The Arizona Cardinals got underway with their first day of practice in training camp for the 2011 NFL season. Head coach Ken Whisenhunt said he was pleased with the effort and intensity but, "you could tell it was the first practice ever for this group."
Whisenhunt said his guys were in "pretty good shape" but stressed there's a difference between that and being in football shape. One guy not at practice today was third overall pick, Patrick Peterson. That's about to change though, since Peterson and the Cardinals have agreed to terms on a five-year deal and he'll be in camp Sunday night.
Larry Fitzgerald was just happy to get back on the field, "It was good to get back on the field. It's great to be back here in Flagstaff in front of our fans. I know they've been waiting for football, we've been waiting for football, so it's an exciting day for us all."
The star wide receiver is also pleased with the direction the team is headed, "This is the most active I've ever seen the team in free agency and I think that's really exciting. We addressed a couple of needs. We lost some guys in free agency and obviously a starting cornerback but I think the team is doing a good job addressing the needs that we have. We're going to continue to make acquisitions, that's what they say."
The best part of practice was watching Fitzgerald do his thing. The ball sounds different going into his soft hands and while he said after practice that he has a lot of work to do, there's at least one play caught on film that disputes that.
In the first part of the clip, Beanie Wells -- the default number one back with free agent Tim Hightower and rookie Ryan Williams not yet in camp -- breaks off a nice run in a low-contact, 11-on-11 scrimmage. In the next play we see John Skelton under throw a ball to Fitz on the sideline but...well, you know how that's going to end.