Monday's Training Camp Roundup

After traveling, unpacking, and getting adjusted to the elevation, there was only one thing left for the Cardinals to do. It was time to go to work. Monday's two-a-day marked the fourth straight day of practice for the Cardinals, who won't see a break until Sunday. AZRedReport.com's Jason Harris was on the scene reporting all the action, here's everything you need to know and more.

Let the Games Begin

As the daily grind and harsh reality of training camp set in, you could hear the same words being uttered from every coach on the field, "The last few days have been about adjustments and technique, but now its time to speed it up."

Third Not the Worst at Camp

Anquan Boldin sat out of practice for the second straight day with a slightly strained hamstring. He is still day-to-day. With Boldin sidelined, the coaching staff had the opportunity to spend extra time evaluating the talented young receiving core, currently competing for the No. 3 wide receiver spot behind Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald.

Steve Breaston took most of the snaps with the first team in Boldin's absence, but the group as a whole performed well. Hustling on every play, third-round draft pick Early Doucet looked hungry, showing fans why the Cardinals think so highly of him. Veterans Jerheme Urban, Sean Morey and Jamaica Rector continued to make their case for playing time as well.

Tight Ends Dominate Early

After breaking his left ankle last season in week 13, Leonard Pope is back to doing what he does best. Working mostly with the first team, the 6'8" tight end left his feet several times to haul in balls during passing drills against the starting defense.

Putting the pressure on Pope is second-year man Ben Patrick, who played well at the end of last season and has had an outstanding camp thus far. Also making noise at the tight end position is Alex Shor out of Syracuse. Working in with 3rd team, his solid hands and ability to get open, will make cuts a difficult decision seeing as the Cardinals already have Troy Bienemann, who played in all 16 games last year as well as the addition of ten year vet Jerame Tuman.

Growing Pains

The learning curve has been steep so far for Div. II standout and first-round draft pick Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. Receiving coaching after every drill, Rodgers-Cromartie had a slow start to the day's second session. After getting beat multiply times in one-on-one by second and third team wide outs, Something in Rodgers-Cromartie clicked.

In his last one-on-one drill Rodgers-Cromoartie gave the fans a glimpse into the future. Showing off his 4.3 speed, Rodgers-Cromartie jumping an out route, intercepting the ball for what would have been a touchdown. Minutes later during 11-on-11 Rodgers-Cromartie jumped the same out route, intercepting a Kurt Warner pass and taking it the distance. He still has a lot to learn, but size, speed and a nose for the ball are on his side.

Hood Gets to Fitz

There was nothing more exciting on Monday, than watching Larry Fitzgerald go against cornerback Roderick Hood during one-on-ones. Although Hood gives up about four inches and 20 pounds to Fitzgerald, he had no problem setting the physical tone. Working short routes, Hood was able to jam Fitzgerald on consecutive pass attempts. The third pass would be a little different as Fitzgerald ran a 30 yard fade into the corner of the end zone, where he elevated over Hood, catching a touchdown and driving the fans wild. Hood would get his revenge with an interception on the next attempt, as he stepped in front of a slant indented for Fitzgerald. Going at each other during camp should improve both players performance during the season.

Day-to-Day

With training camp, comes injuries. Center Al Johnson sat out both practices Monday with soreness in his knee. He is day-to-day after having his knee drained. Rookie free agent Marcus Brown sat out a second day with a hamstring strain. He is also day-to-day. Tight end Troy Bienemann has yet to practice. He has an injured toe. With his participation uncertain the Cardinals have begun working out tight ends, including former Arizona State Sun Devil Brent Miller.


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