The Arizona Cardinals’ preseason came to a close on Thursday night with a 26-7 victory over the Denver Broncos.
As the team moves into the regular season, some tough decisions will have to be made about the roster, but for now, head coach Ken Whisenhunt said he couldn’t be more pleased with the players he has worked with over the past month and change.
“We’re very fortunate that we had the type of guys in camp, all 90 of them which is now 80, and they did a great job up until this last game of trying to do what we asked them to do and working hard,” Whisenhunt said Thursday.
While Whiz did say that the Cardinals still have some work to do, he also said that the team had come a long way and that he “couldn’t complement our players enough”. High praise, considering the players had to work out themselves all summer and had to make the most of a shortened camp due to the NFL lockout.
One of the players of who Whiz was undoubtedly speaking was quarterback Richard Bartel, who put together a great performance against the Broncos. He completed 12 passes for 216 yards and two touchdowns. He may have allowed a pick, but Bartel looked confident on the ball and in the huddle.
With his performance and the injury to John Skelton, Bartel looks like a shoe-in for the Cards’ backup QB position.
“I just want to make my case to contribute to this team in anyway possible,” Bartel said after the game on Thursday, adding that this season is the best opportunity he’s ever had in his life.
With the real action starting in a little more than a week, Whisenhunt and his Cardinals do have work to do. But with the promise shown by Kevin Kolb, Bartel and Larry Fitzgerald on the offense and Patrick Peterson, Darnell Dockett and A.J. Jefferson on defense, the Cards can take Thursday night to enjoy a postseason that has them on the right track.
“I’ll sleep great tonight,” Bartel said.