Training Camp: Battle of Wide Receivers

The Arizona Cardinals spent much of Thursday in a light practice and with minimal contact plays. But that didn't stop wide receivers Jerheme Urban and Onrea Jones from fightining hard for the fourth wideout position. Jonas Raynsford explains.

The breeze was strong on Thursday, but the breeze of being cut was even stronger among players, as they fought to either keep their positions or even to stay on the team. The players arrived wearing just hats, gloves and jerseys, sans pads and helmets. Quarterback Kurt Warner had his fisherman's hat on though, which drew comments from the stands.

While most positions warmed up, long snapper Mike Leach was hiking the football, to place kicker Ben Graham and kicker Niel Rackers, like it was a torpedo and was doing so with great accuracy. Rackers kicked solidly, sending the ball into the stands hitting the media crane. The fans would cheer every time the ball hit the crane.

Today was the wide receivers day with most of the focus and agenda being on their ability to play and play well. The practice commenced with Ken Whisenhunt giving his loud orders.

There were some major improvements among Jerheme Urban and Onrea Jones. Last night under the lights Jones caught some amazing passes and continued doing so today. His performance on Tuesday's practice was less than stellar, but last night and today showed consistency in his ability as he excelled with every ball thrown at him (a complete 180). Urban was the same, he was much more confident in his skills and his catching ability. As with Jones, Urban excelled at the practice last night (which if he continues to do, his spot as a wideout is secure).

Once again the team's dark horse and one to watch, wide receiver Lance Long, had a solid practice. During last night's practice, Long had a glitch in his playing when he took a spill on the field, yet was able to keep the ball firm in his arms. His playing remains one of the more consistent on the team. He will be a force on the team; it will just take time.

On the other hand, wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald had a rough practice today with him stumbling in plays and inconsistency in catching the ball. It may have been overconfidence in his prowess or just a rough practice, either way his struggle was apparent to all.

On the other end of the spectrum, receiver Anquan Boldin, managed to pull off a fake play effortlessly during practice and was able to keep the ball and drive it to the end zone.

As the wind picked up the training did as well, with a short time devoted to field goals which got Rackers involved with the wide receivers and linebacks for the first time in this training camp.

Before the final horn blew fullback Dan Kreider wowed the crowd with catching a pass in the air.

The Cardinals are looking like a unit that has full-force behind them, yet they still have some tangles to unloosen before their preseason game against the Pittsburgh Steelers next Thursday.

With the "Red and White" scrimmage this Saturday, much more will be revealed as the players are compete in an actual game scenario, rather than the walkthroughs and soft plays they have been doing during camp. If the Cards are able to continually build upon their skills and abilities, this team will have a solid foundation to build this season's program upon.

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