Notes from the Nest: Cardinals training camp practice, Aug. 1
GLENDALE, Ariz. — The Arizona Cardinals began their 2015 training camp in earnest Saturday in front of an estimated 12,000 fans at University of Phoenix Stadium.
It was the first of 19 practices that will be open to the public, and though the players were not wearing pads, they put on a pretty good show for those in attendance.
Though to be fair, there is little the team could have done that would have disappointed the masses, who were excited to get their first look at a team many believe could contend for a spot in Super Bowl 50.
If not for the brace on his left knee you would not have guessed QB Carson Palmer was coming off an injury. True to everything we’ve all heard up to this point, No. 3 looked like his normal self on the field throwing darts and even scrambling when necessary. He hooked up with John Brown for one deep ball, burning Patrick Peterson down the sideline (though Peterson claimed it was an incomplete pass). Palmer also threw touchdown passes to Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd during 11-on-11 drills.
It was good to see Andre Ellington back on the field, too, running with the first-team. Though expectations do not seem to be as high for him now as they were one year ago, the third-year pro is once again going to be counted on to be a big part of the team’s offense.
Brown looked every bit the star people think he is about to become, reeling in a couple of well-thrown deep balls. Rookie J.J. Nelson also looked good, hauling in a couple of deep passes.
Also, Tyrann Mathieu looked very much like himself, flying around the field making plays. In one drill he stepped in front of a pass intended for Brown, batted the ball in the air and then came down with the interception. Now to be fair, he may have held Brown a bit when the receiver was coming out of his break, but the interception itself was clean and another sign of the Honey Badger being back.
Linebacker Sean Weatherspoon and tight end Darren Fells each left practice early. While it seems Fells was suffering from cramps, there is no word on what happened with Weatherspoon.
Fitzgerald dropped a pass during one drill.
Tight end Ifeanyi Momah got a good amount of work with the first-team offense, though that may have been because both Jermaine Gresham (back) and Troy Niklas (hamstring) sat out with injuries.
Ellington and rookie David Johnson shared the backfield for a few plays.
“Never. Not even a hint of doubt. I was cognizant of all of the work ahead of me but never for a second did I have a doubt.” – QB Carson Palmer on if he had any doubts he’d be back this season following a torn ACL
The Cardinals will get back on the field Sunday with a walkthrough in the morning and then another practice at 2:00, with the latter event once again open to fans.