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Arizona Cardinals Preseason: Whisenhunt's Game Film Review

TEMPE -- Coach Ken Whisenhunt and at least a few Cardinals players appeared at the team's headquarters Friday, after Whisenhunt was able to review Thursday night's preseason opening win at Oakland with a more discerning eye.

"As you would expect, a lot of things that we can work on, but for the most part, I was excited to see the number of different players make the plays that they did," Whisenhunt said. "We had some little technique things, especially defensively, as far as alignment and playing the right gap that I think would help us as far being a little more efficient in stopping some of their (Raiders') plays."

The theme of this news conference was what might have been had the Cardinals had offseason workouts, minicamps and such. Whisenhunt pointed out that the full team had only five days of practice in training camp together before the game Thursday.

"It's been a very hectic week-and-a-half that we've had these guys, but I think overall, just as an overall concept of what you're looking at, it wasn't bad," Whisenhunt said. "It wasn't as bad as maybe I thought it would be and probably a lot of people. But by no means are we a finished product."

The backup quarterback continues as the team returns to Flagstaff after John Skelton, Richard Bartel and Max Hall all led touchdown drives. 

"We have three preseason games left, we've got three weeks of practices left, so it's going to be determined by how they handle it and build on what they did last night over the course of the next couple of weeks," Whisenhunt said. 

Tight end Todd Heap is not expected to miss any practice time, the coach said. Heap sprained his thumb early in the game. The Cardinals re-convene for training camp Sunday.

Whisenhunt thought his No. 1 offensive line made too many mental mistakes though the pass protection was good. That will only get better with more practices together, he said.

On running back Beanie Wells and the running backs, Whisenhunt said some of the unsuccessful runs were the byproduct of mental errors. One run near the goal line early in the game was a positive gain but the result of the tight end shifting to the wrong side and allowing Raiders' defenders plenty of space to tackle Wells, who gained yards on his own.

Wells "stepped up" in his pass protection, Whisenhunt said. He made progress from last season in that area.  

There seemed to be more good than not-so-good overall.

"I really thought with the first groups, the communication as far as getting the defenses called, getting the offenses called, getting in and out of the huddle, was very good," Whisenhunt said. "From an operational standpoint... yeah, I was pretty pleased."

On rookie CB A.J. Jefferson, who played well: "He's fighting for a shot to play, and we're going to rotate all those guys throughout the preseason. Give them opportunities against the different groups that we are facing just so we'll have a good sense of where they are. But I can tell you this: A.J. responded last night. I thought he did a nice job."