The skies opened up as the fans migrated north for the Cardinals’ first Red-and-White scrimmage of the 2010 training camp. Heavy rains forced the team inside for what was considered less of a scrimmage, and more of an advanced practice. But the Big Red still put on a good show for the 10,000-plus on-hand inside the Walkup Skydome.
Highlights: Rookie wide receiver Stephen Williams continues to impress. The undrafted free agent from Toledo caught all but one ball on Saturday and had the session’s lone touchdown. Williams has wowed coaches with his steady hands and fearless attitude when going over the middle. These factors, coupled with his 6-5 frame, and he is all but a lock to make the team, if he plays well in the preseason.
Safety Matt Ware made the play of the day when he leaped over the line to tackle Beanie Wells at the goal line on the last play of practice. The Cards missed Ware when he was injured before the playoffs last season. He is a versatile and active member of their secondary and very underrated for all he does.
With Trumaine McBride still nursing a sore groin, cornerback Greg Toler took full advantage and had a great practice. He did an excellent job marking Larry Fitzgerald for most of the day and nabbed an interception. The second-year corner looks to be in a position to see more of the field in 2010.
After playing well for most of the week, quarterback Matt Leinart struggled Saturday, missing on some deep passes and throwing an interception while having another dropped by Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. Some of this could be attributed to poor protection and the receivers dropping a few balls, but Leinart still has a way to go before he is ready for the season.
The defense certainly seems ready to start the season. They played to the crowd, lifting their arms, encouraging noise from the gallery. They took it to heart, with something extra behind every hit and move and it certainly seemed as though they came out the better unit.
Injuries: Fullback Charles Ali is expected to miss a couple weeks with a hamstring injury, leaving Nehemiah Broughton the only healthy, true fullback on the roster. Wide receiver Early Doucet’s work has been limited the past few days because of an abdominal strain and sat out Saturday, but it is not considered serious. Tight ends Ben Patrick (displaced kneecap), Anthony Becht (back) and Jim Dray (quadriceps) will continue to miss time, as will safety Hamza Abdullah (strained hamstring), running back Alfonso Smith (neck/stinger) and defensive end Jeremy Clark (groin).
The team has Sunday off, but will get back to work Monday in Flagstaff.
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