The NFL lockout has cast a long shadow over the entire preseason routine. Without the normal offseason workouts, teams like the Arizona Cardinals who made significant changes to their rosters were well behind the power curve. With the final preseason game approaching, things are still not back to normal.
Coach Ken Whisenhunt said after practice on Tuesday that the he might play he starters longer than normal for a fourth preseason game to get more reps for guys who need live action time to get used to playing together. At the same time, injuries are always a concern and there's still a need to evaluate players on the roster bubble.
"I heard something (New England Patriots coach Bill) Belichick said the other day and I think it's exactly right and that's, 'more information.' We'll get more information about a lot of our guys. We've got a number of spots that players are competing for," Whisenhunt said.
Kevin Kolb expects to play but said he has no idea how long he'll be in the game, "Of course, they don't ever tell us that much."
The roster is far from set with a variety of position battles left to play out. At fullback Reagan Maui'a and Anthony Sherman are fighting for what could only be one job (but might be two depending on how other things shake out). At wide receiver and linebacker rookies DeMarco Sampson and Quan Sturdivant and fighting for precious slots with more establish players.
The team has two solid tight ends, one impressive rookie, and two vets who both do some very nice things but will the Cardinals really use five roster spots on that position? Not likely.
QB John Skelton (ankle), TE Rob Housler (groin), RB Alfonso Smith (hamstring) and WR DeMarco Sampson (hamstring) are all game time decisions. Whisenhunt would obviously like to see these young guy in the game but won't make a final decision until Thursday.
Whisenhunt said Adrian Wilson is making good progress and you would have to fight him to keep him off the field on opening day. It's still a decision that won't be made until closer to Week 1.
According to a report from Arizona Republic's Kent Somer, Max Hall will need surgery on his shoulder and will be on the injured reserve and will be out for the year.
Quote and note dump
- "I've learned in the years past that sometimes when you watch too much film you over think some things when you get on the field. You want to find that right balance between being prepared and doing what you do best." - Kevin Kolb
- Kolb said that playing against the Packers and Chargers were good tests. Both teams are very good and had been together for a long time. The results were encouraging.
- Kolb is still looking for the offense to clean up mistakes.
- "Probably not as good as he would grade it, but it was a good tackle." - Whisenhunt on Jay Feely's tackle in Saturday's game
- "David Carter is one of the young guys I'm excited about. He's earned the respect of his teammates and that's not always easy to do as a rookie. Just from his work ethic and how he tries to make sure he does it right and that goes a long way towards building the team the right way when you have young guys that are that contentious. He's been a nice surprise and I'm excited to see how he continues to grow in that position." - Ken Whisenhunt
- "Yeah, it does. The first thing that goes on you when your dehydrated usually is your memory. You forget your routes and things like that. Honestly, it does condition you to be able to push through." - Larry Fitzgerald on the value of practicing in the heat
- "We knew what we had. We knew we had some players that could go out there and mix it up with anybody. I think the fans needed that more than anybody to let them know that we're going to be for real this year and we're going to come out here and try and win the NFC West and that's our goal first and foremost." - Fitzgerald on where the team is
- Fitz said he's a little heavy at 223 lbs and wants to drop another seven or eight pounds. He's always looking for a way to get better.
- "We do have chemistry. We have a lot of guys hanging with each other trying to get that together." -- Darnell Dockett
- "It'll start off slow. I don't expect us to go out on the first game and hit home runs and be miracles. But the progress that we're putting in and the work ethic." - Dockett on the early season
- "That's the biggest things with this year. We know we have an opportunity to win. Now, it's up to us to go out there and prove it. We've got all the tools, we've got all the weapons...we've got everything we need to win a ball game." -- Dockett
For more on the Cardinals roster situation, visit Revenge of the Birds.