The Arizona Cardinals hit the practice field at University of Phoenix Stadium on Friday. They were coming off of a day off and a day of practice in Tempe under the sun.
What stood out?
1. Lots of injuries. The most serious injury seems to be Daryn Colledge, who has a nerve issue in his leg. However, Colledge, Rashard Mendenhall, Kory Sperry, Ryan Williams, Alex Okafor, Karlos Dansby, Jeff King, Jamell Fleming, Alex Gottlieb, Dan Williams and Robert Gill sat out practice. Jay Feely and Darnell Dockett were absent for personal reasons. Bruce Arians said that the team is suffering soft tissue injuries towards the end of practice because of fatigue.
2. As a result of the absence of Feely, Will Batson got to do the kicking. He missed a couple, but what stood out was not him, but rather who was getting work in as the holder. Undrafted rookie quarterback Caleb TerBush was doing the holding instead of punter Dave Zastudil. You have to love little things like that -- coaching and developing a player that probably will not make the team (and, yes, I still think that Lindley is more or less a lock over TerBush).
3. Patrick Peterson was everywhere. We know that he will be the punt returner. He got reps in as kick returner. He played cornerback (almost intercepting at least one pass). He played a lot on offense, as has been getting reps offensively almost daily now. He caught what would have been a touchdown pass (if they were to have kept the play going) over Tyrann Mathieu. He threw a pass, completing it to Larry Fitzgerald. He had a field staffer there to take his white throw-over jersey for offense. There were several instances where he ran a pass route, then took off his offensive jersey and then lined up on defense. Crazy.
4. Tyrann Mathieu has been flying around. He drilled Jaron Brown on a nice catch, but that was flagged. He picked off a Ryan Lindley pass. He had his hands on a few balls. he did, though, get beat by Peterson. It looks like we will see him on the field defensively this year. The defense practices a lot of dime packages and he is the dime corner. I expect to see more of that.
5. Ryan Lindley was Ryan Lindley. He had a few errant balls. he was picked off. He also made some very, very nice throws as well. Working a red zone situation -- on the 20 with 22 seconds left, Lindley hit Robby Toma for a touchdown in just one play. He still is not super accurate, but he making a few throws every practice that look great.
6. Rob Housler stood out again. He gets behind defenders is a nightmare for linebackers to cover. On at least one play, he and Palmer hooked up for a big play down the field. You can't help but feed the hype when you see stuff like that.
7. Bruce Arians said he would rotate guys in place of Dan Williams. They needed to also because Darnell Dockett was absent. They did. Frostee Rucker, Ronald Talley, David Carter and Matt Shaughnessy all saw reps on the first team defensive line.
8. As I tweeted (partially in jest), it is hard to gauge the offense and defense on the whole. The defense makes plays. The offense makes plays. Which is better? I still don't know. I give an edge to the defense.
9. Towards the end of practice, I focused on Levi Brown. On one play, it looked like Sam Acho beat him and would have gotten to Palmer. After that, he was solid. He was able to keep the rusher from moving inside, and pushed him around behind the pocket, giving Palmer a nice area to step into. As we have seen Eric Winston surpass Bobby Massie, the fact that Levi is still in there says something.
10. There was more situational football. The offense worked from deep in its own territory. They worked red zone -- on the 20 with 22 seconds left. They worked from the 30 with 14 seconds on the clock. They worked hurry-up to get to a field goal attempt. It's fun to pay attention to.
I'll be back on Saturday for practice. It will be the last practice I will attend, so the rest of the way will be secondhand information.
More from Revenge of the Birds:
- Arizona Cardinals training camp: Tyrann Mathieu has pair of interceptions
- Details for Friday training camp practice and Red and White practice
- NFL training camp injuries: Arizona Cardinals DT Dan Williams leaves practice with leg injury
- Drew Stanton, the NFC West's best backup QB?
- 2013 NFL training camp: Jamell Fleming has competition to overcome
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