Yesterday, I was able to spend the day up in Flagstaff to watch the Afternoon Practice the Cardinals held at NAU. Here are some notes from what I was able to see during the practice along with some of what was said on Twitter by some of the other people in attendance.
I also have a few pictures that will be posted at the bottom of this article. So those of you with slow internet connections, be ready for that.
During the target practice drills, the only person I saw getting one of the balls into the net was Richard Bartel, and during the garbage can drill Bartel and Hall were the only ones who got a ball to go in. Hall had another one that might have gone in but it looked like it bounced out from the inside of the rim. Skelton was way off target in this drill, and Kolb got close a few times. Joey Porter also tried it out but he missed the can on all four of his throws, he did get close a few times though.
One receiver that impressed me was Chansi Stuckey, it seemed like he was running good routes and catching everything that came his way. Not many of us knew who he was when he was brought in, but he could wind up being a solid player for the Cardinals this year.
When they got to the11 on 11 practices, I had a hard time seeing what was going on but it looked like the defense was being very aggressive. The offense didn't do anything that stood out to me, it looked like the defense won that part of the practice to me. There was a wildcat play with Beanie Wells though, and there was a play where Alfonso Smith threw a pass after having the ball pitched to him but he missed Stuckey on the pass. I also thought that Greg Toler and A.J. Jefferson looked good, Patrick Peterson also had a couple of nice pass breakups but I didn't notice a lot from him. There was a play during the goalline drills where he wound up falling into the crowd area only a few feet away from me which was cool to see.
As for some of the fan reactions and autographs. Todd Heap and Larry Fitzgerald were getting the most cheers from what I heard. There was also a pretty good turnout during the autograph session after the practice. I managed to get Daryl Washington, Reagan Mauia, Jay Feely, Sam Acho, and Coach Whisenhunt. I noticed Feely and Acho interacting with the fans the most, a couple of people (including myself) were taking to Feely about if he could score another touchdown this year, and Whiz would also respond to the fans who wished him and the team good luck with the season and he thanked us for coming out to watch the practice. Todd Heap, Larry Fitzgerald, and Kevin Kolb were also out signing autographs, but I wasn't able to get their autographs because of the huge crowds (who were getting warned for shoving people around too much) they drew, I did get close though. Darnell Dockett (who just signed a couple of autographs at the far end of the field and rode off on his segway), Deuce Lutui, Nick Eason, Kendall Smith, and Rob Housler also signed some autographs.
Something for everyone who wants autographs but didn't bring a football to get signed. If you want to buy one, they cost over 100 dollars at the little store they had set up by the practice field. I was going to buy one until I heard the price, which made me decide to just use the roster sheet I got as my autograph paper.
There was also a moment where everyone had to back up to let an ambulance drive through, but I'm not sure what happened there. It sounded like someone passed out, but I don't know.
Now, time for some pictures.
Ron Wolfley walking around.
Some of the receivers
LaRod Stephens-Howling getting a ball that landed near the sidelines
Garbage can drill
Some of the receivers
Porter doing the garbage can drill
Peterson in coverage
Peterson after falling into the crowd area
Early Doucet catch
Some of the defensive backs
Fitz on his Segway