Cards Open Preseason With 24-10 Loss to Saints

Arizona Cardinals' Tim Hightower, left, celebrates with teammate Reggie Wells (74) after Hightower's touchdown in the second quarter of a preseason football game against the New Orleans Saints

In a confusing start, the Cardinal defensive line stood strong while Drew Brees engineered a 13 play drive to march into the endzone. That drive became the microcosm of the game and possibly the blueprint to defeat the Cards. The D line held serve, causing the Saints to take to the air.

Robert Meacham and Adrian Arrington exposed a secondary that always seemed to be one step behind the ball. There were no defensive breakdowns, but the DBs were riding coat tails the all game.

After the first shaky possession where Leinart did not display much pocket presence, he came back with a vengeance completing 7 of 8 passes while making the correct moves behind his linemen. While settled in, Matt took his team down the field to set up a Tim Hightower touchdown run.

After Leinarts impressive showing, Hightower’s running was the next biggest story (on the field). He only ran for 23 yards on 5 carries but he showed flashes of Edgerin James-like rushing (when he was with the Colts). With his shoulders square to the line of scrimmage, 34 had a very noticeable bounce to his running style, which allowed him to make quick and effective moves with the ball. If the offensive line continues to block like they did tonight, Tim Hightower might be a fantasy sleeper.

I can not say enough about the front 8. The D line rarely lost the battle at the line of scrimmage and the linebackers were flying around at top-speed all night. They were always around the ball and only allowed 98 yards. That’s a good number when you’re playing against a talent like Reggie Bush. A key moment was a 4th down in the redzone. The Saints tried to squeeze a touchdown up the middle but the Cardinal line did not let it happen.

An off-field story was the lack of playing time that veteran Kurt Warner saw. Warner had no bones about expressing his feeling that he should be starting. After ending the season like he did last year, that’s hard to argue. On top of that, word out of camp is that Kurt is out playing the youngster. But this is only week on of the preseason. The coaches know what the wily veteran has to offer. They wanted to see what the young guys can do.

Brian St. Pierre took the majority of the snaps in a very unimpressive manor. He constantly over threw balls and seemed overwhelmed while in control of the team. He should show improvement as the preseason progresses.

Anthony Morelli came in and threw a plethora of short passes. A very lackluster showing leaves a lot to be desired from the rookie out Penn State.


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