First week of OTAs proved useful for Cardinals

May 24, 2012, 10:21 PM | Updated: 11:31 pm

The Arizona Cardinals wrapped up their first week of OTAs
Thursday, completing what head coach Ken Whisenhunt said
was a good few days.

The quarterbacks looked improved, the rookies looked
talented and the veterans, even, were happy to be back on
the field.

After all, they didn’t have this opportunity last year.

“I think people appreciate the offseason a lot more now
than we did in years past because of last year, how much
it hurt us,” defensive lineman Calais Campbell said.
Campbell, you may recall, entered a new tax bracket this
offseason after signing a nice new contract with the team.
“I think we’re kind of really working harder now and
taking it more intensely.”

Words like that would have to be music to Whisenhunt’s
ears, as the coach himself said it’s important the team
work hard during these summer months in an effort to get
off to a fast start this season.

Because as we found out last year, the team’s 1-6 start
was simply too much to overcome.

“If we can carry the momentum from last year, winning
seven of our last nine, and we can start faster,” the
coach said, “then I think our team will have a lot of
confidence, and that’s what it’s really all about.”

Well, that and winning, which Campbell is confident the
team will do a lot of in 2012.

“We’ve got a great team this year,” he said. “It’s crazy
how everybody looks so competitive, everybody’s in shape,
everybody’s flying around having fun.

“We’ve got the team chemistry we need; I think we’re going
to be a great team this year.”

A lot will happen between now and when that determination
can officially be made, but if the Cardinals are in fact
going to be a “great team,” OTAs are an important step
towards getting there.

Sure, it’s tough to get a true feel for guys when they’re
not wearing pads and hitting people, but OTAs are a time
where rookies can get acclimated, veterans can get in
shape and systems can be implemented.

While the return to a normal offseason will help every
other team, too, the Cardinals may benefit more because of
the fact that their quarterbacks can now fully immerse
themselves in the offense, getting a head start they did
not have last year.

Whisenhunt has already seen a difference.

“What really is evident is being able to call the play, so
I know that they’re processing it better,” he said of his
quarterbacks and their knowledge of the offense. “It’s a
process that you have go to through.”

Whisenhunt compared it to when the team was trying to get
Kurt Warner, he of “actually taking the Cardinals to the
Super Bowl” fame, saying that it does take time.

“There’s going to be some really good days and there’s
going to be some sketchy days, but little by little we’re
making progress.”

And that’s exactly what OTAs are all about.

Cardinals QBs Kevin Kolb and John Skelton wait 
to throw during OTAs Thursday. (Photo by Adam 
Green/Arizona Sports) Cardinals QB Richard Bartel throws a pass 
during OTAs Thursday. (Photo by Adam 
Green/Arizona Sports) Cardinals linemen stand around during OTAs 
Thursday. (Photo by Adam Green/Arizona Sports) Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald gives some 
pointers to rookie wideout Michael Floyd at 
OTAs Thursday. (Photo by Adam Green/Arizona 
Sports) Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald lines up at 
Cardinals OTAs Thursday. (Photo by Adam 
Green/Arizona Sports) Cardinals QB Kevin Kolb throws a pass during 
OTAs Thursday. (Photo by Adam Green/Arizona 
Sports) Cardinals QB Kevin Kolb stands around at OTAs 
on Thursday. (Photo by Adam Green/Arizona 
Sports) Isaih Williams makes a catch along the 
sidelines during OTAs Thursday. (Photo by Adam 
Green/Arizona Sports) Running back Ryan Williams goes through drills 
during OTAs Thursday. (Photo by Adam 
Green/Arizona Sports) Richard Bartel throws a pass at OTAs Thursday. 
(Photo by Adam Green/Arizona Sports) Larry Fitzgerald has a drink during OTAs 
Thursday. (Photo by Adam Green/Arizona Sports) Running back Ryan Williams goes through drills 
during OTAs Thursday. (Photo by Adam 
Green/Arizona Sports) Larry Fitzgerald bounces off a "defender" and 
prepares to catch a pass during OTAs Thursday. 
(Photo by Adam Green/Arizona Sports) Cardinals safety Kerry Rhodes. (Photo by Adam 
Green/Arizona Sports) Cardinals QBs Kevin Kolb and John Skelton get 
ready to snap the ball during OTAs Thursday. 
(Photo by Adam Green/Arizona Sports) Defensive linemen Darnell Dockett, Dan Williams 
and Calais Campbell run through a drill during 
OTAs Thursday. (Photo by Adam Green/Arizona 
Sports) Safeties Kerry Rhodes and Adrian Wilson wait 
before a play is run during OTAs Thursday. 
(Photo by Adam Green/Arizona Sports) Larry Fitzgerald makes a catch during OTAs 
Thursday. (Photo by Adam Green/Arizona Sports) Safety Adrian Wilson during OTAs Thursday. 
(Photo by Adam Green/Arizona Sports) Cornerback Patrick Peterson takes a break 
during OTAs Thursday. (Photo by Adam 
Green/Arizona Sports) Larry Fitzgerald prepares to catch a pass 
during OTAs Thursday. (Photo by Adam 
Green/Arizona Sports) Defensive linemen Darnell Dockett, Dan Williams 
and Calais Campbell get set for a drill during 
OTAs Thursday. (Photo by Adam Green/Arizona 
Sports) Calais Campbell takes a break during OTAs 
Thursday. (Photo by Adam Green/Arizona Sports) Defensive linemen Darnell Dockett, Dan Williams 
and Calais Campbell run through a drill during 
OTAs Thursday. (Photo by Adam Green/Arizona 
Sports) Kerry Rhodes makes a catch during OTAs 
Thursday. (Photo by Adam Green/Arizona Sports) Patrick Peterson makes a catch during OTAs 
Thursday. (Photo by Adam Green/Arizona Sports) Darnell Dockett during OTAs Thursday. (Photo by 
Adam Green/Arizona Sports) Rookie Jamell Fleming makes a catch during OTAs 
Thursday. (Photo by Adam Green/Arizona Sports) Quarterback Kevin Kolb. (Photo by Adam 
Green/Arizona Sports) Ken Whisenhunt shares a laugh with linebacker 
Daryl Washington during OTAs Thursday. (Photo 
by Adam Green/Arizona Sports) Linebacker Daryl Washington. (Photo by Adam 
Green/Arizona Sports) Safety Kerry Rhodes stretches with teammates 
prior to OTAs Thursday. (Photo by Adam 
Green/Arizona Sports) Larry Fitzgerald and Kevin Kolb stretch before 
OTAs Thursday. (Photo by Adam Green/Arizona 
Sports)

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First week of OTAs proved useful for Cardinals