Thursday, October 30 Practice Report
The Arizona Cardinals held a mid-morning practice at the Cardinals Training Facility
on Thursday as the team continued preparation for the home game against the Bengals on Sunday.
The Cards hope to finish ahead in the turnover ratio like last week and also build on their running game which featured 165 yards on 35 carries by Marcel Shipp, but in all likelihood, it won’t come easy.
The Bengals defense has come up with 8 turnovers in the last two weeks and are showing the aggressive play typical of a Marvin Lewis coached defense.
“They send a lot of blitzes and that will change up our blocking scheme in our running game and is definitely something we have to be aware of in our passing game,” said tight end Steve Bush of his former team. “They bring the safeties and the middle linebacker down a lot and they’ve done a good job the last two weeks getting turnovers too. They all run to the ball and take good pursuit angles and just seem to cause havoc and make things happen.”
The Bengals will probably also try to stack the box and shut down the Cards running game, something former Bengal and Cards quarterback Jeff Blake
would be happy to see.
“I hope they do stack the box so I can throw the ball a little more this week,” he shared. “I was happy for Marcel to go out and get those runs and that is what we needed this past weekend in order for us to control the ball and do the things we wanted to do on offense. Each week, the defense is going to dictate what we can do on offense and I am sure when they watch the tape and see how well the run game worked for us that they make it a priority to force us to pass.”
Shipp, who said he would have liked even more carries after last Sunday’s game, is a power back that can run over or spin out of tackles. Last week, Shipp avoided many runs that could have gone for losses by spinning out of defenders, a move nicknamed the “Jersey Spin” by his college teammates.
“We just want to try to build on what we started last Sunday and keep focusing on us and carrying out our game plan,” said Shipp. “They are going to come in with a lot of confidence and probably try to stop the run game, but we have a lot of confidence after last week in what we can do too. They are a very aggressive team so we have to play to that intensity and try to come out with a W.”
Shipp would prefer to carry the offensive load, but he understands that the run game might not be there this week.
“The pass and run game work hand in hand and when you are doing well in one of them, it works to open up the other one,” explained Shipp. “That is what happened on Sunday. We ran the ball very well and then that forced them to give up some things on the passing attack. This week it may go the other way. We just are taking this week by week.”
Wide receiver Jason McAddley, kicker Bill Gramatica, and running back Emmitt Smith did not practice today. Corner Emmanuel McDaniel injured his calf during practice.
Arizona to Host Super Bowl
The NFL announced today that Arizona has been awarded the 2008 Super Bowl.
“I can’t even really describe what going to the Super Bowl is like,” said last year’s Super Bowl MVP Dexter Jackson. “The only thing that can compare to it was probably when my daughter was born so it is an excited thing for Arizona to get to host it.”