Arizona's running backs have struggled to be consistent in recent years and must do better in 2012.
Cards to visit KC for training camp practices
Said Chiefs coach Romeo Crennel, "Training camp is about us continuing our development and evaluating our players. We are very excited to be hosting another NFL team in St. Joseph. This will give us another opportunity to further evaluate our team under a different set of circumstances before we get into our preseason schedule."
Added Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt, "There are many benefits to this arrangement and we appreciate Coach Crennel and the Chiefs working to make this happen. Logistically, it makes a lot of sense since we play Sunday night (Aug. 5) in Canton and then Friday night at Kansas City, but I've always found there's also great value in getting work against another team in a setting like this. We're looking forward to it."
"We could not be happier to host two NFL franchises this year at Missouri Western," the school's director of athletics Kurt McGuffin said. "There is a buzz in the air about camp this summer, and with the addition of the Cardinals, the interest is elevated around St. Joseph and beyond. We would like to thank the Chiefs for bringing us this opportunity."
--Outside linebacker Clark Haggans, re-signed during the last week of offseason practices, is serving jail time in Pennsylvania for a drunk driving offense. It's unknown if Haggans faces disciplinary action from the NFL because the incident happened in April of 2011, during the lockout. In a statement, Haggans said he was pulled over while rushing home from a concert to attend to his 5-year-old daughter, who has a breathing problem.
--Coaches have been patient with running back Beanie Wells this offseason. Wells didn't practice as he recovered from knee surgery in the offseason. Whisenhunt supported that decision but he also issued a challenge to Wells as the team ended minicamp.
"He's got to work himself back into being ready," Whisenhunt said. "We've done the right thing with Beanie, as far as the offseason. He's got to bust his tail over the next few weeks to be ready for training camp because we've had some guys look good there."
Whisenhunt was mainly referring to Ryan Williams, who missed his rookie season with a torn knee tendon. Williams seems to be making great progress and took part in full squad drills in his last two practices.
--Tight end could be a position of strength, provided players remaining healthy. Todd Heap and Rob Housler struggled through last season with soft-tissue injuries. Jeff King, the starter, suffered a partially torn quad tendon this offseason.
It's possible the Cardinals could use more two-tight end offensive sets than in past years. And that doesn't bother receiver Larry Fitzgerald. He noted that New England makes that scheme work.
"Wes Welker still gets his 100 catches a year," Fitzgerald said of the Patriots receiver. "To be honest with you, I think the tight ends are probably our strongest position on the field right now.
"You have Housler. He's probably one of the fastest tight ends in the game. Todd Heap is one of the most skilled, experienced guys around. Jim Dray is an all around consistent guy. And Jeff King last year was probably our best free-agent acquisition in terms of what he was able to do, his consistency, his work ethic."
--Rookies are staying in Arizona for two more weeks to work under strength and conditioning coach John Lott. One of the annual rituals is running/hiking nearby Camelback Mountain. The rookies completed that, led by Fitzgerald, who wasn't required to be there.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "We're just in shorts and helmets right now. You're not seeing the full capability of the offense. I don't think we've been extremely sharp, but I think we've made some good things happen. I'm excited about our prospects." -- Receiver Larry Fitzgerald.
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