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Old August 24th, 2004, 05:42 AM   #1
azdad1978
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Green's early cuts open opportunities


Kent Somers
The Arizona Republic
Aug. 24, 2004



PRESCOTT - According to the NFL calendar, coaches don't have to make their first cuts until a week from today.

Cardinals coach Dennis Green, however, operates on his own calendar. That's why he cut 10 players Sunday, well ahead of the league's date.

"I think once you feel certain guys are ahead of certain guys, then it's a matter of whether those guys should remain or not," he said.

Green said some of the 10 players released could be re-signed to the team's practice squad the week before the season starts.

The cuts and injuries have left the Cardinals thin.

Only five receivers were in uniform Monday, and the starters were Karl Williams and Kevin Kasper.

Two receivers, Bryan Gilmore and Jason McAddley, were cut. Gilmore started Saturday against San Diego.

That means that Fabian Davis and Chris Collins, who were claimed on waivers in the past two weeks, will get more playing time.

"The only way we're going to find out what Fabian Davis can do and Chris Collins can do is they have to get a lot of (repetitions)," Green said. "They have to play a lot."

The cuts "let everybody know that we are being evaluated every game," quarterback Josh McCown said.


Third and short


The first-team offense has failed in four key, short-yardage situations this preseason, a big reason it has yet to score a touchdown.

It happened once against Minnesota and three times last week against San Diego. The team tried to run the ball all four times.

"When it's third and 1, you have to be able to push it up in there," McCown said.

Teams have two options in those situations, Green said: try to be physical or pass.

"We've tried to be physical and we have not been," he said. "We have not been willing to throw, and I think we're going to have to be able to throw 50 percent of the time in short-yardage situations."




Position changes


Ifeanyi Ohalete, claimed off waivers from Washington last week, is the starter at free safety. He replaces Quentin Harris. Dexter Jackson, last year's starter, remains out with a back injury.

The depth chart at linebacker also has been shuffled. The starters remain the same, but Gerald Hayes has been moved from strong outside linebacker to middle linebacker, where he'll back up Ronald McKinnon.

LeVar Woods has moved from weak outside linebacker to the strong side, where he backs up Karlos Dansby. And James Darling moves from the middle to the weak side, where he backs up Raynoch Thompson.


Staying home


Five Cardinals remained in the Valley Monday morning for medical tests.

Receiver Bryant Johnson has been out with a stress fracture in his foot and doctors are determining his progress. Receiver Nathan Poole (shoulder), offensive lineman L.J. Shelton (back), defensive tackle Kenny King (wrist) and Jackson (back) were evaluated. Poole and Johnson made it to Prescott by the afternoon.

King is expected to miss the season. The other players should return at some point.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


GETTING TO KNOW
Robert Tate

Cornerback

5-11, 195

Cincinnati

Seventh year

Getting here: Tate signed with the Cardinals as a free agent in the off-season after sitting out in 2003. Tate played five years with Minnesota and one with Baltimore. He played for Dennis Green with the Vikings.

Both ways: He started his NFL career as a receiver and played there for two seasons. He moved to defensive back in 1999 and started the final game and the playoffs at cornerback for the Vikings.

Present role: Tate seems to have solidified a spot as the club's fourth cornerback, behind starters Duane Starks and David Macklin and nickel back Renaldo Hill.


Quote of the day
"If you guys have gloves and cleats and want to come out and catch some balls . . . "

- Quarterback Josh McCown to reporters on the team's thin numbers at receiver.


Injury report
DE Kenny King (wrist) is likely out for the year. FB James Hodgins (shoulder) is expected to miss about a month. SS Dexter Jackson (back), WR Bryant Johnson (foot), WR Larry Fitzgerald (ankle), WR Anquan Boldin (knee), RB Marcel Shipp (ankle, fractured fibula), OT L.J. Shelton (back), WR Nate Poole (shoulder) are out.


Today's practices
8:45-11:15 a.m., and 3:30-4:30 p.m. at Ken Lindley Field, 824 E. Gurley St., Prescott. The afternoon practice is mostly a special-teams workout, and many starters will not be there.

http://www.azcentral.com/sports/card...rdsnb0824.html




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