Cardinals defensive tackle
Darnell Dockett (left) and Titans quarterback Vince Young swap jerseys after Monday night's preseason game.
NASHVILLE – It’s not a preseason game, and it won’t be a scrimmage. There won’t be tackling.
But the long-planned practice between the Cardinals and Tennessee Titans Wednesday does give the Cards another chance to work out some issues that reared up when the teams actually did play Monday night, and right now, that might be the best thing for coach Ken Whisenhunt’s team.
“We can make adjustments now that we know a little bit more about them,” Cardinals center
Whisenhunt said the practice – open to the public and scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Tennessee time at the Titans’ practice facility – will be a normal practice tempo.
There will be one-on-one battles between receivers and defensive backs, between offensive and defensive linemen. There could even be some 11-on-11 work, but “I don’t think that line will be crossed in terms of it getting out of hand,” Whisenhunt said.
The Cardinals haven’t practiced against another team since going to San Diego for a few workouts with the Chargers back in 2000. It was before the teams played in the preseason, however, and most of the time, that’s how it is done.
Logistics – the Cards didn’t want to fly all the way home with a road trip to Chicago just a few days later – dictated the teams face each other after playing Monday night.
“It’s pretty strange but we just have to look forward to the situation,” safety
Adrian Wilson said. “It has to be to get better every day in practice. That’s what coaches are looking for is those practice reps carrying over to the game and that’s something we didn’t do against the Titans in the game.”
Whisenhunt said working with Titans coach Jeff Fisher has been “easy” and that both sides want to get the same things out of the workout, which made planning smooth.
In some ways, the fact the teams already played – and don’t play again in the regular season – actually gives them some leeway to try some things at practice they might normally not have.
“That’s a good time to showcase a lot of different things we’re going to run during the season against the type of team that runs a cover four, cover four press and different things that they were running with the blitz,” Titans quarterback Vince Young said. “So we’ve got a chance as an offense. I feel like it’s going to be a good deal for us going against a different defense because going against our defense every day at camp gets kind of boring.”
It’ll make for an interesting if short week. The Cards, who were off Tuesday save for some weightlifting and video work, have the afternoon practice against the Titans Wednesday and then a morning practice Thursday at Vanderbilt University on their own.
The game against the Bears is Saturday, and to defensive tackle Darnell Dockett, the Wednesday work is “basically playing another game” so the Cards won’t be able to complain they weren’t tested this week.
“You get an opportunity to go practice against somebody else, a new face and a new intensity,” Dockett added. “It is going to be very competitive. We are going to get after each other. We are looking to make them better and they are looking to make us better.”