Tag:Arizona Cardinals
Posted on: August 2, 2010 11:10 pm
Edited on: August 2, 2010 11:56 pm

Cardinals' training camp fights are melee du jour

Apparently, some monster brawl(s) broke out at the Arizona Cardinals' training camp in Flagstaff on Monday night, although you'd think from hearing the quotes about the fracas that it wasn't that big a deal.

Here's the setup (via Ken Somers of the Arizona Republic ): Darnell Dockett and Alan Faneca were doing the whole "football thing," and Dockett knocked Faneca over. As they were lying on the ground, Dockett apparently "took a swipe" at Matt Leinart's feet. Leinart got cheesed and spiked the ball down on the field (note: this might have secretly been the most humorous part of the story).

So, naturally, Levi Brown decided he needed to punch Dockett.

Of course, Darnell Dockett isn't the type of person who takes that in stride, so he threw a punch back. And, just like that, the entire team was "dancing across the field" (read: fighting like crazy).

I haven't come across any video just quite yet ... and somehow , the picture above is actually a DIFFERENT fight -- one that involved Rashard Johnson and Stephen Spach and was a result of a facemask (and, probably, heightened tension on the field).

Additionally, Somers reports that lineman Tom Pestock "threw a couple of uppercuts" at Mark Washington.

So, yeah, if you happened to be hanging out in Flagstaff, it was probably a pretty fun day. Although apparently, it was all for funsies (or something) and no one's "actually" angry.

"There's a lot of intensity out here," Dockett said. "That's what teams do. You don't take nothing from nobody. I love that at the end we came together as one, as a family."

Mmmhmm. Bet Steve Smith wishes he'd thought of that line two years ago.

Update (11:52): Looks like we WILL have video soon, as the Cardinals' own site has promised as much , in addition to offering up a still of one of the actual blows being exchanged between Brown and Dockett.

-- Will Brinson

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Posted on: August 2, 2010 8:45 am

Cardinals sign first-rounder Dan Williams

Looks like Cardinals first-round pick Dan Williams will wind up only missing two practices because of a contract dispute. The 327-pound defensive tackle from Tennessee has come to terms with the Cardinals on a five-year contract, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Williams is being relied on to anchor Arizona’s attack-oriented 3-4 scheme. He is expected to start but will share a handful of his snaps with Brian Robinson and Alan Branch in 2010. Williams was drafted 26th overall.

--Andy Benoit

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Category: NFL
Posted on: July 31, 2010 12:06 am

Larry Fitzgerald criticizes himself

Cardinals superstar receiver Larry Fitzgerald made an interesting – and honest – comment Friday on KTAR in Phoenix with Doug and Wolf:

“I don’t think I had a particularly good offseason in minicamps. I don’t think I was as crisp as I needed to be. There’s a lot of fine-tuning I was trying to work on this summer. Coach Whisenhunt talked to me before I left and just told me how much he needed me to raise my level of play.”

Normally, this kind of talk from an athlete is as noteworthy as a Martellus Bennett fully-clothed Tweet. But Fitzgerald has a track record of vigorously correcting his weaknesses. Whether it was working on is route running early in his career or answering the coaching staff’s public demands to get faster running after the catch in 2008, Fitzgerald has always had a unique ability to turn his short-comings into strengths.

Obviously, the Cardinals are banking on Fitzgerald more than ever in 2010. Anquan Boldin is gone and Matt Leinart is no Kurt Warner.

-- Andy Benoit

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Posted on: July 21, 2010 6:28 pm

Gerald Hayes back injury poses serious problem

It was apparent that Cardinals inside linebacker Gerald Hayes was not himself late last year. Gone was the explosiveness and downhill quickness that have always masked the veteran’s mediocre instincts. The determination to finish plays and fire into piles wasn’t there either.
G. Hayes (US Presswire)
Now we know why. Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic reports that Hayes underwent back surgery over the summer. He is not expected to be ready for training camp. Hayes’s back problems were no secret; the story here is that the severity of those problems is greater than some observers realized.

Somers writes:

Coach Ken Whisenhunt said Hayes underwent "a procedure" on his back several weeks ago and will be evaluated next week when players take physicals before reporting to camp in Flagstaff on July 30.

"We’ll determine then what his rehab protocol is," Whisenhunt said.

Hayes’ ongoing problems are troubling to the Cardinals, who are thin at the two inside linebacker positions.

Karlos Dansby departed via free agency this off-season. Paris Lenon is the starter now at Dansby’s spot, although he will be challenged by Daryl Washington, the team’s second-round pick. Reggie Walker and Monty Beisel are the top players behind Hayes.

Washington has upside, but expect the versatile, experienced Beisel to start if Hayes is unavailable. (Beisel, in fact, should be starting ahead of the finesse-based Lenon, regardless of Hayes’s status.) Regardless of the combination of players in the lineup, the Cardinals will be alarming weak at inside linebacker in 2010.

-- Andy Benoit

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Posted on: July 17, 2010 5:24 pm

Lutui lets Cardinals down

When guard Deuce Lutui chose to protest is RFA tender by staying away from the team during the offseason, coaches were concerned that the fifth-year pro would let his weight spiral out of control. Sure enough, that’s exactly what happened. D. Lutui

When Lutui finally showed up to sign his tender in June, he was tipping the scales around 400 pounds. As transcribed by ESPN’s Mike Sando, Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt recently talked about Lutui (who, by the way, might lose his starting job to Reggie Wells) on XTRA 910:

"When Deuce came in and signed his contract, that was one of the things we talked about. You guys know me pretty well and I have very little tolerance for that. Because, listen, this offseason, we had our guys in there working about as hard as I have ever been around.
They are focused because everybody said we don't have a chance, we lost all these players and we can't do it. Our guys have really taken that challenge and worked hard. And it's difficult when you have guys in there busting their tails and one of the players isn't in there and then when he comes in and signs his contract, he's pretty heavy. That is frustrating. The onus is on Deuce."

--Andy Benoit

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Category: NFL
Posted on: July 15, 2010 9:31 pm

How safe is Leinart's job in Arizona?

If you haven’t had a chance to read Pete Prisco’s recent article on the Arizona Cardinals’ quarterback situation, do so. Prisco asked Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt about rumors that Matt Leinart’s place ahead of newcomer Derek Anderson could be in jeopardy.

"I don't know where that came from," Whisenhunt said here Wednesday after a practice round for the American Century Celebrity Golf Tournament. "That's not the case. He's the starter."
M. Leinart (US Presswire)
There, he said it.

But he also added an addendum.

"I think people say that because we have competition at every position," Whisenhunt said. "I'm not going to discount that Derek Anderson is a good football player. If he plays well, he'll have his opportunity. My expectation is that Matt will continue to improve and do the things he's been doing."
Hmm. Solid? Or not?

Leinart’s hold on the starting job is anything but solid. People forget that the Cardinals begged – BEGGED – Kurt Warner not to retire this past offseason. They even offered him a Brett Favre-like offseason schedule. Fortunately for Leinart, Anderson is a turnover machine who is easy for defenses to figure out on film. But it’s not great when your starter is the starter in part because the backup isn’t formidable.

--Andy Benoit

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Posted on: July 13, 2010 6:46 pm

War of Tweets friendly between Dockett, Rhodes

A few days ago, Darnell Dockett drew a lot of attention for calling out new teammate Kerry Rhodes via Twitter. Rhodes was traveling, and Dockett wrote: “@kerryrhodes u taking all these trips & s***! I hope u getting ready to play some FOOTBALL cuz antrell rolle would be ready.”

Naturally, there was speculation about Dockett and Rhodes’s relationship. Turns out, all is well. At least, that’s what we read into some of their latest Tweets.

Dockett wrote:

“@kerryrhodes -much luv I just want u to bring it! That’s all and We boys but if u don’t bring it, It will be my honor to whip yo ass!! Ok?”

Rhodes responded: “@ddockett so am I and that’s why I was elected captain b4 I would think and all pro and that’s what I’m getting back to. U?”

--Andy Benoit

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Posted on: July 12, 2010 10:04 am

Dockett takes major swipe at 2 big-name QB's

Cardinals defensive lineman Darnell Dockett recently continued his campaign of candor. So far this offseason, Dockett has criticized Albert Haynesworth and called out new teammate Kerry Rhodes.
D. Dockett (US Presswire)
In a recent ESPN Sports Nation chat, Dockett was asked who is the toughest quarterback in the NFL to sack. His response: “The toughest QB to sack is Ben Roethlisberger.” Dockett was then asked who is the easiest quarterback to sack: "The easiest QB to sack is Ben Roethlisberger if you can catch him in a bathroom stall." Ouch.

When asked about a possible surprise comeback from Kurt Warner, Dockett replied, "No, I don't think Kurt Warner searches for attention like Brett Favre. I think Kurt will tell us ahead of time if he is going to play with us and not pull a circus act and tell us two weeks before the season.  I think Kurt gives us more respect than that."

--Andy Benoit 

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com