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Wednesday, August 6, 2014 @ 7:47am

Tuesday observations from Arizona Cardinals training camp

By: Doug Franz
TEMPO:

Practice has been played at a fast and physical tempo. Tuesday was the first practice where the pace was gone.

DARREN FELLS:

Every year I pick a player that I love to watch and believe he'll surprise. Within a few days, Fells was my guy. This pick was difficult because it appeared Fells had no chance to make the team. With each passing day, his opportunities increase and he's continually impressing coaches. The problem is he's 28 with only one year of experience. I spoke to a member of the Cardinals front office who told me that Fells has "an outside shot" at making the team. Although that doesn't sound like much, that's a dramatic difference from the beginning of camp.

ROBERT HUGHES:

He's the fullback. Twenty years ago, he'd be considered a great player because he does everything. In Bruce Arians' offense, the fullback doesn't exist but Hughes has forced the hand of the organization. He was a star of blitz pickup during the first few weeks of practice. Tuesday, Hughes was in a two-back set with Andre Ellington, something we didn't see last year.

JONATHAN COOPER:

Out with knee trouble. Earl Watford did well but didn't have a "WOW" moment as Cooper's replacement. You'll know how Cooper stands with the coaches at the beginning of the Texans/Cardinals game. I love Cooper's potential. He'll be fine eventually, but the Cardinals don't have "eventually" to wait.

Monday, August 4, 2014 @ 9:31pm

Monday observations from Arizona Cardinals training camp

By: Doug Franz
Here are my observations from Arizona Cardinals practice on Monday, Aug. 4:

FRANK CALIENDO

Here is one guy I never expected to see at Cards practice. His son is interested in being a kicker. Jay Feely was cool enough to spend a few minutes with Frank's son while he was warming up and kicking into the net. Later in practice, Arizona was running the 2-minute drill and Jay missed two field goal attempts.

DOUG FRANZ

I've texted Cards Assistant GM Terry McDonough before. We've talked on the air a few times, but we haven't been able to catch up in person. He was sitting in the empty stands, watching practice and wearing dark sunglasses. When I looked up, I thought for sure he was a friend of mine who works for Arizona State. I yelled at him to ask if he wears his sunglasses at night. He looked at me like I was an idiot. He was right.

JONATHAN COOPER

He spent most of his time with the "1's," but Earl Watford still had a few reps with the big boys. I didn't hear Cooper get yelled at when he stayed on the field for some reps with the second string, so I'm assuming it was still part of the weekend wake up call. I thought he looked a little more aggressive during 9-on-7.

DEONE BUCANNON

Another day at the office, another interception. To this point, he's not intimidated at all by the big stage. His next stage comes up Saturday. I have a feeling he'll be fine.

PATRICK PETERSON

It's why we love football. The offense is on the field practicing situations. It's late in the "game" and Peterson is covering Larry Fitzgerald. Fitz appeared to get a step as he went over the middle. Peterson recovered and knocked the ball away. The play "won" the game for the defense.

Monday, August 4, 2014 @ 12:02pm

Don't you ever tweet about me!

By: Ron Wolfley

I was glad to hear Richard Sherman say that his twitter banter with Patrick Peterson is done in fun -- unlike with Michael Crabtree. "Much, much different," Sherman said in regard to his banter with Crabtree.

Crabtree aside for the moment, this is good news because Peterson has also implied that his tweets and public statements have a good natured baseline running through them. He said it was "fun" to go back and forth with Sherman as to whom the best corner in the game was.

And that's a relief to me. I think this is good for Peterson. I didn't want to see him engage a grand-master-guru-sensei like Sherman in the ways and means of social media and self-promotion. Patrick has bigger fish to fry on the field.

His quest involves the myopia of self, soul and becoming the best cornerback in the game. Just because you're the highest paid corner in the game doesn't necessarily mean you're the best corner in the game. There's a whole lot of "Prove It!" that needs to happen and I don't want Patrick to be distracted from that truth by worrying about how he should reply to Sherman on twitter and what hashtag he should use.

I want him locked in. Peterson is an internally motivated player -- and that's great -- but I want to see him turn the dial up and challenge himself even more. Nobody to ever play the corner position has been blessed with more talent than Patrick but every now and then he seems to lose focus on the field, possibly bored with his own talent.

This is the one area he can improve his game, eliminating his momentary lapses of reason and focusing all of that talent in the same direction. If he does this, Sherman can tweet until the cows come home and use every creative hashtag known to man and it won't matter. Patrick Peterson will be the best man cover corner in the game and will be able to say to Sherman in jest, "Don't you ever tweet about me!"

Wednesday, July 30, 2014 @ 9:11pm

Wednesday observations from Cardinals training camp

By: Doug Franz
PATRICK PETERSON:

I didn't see anything out of the ordinary from Patrick but there's no way around the fact that his contract is an attention-getter. For the remaining 25 people still saying "same old Cardinals," can we finally put that to bed?

LOGAN THOMAS:

I have been to four of the five practices. I have never been to a practice where someone left the field after Thomas. Scores of players leave the field before Thomas. At the very least, he puts in an extra 20 minutes throwing routes after every practice.

LARRY FITZGERALD:

Practice ended at 4:20. Larry worked for an extra 10 minutes. He went over to the crowd and signed autographs for 20 minutes.

CARSON PALMER/ ENTIRE OFFENSE:

Much better practice. Everything was very crisp. He threw touchdown passes to Fitz, John Carlson and Ted Ginn, Jr. Good reads. Good throws. Competitors come back strong after a rough performance. Tuesday was very bad. Wednesday was very good.

BOBBY MASSIE:

Everything he does is just quicker than the past. His actions are more authoritative. He doesn't seem to be thinking about what he's supposed to be doing. He's just doing.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014 @ 9:11pm

Wednesday observations from Cardinals training camp

By: Doug Franz
PATRICK PETERSON:

I didn't see anything out of the ordinary from Patrick but there's no way around the fact that his contract is an attention-getter. For the remaining 25 people still saying "same old Cardinals," can we finally put that to bed?

LOGAN THOMAS:

I have been to four of the five practices. I have never been to a practice where someone left the field after Thomas. Scores of players leave the field before Thomas. At the very least, he puts in an extra 20 minutes throwing routes after every practice.

LARRY FITZGERALD:

Practice ended at 4:20. Larry worked for an extra 10 minutes. He went over to the crowd and signed autographs for 20 minutes.

CARSON PALMER/ ENTIRE OFFENSE:

Much better practice. Everything was very crisp. He threw touchdown passes to Fitz, John Carlson and Ted Ginn, Jr. Good reads. Good throws. Competitors come back strong after a rough performance. Tuesday was very bad. Wednesday was very good.

BOBBY MASSIE:

Everything he does is just quicker than the past. His actions are more authoritative. He doesn't seem to be thinking about what he's supposed to be doing. He's just doing.

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