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Taking a Pass At Concern

Posted Dec 23, 2009

Notebook: No worries about aerial game; Patrick, Morey sit with concussions

The Cardinals' passing game hasn't been its usual explosive self in the past two games.
 
 
Here’s how out of sync the Cards’ passing game was in Detroit: It lost a touchdown pass four days later.

OK, so the official scoring decision that came down Wednesday wasn’t the Cards’ collective fault. Quarterback Kurt Warner’s final five-yard scoring throw on a screen to wide receiver Anquan Boldin was ruled a backward pass – and thus a rushing attempt by Boldin – that shaved Warner’s TD pass total on the season to 24 and gave Boldin his first career rushing touchdown.

But there is little question the Cardinals’ aerial game was a little bit off against the Lions. After the changes, Warner’s passing rating was just 77.1, after he completed 22-for-36 throws for 228 yards, one touchdown and one interception.

“The passing game is going to be just fine,” Warner said. “We have to just be able to react and know what we’re looking for, see it and reacting quickly. That was one of the things we didn’t do well enough Sunday.

“It’s not like I’m fully concerned about it. Our passing game has been good and it will continue to be good.”

Coach Ken Whisenhunt has said a couple of times since the end of the Lions’ game he doesn’t have any concerns about the passing game because of the history the unit has together and the “time and effort” they have already put in this season.

Regardless of the final ruling on his Boldin throw, Warner did make an important 13-yard pass to Larry Fitzgerald to begin the final drive and hit Boldin – backward or not – perfectly on the final screen attempt.

“At times it felt we were unstoppable,” Warner said. “There were other times when we weren’t doing (the little things) and it felt like we couldn’t get a first down. It shows the importance of, no matter the opponent, no matter the situation, we have to do the right things and react the right ways if we want to be successful.”

PATRICK, MOREY SIT

Tight end Ben Patrick and wide receiver Sean Morey each sat out practice Wednesday with concussion-like symptoms and Whisenhunt said they will be reevaluated later in the week. Kicker Neil Rackers (groin) remained sidelined as well.

But linebacker Will Davis (knee) returned to practice for the first time since undergoing surgery a month ago, and Davis said he actually was able to do more than originally anticipated since he was feeling so good. Davis’ status will be evaluated daily as the team sees how his knee responds to work, Whisenhunt said.

Cornerback Bryant McFadden (hamstring), Fitzgerald (knee) and cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (toe) all were limited, although all three are expected to be fine to play.

GANDY GOES TO IR

The season of tackle Mike Gandy came to an end Wednesday when the Cards finally placed him on injured reserve after his hernia surgery Friday. The Cards filled Gandy's spot by promoting lienbacker Pago Togafau from the practice squad. They filled Togafau's practice squad spot by bringing back linebacker Ali Highsmith, who was released Tuesday. Whisenhunt said various issues led to the move to demote Highsmith, although he wasn’t specific.

“It was all based on a number of factors, based on play and a number of things going on,” Whisenhunt said.

A CHANCE AT 10

With a win Sunday, the Cardinals will have their first 10-win since 1976 and only the sixth double-digit win total in franchise history.

“It shows a one-game improvement over last year at least,” Whisenhunt said. “It is something that hasn’t been done in a while. I think it’s more important for our fans who have been around in the lean years. There is a big difference between saying you are 9-7 and 10- or 11-and-whatever. It is important and we are setting forth to do that.”
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