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A Practice Run Inside

Notebook: Cards begin work inside Arizona State's bubble; Anderson starts Thursday

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The Cardinals practice inside ASU's Dickey Dome Tuesday.




Matt Ware attended UCLA, but, at least for the day, he was all about ASU.

"I'm a Bruin for life, but I am so happy to be near Arizona State right now," the veteran safety said.

The Cardinals spent the first of what will be many practice days in another part of Tempe Tuesday, at ASU's practice bubble – the Dickey Dome. With temperatures still hot, coach Ken Whisenhunt decided to move his team for the next few weeks – for a couple of practices a week – inside.

"It was something I really underestimated the need for," Whisenhunt said. "Obviously this is a little bit of a dry run to see how it works out for us, and a great opportunity to see how our team responds to this."

Whisenhunt said the organization will evaluate the benefits of the bubble and will then have discussions over the feasibility of putting up its own practice bubble at the Tempe facility.


Whisenhunt said practicing in the heat always takes a toll.

"The real test will be in season," Whisenhunt said, thanking the ASU braintrust that allowed the Cardinals access. "I am excited to see how much that will help us, especially earlier in the season."

Logistically, it isn't perfect, thanks to the 20-minute bus rides back and forth. That, in fact, is what made receiver Steve Breaston hesitate in endorsing the bubble field trip.

"I'll practice in the heat any day," wide receiver Steve Breaston said. "That bus ride and then coming back and lifting … To me it hasn't been that bad outside. I don't know."

Most players, though, were happy to avoid the heat. Ware said he normally would have shed five or six pounds during an August practice outside.

"That bubble," Ware said, "was awesome."

LEINART, WHIZ MEET


Whisenhunt and Matt Leinart spoke Monday afternoon after the quarterback talked about needing an explanation about his second-string status.

"We had communicated before about where we were, but obviously we had to talk a little bit more," Whisenhunt said.

"I feel like we have been consistent in the years I have been here with our communication with players. I am comfortable with the way we have done that. Obviously there must have been some breakdown because he didn't hear what he wanted, but hopefully we got that cleared up."

Whisenhunt said Derek Anderson will start again at quarterback Thursday in the preseason finale as all the starters remain the same from the preseason win against Chicago. Whisenhunt said both QBs will play, although their playing time will not be as extensive.

EXTRA POINTS


One player coaches will be watching in the preseason finale is linebacker Cody Brown, the 2009 second-round pick who missed all of last season and who is still trying to make an impact. …

Tight end Ben Patrick will get some playing time Thursday, Whisenhunt said, coming off his knee injury early in training camp. Whisenhunt said the number of snaps will be determined by how well Patrick responds when he plays. Patrick was the starting tight end before his injury. Stephen Spach has started the first three preseason games. …

Whisenhunt said Max Komar will get some chances to punt return, along with Marshay Green and Justin Miller, with Andre Roberts (shoulder) still sidelined. The coach also said the Cards can always turn back to Breaston, the return man the last three seasons, if necessary.

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