With minicamp over, the Cardinals have past a major sign-post of the offseason. Nothing should be taken too seriously at this point, especially depth charts, but here are some observations at this point, for what they’re worth.
- At this point in his career, when Leinart is finally getting the chance to be a no doubt starter in the NFL, he is still working on his throwing mechanics and accuracy. That’s a frightening thought. Leinart even acknowledged his accuracy issues by stating “my accuracy wasn’t where I wanted it to be, but for the first day, it was good.” Quarterbacks coach Chris Miller explained that Leinart is working on “nemesis” throws, meaning throws that Leinart has had trouble with in the past. Every quarterback works on the basics now and again, but it doesn’t inspire much confidence to hear that Leinart is overhauling his throwing mechanics in an effort to ensure he can hit wide open targets with no pressure on him. I really try not to be overly critical of Leinart, but I worry about a quarterback with a weak arm that struggles with accuracy. In other quarterback news, Derek Anderson and rookie John Skelton apparently have rocket launchers attached to their shoulders.
- Beanie Wells was running with the second team offense, while Hightower was with the first team. This doesn’t really mean anything and Wells should get the majority of the carries this season.
- Michael Adams was playing corner with the first team defense, rather than second year corner Greg Toler. As with Wells, it’s expected that Toler will be starting before the season begins, unless the Cardinals go after a veteran corner. Darren Urban, in fact, addressed this issue, noting that “Coach Ken Whisenhunt wouldn’t say the Cards are going to run out and get a veteran cornerback. I know there have been reports tying the Cards to 10-year guy Will James, but again, I don’t see the need to rush. Get through OTAs and maybe even get through part or all of training camp before making a move. See what you really have here — and make sure you really sign a guy that can help and isn’t just another guy.”
- Rookie DT Dan Williams was working with the first team nickel package, which Urban reports was one of the few instances where a rookie was running with the first team. Bryan Robinson is the likely starter at NT for now, but Williams should get the majority of the snaps when he’s ready to step in. When he does, the Cardinals will have a formidable defensive line with Calais Campbell, Dan Williams, and Darnell Dockett.
- Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie reported that he’s “at 65 percent. I am glad no one is really taking me deep out there. It’s a lot of intermediate routes so so far, I’m doing good. I am really anxious to open up and really get the feel of it.” DRC worked with the first team defense, but he obviously has more work to do before he’s fully recovered, a fact which DRC admitted. “I at least try to do everything because it lets me know how far I still have to go, how much work I still have,” DRC said.
- Darren Urban noted that the Cardinals have a need at fullback since they didn’t re-sign veteran Dan Kreider. Urban stated “the Cardinals are hurting at fullback, with Reagan Maui’a nursing a bad groin, leaving Nehemiah Broughton as the lone healthy fullback. “We’re thin, and not from a physical standpoint,” coach Ken Whisenhunt said. “The two guys we have out there definitely aren’t thin. … That’s obviously an area we have to address, just to have some depth. I feel good about who we have there, but when you only have two and one gets nicked up, it makes it kind of difficult.”
The Cardinals have some time off until OTAs start on May 18th.