Tuesday Camp Was Back-to-Business

Players looked to refocus after a less than perfect start to the week. Both sides of the ball were mistake free for the most part, looking more like the Cardinals before their day off. What at times looks like a young team trying to come together, the Cardinals looked like a well oiled machine about to play its first preseason game. The Cardinals were soaring in all phases on Tuesday.

He's Back

This years training camp didn't start the way the Cardinals or Pro Bowl Wide Receiver Anquan Boldin thought it would. Contract disputes and a hamstring injury that kept Boldin out over a week, began making him look the bad guy.

Feeling better, Boldin put the shoulder pads and helmet for Tuesday's practice. However, Boldin was limited in his participation. He was held out of some drills and the team scrimmage, but could still be seen getting involved.

Every time the huddle broke, Boldin would walk back and fourth to find out what play was being run. The fact that he is doing his best to stay mentally prepared shows that he is focused on football and helping the Cardinals get back to the playoffs.

Almost equally important is that Boldin looks to be going that extra mile. Injured rookie WR Early Doucet shadowed Boldin most of the day, picking his brain play after play. Doucet is a physical receiver like Boldin and if the cards can get half the production they got from Boldin his rookie year they should be tough to stop.

Wide Open

This week's preseason game will be the biggest opportunity for more than half a dozen wide receivers competing for either a roster spot or playing time. With Boldin returning to practice reps and space will once again be limited for receivers. The front runner for the 3rd spot throughout camp have been Steve Breaston and Doucet, but there are a few guys you may not be as familiar with.

At 6'3",veteran Jerheme Urban is big and athletic. He routinely makes one handed grabs and does an excellent job shielding defenders.

Return man Sean Morey has been solid, although quiet. This may be a good thing. Sometimes a coach likes nothing more than a guy who comes in everyday ready to work. Morey's hustle makes the defense have to work to stay with him on every play. He is always finding open holes and does a good job of sitting in them.

Undrafted rookie Lance Long out of Mississippi State is catching everything thrown at him. He short yardage style has been a safety blanket for Cardinals quarterbacks so far. Undersized at 5'11" 185 he could be a liability but has looked good so far.

Jamaica Rector is deep down the depth chart but he is torching back up defenders. This may mean he is ready for a tougher challenge. Also undersized at 5'10" Rector isn't afraid to put his body on the line. He lays out if it's too far and he high points it if it's too high. He is making a strong case to be in the mix.

Ahmad Merritt has shown he can be a deep threat. His speed allows him to get past the defense and his hands have been good so far. He was one of the highlights today catching a long strike from quarterback Matt Leinart today.

Ran Out of Town

If it wasn't obvious before, it should be now. Rookie running back Tim Hightower is making a big impression at Cardinals camp. Receiving the bulk of second string carries, Hightower ran veteran running back Marcel Shipp right out of Arizona. Hightower continues to run hard and look impressive as the back up to Edgerrin James.

Both have shown great hands catching the ball out of the back field as well as the ability to make proper reads on cutbacks during draws or inside running plays. Miss direction fused with the power running style of these two could spell trouble for open field tacklers.


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