Thursday before the Packers

Posted by Darren Urban on August 8, 2013 – 11:36 am

Finally, football.

This is about that time when players are tired of hitting each other on their own team and yearn for a chance to hit someone else. The Cards get that Friday night in Green Bay. Although I suppose that’s all relative. Carson Palmer was asked if he had been hit less in this camp –and if he would have liked to be banged around a bit more in prep to a game.

Palmer was blunt.

“No,” he said. “I don’t like to get hit in the preseason.”

“I don’t know if I’ve ever been tackled in training camp,” Palmer added. “There is plenty of that that goes on during the season. You don’t need to prepare yourself for that. You prepare yourself in the weight room and your conditioning and your fitness level. I’ve been doing it long enough that I don’t need to be reminded what it feels like to get hit.”

Can’t blame him for that. And with that, some stuff to chew on before the Packers:

— The starters are going to get 15 plays or so. We will get a little taste of what this offense is going to be about. But are we really going to see the full extent of Palmer’s progress? Probably not.

— Curious to see how Bruce Arians works in the offensive linemen, especially the tackles. Do first-stringers Eric Winston and Levi Brown go the 15 plays and come out? Do backups Nate Potter and Bobby Massie get any snaps with Palmer behind center? Certainly, the play of all four will be among the most scrutinized. I know that’s one spot where I will be watching.

— The lights get bright for those receivers too. It’s always interesting to me the play of the younger receivers in the preseason because there is no position that can pop more when watching practice in shorts but that changes more in a game. Think about it: A receiver doesn’t really get hit at all all offseason or in camp. There is no fear in the middle. Now, in a game, you can get drilled pretty good. That can fuzzy up the concentration.

— Seeing the versatility of the defense in action will also be something to watch. How does Matt Shaughnessy do in his new role of sometimes-linebacker? Rookie inside linebacker Kevin Minter? How much does Daryl Washington play? Against the Packers’ first offense, I want to see how the cornerbacks do.

— It’s tough not to get a feeling that Tyrann Mathieu figures into a big play at some point.

— Not sure they’ll break out any of the Patrick Peterson offensive package. I think I’d keep that sidelined for now but we’ll see.

— The rookie hazing went down Wednesday night, some nasty haircuts just in time for the trip. I saw some of the rookies walking around the hotel this morning (ouch). Alex Okafor came out ahead quite frankly (see him here). Mathieu is here.

— This story about Fitz growing up and maturing – including the anecdote where he was fined by the NFL for not talking to the media (oh, I remember those days) – by Jim Trotter is good. Fitz has come a long way. A long way.

— Mostly, it’s just good there are games on tap. A game a week, a regular rhythm, something to analyze besides practice. It’s been an interesting couple of weeks of camp though. Why, you say you want to look back? Here’s a mashup to prep you for the Packers.

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Posted in Blog | 9 Comments »

9 Responses to “Thursday before the Packers”

  1. By Chris B on Aug 8, 2013 | Reply

    YES! The first “Before” blog! #Footballisofficiallyhere

  2. By Scott H on Aug 8, 2013 | Reply

    Always interesting that every year, there is that one player, or maybe a few, that makes everyone go WOW and has everyone all psyched up because of their play in the pre-season games…and how those same guys usually don’t even make the final roster and are never heard from again! Wonder who it will be this year.

    For me, with this talk going on about the team MAYBE keeping only 2 QB’s, then won’t it be interesting to see how much playing time is given to the guys behind Stanton on the depth chart??? I mean, would it make much sense to give these guys a lot of playing time – as is typical during pre-season – if you are truly contemplating not having either of them on the roster come opening day??? Something to watch, for sure. I have to think that if one of them truly impresses, he will be here.

    As always, the O-line is a focal point but when is it NOT for this team??? I sure hope to see the rookies from last year looking like the playing time they got last year ( baptism by fire is more like it ) will pay some dividends THIS year. Got a lot of young guys here at this point…maybe this is a chance for a solid O-line to take root and start to grow as we go forward. Geez, when was the last time we saw THAT???

    Also, let’s see Michael Floyd looking like he is ready to be a weapon teams will have to account for. Of course, ya kinda need a QB to make that happen…hopefully, we have one this year.

    I guess I could hope that maybe we’ll see the TE’s making some plays this year, but…yeah, that’s just crazy talk.

  3. By Dre on Aug 8, 2013 | Reply

    Go red birds

  4. By ored on Aug 8, 2013 | Reply

    i’m thinking the guys should just shave what’s left and start their new look fresh,like the hair grows alongside the team growth thing.

  5. By John The Draft Guy on Aug 9, 2013 | Reply

    Okafor looks like Mr T without the chains.

    I still think Tebows haircut was the best. The “Padre” look was horrible.

    As for the game, yes, eyes have to be on the Oline. With all the talk and additions, it is time to see if they are improved. I would think it is a big game for Fanaika. He has looked good in camp and with Colledge out, it is time to make your move. Looking forward to seeing Watford in that 3rd and forth quarter. From what I see, he is a future probowler on one play and a guy getting cut on the next. Hope he steps up.

    WRs , love a good battle and after the big three, let the battle begin. Stanton hits someone on a big play. It will be interesting who.

    But I am a defensive guy and I want to see how the edge rushers do. I want to see the alignments and what our DC Bowles is going to do differently. DEs will be penetrating instead of two gap eat up blockers. How does that effect the LBs?Will CBs press or play zone. Will he go 2 deep safety or drop one in the box? I’m curious what the base defense will be.

    As for Honey Badger, remember my constant insistence that PP should be moved to safety. I believe he would change the game like Ed Reed. Funny how the cards drafted another playmaking CB out of LSU to do just that. Do you see the impact he has had? Enough said.

  6. By Tien Lu on Aug 9, 2013 | Reply

    Hey Darren I was wondering if our defense will be similar to Ray Horton or will Bowles have a whole new scheme.

  7. By Darren Urban on Aug 9, 2013 | Reply

    Tien —

    RE: Bowles scheme

  8. By red bird of death! on Aug 9, 2013 | Reply

    Man , It’s been a long offseason. GO CARDS!!!

  9. By Sean on Aug 9, 2013 | Reply

    Gotta love all the great attitudes the rookies and veterans are bringing to this game.

    The positive attitude mixed with having fun mixed with high degree of professionalism. Great team chemistry.

    BA and Kiem did a great job this offseason, but that kind of team chemistry can from the team leaders like Dockett, Campbell, Peterson, Fitzgerald, Palmar, etc..etc..

    Team has everything if Taylor shows up tonight.

    How much for a haircut from Dockett? $20?

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