Quarterback Logan Thomas scrambles away from pressure in the preseason opener against the Chiefs
Logan Thomas is still considered a project, and not the type you can finish during one afternoon in the garage.
The process took a step forward on Saturday night, as the Cardinals' second-year quarterback had a positive showing as he aims to secure the third quarterback spot on the roster.
The numbers weren't dazzling in the 34-19 loss to the Chiefs, as Thomas finished the night 9-of-15 passing for 107 yards and an interception in his two-plus quarters of work. But he looked poised and decisive in the pocket, regularly making the right reads and getting the ball out quickly.
"I felt like I was delivering the ball well," Thomas said. "The ball was coming out of my hand nice. I understood after a couple plays what the defense was trying to do. I'm sure I missed a couple reads, but I did OK."
Coach Bruce Arians has expressed some frustration with Thomas' play during training camp, but was pleased with his effort in the game. Thomas' interception came on a ball which ricocheted off the chest of wideout Jaron Brown and there were other mistakes by his teammates which hurt the cause.
"Logan, I thought, was a victim," Arians said. "A couple of times we're in second-and-1 and end up in first-and-20 on holding penalties which set him back. Other than two plays in which he had protection issues, I thought he played pretty solid."
Thomas threw a touchdown pass to wide receiver Brittan Golden from four yards out on third-and-goal to cap a long drive in the fourth quarter, but it was overturned on review as Golden bobbled the ball as he slid out of bounds. The Cardinals went for it on fourth down, and Thomas hit Ryan Spadola with a slant but was stopped at the 1.
"Obviously you want to get in, especially when you end up on the half-inch line," Thomas said. "It's alright. It's something we'll learn from."
Phillip Sims, the other quarterback in competition for the third spot, ended up 3-of-12 passing for 49 yards and a touchdown. The offensive line had trouble keeping a clean pocket for him, but Sims battled enough to lead a late scoring drive.
MEMORABLE DEBUT FOR GUNTER
ive end Rodney Gunter registered the Cardinals' lone sack of the game, pulling down Chiefs quarterback Aaron Murray in the end zone for a safety in the fourth quarter. Gunter shot a gap on a first-and-10 from the Kansas City 4-yard-line and made a beeline for Murray,
"I came off the ball fast, I saw it open up, I saw the quarterback and I just speared him," Gunter said.
There seemed to be an assignment error by the Chiefs which allowed him into the backfield virtually untouched.
"You don't get too many of those," Gunter said. "When you get it, you've got to take advantage of it."
BETHEL STARTS IN PLACE OF POWERS
Cornerback Jerraud Powers (oblique) was held out of the game as a precaution, elevating Justin Bethel to the starting unit.
"I thought he answered the bell well," Arians said. "If there was a good throw he was going to intercept the one. It was a high throw so he couldn't get it. But I thought he had great coverage on a couple of plays."
Tight end Jermaine Gresham (back) also sat out, while there were a few in-game injuries. Right tackle D.J. Humphries went to the locker room after dislocating his finger in the first half but later re-entered the game. Defensive end Josh Mauro (back) left in the third quarter and didn't return. Safety Brandon Person hurt his right knee in the fourth quarter and didn't return. Arians doesn't believe any of the injuries are serious.
ERIC BERRY RETURNS TO THE FIELD
Cornerback Patrick Peterson gave Eric Berry a bear hug before the game, welcoming the Chiefs' star safety back to the field just nine months after he was diagnosed with cancer.
Berry spent time with Kansas City's first- and second-team defenses, and said it was great to again experience the game environment.
"This is what I have been waiting for," Berry said. "You work so hard for something and give it everything you got for moments like this, and I won't let it go."
HISTORY IS MADE
Jen Welter and Sarah Thomas chatted on the field before the game. A short time later, Welter became the first female to coach in an NFL game while Thomas began her run as the league's first full-time female official.
Welter is a coaching intern helping out the inside linebackers and will remain with the team throughout training camp.