Thursday at 7:00 p.m. Arizona time we will get our first look at the 2011 Arizona Cardinals in live NFL action. Preseason games in the NFL take on more meaning than other sports, but then again, everything in the NFL's compressed schedule and heightened media (and fan) environment is more important than other sports. And for Cardinals Ken Whisenhunt, even winning this exhibition game matters.
"It will be a great chance for us to play together as a team and obviously we want to win the game because that's important for us. We're going to try and put our guys in the best position," Whisenhunt said on Monday.
Winning might be important, but game prep for this first preseason game is anything but normal.
Not only have the Raiders changed much of what they do with the addition of a new coach and many new players, the Cardinals are very much focused on their own situation. Without a mini-camp and OTAs to learn how to play with new quarterback Kevin Kolb and new defensive coordinator Ray Horton, the team is playing catch up.
Whisenhunt explains the plan, "We'll refine it, cut it down and give our players a list of the things that we're going to run in the game and work on those in practice over the next couple of days so that when we play Thursday night we'll be able to play fast and be able to adjust to whatever different looks."
The coach says he's excited to see what the team can do but acknowledges it "won't be perfect".
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