The Cardinals went through two practices on Monday and while the first practice was relatively un-noteworthy, the same can not be said about the second practice. It was a full-padded practice that included an 11-on-11, that's always entertaining, as well as various position drills.
Rookies Making an Impression Early: Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie got off to a slow start getting burned by Sean Morey but he bounced back with a couple of interceptions later in practice. He's raw and still has a long way to go before he's game ready, but his quickness and more importantly, his closing speed is simply amazing. There haven't been many mentions of Calais Campbell yet other than the note that he's working inside at tackle in nickel situations. The same (lack of news) can be said for Kenny Iwebema, although Al Johnson did mention in an interview how strong he was and that he should be able to excel against the run. Tim Hightower is living up to his early hype to this point and is taking a significant amount of reps with the second group. Several reports have mentioned that he's awfully quick for a man of his size. Early Doucet is/has benefited from Boldin's absence and has held his own so far and has looked hungry. The comparison's to Boldin won't stop either, this time with Leinart chiming in:
"I think he is a perfect mold of Anquan, same type of body, same type of play," Leinart said. "I think it is perfect for him to learn from a guy like that."
Tight End Situation: We thought just a couple of weeks ago that the tight end
position was one of the deepest positions on the roster and full of potential, but just four days into camp the mood has changed. Leonard Pope is still not 100%, although he did make a couple of acrobatic catches yesterday, and Troy Bienemann is still nursing an injured toe. The uncertainly regarding the health of those two led the staff to spend part of the day working out former Arizona State tight end, Brent Miller. With the depth, I doubt they'd sign another guy, but this could a way to motivate Pope and/or Bienemann to work harder to get back to 100% more quickly. Ben Patrick has made the most of Pope limitations thus far in camp. He got all of the reps with the first team while Pope was sidelined and seems ready to build off a promising rookie season.
Injuries: Nothing to worry about yet but there were still some notable names on the sidelines. Starting center, Al Johnson missed both practices on Monday after having his knee drained, but there is hope that he'll be back today. Anquan Boldin and rookie, Marcus Brown sat out for the second consecutive day and were classified as day-to-day by Coach Whisenhunt. If Boldin misses considerable time it won't be that big of a deal but for Brown, a promising prospect, he needs to be on the field to make the team. As I said eiarlier, Troy Bienemann has yet to practice and the same can be said for Gabe Watson and Monty Beisel. Keilen Dykes missed the first couple of days but I think he is back in practice now.
Quick Practice Notes:
- The QB's have a new drill that the fans seem to love in which they try to hit flags hanging from a stand. By most accounts, Leinart looked much more accurate during the second practice on Monday and even looked to be the most accurate, followed closely by Warner and much further back were St. Pierre and Morelli.
- Fitzgerald and Hood had a spirited practice, especially in position drills. They went back and forth trying to be physical with each other and both had some success with Fitz getting a TD in the corner of the end zone and Hood picking off the very next pass on a slant route. Competition like this makes everyone a better player and is certainly encouraging to see.
- Adrian Wilson is starting to irk some reporters because he's refused to talk to any media outlets so far.
Just one afternoon practice today and it should help some players who are saying that soreness is starting to set in. Today's practice is supposed to be full pads so there should be some good battles today. Thoughts? Encouraging camp so far?