Flagstaff, Ariz. — To a man, the Arizona Cardinals all say they cannot wait
play the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.
And no, it has nothing to do with “Bounty Gate”.
The Cardinals have been practicing for a week now, and at this point are
simply tired of seeing the same faces staring at them from across the line
“I’m looking forward to Sunday and actually hitting someone in a different
color jersey,” defensive lineman Calais Campbell said.
Added offensive lineman Jeremy Bridges: “We’ve been in camp four days
longer than everybody else, so it’s getting to that point where I need to see
But first the Cardinals had to square off against one another under the
Lumberjack Stadium as part of the annual night practice.
While most of the evening was a standard run-of-the-mill practice, the
end is when things got fun.
The night finished with the team battling it out at the goalline, a drill that
always gets the players and fans fired up.
When all was said and done the offense had scored a few touchdowns and
the defense made a few stops. Who won the drill? Depends on who you ask
and on which side of the ball they play.
Or, maybe, the Cardinals won. Period.
“That competition’s good for everybody,” QB Kevin Kolb said. “When you
get down there on the goal line like that, one and two, everybody knows
what it’s about.
“It’s a power game, it’s man-to-man and here we go.”
According to Arizona Sports 620’s
Ron Wolfley, the defense won the day and John Skelton the battle of
But as has been the case all of camp, everyone understands little will be
really be won on the practice fields of Northern Arizona University. The
games are what matter — even when they really don’t — and that’s what
everyone is looking forward to.
Because to the Cardinals, the Saints represent the true beginning of what
could be something special. The defense is playing with a swagger they
seem to have earned with the way they finished the 2011 season, and the
offense, while a work-in-progress, may have the pieces to be fairly
It’s just tough to show it when you have to hold back against your
teammates. It’s a necessary evil.
“When we compete we get the best out of each other,” Bridges said. “We
kind of get on each other’s nerves as you all can see.
“It gets real chippy in this night practice.”
Whether it was offensive players being upset with some hits that may have
been too hard or defensive players not being very appreciative of some
smack talk — much of it courtesy of Mr. Bridges himself — the night was
filled with an intensity normally reserved for games.
Fortunately the first one is right around the corner.