Just think Cardinals fans, this time next week we'll be gearing up for an actual game instead of over analyzing a practice. The NFL off season is far too long but it's almost over. One week from today the New Orleans Saints come to town and we finally get to see how the rookies and new additions look in Cardinals uniforms. For now though here's what people are saying about the Arizona Cardinals.
- Everyone wants to talk to and/or about Adrian Wilson so if you're looking for
some A-dub info, you're in luck. The Cards official site covers Wilson's comeback and what will drive him to return to greatness this year. The East Valley Tribune is ready to see A-dub to get back to the physical, hard hitting style we've seen for the past handful of seasons. And last but certainly not least AZ Central says that Wilson is out to prove he's the best safety in the league. I understand the fever pitch that A-dub is generating right now considering that the defense is shaping up very nicely and the table could be set for him to have a career year.
- Consistency is often a precursor to success and the Cardinals are banking on a consistent coaching staff, something rare in the desert, to bring a winning culture to a franchise that desperately needs it. For the first time in quite a while, the Cardinals coaching staff returns intact, right down in position coaches and assistants. To put that in perspective, AZ Central points out that former head coach Dennis Green made seven coaching changes in three years. The East Valley Tribune says that Whisenhunt is confident that not only are the players more comfortable with the consistency but the coaching staff knows each other and the players strengths and weaknesses better now.
- With a year under his belt, Whisenhunt obviously feels comfortable enough now to call out players who are not playing up to their potential. Two of the guys that he's been focused on so far during camp are Deuce Lutui and Alan Branch. Lutui is a returning starter at guard but Whiz isn't happy with his lack of consistency, especially considering his veteran status. While he hasn' t lost his job yet, Whiz is quick to point out that Elton Brown is having a great camp and is capable of starting. Branch is also under fire at the moment although, at times Whiz can see the player that they traded up to draft just one year ago. He described him as a 'flickering light' but that when the light is on, he's a really good player. It was thought that Branch would push for the starting nose tackle job with Gabe Watson not healthy, but instead Branch is taking reps behind veteran Bryan Robinson. Hopefully this is just a case of two young guys who are on the verge of becoming consistent, reliable starters.
- While most fans, myself included, have reduced the #3 WR battle to Steve Breaston and Early Doucet, Coach Whisenhunt still calls it a 'free-for-all.' He says it'll ultimately come down to how they look in actual games. Whether or not that's really believable, it's encouraging that youngsters like Jamaica Rector, Lance Long and Jerheme Urban are doing enough to keep their name in the running.