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Another Dose Of The Almost-Offense, And Wednesday Before The Raiders

Preseason Game Two -- or, the second edition of Kyler-in-training -- is here. The Cards close out the home portion of the exhibition schedule with a nationally televised ESPN game against the Raiders (locally, if you don't have ESPN, Fox 10 will carry the ESPN feed). The Raiders certainly have gotten their share of headlines in large part because of the ongoing Antonio Brown-messed-up-feet-I-don't-like-my-helmet storyline. Raiders QB Derek Carr is expected to play for the first time in the preseason. Brown will not.

As for the Cardinals, there will be more Kyler Murray. How much more? Kliff Kingsbury would only say it'd be more than a series, but if Murray leads a 12-play touchdown drive right out of the box, who knows, that could change. Clearly, the vanilla-ness of the offense will remain. The Cards aren't doing now what they plan on doing starting Sept. 8 against the Lions. Can the Cards be ready, then, assuming they aren't practicing much of what matters? Murray is confident the Cards will, and confident it will be successful.

"I know it'll work," Murray said. "It's hard to prepare for this, what we will do when the season comes."

In the meantime? Murray just wants to build on that first game against the Chargers, which was pretty good.

-- Murray will have one new target, assuming rookie Andy Isabella gets on the field when Murray is in the game. Isabella missed the Chargers game because of a knee issue, but he's fine now. One thing to watch is how Isabella is deployed, and whether the Raiders get up in his grill at the line of scrimmage.

-- Wide receiver Kevin White, down with a hamstring injury, isn't expected to play, and he's falling further behind the curve.

-- We already know Mason Cole is getting work at both guard and center. So is rookie Lamont Gaillard, who has had a solid camp and looks like he probably will make the roster as a sixth-round pick. Also interesting will be who the Cardinals look at out at tackle behind starters D.J. Humphries and Marcus Gilbert. As noted, that's a spot the Cards are concerned about.

-- In the secondary, rookie Byron Murphy gets his first NFL game after missing last week with a foot issue. Murphy is still mostly working slot/nickel duty, so his chances of ending up outside seem to be lessening -- at least early in the season -- by the day. Chris Jones remains someone to watch at cornerback.

-- There was a lot of talk about the Cardinals doing a better job against the run this week, and whether it's focus or being ready for basic running after playing defense against a Kingsbury offense all of camp or letting the quarterback scramble too much, the Cards do have to make improvement. Doing it now without Darius Philon figures to make it that much more difficult.

-- The Antonio Brown helmet thing is interesting in the sense that, yes, I'd think after playing with one helmet for a decade or more, it's tough to switch. Then again, if it's getting used to a new helmet versus exposing your brain to a bigger chance of harm, that doesn't seem to be a big decision. Larry Fitzgerald, among others, has to do it.

-- In case you missed it -- and it's been out there a couple of days now -- there was this gem from Kingsbury during an appearance on "Bickley and Marotta" this week (around the 8:30 mark). In terms of Brown's helmet saga, Kingsbury was asked if he ever fallen in love with a helmet so much he'd quit football for it.

"I haven't fallen in love with a woman that I'm willing to walk away from the game for, so ..."


WR Trent Sherfield with a big special teams tackle last game.
WR Trent Sherfield with a big special teams tackle last game.