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Notes from the Nest: Offense returns to form in Red & White practice

Receiver Larry Fitzgerald reaches out for the ball while Tyvon Branch is in coverage during the team's training camp practice Aug. 6. (Photo by Adam Green/Arizona Sports)

GLENDALE, Ariz. — And then the offense looked good again.

After a couple of practices in which Arizona’s electric offense looked out of sync, Saturday’s afternoon affair saw a return to form as Carson Palmer and the rest of the team’s quarterbacks (and one receiver) were able to make plays down the field.

Of course, it was not an offense-only day as the defense had its moments, so all-in-all it was a pretty good outing.

The Good

– Receiver Jaron Brown had himself a good afternoon, catching a touchdown pass from Larry Fitzgerald and being on the receiving end of a couple of nice passes from Carson Palmer. On one of them, during 11-on-11 work, he beat Patrick Peterson deep down the field for a touchdown.

– In a red zone sequence, Palmer connected with both Michael Floyd and Fitzgerald for touchdowns.

– Drew Stanton found Brittan Golden for a short touchdown, with the receiver being wide open. The backup QB also hit running back Andre Ellington for a short touchdown on a play that saw a fake reverse featuring receiver Chris Hubert.

– Fitzgerald looked like himself out there, though his best catch — a diving effort down the sideline — was ruled incomplete.

– Tight end Hakeem Valles reached the end zone after a short toss from Matt Barkley.

– New cornerback Alan Ball intercepted Stanton during 11-on-11 and took the ball back for a pick-six.

– QBs are not to be touched, though with referees on hand “sacks” were called. From what it looked like, both Ed Stinson and Alex Okafor collected one.

– Safety Tony Jefferson stuffed Chris Johnson in the backfield on one play.

– Though it was not easy, both Chris Johnson and Elijah Penny were able to reach the end zone in goal-line work.

The Bad

– The offensive line seemed to struggle in short yardage and goal line situations.

– Speaking of goal line situations, the offense (by my count) scored touchdowns on just two of seven attempts. There were two incomplete passes, and both David and Chris Johnson found it difficult to get into the end zone. David, in fact, was stopped in his tracks on one play by Red Bryant.

Injury Report

Nothing to see here. Guard Mike Iupati got shaken up on one short-yardage play and was slow to get up, but only missed one play before returning. No one left the field early, and the only players who did not practice were the ones who have been out for a while now.

Notable

The Cardinals announced Saturday’s attendance to be just more than 25,000, which tops last year’s mark.

Fitzgerald caught a pass near the sideline and rolled out of bounds. After getting up, he tackled Arizona Sports‘ Ron Wolfley. Or, as Wolf puts it, Fitzgerald laid a “blindside ankle tackle and a late hit!” You can judge for yourself here.

Rookie Evan Boehm was running with the second team at center, though at this point I’ve stopped trying to make sense of the rotations at the position. A.Q. Shipley is the starter, and after that who knows.

Quotable

“Oh yeah. All of a sudden they lose three-of-four percent body fat and play their ass off.” – Bruce Arians on if he notices a change in players when they are in contract years

“It’s going to be some helmets taken off; blood on the turf.” – Linebacker Kevin Minter on the Cardinals having some heavy hitters.

“Oh yeah, oh yeah. A lot of people are going to be swallowing mouthpieces this year, you’ll see.” – Minter, on idea that opponents take note of Arizona’s physicality

Some highlights

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