
    Was there last night with my son. Despite the crowd issues, we still sat 5 rows up at midfield and got to enjoy indoor football in June, so how could I possibly complain? No doubt they’ll improve things next year.

    Re: Kolb – I agree that it’s ridiculous to boo a guy or read too much into practices during June. I’ll add that I truly hope Kolb is very successful in Arizona. That said, some observations:
    1) The obvious – Kolb is noticeably smaller than Skelton (to a significant degree – injury risk, batted throws, sight lines, etc.)
    2) Kolb doesn’t leave the impression of having great confidence or being sure who should be open/where to throw.
    3) Lack of accuracy is concerning (Skelton is inconsistent here too, but overthrowing Larry by 2 yards when he’s open by 5 on a deep route just shouldn’t happen).

    My impression: Whiz isn’t manufacturing this QB battle just to stir a competitive fire. I think it’s real, and it wouldn’t be shocking to see Skelton win it in the end.

    Your thoughts?

  31. By Darren Urban on Jun 14, 2012 | Reply

    Demwild —

    RE: Competition

    I never thought the QB competition was anything but legitimate.

  32. By shawn on Jun 14, 2012 | Reply

    hey ben i agree i am backing kolb 100 percent this year as a fellow matt lienart backer i felt that whiz didnt give ml a chance, i know if we could do it over i would pick ml 5-10 yd passes over da interceptions or max halls fumbles or skeltons ints. but anyway this is our year go cards

  33. By Bill L. on Jun 14, 2012 | Reply

    The turn-out to support our team was nothing short of Awesome!! The Cardinals are GREAT!! The Fans are Great!! and the Staff that hosted this event are GREAT!! I agree that there were lines and a few bumps along the way but the staff responded and made a quick recovery so thanks for their efforts.. Come on CARDS FANS!!! Booing? Seriously? Booing our own player in our house? Hide your head in shame and learn the game… Kolb made a SMART play. Red zone offense, progressed through his reads and everyone is covered including his hot, why risk a pick or sack? GOOD job #4. Thats head-up football… We are excited!! Anyway, my family and I had a GREAT time!!! Thanks so much and GO CARDS!!!

  34. By Sect113 on Jun 14, 2012 | Reply

    Was at the Fan Fest also – LOVED IT! If they are gonig to continue to do it they are going to have to get the logistics figured out – waited outside for an hour only to see people who showed up 5 min’s before the doors open, walk straight in. Waited in line for autograph, only to see people who were just getting in moving in front of me (no autographs), and I spent about 30-45 min’s waiting to get dogs and soda. Not complaining, kind of figured it would be nutty for the first one, just providing insight in case it can help.

  35. By TroySec103 on Jun 14, 2012 | Reply

    I was also at FanFest and yes it was the first year at UoP, but not the first time they have hosted an event! Unfortunately when you think of a team holding a first class event, you certainly don’t think of the Cardinals. The crowds around the limited concession stands were terrible, on top of that they also have booths set up in the same areas to get autographs, etc, even increasing the bottleneck of people. There was no interaction with the fans watching the practice. Perfect time for Big Red to run around and maybe throw out a couple t-shirts, maybe some announcements or music on the intercom, something to get the crowd pumped up and excited. I know it is just practice, but it is called “Fanfest”!! I appreciate the indoor free viewing of practice, $1 hotdogs and coke is nice, although certainly not worth waiting in the line for me, but on top of seeing the team I also wanted to check out my new season ticket seats and my side wasn’t even open to go sit in them! They used to hand out Fanfest hat pins, nothing this time. Just seemed too unorganized and not very fan friendly. Pretty par for the course from the Cardinals, they are a little out of touch with respect to taking care of their fans. Always seems like they are doing us a favor and we should take what little they give. Step it up Cards, you already have a fickle fan base you should be pulling out the stops. I am a long time season ticket holder and have seen this over and over. They couldn’t even get the audio right when doing the memorial for Pat Tillman in the stadium! Take some of the fans feedback and improve things over and above, not just the minimum.

  36. By UsmcSergeant on Jun 14, 2012 | Reply

    @TroySec103, it sounds like you’re just a grumpy person. Nobody forces you to buy season tickets. If you don’t like football, go watch some golf. Anything the team does for fans it’s called a courtesy. Their job is to do the best they can to put a good team out on the gridiron. People say out generation is the “gimme” generation, and you seem to fit right in. Go buy a pin of u want one, they have them at the team shop. Some people are just never satisfied. If u want something, GO BUY IT, like the rest of us do.

  37. By azdesertrat1953 on Jun 14, 2012 | Reply

    Hey Darren hows your walking legs today, man you were all over the field last night. 15,000+ When, if ever have you seen that many fans for a practice?

    Remember when everyone was all down on SunDevilStadium at the past FanFests, rightfully so. UoP was a dream last night if you step back and think how it was at SDS, hell even the seats were cool! Yes it was shoulder to shoulder for a while, and yes the HotDogs ran out, but the soda was good an cold, and didn’t turn to watered down sugar water before you got back to your seat. I got to say hello to Michael Bidwell as he headed off the field (that was cool)!! Then there was the Football for not long enough (my only complaint), #34 looking like he is ready, and yes getting that first cut at speed makes a lot of things go away in your mind. The D-Fence, Oh My! They are looking Bad to the Bone. Look Out NFL there is a Big Red (angry) Bird looking to whip some …!!! I think U all know what I mean.


  38. By desertspin on Jun 14, 2012 | Reply

    Last night was my first Fan Fest & it will probably be my last. Clearly whoever put this event on really didn’t have the fans interest in mind. I’m tired of hearing that Cardinal fans are fickle, or not loyal, or not smart. I didn’t drive 35 miles from Chandler just to get a $1 hot dog & a $1 coke. I came to support the team & the organization & watch some of my favorite players. Even though I came a half hour early (which is about all I could take when you remember how frickin hot it is out there). Still I spent AN HOUR AND A HALF WAITING IN LINES, 45 minutes outside & 45 minutes at the concession stand, only to be told as I finally approached the counter that they were out of cups, out of ice & out of hot dogs. I missed Bill Bidwell, Ken Whisenhunt & the booing of Kolb because I was standing in a line of 15-20 people who couldn’t get served in 45 minutes.

    By the way, if Kolb doesn’t want to be booed, maybe he should quit saying how he’s going to “TRY” to be a good QB & show some confidence to inspire his team mates & his fans. And of course there’s the old adage, actions speak louder than words. Being a Cardinal fan is a CHALLENGE. But we keep coming back, every year, with high hopes & support for a team that sometimes doesn’t seem to appreciate US.

    Comment from a season ticket holder that wants nothing more than the Cardinals to appreciate & respect the fans that they do have & kick some booty in the NFL.

  39. By desertspin on Jun 14, 2012 | Reply

    @UsmcSergeant – For someone who says if you have nothing good to say, don’t say it, I have a suggestion. FOLLOW YOUR OWN ADVISE.

  40. By desertspin on Jun 14, 2012 | Reply

    To the Cardinal’s organization: The Fan Fest was a nice idea, but VERY POORLY ORGANIZED. After an hour & a half of standing in lines, half of which was outside in the hot sun, I’d like to see Bill Bidwell, Ken Whisenhunt, the players or even you Darren, go through what I went through last night & then tell me how you might be feeling about being a Cardinal’s fan. I felt very unappreciated. Simple statement, simple truth.

  41. By johnnybluenose on Jun 15, 2012 | Reply

    I wasn’t at fanfest but from reading all the comments, mostly complaints about long waits for hot dogs and sodas, i have to wonder if some people went to watch the action on the field and enjoy the atmosphere or did they go for some inexpensive junk food. if you can’t sit and watch a sporting event for a couple of hours without requiring food and drink then i think you have a problem. this was an opportunity to go to a world class facility and watch some exceptional athletes. for free. stop complaining. and stop booing our own players. unfriggingbelievable.

  42. By UsmcSergeant on Jun 15, 2012 | Reply

    @TroySec, honestly, I am passing no judgement. Nobody owes us fans anything. The teams job is to try and play well. Yes, as a courtesy the team can do some things for fans, but it’s not a must have. And what did the team not for u? Like Johnnybluenose said, it was a free opportunity to be at a world class event and watch some
    Phenomenal athletes practice their craft. I could care less what generation you belong to, but you sure are a cry baby. If you want something, BUY IT, I know that what I do when I want something. So you’re obviously missing the point. It was a good event and I’m sure the Cardinals organization will build on it and make it better. STOP CRYING and complaining, my 7 year old gives me enough of that.

  43. By TroySec103 on Jun 15, 2012 | Reply

    @UsmcSergeant, it sounds like I am grumpy? You are right, nobody forces me to buy season tickets or to support the Cardinals….well except the forced tax I had to pay to help pay for the stadium! You completely missed the point of my post and probably that of desertspin. It is about appreciating the fans that support the organization. If we did like you said and just “go watch golf” then there wouldn’t be the Arizona Cardinals here to watch. A little respect goes a long way! And you have no idea what generation I am in or what I am like so please don’t pass judgement.

  44. By TroySec103 on Jun 15, 2012 | Reply

    @Usmcdingdong, I guess my expectations are a little more lofty than yours are. I am not happy with the minimum. World class event? Not hardly, but if that is what you consider world class, than congrats on achieving that. Guessing you probably think Obama has made a change as well?! Cry baby? Ok? If I want something, buy it? Ok? I am providing feedback so the organization can improve on its “world class” event. How would they know how to get better if us cry babies didn’t cry??

  45. By Darren Urban on Jun 15, 2012 | Reply

    Troy, USMC —

    RE: Back and forth

    OK. You’ve both had your say. Let’s move on.

  46. By kkfan on Jun 15, 2012 | Reply

    Darren I believe you are 100 % correct when it comes to fan reaction toward Kolb. They’ve got a pre-concieved notion that he doesn’t fit their system and falls way short of their expectations of what they want in a QB. No QB wants to be put under that kind of microscope!

    Pressure in the game is enough to have to over come. They don’t need the added pressure of knowing that EVERY decision/ attempt has to result in a POSITIVE outcome, or you’re going to be booed unmercifully and worse pulled because they know that their coaches are under pressure to be successful with thier jobs on the line too.. No one can perform at their best when they feel they have to be “Mr Perfect”. Sadly that is what many fans expectations are when it comes to Kevin.

    I just hope Kevin is able to ignore it, and keep his focus on what he loves most and that is to play at a high level.

    An addendum:
    Upon reading some of the posts on the MB, I think much of the booing wasn’t really directed at Kevin per se,, as much as it being a way to release some personal frustrations over how disappointed some fans were on how the fanfest had been organized ( or not organized). He just happened to be the recipient

  47. By azdesertrat1953 on Jun 15, 2012 | Reply

    FanFest was my first time at the UoP, so I am a bit confused.

    1. When there is a regular season game does everyone line up outside around the building to get in or do they just go inside? 2. Are there no lines at the concessions when you first get inside on a Game day? 3. I’ve been paying Taxes in this state for over 40 years, but Never had the Gall to say that the State of Arizona owed me anything! And 4. If any of you Monday QB’s THINK you can do Better, Apply for the Job!


  48. By Eazy E on Jun 17, 2012 | Reply

    I thought it was a good thing that Kolb got booed. We shouldn’t accept this incompetent QB play from him after all that we gave up. I already have said how senseless it was to give all that up for him and how Skelton is going to take the starting spot from him. He needs to be put on notice, a career backup to be kind of notice if he plays like he did last year.

  49. By drummer-1 on Jun 17, 2012 | Reply

    @ Eazy E..

    ” All that WE gave up” What did you give up to get kolb? Like i said before saying kolb is no good after playing only 8 games, but i bet you also said leinart never got a chance here after 5 season, being named the starter 3 times..

  50. By samoan1 on Jun 19, 2012 | Reply

    Stop complaining people…at least u get to see them in person!! I lived in Hawaii and now Orlando! If the Falcons website ever responds to my 3 requests for 2 tickets I will happily drive 7 hrs to the Georgia Dome and wait in line to see my boys whoop up on the Falcons in November!! You guys are lucky!!
    And stop booing Kolb! I know…he had a horrific season last year! However, at least give him a full offseason and a few games to see how he does…he may surprise us! That’s if he lands the starting QB position. Can’t lie tho…I’m a Skelton fan! Regardless, we shouldn’t boo “OUR” players at all! Having the fans behind him will, more than likely, give him the added boost he needs to play at the level he/we need him to! Go Card’s! 10+ wins this season! I can feel it!!

  51. By Eazy E on Jun 21, 2012 | Reply


    I mean damn how many times you gotta see the man play to say, ”uhhh, he can’t play” and I ain’t just talking about in Arizona, in philly, he was very inconsistent at best. Also, I was not one that said Leinart should be the starter and Darren can vouch for that.

  52. By William Barry on Jul 8, 2012 | Reply

    Booing one of our star players, is unacceptable.

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