The Arizona Cardinals hit the field at University of Phoenix Stadium on Saturday afternoon for the second time. This time, it was in front of an approximately 8800 fans, a few hundred more than attended on Friday.
What did I see?
1. Rookie tight end D.C. Jefferson is big, athletic and has some pretty good hands. I know it was not with pads or contact, but he did stretch out for a catch that was very receiver-like.
2. I saw a four man front for the first time. The first time was when there were a couple of plays in which they used only three defensive backs. Will they use that in the regular season...a '46' look?
3. Something I hadn't seen for a while showed up again. Matt Shaughnessy was getting a lot of reps at OLB. The times I saw him on the field during OTAs and mini-camp were in nickel packages, and he had his hand in the dirt, making it look like a 3-3-5. Saturday, he was running with the first team nickel group, but standing up like an edge rusher. He did line up as a lineman a few plays. Which leads me to...
4. For the first time, I saw some 4-3 looks. Each and every time, it was Shaughnessy that was the fourth lineman. Other times, he stood up off the edge or was standing up a little off the line of scrimmage.
5. As mentioned, the nickel packages changed. What looked like 3-3-5 a while ago is now a 2-4-5. The interesting part is who were the outside backers. Before, it was Sam Acho and Shaughnessy (looking like a DE). Now it is John Abraham and Shaughnessy, both standing up.
The second team also changed, as well, as Acho and Lorenzo Alexander line up outside, but the changes inside were notable. Reggie Walker joined Daryl Washington. Previously, it was Washington and Kevin Minter.
7. Ricky Lumpkin is playing DE. He played DT the past two seasons. Every time I saw him lined up he was at RDE.
8. Running back Ryan Williams showed off his explosiveness and elusiveness a few times, much like during his first two training camps. He is also a fan favorite. The fans love him.
9. There were a lot of incomplete passes. It's still early, but the timing for the passing game wasn't completely there. However, Ryan Lindley did make one beautiful throw down the field. Drew Stanton had what looked like might have been a touchdown, but it was called incomplete.
10. The defense is ahead of the offense, which should be a positive thing, considering what we expect offensively. In the two minute drills (actually 1:39), the offense never found the end zone. The first team made it down to the two-yard line for first and goal, but the defense held for four plays. The second team once got into field goal range, but Jay Feely's 46-yard attempt hit the left upright. The third team scored on a Feely 46-yarder to end practice.
Personally, I will not be back at practice until Monday, so tomorrow's practice, which will have pads, will have to deal with tweets from people there (I will add a widget) for the open thread.
More from Revenge of the Birds:
- NFL training camp: OLB position battle between John Abraham and Lorenzo Alexander
- These Arizona Cardinals aren't the Arizona Cardinals you remember
- 7/27 Arizona Cardinals news: Training camp starts, Abraham, Winston talk
- NFL training camp 2013: 10 quick Day 1 observations from Cardinals camp
- Arizona Cardinals training camp: Friday afternoon open thread
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