Cardinals: Week 2 News & Notes

Get up to speed on the latest news and notes as the Cardinals finalize their preparations for a Week 2 matchup in Atlanta.

NOTES

--Receiver Steve Breaston and a handful of younger players are known as the "Backpack Boys." That tag was given them a few years ago by strong safety Adrian Wilson, who teased them because they always carried backpacks.

"It started out with me and Mike (Adams) our rookie years. Then DRC came along and Early Doucet, he's a 'Backpack Boy,' too," Breaston said. Breaston would not reveal what the players carried in their backpacks. "We can't discuss that in public," he said. "It's a secret society. I've already told you too much as it is."

--Breaston had a career high 132 yards receiving last week and saved two potential touchdowns after fumble returns. "He was the man of the hour," said outside linebacker Clark Haggans.

--Safety Adrian Wilson became the first player since Julius Peppers in 2004 to record an interception, a sack and a blocked field goal in one game. Wilson intercepted two of rookie Sam Bradford's passes.

--The Cardinals had great success on run plays that featured guard Alan Faneca pulling. They gained 78 yards on the nine plays Faneca pulled.

--DE Calais Campbell had a sack and a pass deflection in the season opener. Campbell played well in the preseason and is on target for a great season.

--RT Brandon Keith struggled in pass protection last week. Although Rams DE Chris Long did not have a sack or tackle, he applied constant pressure, often beating Keith with inside moves.

--S Kerry Rhodes plays in the shadow of Adrian Wilson but he also is versatile. The Cardinals will use Rhodes on blitzes and near scrimmage on run downs, in much the same manner as they use Wilson.

--DE Kenny Iwebema played well last week as a backup to Calais Campbell. Iwebema and Alan Branch give the Cardinals the chance to rest Campbell and Darnell Dockett for a series or two each half.

--NT Gabe Watson was inactive last week as the Cardinals went with Bryan Robinson and Dan Williams at the position. In some nickel situations, Darnell Dockett and Alan Branch saw time at nose in a three-man front.


BY THE NUMBERS: 3 -- Number of times the Cardinals have started a season 2-0 since moving to Arizona in 1988. They did it in 2008, the season in which they went to the Super Bowl.


QUOTE TO NOTE: "We did everything in the world to try to lose the game. I guess when you line up all the X's and O's, you practice all week to try to win games; we're not in it for style points to try to make it look pretty." -- Outside linebacker Clark Haggans on the opening-day victory.


COACHING

Ken Whisenhunt promised this summer that running back LaRod Stephens-Howling would be a bigger part of the offensive game plan this year.

He kept that promise. Stephens-Howling had seven carries for 49 yards and ignited a running game with his ability to get to the edge.

Running back Beanie Wells is expected back from a knee injury this week, so Stephens-Howling might not get the work he did in the season opener.

But his quickness makes him dangerous in the open field, so the club would like to get him the ball in space five or so times a game.


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