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Drew Stanton Prepares, Then Waits

Posted Aug 11, 2014

Notebook: Backup QB understands role; K Catanzaro not intimidated

Quarterback Drew Stanton takes a snap during Saturday night's preseason opener.

Drew Stanton received a large chunk of playing time on Saturday against the Texans, and will continue to see consistent snaps through the preseason.

He will then lace up his spikes each game day of the regular season and wait for the call that may not come.

Stanton hasn’t thrown a pass beyond the preseason for the past three years, serving as the backup quarterback in Detroit, Indianapolis and then here with the Cardinals. Even though his most recent snap came in Week 15 of the 2010 season with the Lions, Stanton said he’s always ready for the opportunity.

“When the opportunity comes, it’s making the most of it, and you never know when they’re going to come,” Stanton said. “I don’t want to look back and say, ‘Gosh, I wish I would have been a little bit more prepared. I wish I would have taken some more time to study.’”

Stanton was 11-of-17 for 152 yards and a touchdown in the 32-0 victory over Houston, playing the lion’s share of the first half. He will see plenty of action this week against the Vikings, but Carson Palmer took every snap for the Cardinals in last year’s regular season and will be the starter for the Sept. 8 opener on Monday Night Football against the Chargers.

Coach Bruce Arians has repeatedly spoken of his confidence in Stanton, a player who was brought in as a free agent last year as the starting quarterback. Stanton is entrenched in his backup role at this point, but he doesn’t settle for going through the motions at practice.

“You go out there and you’re battling every single day at our position because you want to be perfect,” Stanton said. “That’s the ultimate goal, is every day you walk off the practice field, you feel good about your progressions that you’re going through.”

NO PRESSURE FOR CATANZARO

Rookie kicker Chandler Catanzaro looked right at home in his first game with the Cardinals, connecting on all three of his field goal attempts (32, 28 and 25) and his three extra-point tries while regularly sending kickoffs into the back portion of the end zone.

It was Catanzaro’s first NFL experience, but as a big-school kicker from Clemson, he said he’s accustomed to the environment.

“I just told myself to relax,” Catanzaro said. “I’d been here thousands of times at Clemson. It’s the same kick here as it is in Death Valley or at South Carolina.”

Catanzaro said the transition from high school to college was the big jump, when he went from playing in front of “100 to 150 people” at Christ Church Episcopal School in Greenville, S.C. to tens of thousands in college games.

“I went to Death Valley and it was like, ‘Oh, 84,000 (fans) or whatever,’” Catanzaro said. “It was a little different. I can’t lie about that. The transition from Clemson to here definitely feels like a smoother one.”

WE’RE TALKING ABOUT PRESEASON

Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald has been on both sides of lopsided preseason games, and knows they have little correlation with the regular season results. He said the team didn’t game plan and neither did the Texans, so he took the dominating shutout victory with a grain of salt.   

 “It’s the preseason, man,” Fitzgerald said. “It’s very vanilla, honestly.”

Arians believes this week will be tougher. The Cardinals travel to Minnesota for their first road game, where the crowd noise makes communication more difficult.

The starters figure to get more playing time, and the Vikings defense could bring varied pressures with former Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer now at the helm.

“Zim is a great defensive coach and has always had an unbelievable blitz package,” Arians said. “We’ve been going against each other about 10 years. They’re probably as exotic a blitz defense as we’re going to see. It’s a very good challenge for us offensively.”

POWERS GETS PICK-HAPPY

Cornerback Jerraud Powers figures to have a lesser role in 2014 after the team signed Antonio Cromartie in the offseason, but he has traditionally done well covering slot receivers in the past, and he showed his worth at training camp on Monday.

Powers picked off a pair of passes, including a diving interception near the line of scrimmage after wide receiver Walt Powell tipped an errant throw in the air. The Cardinals had four interceptions in the offense-vs.-defense portion. Cornerback Eddie Whitley and linebacker JoJo Dickson had the others.

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