Doug’s Camp Cardinals blog

Aug 2, 2011, 6:39 PM | Updated: Aug 9, 2011, 3:29 pm

Day #9 (8/8/11)

SHOW: Had Kevin Spenser on and Calais Campell.

Coach Spenser is the special teams coach and he’s going to have a real interesting camp. There are 90 guys here. In a very short time he’s got to figure out who he wants on his special teams units. It’s a very interesting dynamic on who’s going to make the team. What if Ray Horton doesn’t really believe in a certain LB but Coach Spenser really wants him for special teams? What if Mike Miller completely believes in having TE’s but Spenser doesn’t think number 4 can really contribute on special teams?

Kevin Spenser’s endorsement is very important to make the team and after the first pre-season game the cuts will go from 90 to 75 so his voice will be instrumental as to who makes the first cuts and who is still with the team after the last pre-season game.

Calais is just a joy to talk to. He’s the first player I’ve ever had the experience of watching grow up as a professional athlete. I’ve been a talk show host for over 20 years but I worked my way up through small markets so my experience was with minor league athletes before I moved to KC. Carl Peterson in KC was so bad at the draft that I never got to watch a young man go through the draft and mature while still being a productive player in the NFL.

Wolf and I had Calais on the show during the 2008 training camp. It’s hard for me to believe he’s in his 4th year. He sounds like a vet now. It’s really cool to watch someone fight just to make a team, have a stud second season, stink up the joint at the beginning of last year and then come back with a solid finish. He gives so much back that you really root for guys like that which is why we try to have him on so much.
Enough with my waxing poetic. Here’s what happened at practice today.


The first thing I did was just laugh at the number of people. There were 15K people or so on Saturday. Today, maybe 55. Kyndra counted 60 without including the dogs. The 60 did include the construction workers that needed a break because it was already 9a. 20 minutes into practice a day care showed up so that added about 15 people. All in all, there were more players than fans. Just about anyone who wanted it got an autograph.
Kevin Spenser worked on on-side kicks. Fitz & Doucett were both on the hands team.

Offense worked on a cool play that could easily be turned into a double pass trick play. Don’t want to get into specifics. It’s not that I don’t trust you but what if someone from another team actually read my blog? I would hate to find out that I put out information that led to a Cardinals loss. I’ll tell you if you see me out at Dan’s one night for a beer.

1st time all camp I’ve seen a QB leave the huddle and check with OC Mike Miller. More shocking it wasn’t Kolb. It was Skelton.

G & T Cliff Lweis and Erick Mensin both getting an earful. Russ Grimm yelled, “Guys, C’mon. Get your head out of your ass.” Then Mike Miller followed up with: “I sense a real feeling of looseness that stops now before Oakland.”

Not much else happened after that. Talked to Fitz for a few minutes. Asked CKW what he thought about Coach Spenser’s lid. He said the bucket hat was a good look for him because it covered most of his mug and made winner’s out of us all.


Walked out of the car and forgot my pen. Didn’t know how I was going to do my blog without a pen to write down notes.

Went up to Yoda and Mike Helm of the Cardinals to ask for a pen. Neither could come through in the clutch.
Asked Kyndra for a pen. Wanted to avoid that because I’ve borrowed a pen from her just about every year for 3 years and this was the first time I seemed to avoid it. She didn’t have one so I might be able to break the streak.

Angela from Peoria who was in the crowd heard me ask Kyndra and offered me a pen from her bag so the PM PRACTICE portion of the blog is brought to you by Angela.
No drops at all during passing drills which is impressive.
Went to punt coverage on special teams. Isiah Williams gets yelled at by Spenser for not being on the field. Kind of cool that he’s advancing so fast that he was supposed to be on the field so early in the special teams portion of practice.

Had a bad angle to see punt coverage/return but I didn’t see any returner drop a punt
OPP looked really good as a gunner. He’s very aggressive and physical. You could tell whoever was supposed to stop him wasn’t interested in practicing as hard as OPP.

RUN PLAYS—defense using cards

Wells nothing left but a perfect cut back—looked like a zone block where he let the wave pass by and found space around RT after the flow went by…good patience
Wells behind big Colledge block

LSH following Sherman…everytime I see Sherman he’s doing something good…this time he blocked a LB so fast I couldn’t see who it was and then he got to the next level and picked off SS Ware to create more space for LSH
Ryan Williams going half speed. Mike Miller: “I got to have more Ryan. That’s not enough to accomplish anything.”

Next play: Mike Miller brings praise after hard run off RT: “That’s better, Ryan. That’s how you play football.”
CKW getting on more and more people for lack of tempo
Don’t know if guys are ready for Oakland but they’re ready to be done with camp…not much energy


Grimm must like Bateste because after almost every play he’s in with the 2’s, Grimm yells “D’Anthony…yadda yadda yadda.” Seems to be spending a lot of time with him.
Mis-direction pitch to LSH for a big gain
Second big LSH gain through the right side

Ryan Williams supposed to go right…over-penetration by defense to their right left a hole for Williams but before he could hit the hole Stewart Bradley shed two blocks and back tracked from “O’s” backfield and made tackle completely surprising Williams from behind. Total hustle play by Bradley.

11 ON 11

Fitz 5-yar out…Kolb comfortable avoiding blitz and solid dropping arm angle to get pass around leaping Calais Campbell

Paris Lenon on blitz forced Kolb into an over-throw

Skelton two straight overthrown on touch passes with no pressure…1st to Roberts should have been caught but tough pass…2nd terrible over-throw of LSH on a wheel route
Another INC pass…Stephen Williams ran inside curl while Skelton threw the curl to the boundary

Isiah Williams strong push off to make catch
Perfect pass from Bartel over CB along sideline but short of on-coming safety…Sampson with a leaping catch kept feet and cut inside safety for big gain

Isiah Williams deep curl tough catch behind him
Missed 2 plays talking to a Cards staffer about Wells
Toler excellent coverage of Fitz and knocked down the pass…I think going against Fitz is really going to help Toler


Why is Dan Williams here? Just so lazy

Dockett spin move and a sack

Keith perfect work, buried him so bad I couldn’t see DE’s number

David Carter forced guard right afraid of spin
move…Carter then bull rushed for sack

Williams pushed Sendlein back but could never could shed block

David Carter great spin forced illegal hands to the face

Didn’t see a lot of the pass drills…did too much socializing

Drills ended so I walked to watch end of 7 on 7

Max Hall perfect pass to Skelton over LB’s

Saw 2 plays and 7 on 7 ended and 11 on 11 started…defense using cards

Wells behind Maui’a…both FB’s look so good

Play fake Wells, Heap with catch up the seam

Kolb rifle through Spach’s hands…Spach gets an earful for the drop from Freddie Kitchens

2’s take over

LSH through middle and then bounce outside…Dray’s great seal on the edge opens up sideline…important for Dray since there’s good competition at TE and he hasn’t looked great.

Sampson and Isiah Williams in ahead of Stephen Williams and Komar

Sampson boundary curl…perfect pass from Skelton

Ryan Williams middle running much harder ever since Mike Miller got on him

Bartel to NAU kid on a 5 yd sit down

Pitch left to Alphonso Smith…good block by DJ Young, Russ Grimm yelled compliments

1’s back in

Play fake to Wells…Kolb to Fitz…10 yrd dig

Roberts didn’t know he’s supposed to be in motion, Kolb signaled to him twice…Wells takes it through the middle
Deep post to Roberts…perfect throw from Kolb


Hey! Dan Williams is here! Strung out OL to his left to set-up easy gang tackle

Wells running the Wild Cat!! I would have tweeted that out but the offense is using cards

Just got a call from a good friend with some sad Vontaze Burfict news

While I was talking on the phone, 3 dropped passes…Stucky, Skelton, and one WR I didn’t see…coach’s are going crazy


Kolb forced to dump to Wells over middle lost a lot of time

:22 INC pass

Gave up after terrible start and started over

2nd try by the 1’s

Kolb to Doucet middle…much faster to the ball

Fitz breaks open deep corner splitting double team but Kolb missed him…threw it underneath the Fitz route to Doucet…Richard Marshal ate up Doucet turning in front and made the pick…Haggans came over yelling, “You’re the $#!*, 31!”

CKW yell lets go2’s, 1’s couldn’t get it done

Bartel in at QB

Quick out to Isiah Williams for 15

Sack for Mashay Green on CB blitz

Bartel middle to Heap…leaping catch in traffic

Heap broke open in end zone…Bartel missed him and went to another WR that I couldn’t see over threw him

Offense completely shut out in 1 minute drill

Day #8 (8/7/11)

Very lazy day

No practice

Went to 10:30 mass with a very boring priest as the regular priest I meet with on a regular basis that serves the Neuman Center in Flagstaff is in Europe with other students celebrating World Youth Day.

I worked all day until about 5p and then went out to dinner with Kyndra.

Came back to the hotel around 8 and was asleep by 8:30

That was about it.

Day #7 (8/6/11)


Nice to sleep in. Got to the field at about 11:10a.

Actually a hot day for Flagstaff but a consistent breeze makes it easy to take…of course it’s nothing like home

The crowd is unbelieveable. Easily over 10,000 people. Pretty great state we live in with an NFL scrimmage, a Rattlers conference championship game and a huge DBacks series all going on in one day.

Simple passing drills to start like normal and Stephen Williams dropst that one

OPP dropped a punt just a day after CKW said he’s in the mix

Few minutes later OPP makes a nice cut in punt return to get up field…problem judging that though because punt and kick returns are never live

Early for 11-on-11

Hand-off Wells…Paris Lenon pushed blocker all the way into Wells to blow-up play

Fitz with great hands using his body to shield off Richard Marshall

Heap deep out after Roberts cleared space with a 9 route…perfect pass from Kolb easy to turn up field…crowd goes crazy

Just noticed there’s no A-Dub…Wilson is between both fields bent over…I have no idea what’s wrong

LSH hand-off…blown-up on weakside…didn’t see who did it but Wells was on the weakside with a solid block…never thought I’d see LSH & Wells in same backfield and certainly didn’t think Wells would ever stand up a LB

D-Washington with a sack…just too quick for the G

Again I’m shocked…Kolb made a change at the line and Wells pointed out the change of the two LB’s…Wells is running tough and now he’s blocking and locked in to what the defense is trying to do…It’s only August but he certainly got the message from Mike Miller during his exit interviews…BTW, nice route by Doucett on a skinny post but I was more shocked by Wells on the play

Playing situations so it’s 4th & 1 and the defense does a lot talking in the huddle…Calais controlled both his gaps, shed his blocker and brought down Wells

Dray ran his route a little short, Skelton with a pass behind him

LSH around right edge…FB Anthony Sherman is the real thing…great block

Stephen Williams with a very clean post pattern…Skelton with a good throw…Stephen Williams really needs to step it up with the way Sampson and Isiah Williams has been performing

Skelton pump & go well covered to LSH on the wheel route…Skelton then wanted Isiah Williams but Williams sat down in the zone behind a LB and didn’t keep floating to a better position…Skelton forced to ground it at Dray’s feet

Sampson with a drop as OPP was right in his face

3’s in now…interesting that Ryan Williams is included here…didn’t think about it when LSH was with the 2’s…Bartel is the #3 QB

Ryan Williams takes hand-off to his right…runs right at the line-of-scrimmage and sees nothing…lightening quick bounce to the outside and takes off down the sideline…there’s a lot to like from him

WR Sean Jeffcoat not able to come up with a big play…Bartel under heavy pressure but he got rid of it without much accuracy…would have been a tough catch but NFL players make that catch

Isiah Williams amazing catch on a deep ball to the front corner of the end zone…does it right in front of crowd

Max Hall in

End around to Jeffcoat…small gain

Max threw it behind Isiah Williams in Skinny post…INT dropped by Toler

Charles Ali out in the flat catches a Hall pass over his head and behind him with one hand

Dan Williams just stands up with no leverage…he doesn’t stay down and drive anybody…there’s no penetration…he looks more and more like the Alan Branch before last year

Max nice roll-out…Rob Hauser came back to his QB to get open

Isiah Williams again…the guy is everywhere

Isiah Williams with a catch but then OPP stripped him…since it was a quick whistle to signify a tackle the play stays…would have been a fumble on Sundays

Max Hall led Aaron Nichols way too far…missed TD…last year Hall couldn’t miss in practice…this year he looks like an Arena League QB

Jared Campbell with a nice read to slip in the hole and blow up the RB

Hall to Houser post pattern…TD…excellent route and use of body by Houser

-=back to the 1’s=-

Play fake Wells…pass to Fitz in triple coverage…over the deep LB, covered by the CB and under S help over the top…perfect pass and great catch in traffic

Incredible play by Dockett…came in on a twist to the O-line’s right…Keith didn’t find him until it was too late…tracked down Kolb…Dockett had one hand on QB, Kolb threw it anyway and Dockett tipped it with his other hand and then made the INT

Wells hand-off…Haggans destroyed King and strung Wells out…Rhodes went into the hole created by Haggans penetration and made the tackle

Kolb amazing lob to Fitz…35 yd TD…Willie Mays type of catch…stands in front of crowd and flips the ball to a group of kids

Lenon stepped up into hole…Wells knocked him completely on his back and kept going…never seen Wells do that

Wells cut-back and caught Porter off guard and drove him back for 3 yards before he went down…this is not the same Beanie

Calais & Dockett standing up…pure pressure forced bad pass from Kolb behind and open Roberts

Ryan Williams…A gap…hurt his ankle and limped back to huddle…stays in

Stephen Williams good feet…bodied up OPP along sideline and toe-tapped to get “3” feet in

Skelton drops sidearm to get pass around pass rush…hits Komar in stride

Skelton play fake right, roll-out left…15 yard touch pass over Richard Marshal to Jeffcoat on sideline

Skelton middle to Stephen Williams blown dead for a sack but I followed ball after the pass and didn’t see who got the sack

Skelton forced roll-out then ran…crowd always go crazy when that happens

Toler break up of deep fade to Fitz…slightly over-thrown

Rashad Johnson very controlled blitz to get Wells right at hand-off

Kolb couldn’t find anyone but there was no spy so he gets a big gain up the middle…crowd goes wild

AJ Jefferson!! Who is this kid! Unbelievable play…read the Fitz skinny post and jumped the route…ball got trapped between both of them and Jefferson ripped it away for the INT

Stephen Williams outside the numbers on a come back route…very smooth

Horton forced to call time-out during 2-minute drill…yelling at his defense…don’t know what was wrong but he kept yelling “nickel, no-lock”…looked like he had 6 DB’s in and that might have been the problem

Wells power run in A gap…Rashad Johnson amazing slide into the hole…RJ has had a great practice…still don’t know what happened to A-Dub

Doucett quick pass on line of scrimmage for 3y

Forced roll for Kolb…threw a bullet to Heap who was only 4y away…INC

Kolb bad INT…first real bad mistake I’ve seen Kolb make…Washington perfect step-for-step with Heap…there was no where to throw the ball to him…Kolb locked on and let it fly anyway…Wells was going to be open against Lenon and Kolb never checked to see if middle was open

Skelton to Ryan Williams…quick cut in the hole

No wide outs open…Skelton too cute to Ryan Williams…didn’t just throw the ball…tried to politely guide it in and threw it behind him

Pitch play to Ryan Williams…no room to the outside and another plant and go…he’s so good out of his cut

Ryan Williams play designed to go left…cuts back against the flow of the defense to find huge hole

Stephen Williams back corner of end zone…he was juggling the ball and came down with complete possession after he couldn’t get his feet in…CKW gives him TD anyway…defense goes crazy but Williams needed that


Wells busts through…Reagan with a great block

Hamza right through the hole giving LSH no chance

John Skelton naked boot leg…whole defense followed play fake to Ryan Williams…TD

DAY #6 (8/5/11)

SHOW: Terribly miss the family but it’s so much easier to get up in the morning when I can turn lights on and play a little music. Forgot my Mountain Dew which is vital for me. Hit the jackpot when I bought one from a vending machine and two came out.

Ray Horton has a great level of confidence and concern. Really like his attitude. Obviously we can’t judge him on one pre-season interview at the start of his first opportunity to be a DC but carries himself well. First coach that concentrated on charts during the breaks and nothing else.

He focused on the positive for this year’s defense. Interesting since there wasn’t many positives last year. Forgot to ask him about A-Dub. That was a complete screw-up by me. A-Dub was awful last year and they still expect great things from him. I want to see before I believe.

AM PRACTICE: I failed, just like so many times when I had an 8 o’clock class. The sales department needed me to do a lot of work after the show and I didn’t get done until 9:45a. After that I just went back to the hotel.

PM PRACTICE: very low intensity today…CKW has been yelling right at the beginning.

7-on-7 from the 12

Toler drops pick v Kolb

Excellent pass from Kolb…Roberts with a step on post pattern…good catch

Drop Stephen Williams…would have been tough catch but got hands on it…threw it high to get over coverage

LSH in flat…Marshall stopped it at 2 yard line

Heap easily in front of end zone and waltz in

CKW yelling again about lack of practice intensity

Skelton pass tipped

Stucky perfect route…quick out…Skelton good pass

Skelton over throw wide open Heap in back corner of the end zone

Pick play with Max…back corner of the end zone…drops high throw

Bartel…perfect lead to Houser but Rob didn’t get head around

Bartel over-throw open Jeffcoat in back of end zone

Bartel not as sharp as he has been through most of camp

Max perfect lob back corner to Skelton…Reggie Walker gets an earful from Horton

INC pass but pass interference Michael Adams

Kolb to Roberts…gr8 catch in traffic

Kolb to Roberts perfect curl route…Miller praises Roberts

Lots of confusion during the dime…Doucett easy TD

Dockett tips pass…Doucett can’t comedown w/ wobbler

Fitz perfect route…fakes outside comes back across middle

Paris Lennon tweeked something….talking to CKW

Crowd goes crazy on Kolb forced roll-out ran for 1st down but would have been clobbered in a game

Pick play Skelton to Dray…tough catch

Watching Stephen Williams v Michael Adams missed play because I started yapping to some weird Flagstaff media guy

Skelton strike to Isiah Williams

Fumbled snap…Mike Miller all over the exchange

Bartel to Isiah Williams…2 good routes from the “new” Williams

Hall to Sampson…deep curl…Sampson drops nothing

Kolb to Roberts…good catch but would have been a sack if going live…Dockett blew up Keith with a bull rush

Kolb led Larry too far…timing isn’t there when going over-the-middle

Kolb quick check to Fitz at line…one hand signal led to post/corner route…Larry takes corner for big play

Skelton with a laser to Sampson…his 1st drop in a week…heard footsteps

False start Batiste…will be shocked if he makes the team

Sampson had it for a second but stripped out by OPP before he showed complete possession…OPP has amazing confidence in his knowledge of the defense

Stephen Williams with a bad drop…he’s just not the same

Bullet throw on a deep out from Skelton to Houser…perfection

Spach over the middle…haven’t heard from him at all during camp

Spach again…quick out in the flat underneath the WR 9 route

Hall incomplete to Jefferson…hitch & go…thrown a hair short but Jeffcoat poor job getting around defender to fight for the ball

Doucett easy catch on the flood

Kolb pump to Larry across middle, comes back to last read Heap in back corner of end zone…incomplete, thrown with no touch, too hard for Heap to go up an get

LSH perfect bounce down line…burst through hole

Wells ran over Rashad Johnson…the man is running so much tougher

Stuckey underneath…defense didn’t react…TD

Stuckey quick turn in front of Rashad Johnson…TD from Skelton…Skelton looks good…definitely has a future

2 min drill

LB twist…Kolb read and dumped to Wells…good run for 1st down

INC to Fitz…Toler great coverage

Roberts perfect sit down in front of Rhodes in the 2-deep…Kolb started yelling “down clock” as soon as he threw it over the middle and O-line went with him

Kolb perfect pass over OPP’s head and dropped into Larry’s arms right on sideline

Kolb behind Fitz on slant…hit hands but tough catch

Kolb wanted Roberts underneath…Dockett with the bat down of the pass

Roberts WR screen…cover 0 blitz but defense still got back with screen over their head…no score for the 1’s

Dray on the square out

Dray again but this time made a move and got out-of-bounds

Sampson dig route…good catch but turned it up field…CKW all over him for not getting out-of-bounds

Skelton to Sampson on a perfect deep curl…Sampson immediately out-of-bounds…fast learner

OPP just destroyed Stuckey

OPP broke up slant to Sampson by just barely reaching around to knock it down…could have been PI but NFL back judge was there and didn’t wave flag

Stuckey bad route…too many steps to get out of his break and the ball went by him before he turned around

DAY #5 (8/4/11)

SHOW: Mike Miller was solid. Said there was still a QB competition for the #1 spot. I believe him in his own mind. Catch is there’s no way an OC is going to make the decision to start anyone the HC and GM have traded for.

KEVIN KOLB: He’s not a real self-promoter. Strong leader to his players but doesn’t feel the need to show that outwardly to the media. There’s a clear difference between him on air and how he acts around other players.

BREAKFAST: went to this wonderful place…Mike and Ronda’s. It’s McKenna’s 7th birthday. I hate that I haven’t been home for her birthday since she turned 2. She handles it so well. We ate breakfast together and watched her open her present from Jennifer and me. We got her a scooter.

God Bless our troops and their families. I’m already missing mine and they’re sitting at the table with me.


Amazingly different intensity level to practice. The newly signed guys have been bottled up so long they’re getting after it. At the same time, the younger players are trying to hold on to their jobs now that they see the big dogs on the porch.

Wells is turning heads. Looks very fast.

Dan Williams is on again off again.

LSH tried to get through C gap…Stew Bradley smothered the whole

Wells again…running with power

Calais just ran right through Colledge

FB Reagan Maui’a made the block of training camp. The block was so crushing I couldn’t even make out the number of the defender

D-Line looks ahead of O-line

OL Batiste huge trap block…RB Williams right through the hole

Kolb over-threw Larry who was in single coverage against Adams…assuming that won’t happen much

Kolb avoids rush…immediately looks for Larry

Practice seems to keep getting more & more physical

Kolb on forced roll out…never takes eyes off of Fitz…starting to get worried about the inability to look for someone else (but I wouldn’t look for someone else either)

OPP lined up with the 1’s as the nickel CB

Dray didn’t break off route to help Skelton with the blitz…good decision by John

Stew Bradley causing major problems to the second team…standing up in the A gap

DC Horton keeps yelling “Get to the ball.” Every defender has to run down the ball carrier

Sampson drops nothing…7th round pick just looks better with each practice

Doucett smooth across the middle

Komar bad drop…he’s got a lot of ground to make up

Kolb now looks more patient…eyes staying downfield…not staring down Fitz

—1-on-1 pass protect—

Brandon Keith very solid

Curtis Gatewood with an amazing spin move

Colledge handled Campbell this time…different than early in practice during run drills

Sendlein stands up Williams…again Dan going through the motions

Hadnot completely controls Dockett

Watching pass drills between lineman reps…just saw Kolb with a perfect throw over the middle right when the safety turned his back the ball went behind him

Floyd Womack looks like he has something left

Stewart Bradley…don’t know why I wrote this…after I wrote Bradley’s name I got interrupted by Brian Gibberman

Sampson with a leaping catch…the guy drops nothing

Max Hall INT…crossing pattern…led 1 receiver too far or under threw another one…couldn’t tell who he was looking for

Kolb smooth but again staring down Fitz

Will Davis missed tackle

Sampson again

Ryan Williams left his FB but made a great cut and was gone

Colledge false starts

Kolb looked off safety then back to Roberts

Anthony Sherman with a crunching block…this kid doesn’t screw up very much…have no idea what he can do on special teams but I like him

Stephen Williams with a great block on WR screen…haven’t seen much of Stephen…not standing out like last year

Sampson again…this is getting silly

After the Sampson catch, new DL Carter mixes it up with Pestock…good shoves but media went into a frenzy over nothing…some TV guy runs over to me, “WHO WAS IN THAT?”…I was dying to say, “Pay attention.

Bad read by LSH…didn’t stay with play to outside…tried cut-back and got drilled by Bradley

Bartel over the middle to Doucett…Bartel continues to look good

Kolb completely sold screen…Wells with blockers…would have been a 50 yrd TD

Max stares down first read until forced from pocket…may have been a sack at full speed…dumps off to Heap

Wells falls down losing his cleat…he actually gets up without limping…a completely different player

Kolb amazing throw over LB’s turned head and just short of the safety…Heap drops it

Stephen Williams alligator arms a pass from Kolb…Stephen struggling

—time for live goal line—

Kolb/Wells fumble handoff

Flood right…King back across middle against the flow…great Kolb play-action…TD

Rex Hadnot crushing trap block and no one saw it…players will go crazy if they show the practice film…TD Wells…Wells is just hitting hole too soon for defense

—2’s come in—

Ryan Williams runs through two for TD

Reggie Walker went low…Ryan Williams fakes going low and jumps over him for his 2nd TD

Williams easily around RT…TD

Alphonso Smith stopped at 2 and got help…drove to TD

Never seen the O look like this so early…the defense had looked good up until this point but they were just dominated

DAY #4 (8/3/11)

SHOW: The DBacks are amazing. We got to talk more DBacks than we have all season.

MARK SCHLERETH: great conversation. He was really impressed with the moves the Cards made. Completely in favor of the DRC trade. Said Orton can’t make plays down the field on third down when his team is counting on him.

STEWART BRADLEY: very cerebral guy. Kind of mocked Phoenix media for how tame we are. It was funny because you could tell he loves the environment.

MORNING PRACTICE: don’t know how much more of these I can take. Nothing happens I need to see but I’m afraid the one I miss will be the one that something happens. The new CBA is a good thing to keep players on the field but it makes 2-a-days so pointless.

AFTERNOON PRACTICE: I wanted to see the DBacks game but I napped through it. Jason Marquis’ debut was the talk amongst all the media.

Here’s the practice notes:

DJ Young held up nicely against Campbell

DB Dunn destroyed by Fitz. Kid was a nervous wreck

CKW: “C’mon Rob.” Houser didn’t get head around when he was the hot read. CKW and Mike Miller both talked to him after the play.

Sampson quick out on Toler. Boxed him out and made the catch. Sampson’s had one bad practice and other than that he’s been nails. Stephen Williams should be very worried.

OL Cliff Louis 2 false starts in three plays

Bartel sidestepped blitz and found his read down field. He’s starting to blow away Hall for #3 job.

Dan Williams very lazy in 1-on-1 drill

Schofield b-2-b sacks in 1-on-1…every practice I’m writing about something else he’s doing

DJ Young another stand-up…who is this kid?

—moved to middle to watch 7-on-7 1-on-1s—

2 good Houser routes

OL Jake Vermilgo doesn’t look athletic enough for OT but I like him anyway

Dan Williams better aggression v Sendlein

Leaping catch by Sampson…showed some attitude after the catch

Cliff Louis destroyed by docket…tough day

Andre Roberts drops easy out route

Rashad Johnson came in on blitz out-of-control…LSH with one move blew by him

Screen to hyphen…Bartel dropped to sidearm (just like Gannon) to get it around pass rush…Pestock cleared the whole sidewalk

Dockett exploded in on Ryan Williams…1st time Williams couldn’t go anywhere

Alphonso Smith sold inside move to OPP and he bought it

Wells looks fast and powerful

L B Kendall Smith missed his gap…got caught up in the trash…Wells exploded through C gap

Great sell job by Skelton on opposite side screen…noticing a lot more screen passes

Skelton late to pull trigger

An A-Dub sack…that ‘s good to see…DC Horton has A-Dub playing much closer to the line…looks good


Last dinner with the family…they leave tomorrow

It’s so tough being up here because when the family’s here I feel pressure to be with them but I’m too busy. Our hotel room isn’t big enough for the four of us and I hate having to step around them in the morning with no lights on. Then when they leave I’m miserable without them.

Can’t wait to talk to Mike Miller tomorrow. I have a lot of faith in him.

DAY #3 (8/2/11)

SHOW: How could not love Patrick Peterson? I completely don’t believe the Wonderlick score. The kid’s smart, articulate and quick-witted. Watching him during practice you can tell he’s picking up things quickly.

Wolf and Paul was hilarious arguing whether or not proving people wrong is the same as proving yourself right.

No morning practice so I went home (hotel) and worked on notes and returning tweets


Here’s my notes from practice. If you’re going to read this, understand the O-line is very weak. Also know that these are observations of each play. It takes a series of plays before clear patterns are formed.

Max dominates trash can drill but practice is inside so there’s no crowd reaction.

Hadnot @ RT couldn’t hold edge on Wells run through the B gap

Rob Houlser looks like a football player but he’s playing too fast. Instead of finding assignment and running to block him, he runs to space and then looks for assignment that he just blew by.

Ryan Williams is a very smooth runner once he gets going but stutter steps around blocks instead of hitting hole. Wonderful runner inside but doesn’t understand the LB will kill him as he reads the kick out block. Plant your foot and go.

Calais amazingly powerful in 1-on-1 drills

Jim Dray is a false start machine

Dan Williams getting deep penetration. Coaches don’t care. D-Line coach keeps yelling, “Let’s see it NINE-TWO.”

Ryan Williams has to learn to run downhill

O’Brien Schofield very quick around the edge. Good chance the investment in him pays off

John Skelton threw helmet down in frustration. It bounced up and hit CKW. Whiz not happy.

Another false start on Jim Dray.

Peterson is amazingly quick out of his back pedal. Made a great read out of the nickel to jump on slot receiver.

Stephen Skelton slow to get down on low pass. Game seems too fast for him.

David Carter…wow…this guy is amazing. How did he slip through the draft? Just made a great swim move from the DT spot

D-Wash eaten up in coverage on TE…couldn’t find the ball and Dray beat him over the top

Fitz with an actual drop

Sam Acho got out of his back pedal like a CB and jumped route to TE…not bad for a LB

Rashad Johnson was barking at OPP…OPP just gave thumb…didn’t need more instruction and went into press coverage…seems to know defense much more than a rookie should in 2nd professional practice

Drop by Jim Dray…not a good practice for him

Newbie DJ Young destroyed by Calais in pass rush

Max Hall frustrated with a drop from the NAU rookie yells, “Gosh dang it.” Draws a laugh from some teammates for perceived vulgarity

Bartel with back-to-back great out routes. There’s a serious battle for the #3 QB.

Stephen Williams looks very smooth. Unfortunately he gets no credit. Anything he does falls into “been there, done that” at training camp. Must prove himself in games.

Dockett held in order to keep off the QB

Pestock slow pulling around

Pestock came right back with solid trap block

OPP right with Sampson. Stepped up in press coverage. Sampson couldn’t go anywhere. Play went to other side and OPP ran clear across the field to be in on tackle

CC & Dockett both standing up. Calais shoots A gap. Dockett in B gap. Completely unstoppable

D-Wash amazing contain and pursuit on Wells

Calais through a double team and knocked off a pulling guard on way to hyphen

Bartel a victim of a drop. He looks really good

WR Aaron Nichols with a great move along the sideline

Max Hall with a stare down on a receiver who dropped a pass…couldn’t see who the receiver was

Day 2 (8/1/11)

SHOW: Loved Larry Bowa saying D-backs had staying power because Giants can’t run away with division.

Coach Whisenhunt stressed “attention to detail.” In talking to him on and off air, I get the feeling assumptions are out. He’s never said this but I think CKW believes he trusted too many veterans to correct mistakes on their own without a higher level of accountability from the coaches. Sure the coaches told them what was wrong, but I think there will be more benchings or even more veteran cuts if things aren’t fixed sooner.


Brutal…not from a production standpoint but from a fan’s standpoint.

Simple walk through with a lot of special teams work.

New CBA rules on practice time are good for the fans who want to see their favorite players play longer but bad for the training camp fan who sees far fewer action in the morning practice.

Talked with Clark Haggans. He loves the new defense. However, I’ve been doing a talk show for 20 years and I’ve never heard a player say they didn’t like the new system. If a player ever says the old system was better than they are admitting the problem was them.

Long talk with Calais Campbell. Loves the defense too. He sounds like an old veteran. It’s weird to watch a rookie grow into a man. He was talking about the young guys’ learning curve needing to be so steep because of no OTAs or minicamps. The problem is the veterans aren’t as much help because they’re learning the system too since they didn’t have an off-season either.

Tracked down Kevin Spencer. He said it’s just crazy right now. So many players in camp and he’s worried sick he won’t fight for a kid that could be a special teamer just because he doesn’t get to really spend enough time with each one when you’ve got 90 guys in camp. So much of the last 10 spots on a roster have to do with the positional numbers crunch and each individual’s ability to play special teams.

Huge media scrum around Fitz to ask about contract status in light of Rod Graves’ statement that if Fitz wants to stay the Cards will make it happen before the opener.

Stephen Williams and Rich Bartel last to leave practice.

Was walking through the parking lot and Fitz came by on his segway. He took the hat off my head as he went by and without saying anything he put on the roof of a car about 7 cars down. Didn’t know if that meant I was the geeky kid in high school being picked on by the athlete or if I’m now in the Fitz circle of trust. Assuming the former but maybe it’s a step towards the latter.


Nice day turned crappy…have to move practice inside to the dome.

Weird to practice in a construction zone. I had to sign a waiver saying I won’t sue if I die (I think that’s what I signed anyway). NAU removing seats and putting in new press box and suites. Looks really nice. Too bad they put so much time into that and no time into fixing the door to our broadcast room.

The rules for the year are so odd. In normal years, players who can’t practice are off doing work with the trainers to speed healing and recovery. Kolb is not practicing. He’s not wearing a jersey and looks like a young GA in the college game learning to be a coach. He stands next to Mike Miller and gets the play call while another QB runs to the huddle. After the play he talks to the receivers about the route, then goes back to Miller. He’s very involved without being involved.

Love watching Patrick Peterson. Even when he’s not in the play (I don’t mean the play is run to the other side, I mean when he’s supposed to be on the sideline and another CB is playing), he doesn’t sit on the sideline. He stands about 20/30 yards behind the play and gets the defensive assignment for his position. He then covers a make-believe receiver who just happens to do whatever it is that the actual receiver is doing to the CB that’s truly in the play. After he “goes through the motions” (said in a positive manner for once), he shouts out a question to his position coach or Ray Horton and then lines up again. He gives new meaning to “never takes a play off” because he doesn’t take one off even when he’s supposed to.

This just in…Larry’s really good. He attacks every route. If you’re a coach or a parent with a football kid that needs molded, get to Flagstaff and just watch Larry practice. Sure your kid has only a 0.05% chance of playing like him, but he could sure learn to practice like him.

Andre Roberts catches punts at about a 50% rate. Where’s OPP?

There’s actually a guy from the NFL walking around making sure the CBA rules are followed. I guess you have to because of the Belichiks of the world but it’s just weird to see the “free agent police” here. Is he really going to run on the field and stop Kolb from throwing the football to someone?

Talked to Patrick Peterson for a few minutes to set-up a talk with him on tomorrow’s show. Seems like a great kid for what you can find out in a 4 minute conversation.

Really wanted to talk with Mike Miller but I missed out while talking to Patrick.

Went to dinner at Busters and was there for 4 hours. My hotel room doesn’t have FSNAZ so I needed to go to a bar to watch the game. After 4 and ½ years together, it was the first time Wolf and I sat in a bar together with no one else and watched a sporting event. It was very strange.

Hopefully tomorrow I catch up with Mike Miller. We’ve got Kevin Towers live from SF tomorrow and Patrick Peterson. A buddy just called me with a weird Braylon Edwards story that might make tomorrow interesting.

Day 1 (7/31/11)

My first day is slightly different than the players. I didn’t come up until Sunday night. Players had already practiced twice. I’m a slacker because I only missed one practice last year and now I’m already 0-for-2 to start camp.

Stayed home to start the football weekend with a Rattlers victory on Friday night. Went to Mass Sunday night and then took the priest out to dinner after Mass. He asked if he could chip in for the meal. I said no. Seconds later, the father and grandfather at a table of 13 stood up and told all at the table that “Preacher John” was buying everyone’s dinner. I don’t know if our priest felt pressure or not.

Very difficult night preparing for show. Girls trying to sleep behind me in the hotel room while fighting my desk light. I can’t stand being away from my family but it’s nearly impossible to create the working environment I need when they are here.

I had to go outside the hotel to make phone calls concerning baseball trade deadline. I hated trying to cover NFL free agency signings and MLB trade deadline deals at the same time. Felt like I could never get a handle on either.

Tomorrow’s agenda

The show and speak to Coach Whiz

Morning practice and catch up with Kevin Spencer

PM practice: watch Patrick Peterson and catch up with Mike Miller

Doug Franz

Follow @AZSports...
Arizona Sports

Motivation Monday: What motivates Doug Franz

Here's what motivates Doug Franz on this Monday.
8 years ago
Arizona Cardinals' quarterback Carson Palmer (3) works out during an NFL football training camp, We...
Doug Franz

In Carson Palmer I trust

Every $19.95 invention grabbed my attention. If I buy now, I can get my offer doubled. However, this offer is not available in stores! From age 5 to 14, almost every time an ad came on TV with an incredible idea, my dad would say, “If the offer is too good to believe, don’t.” Dad, […]
8 years ago
Follow @doug987FM...
Doug Franz

Confidence, questions and concerns from Week 1 of Cardinals camp

Doug Franz gives us what he's confident about and what concerns him about the Arizona Cardinals.
8 years ago
Follow @doug987FM...
Doug Franz

Great does not make Todd Gurley right for the Arizona Cardinals

A completely healthy Todd Gurley will be a great player in the NFL. The Arizona Cardinals should not draft Todd Gurley.
8 years ago
Follow @doug987FM...
Doug Franz

In Ray Anderson they trust

All indications point to Jeff Capel as the next head coach of Arizona State.
8 years ago
Follow @doug987FM...
Doug Franz

On Arizona State’s coaching search: Sad, but true

There's zero buzz in the Phoenix marketplace for ASU basketball.
8 years ago
Doug’s Camp Cardinals blog