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"Comfortable" Debut For Logan Thomas

Posted Aug 9, 2014

Notebook: Rookie quarterback plays well; Benard's great hands; Floyd hurting

Rookie quarterback Logan Thomas delivers one of his completions Saturday night against the Texans.

Logan Thomas felt weirdly at ease on Saturday night, and he’s not sure why. The Cardinals would love to figure out the reason and bottle it up for the future.

After a sometimes-erratic first two weeks of training camp, the rookie fourth-round pick did not look like a quarterback making his NFL debut on Saturday against the Texans, completing 11-of-12 passes for 113 yards and a touchdown.

Thomas’ biggest knock coming out of Virginia Tech was his accuracy, and it has shown at times in practice. However, his touch was impressive in the 32-0 win over the Texans, with only a lone deep ball hitting the turf.

“I felt very comfortable,” Thomas said. “Don’t get me wrong, I messed up my fair share of stuff, but I felt good, I felt relaxed. A lot more relaxed than I thought I was going to be going into that game.”

Thomas played the entire second half and led the offense to 10 fourth-quarter points, highlighted by a scramble and 12-yard touchdown pass to Dan Buckner with 1:53 remaining in the game.

After facing off against the highly-rated Cardinals defense in practice all offseason, Thomas said he felt very prepared for this contest.

“I think we saw tonight how good our defense is, and when you’re playing against that every day it definitely makes things tough,” Thomas said. “On the other hand, it makes things great as a quarterback because you get to learn a lot.”

Coach Bruce Arians was impressed by Thomas’ demeanor and his production. The game performance surpassed his practice showings, and Arians said it’s an important developmental step for a player who needs the repetitions.

“You never know until (the lights) go on,” Arians said. “This is the beauty of the preseason. People that want to get rid of preseason games don’t have young quarterbacks. If they don’t get preseason games, they have no chance.”

BENARD WITH THE ‘PRETTY’ PICK

Marcus Benard is in a fight to make the roster at outside linebacker, and his pass-rushing skills should keep him in the mix.  Benard had 2½ sacks last year in limited playing time with the Cardinals and a career-high of 7½ with the Browns in 2010.

On Saturday, he made a play out of his comfort zone, palming a pass by Ryan Fitzpatrick with one hand for an interception late in the second quarter. Benard has never picked off a throw in a regular season game.

“He can’t catch a cold,” Arians joked. “He made a heck of a catch.”

Benard, who played tight end in high school, refuted the stone-hands categorization.

“I don’t know where that’s coming from but hopefully I put that to bed today,” Benard said. “It was one-handed. That was a little pretty. That was a little extra.”

Cornerback Antonio Cromartie had the team’s first interception. Linebacker Kevin Minter tipped the Fitzpatrick pass and it bounced off linebacker Larry Foote and safety Tony Jefferson before landing in the arms of Cromartie.

“Guys were flying all over the place,” Arians said. “That’s what we were looking for.”

FLOYD, GINN SIT WITH INJURIES

Wide receivers Michael Floyd and Ted Ginn missed the game with injuries. Arians said Floyd hurt his groin at the end of Thursday’s practice and will likely be out six-to-10 days.

Ginn bumped knees with a gunner on a punt return and his knee swelled up. The team did an MRI but saw no damage, and Ginn will likely be sidelined for about three days. Wide receiver Brittan Golden filled in for Ginn on the kick and punt returns.

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