Here we are after the Red-White practice, the annual first real break point of training camp. From here on out — save for the bye week — the Cardinals will have a football game every week. That starts this coming Friday with the preseason opener at home against Oakland.
But first, a few thoughts and analysis after the Red-White work, which featured a lot more live play than I was expecting. It was good to see real football again. I know Andre Ellington agrees.
— Among the “stars” Saturday was wide receiver Jaron Brown, who made several nice catches — including a 25-yard TD reception from Larry Fitzgerald on the WR option pass. Brown is one of those guys who could easily be with another team making more plays than he does in Arizona. He simply has too many talented guys ahead of him.
— Ellington also looked very good as a receiver. The Cards’ passing game looked pretty sharp all around.
— Calais Campbell and Chandler Jones caused havoc up front as the practice went on. Jones continues to show he will be a great pass rusher.
— Not a great sign considering both Carson Palmer and Bruce Arians have said short-yardage improvement is a priority, but during “live” play in the middle of the field Chris Johnson was stuffed for a loss on a fourth-and-1 run.
— And in the goal line “live” drill, the first-string offense failed to score in three tries. There was an incomplete play-action pass, and then David Johnson was swamped under on two other runs. Linebacker Kevin Minter got Johnson the first time (Minter had a smile about it, as you can see in the picture), while veteran DT Red Bryant led the charge to blow up the final attempt.
— The second-unit offense was more successful in goal line, scoring twice on runs by Chris Johnson and Elijhaa Penny.
— Despite all the hitting/tackling, no one seemed to get hurt, although guard Mike Iupati did go down on a play when it looked like someone rolled up on his legs. Iupati was able to get back in after one play though, so crisis averted.
— Crowd was estimated at 25,000.
— The Cards are off Sunday, and resume practice Monday.
Tags: Andre Ellington, Calais Campbell, Chandler Jones, Chris Johnson, David Johnson, Elijhaa Penny, Jaron Brown, Kevin Minter, Mike Iupati, Red Bryant, training camp
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