GLENDALE, Ariz. — Earlier this week, Cardinals coach Bruce Arians lamented the fact that his defense did not come up with any interceptions during its week of practice (and ensuing preseason game) against the San Diego Chargers.
He likely has no such complaints after Monday afternoon’s session, which saw the defensive backs make more than their fair share of big plays, some of which came at the expense of the first-team offense.
Anyway, the countdown to the end of camp is in its final week, as the Cardinals have just two more that are open to the public before breaking camp Friday.
– Brandon Williams, who has had a pretty good camp, maybe had his best day — at least in terms of big plays. In 7-on-7, he batted up a ball that was eventually intercepted by Tyrann Mathieu, and later in practice, he picked off a Carson Palmer pass. His defensive teammates reacted with quite a bit of enthusiasm.
– Jaron Brown continued to shine, making some really nice catches including a touchdown in which he outjumped the defender during red zone.
– Receiver Amir Carlisle and tight end Hakeem Valles came up with some nice grabs.
– Matt Barkley connected with Chris Hubert for a red zone score.
– Michael Floyd was on the receiving end of a couple of Palmer touchdown passes.
– Andre Ellington continued to look fast, especially in the screen game.
– As noted earlier, Mathieu had his first interception of camp. Predictably, the fans in attendance cheered rather loudly.
– Mike Jenkins had a nice play on a Matt Barkley pass during 7-on-7. He probably should have picked it off.
– Jaxon Shipley put another catchable pass on the turf. Later in the practice, he made an outstanding catch on a pass down the field, but it’s not advisable to keep dropping passes.
– I guess if you see the defense getting its hands on some passes as a bad thing, there was more of that than usual Monday so that would not be great in your opinion.
– Cole Toner was again working with the first-team at left guard in place of the injured Mike Iupati.
– Matt Barkley was still receiving plenty of reps with the second-team offense.
– Tyrann Mathieu and Frostee Rucker practiced for the second straight day and received first-team reps in 11-on-11.
– Andre Ellington continued to return punts.
No one appeared to leave with a new injury, though neither John Brown (concussion) nor Robert Nkemdiche were on the field for the entire afternoon. Earl Watford was not dressed in pads but did some snapping during non-contact 7-on-7.
Asa Jackson was not expected to practice, but he was on the field and in uniform.
Players who did not practice include:
“I’m extremely close. It’s just little things, you know, after a while not really moving and having that mobilization and just really taking it day-by-day and getting back into the swing of things.” – Robert Nkemdiche on how close he is to 100 percent as he recovers from his high ankle sprain
“Block the best players on the other team. That’s pretty much it because those defensive ends get paid a bunch of money. They get paid a million dollars a sack, you get paid half a million for 59 good blocks.” – Bruce Arians on the responsibilities offensive tackles have
“It doesn’t matter to me. I was in Detroit when we went 4-0 in the preseason and proceeded to go 0-16 in the regular season, so the preseason is great, don’t get me wrong — it helps you build confidence and you work on different things. I think sometimes people get caught up in the records. You want to win football games, anytime you step on the field you want to put your best foot forward. But there’s also things we’re trying to accomplish, little areas that might not be visible that we’re getting better at, trying to get better communication in. But at the end of the day, we’re going to go out here and do the best we can to win these next two games.” – Drew Stanton on if he’d prefer a mental boost of a successful third preseason game
Read these, please
Cardinals DT Robert Nkemdiche returns to ‘football mode’
Craig Morgan writes on how Justin Bethel is still the best bet to start opposite Patrick Peterson
Bruce Arians liked how the Cardinals started their week of practice
Steve Keim knows the Cardinals can’t afford to just turn on a switch when the games start to count
Well these were nice plays