Bert Berry was a blitzing machine on Tuesday
Training camp battles are at their hottest with just Wednesday and Thursday left on the agenda. Preseason game No. 2 should bring out all the punches, as some key races are still undecided. Jason Harris has been in Flagstaff covering all of training camp and brings back Tuesday’s action as well as rounds up some of the top stories from Northern Arizona.
Battle in the backfield
The fullback battle is really heating as the Cardinals enter the last week of camp. After hauling in four catches for 45 yards and a touchdown last week against the Chiefs, Tim Castille is putting the pressure on last year's starter Terrelle Smith.. Castille was signed last year as a rookie free agent but was inactive for the entire season. Castille has a few things going for him in 2008. He's younger, has better hands, and makes two thirds less money.
If he continues to show off his hands during practice, it's going to be hard to keep him off the field. The only downside is his blocking compared to Smith.
Smith started 10 games for the cardinals and was a big reason Edgerrin James rushed for over 1,000 yards. He has blocked for six different thousand yard rushers in his eight-year career. He has size and has shown the ability to catch the ball in practice all summer. The pressure may be getting to Smith, who was less than impressive trying to run block, sixth round, rookie defensive end Chris Harrington during 7-on-7.
With camp coming to an end and a few preseason games under their belts, the Cardinals defense is turning up the heat. The blitz was coming from every angle. particularly effect was linebacker Bertrand Berry. If quarterbacks were live, Berry would have recorded at least two sacks during full team scrimmage. He also showed the awareness to get his hands up to knock down a pass at the line of scrimmage.
Pencil him in
After two pre-season games, Steve Breaston has done just about everything to prove to coaches, players and fans that he is a legit No. 3 option at receiver. In two games Breaston has six catches for 85 yards and a touchdown. He continues to look sharp at practice, catching balls all over the field.
Injuries on the rise
Linebackers Karlos Dansby and Chike Okeafor both sat out of Tuesday's practice. There was no major news about what kept them out of practice but it didn't appear to be anything serious. Noticeably injured today was rookie offensive linemen Peter Clifford who came up limping after blocking on a run play. Showing toughness he tried to play through it. That lasted one play before he limped off the field before receiving medical attention.
Darnell Dockett, who retuned to practice yesterday looked strong today during pass rushing one-on-one drills. His peck was not a problem as he slapped away the hands of guard Reggie Wells. This is good news for the Cardinals.