The first official practice of training camp has concluded for the Arizona Cardinals. Naturally, there isn't much to read into anything, but the biggest things to watch were the quarterbacks, Ryan Williams and the receivers against the defensive backs.
Here are some of the first observations of note. I'll have quotes later from the audio I got.
I find it interesting who are the first players to show up to the practice field. You figure it will be the younger players, and last year fullback Anthony Sherman seemed to be the first or one of them to the practice fields. This time, Sherman was the second guy. The first was veteran guard Adam Snyder, who was signed in the offseason by Arizona from the San Francisco 49ers.
As for the quarterbacks, Kevin Kolb ran with the first team. If it is anything like minicamp, Kolb and John Skelton will alternate days with the first team.
Overall, all the quarterbacks were pretty sharp. Skelton overthrew rookie Michael Floyd early, Kevin Kolb was interecepted on a deep pass by Patrick Peterson, but Peterson took position away from the Michael Floyd, rather than the ball being thrown poorly.
Ryan Lindley threw some nice deep balls, but also was not on target all the time, much like his scouting report says.
Did either QB do anything to separate themselves from the other? I wouldn't say so, but then again, it was only one practice. Kolb was accurate and stepped up into the pocket. But, and notably so, the rushers aren't allowed to touch him.
Floyd made a couple of acrobatic catches. Andre Roberts looked very good. He grabbed balls in traffic, ran very good routes and was very quick in his moves after the catch.
However, the crowd got the most excitement out of running back Ryan Williams. He made some very nice moves, showing that he isn't afraid to use his surgically repaired knee. You can tell that fans are very excited to see him play. On the far field, where the fans really couldn't see, he also made a pair of very nice moves in the flat after a catch.
Other interesting things of note:
Early in practice, second-year receiver DeMarco Sampson dropped a pass. A particularly vocal fan gave him a hard time, telling him to drop and give him 10 pushups. It wasn't but about five minutes later that Sampson did so, and got applauded by the group of fans nearby.
Undrafted rookie Zack Nash was carted off the field with an apparent leg injury. The severity is yet unknown.
In one play I saw Greg Toler in coverage was up against Larry Fitzgerald. He was right there the entire deep route hip to hip. It was definitely a good sign.
Speaking of coverage, Patrick Peterson is a physical back, we know that. It got him into trouble many times last season in coverage. On multiple occasions, defensive coordinator Ray Horton shouted, "Don't grab, Patrick!" Hopefully he avoids it just enough keep away from penalties.
I'll be back in Flagstaff on Saturday and most of the next two weeks the team is in Flagstaff after that, we will have coverage through SB Nation Arizona.
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