There was never any doubt that Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie would have to go through a learning curve to adjust from DII Championship Subdivision competition to players at an NFL level. That was never more evident that in a particular play in yesterday's OTA that matched DRC one on one with Pro Bowl receiver, Larry Fitzgerald. Fitz burned the rookie for a touchdown and DRC was visibly disappointed with his play, while walking back to the huddle with his head down.
Pictures courtesy of azcardinals.com
Veteran cornerback Eric Green noticed DRC's demeanor and was quick to hand out some pointers.
"He was sitting (on the route) waiting for Fitz to stop and I told him, 'You are fast, but if he is going vertical, you have to read his hips,' " Green said. "He beats himself up, like we all do. I told him, ‘That’s Fitzgerald. He’s going to get one here and there. Don’t worry about it.’ He shook it off and he came back and had a great practice."
DRC didn't let the play stick in his head too long though as he made a diving interception on a Kurt Warner pass tipped by Clark Haggans. Whisenhunt noted after practice that his most recent first round pick has flashed his ability and that he can tell that he's learning. Whiz went on to say he thinks DRC has been surprised by the speed of the game, even in practice, and the accuracy of an NFL quarterback. He also noted that his speed has been impressive in practice but that he is anxious to see how physical he plays once the pads are on. Hopefully DRC will get plenty of practice going against two Pro Bowl receivers in camp and I, for one, can't wait to see this kid in the preseason.
- Just a reminder, the Cardinals will have to cut two players prior to the start of camp since the NFL has a cap of 80 players on the roster. That is assuming that all seven draft picks are signed at the start of camp. There are several positions that currently have a dearth of players including TE (6 players), WR (9 players), RB (7 players) and CB (9 players). It'll be interesting to see who won't be around when camp opens. Any guesses?
- Whisenhunt also noted that they won't start experimenting with a radio in the helmet of a defensive player until training camp. He went on the say that the players who have the radio may change game to game. He also noted that the information is starting to pile up, leading to more mistakes by the younger players, but that the intensity and focus has been up to par. I'd have to think it would be Wilson or Dansby though, thoughts?