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Arizona Cardinals Weekly Flock: DRC is Starting to Make Some Noise

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  • NFC West Breakout Player - Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie: The tallest cornerback in the division might also be the most athletic. That's a rare combination. The 6-foot-2 cover man has picked up where he left off after an impressive finish to his rookie season. Kurt Warner says he sees stardom in DRC's future.
  • NFC Whispers - Our Cardinals sources tell us no player was more impressive in the team's voluntary practices this offseason than 2008 first-round CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, who appears to have picked up right where he left off in the second half of his rookie campaign. " 'DRC' looked really good," said one team insider. "After playing so well down the stretch last year, his confidence has grown by leaps and bounds. He studies hard and is very confident in his abilities. But he's a good guy, too."
  • Cardinals' Dockett learned from Wilson - Darnell Dockett's announcement that he has full faith in the Cardinals after meeting with the team shows the defensive lineman and agent Drew Rosenhaus have been paying attention. Anquan Boldin waged a public battle in an attempt to leverage a new contract. The team drew a hard line.....While Boldin's tactics were taking him nowhere, the Cardinals rewarded safety Adrian Wilson with a new deal. The precedent appears to be set. Players without significant leverage will have to bide their time and negotiate on the Cardinals' timeline.
  • Warners' approach suits fans - On the same day police declared that a former NFL quarterback died at the hands of his mistress, I am staring at an active NFL quarterback luring hundreds to a book signing that celebrates his relationship with his wife and seven children. It's an uneasy juxtaposition. The subjectivity of morality complicates healthy debate, especially in the sports arena. It is evident, however, by the many who have shown up this week to buy signed copies of "First Things First" (Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 2009) by Kurt and Brenda Warner, that there is a captive audience interested in the way this couple runs its life.
  • Willingness to work elevating Fitzgerald - For all his physical tools, Fitzgerald has further distinguished himself by working to improve key aspects of his game, notably route running and how to set up defenders. It's probably unrealistic to expect Fitzgerald to continue on the pace he set during the playoffs, but if anyone can pull it off, Fitzgerald might be the one [particularly if Kurt Warner keeps playing well]. Here's the scary part for opponents: Fitzgerald is only 25 years old. He has shed weight to improve his quickness. He could conceivably be in the early stages of his prime years.


  • Ten best No. 2 quarterbacks  - A year ago at this time he was the starter in Arizona. Then he lost the job to Kurt Warner and languished on the bench. Nevertheless, that hasn't dampened coach Ken Whisenhunt's enthusiasm for him. If something happens to Warner, Whisenhunt insists he is confident Leinart can step in and lead the Cardinals to victories. Hey, he was 3-2 as a starter in 2007 before bowing out with a fractured collarbone. And he was good enough to be considered the starter at the beginning of last year's training camp. Leinart is young. He is talented.
  • Top 10 Recievers in the NFL - #2 - Larry Fitzgerald: He has great hands and leaping ability. He also has underrated speed and quickness. Out of all the receivers in the game today, he probably has the best "feel" for the game which allows him to get himself in position to make a ton of catches.
  • Cardinals Rookies Make the Annual Climb - By 8:15 a.m., the sun is already beating down on whoever has decided to hike Camelback Mountain’s Echo Canyon trail on this day before America’s birthday.That includes the Cardinals’ 2009 draft class and Pro Bowl special teamer Sean Morey, along with strength and conditioning coach John Lott.
  • Cody Brown's Road to the NFL - Getting to the NFL? "It wasn’t a big dream." Brown says while sitting at his locker in the Cardinals’ locker room. College turned into a stepping stone when Brown became the Cards’ second-round draft pick, groomed for a switch from defensive end to linebacker. He weighs 245 pounds now, about 30 pounds heavier than when he first brought his 6-foot-2 frame to UConn. He realized he had a chance to go pro as the years went on, as the UConn football program rose in stature, and as he piled up numbers (18½ sacks the two years he started) for the Huskies.

From the "lazy, uniformed national media" department:

  • Story Lines of the NFC West - It's a big year for Matt Leinart. Either he finds a way to push Kurt Warner in Arizona, or we start to think of the Cardinals' 2006 first-rounder as a top 10 bust.

------------------------National stories of some interest------------------------

  • Are the rule-makers making the game "soft"? - Recently retired NFL safety Rodney Harrison blasted the league a few months back, and his criticisms shouldn't be quickly forgotten. He called the NFL "soft." He claimed it had turned into a "pansy league." These were the kind of words that certainly will call attention to Harrison's newfound broadcasting career. But they were also comments that weren't too far off the mark. Look, we all know the NFL still has plenty of tough guys. What it is losing, however, is the sense that the people who run the sport are completely in touch with the fundamental aspects of the game.
  • Future of the Wildcat offense in the NFL - Whether or not you are wild about the Wildcat offense, the Miami Dolphins' success while using it last season has made a direct snap for expanded use in 2009. As for the Cardinals, they used it sparingly with one-time college quarterback Anquan Boldin handling the plays. He had a 31-yard gain against the Panthers in Week 8.
  • Saints could be this year's Cardinals - Last season's unlikely but fascinating coda between the Steelers and Cardinals created great story lines and interesting contrasts (and a darned good game), and I think we might be in for something similar to cap off this coming season. My choice for the team to surprise and delight? Why not the Saints?