Bird Droppings: Volume V

Arizona Sports News online

Hooray for Hollywood.

Those words rang true for the Cardinals who got a mental break from the grind of training camp here in Flagstaff when Ken Whisenhunt shortened the Wednesday morning walk-thru and sent his team off to the movies.

“I know they were surprised,” Whisenhunt said. “It had been planned awhile in advance. I wasn’t even sure if I was going to do it. They’ve practiced pretty well. I thought it’d be a good change in their routine.”

As the team reaches the mid-point of camp, the early release comes at a good time. The players were given their choice of flicks from “The Campaign,” “Bourne Legacy,” and “Total Recall.” Some, like cornerback William Gay, went to Twitter for big screen advice. Whisenhunt chose “Bourne Identity” and said he liked it.

*The scrutiny is even more intense for Kevin Kolb and John Skelton as both continue to fight it out for the starting job. Both players practiced well Tuesday and you’d hope solid practices will translate in Friday’s game against the Raiders. The offensive line also needs to set the tone early and give both quarterbacks the necessary time to go through their progressions.

*Another area to keep your eye on in the Red Birds third pre-season tune-up is the secondary where the Cards have a number of young players who have looked good. Sixth-round pick Justin Bethel has excelled on special teams, including a blocked field goal against the Saints. Fellow rookie safety Blake Gideon seems to have a knack for the ball, picking off a pass in the Hall of Fame Game and following it up with a solid game last week against the Chiefs.

Whisenhunt on playing their pre-season opener against the Raiders.

“I’m glad to be at it’s a great place for us. We play well at home, but part of this thing is being able to handle distractions and play well and that’s what we’re focused on.”

*Friday’s game against Oakland is a sellout, but there are limited seats available by calling 602-379-0102 or visiting azcardinals.com. The parking lots will open at 3:00 and the stadium gates at 5:30.

 

A Valley native, Eric has had a passion for the Arizona sports scene since an early age. He has covered some of the biggest events including Super Bowls, national championships and the NBA and MLB playoffs in his near 20 years in local media.