AZ Not Concerned About Ground Stats

The Cardinals are unconcerned about the running game's lack of production, saying it's more a product of how teams have defended them than any deficiencies on their part. It was last week's game against the Dolphins, a 31-10 victory, that skewed the statistics. The Cardinals rushed 31 times for 81 yards, a 2.6-yard average.

Coach Ken Whisenhunt has been asked about the run game this week, and his standard response has been that if the Cardinals can score 31 points and gain 445 yards, he'll take those run stats every week.

The most important part of those statistics is the 31 attempts. Coaches will be happy if the Cardinals get that many attempts every week. That would usually indicate that they have a lead and trying to consume some clock.

But there's no ignoring the strength of this offense: the passing game. Kurt Warner is off to a fast start, ranking second in the league in passing. Wide receivers Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald are healthy, and their skills can erase a lot of mistakes.

Coaches think the offensive performance in the first two games shows the team's versatility. When the club needed to run some clock, it had a 10-minute drive in San Francisco. When the run was taken away, Warner passed for 361 yards.

PLAYER/PERSONNEL NOTES

--NT Gabe Watson made it through a second full practice on Thursday and there is optimism he will be available on Sunday. Coach Ken Whisenhunt wanted to make sure Watson was comfortable with playing amid all the traffic inside.

--OLB/DE Travis LaBoy didn't practice Thursday because of a sprained ankle. If he can't play, Bertrand Berry will start. They are fairly equal in talent, but LaBoy's absence would hurt the team's depth.

--WR Anquan Boldin hasn't let his contract squabbles impact his performance. He has 14 receptions for 222 yards and three touchdowns.

--RB Edgerrin James is averaging just 3.5 yards a carry but he's been carrying the ball in some obvious run situations, with the team trying to kill the clock. James has caught only one pass.

--WR Steve Breaston has solidified his role as the No. 3 receiver. Breaston has made big catches in each game and has four receptions for the year. The No. 4 receiver, Jerheme Urban, has yet to catch a pass.


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