Before the scrimmage even got started the kickers wowed the massive crowd of 12,000 fans (both new and old). Kicker Neil Rackers once again showed what he is made of. The real deal was place kicker Ben Graham from Australia.
Graham's kicking is one of wonder and amazement as he sends the ball flying high into the atmosphere. Rackers managed to accidentally hit a fan with the ball as it went through the goalpost (the fan tumbled down the hill due to the hit).
The drills before the scrimmage were sped up today as the players went from drill to drill to accomplish an actual practice before the hour- long scrimmage.
During the practice reserve left tackle Elliot Vallejo fell on the injured list, as he went down in a play.
With the "Red Tide" of fans doing the proverbial wave the practice was over and the scrimmage began.
The red team came out with their ability to defend the ball and kept the white team at bay. Linebacker Gerald Hayes had an impressive interception as he dove for the ball. At the beginning of the scrimmage looked pretty tame with light hits and tackles but tensions and feelings were brewing among players.
The white team started to heat up with the help of quarterback Kurt Warner. Though the battle between quarterbacks Matt Leinart, Tyler Palko and Brian St. Pierre for the second string quarterback was apparent in the ferocity of their plays.
Wide receiver Lance Long had only one block given from line backer Victor Hobson. Long also took a stumble at the beginning of the play. Throughout the rest of the scrimmage Long was able to catch the ball with ease and actually delivered the ball to the end zone and the coaches and fans took notice to the dark horse.
Wide receiver Jerheme Urban had a great scrimmage today. He was solid in his playing, even catching the ball on the goal line and other catches that made the crowd cheer him on. Urban had a stellar performance, one that will most likely secure his spot not only on the Cardinals but also as a wideout.
Perennial crowd pleasers such as receivers Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin and Warner were able to get the fans to stand and cheer at every play. Fitzgerald and Boldin had some key plays that brought the white team back from their falling behind to the red teams defense. Warner also had some really nice plays that kept the ball in the white teams possession and gave Long, Urban and receiver Steve Breaston some excellent opportunities to show the crowd and coaching staff their fabric.
The emotions and tensions among the players got intense in the scrimmage and the competitive nature of the players got the best of them. This was evident when tight end Stephen Spach and linebacker Will Davis got in a fight on the field, the fans loved it, the coaching staff and other teammates did not.
As the scrimmage neared an end both teams showed they are capable of great things on the field and the large crowd got more than they came for. The scrimmage was intense and gave all a better feel of what the Arizona Cardinals are made of and the substance of their resolve.
With the preseason opener at Pittsburgh against the Steelers, the question won't be if it was by chance they got to the Super Bowl it will be can they replicate the same formula that got them there and can they make a stronger and better one to ensure the ability to beat a seasoned team such as the Steelers.
The scrimmage pointed out the intensity and fire is there, but will it be misdirected as was observed today, or can The Cardinals use it to defeat any team that gets in their way to winning the Bowl.
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