Cards Won’t Play Nice at Camp, Whiz Loves It

First, let’s get the big news about Dan Williams out of the way.  The first round pick from Tennessee signed a 5-year deal yesterday (8/2).  The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.  Williams is expected to join team meetings and participate in team practice today.  “It’s kind of (been) like Christmas, waiting to open up those gifts,” Williams said.  “If it were up to me I would’ve been here but there is the business side of football and it had to be done.  I’m just glad to be here and to get the rookie rituals started.”  The Cardinals will have to make room on their roster due to Williams’ signing.  No one has been cut yet, but I don’t think Gabe Watson should get too comfortable in Flagstaff.

Let’s hope Williams makes an immediate impact on the Cards’ defense this season, but as always Whisenhunt was reserved about how fast Williams will move into the starting defense.  “Like all young guys, he has to get an idea of what it takes,” Whisenhunt said.  “Over the summer, I think he more and more understood what he has to do.  The big test now is where he is with his weight and conditioning.”  Williams apparently hasn’t gained any weight since mini-camp workouts, but Dan himself admitted that he may not be in “John Lott shape,” which is a nod to the notoriously strict Cardinals’ strength and conditioning coach.

Things got salty for those already practicing.  Darnell Dockett took a shot from Levi Brown after Dockett apparently blew up Alan Faneca and then tripped Leinart with an outstretched arm.  Leinart took it personally and angrily spiked the ball at Dockett’s feet, which personally I think is quite a childish and primadonna reaction.  Levi Brown, however, came to Leinart’s rescue and gave Dockett a punch to the shoulder pads.  Dockett stated “I’m not trying to hurt (Leinart), but damned if I ain’t trying to go 100 percent every time I put my hand on the ground.” 

Incident number two included Larry Fitzgerald and Joey Porter, who were battling each other on punt coverage.  The loser in this one, believe it or not, was Porter, as Fitz gave him a bloody lip while trying to fight off Porter.

Finally, on the defensive side of the ball, Joey Porter was once again mixing it up, this time with fellow LB Cody Brown.  Porter was upset because Brown was getting pushed around by TE Steven Spach.  Porter explained why he got so fiery with Cody:

Don’t accept anything from anybody, even your teammates.  I don’t care if he grabbed your face mask or did something dirty.  Let him know that is not acceptable.  You can handle it right there on the field and get it over with in 30 seconds and come back in the locker room and all be on the same page.  But you let anybody get away with something once, they are going to do it all the time.  My message to him was, ‘Don’t let that happen, especially not in front of me.'”

Scraps like this in training camp are nothing new and certainly nothing to get excited about.  In fact, Whisenhunt loves the hard-nosed, high intensity action he’s seeing from his team.  “I like that,” Whisenhunt said.  “You’re looking for those guys to develop that bond or that territorialism to protect their guy.”  There’s no surprise that Whisenhunt relishes in the physical play he’s seeing.  As a former Steelers man, he appreciates guys giving their all and letting their emotions bring out the best of their abilities.


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