Arizona Cardinals Training Camp 2013: Day 5 Highlights, Lowlights
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Day 5 of Arizona Cardinals training camp was chock-full of solid defensive plays. Or, depending on how you look at it, full of bad offensive ones.
There were more negative offensive plays Tuesday than there were Monday, with the defenses picking off Carson Palmer and Drew Stanton one time each.
For the most part, the usual suspects did what they do, be it good or bad. So with that in mind, let’s jump right into those who stood out. For a look at prior practices, follow the links for Days 1, 2, 3 and 4.
Two Who Impressed
Antoine Cason Fighting for Starting Spot
Jerraud Powers has shown he wants the starting spot to which he has been assigned. He’s looked good covering the outside.
But don’t sleep on Antoine Cason, because he turned it on Tuesday to make multiple plays, whether in coverage or stepping up to stop the run. He broke up a pass late in practice while covering Larry Fitzgerald. Before that, he took away the flat on a backside wide receiver flare.
Cason’s athleticism shows daily. He is making his case to start for Todd Bowles. More days like Tuesday, and that could ultimately happen for him.
Cason just has to hope Powers slips up, because he was solid once again.
He broke up a pass of his own while covering Andre Roberts and has just about been the best cornerback at practice after Patrick Peterson.
Patrick Peterson Picks Palmer
Not as in, picked him for his slow-pitch softball team. Peterson went up and got a pass that sailed on Palmer.
The real fun on the play didn’t begin until after the interception, however.
Peterson ran five or 10 yards, then turned and pitched the ball to safety Rashad Johnson, who took it roughly 30 yards down the left sideline before coaches blew the play dead.
Fitzgerald and Peterson also were matched up in one-on-one goal-line drills for at least one play. Peterson won the battle, as the slant to Fitz was wrestled away by the young up-and-comer.
Tuesday was the first day Peterson stood out. Perhaps that’s because we get so used to watching him be a great athlete we pass off other good plays as “Peterson being Peterson.”
Whatever the case, he made multiple plays and was one of the stars of practice.
Two Who Depressed
Andre Ellington Late to Party Again
For the second consecutive afternoon, rookie running back Andre Ellington was late on a blitz pickup, leading to another would-be sack—this time by Karlos Dansby.
This is not the end of the world for Ellington, especially with Ryan Williams missing a second straight practice and, per Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com, not being a guarantee for Thursday’s practice (the team is off Wednesday).
It may not even be reason for concern right now that Ellington has struggled picking up an A-gap blitz in consecutive days.
But it will be soon if it continues.
Jay Feely Kicking His Way off the Team?
This could be very premature, but veteran kicker Jay Feely really has struggled through five days of camp. The left hash has been his enemy so far. He's missed a good amount of field-goal attempts from there—both hooking (left) and pushing (right) kicks.
It could be wise for the Cardinals to bring in a kicker on a try-out basis, just in case Feely’s inaccuracies continue.
His kickoffs in 2012 were even an issue, as he averaged just 65.0 yards per kick, ranked 23rd among 30 kickers to play in at least 10 games, according to ProFootballFocus (subscription required).
Carson Palmer Report
Palmer threw the interception to Peterson during practice, but other than that, it was a typical day for the Cardinals’ starting quarterback.
He missed on a few passes that should have been easier throws; he also drilled a few into tight windows that could easily have resulted in interceptions if not placed perfectly.
It appears he and Fitz are still working things out between them. The two continue to read different things on certain plays. On one particular route during offensive drills, Fitzgerald ran a crossing route and, when Palmer missed high and behind him, head coach Bruce Arians had a few words for his star receiver on how to run the route he had just apparently messed up.
It has been said all week, and it still rings true: It’s still early, so don’t look too much into Palmer and Fitzgerald being unable to get it right without a defense to worry about. It will come with time and repetition.
Other News and Notes
—Rookie tight end D.C. Jefferson experienced his most topsy-turvy day as a professional thus far. At one point during practice, he knocked linebacker Zack Nash on his rump; the pancake block led to a decent gain for Rashard Mendenhall off right end.
—Patrick Peterson played some offense once again Tuesday. Former Cards QB and current NFL Network analyst Kurt Warner spoke about it after practice and said Arians has an entire package for Peterson on offense, noting Arians told him they’re looking for speed and “looking for guys to emerge on the other side of Larry Fitzgerald.”
—It may be time to see what undrafted rookie free agent QB Caleb TerBush can do in an 11-on-11 scrimmage setting. Second-year quarterback Ryan Lindley doesn’t appear to be consistent enough to be of any good now or in the future. TerBush has made some nice throws and has displayed an adequately accurate deep ball.
—Wide receiver LaRon Byrd missed practice after suffering a concussion during Monday’s practice, according to Urban. That is a major blow to his chances of making the roster, as several young receivers have impressed Arians early on.
—During Palmer’s final two-minute drive, he was blitzed from all angles by Todd Bowles’ first-team defense. That led to some inaccuracies, but Palmer ultimately drove the offense into field-goal position.
—New right tackle Eric Winston played with the first-team offense for the first time Tuesday. Bobby Massie moved down to the second-team offense. There could be more movement upcoming as Arians attempts to find the right fit at each starting position. With Daryn Colledge still nursing a lower leg injury that Arians called a "nerve issue," per Urban, it also could be conceivable to see either Winston or Massie at right guard, if for nothing but to see what might happen.
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