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Cardinals, Chiefs See Red

Joint practice in Missouri breaks up drudgery of training camp


Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald breaks away from Chiefs cornerback Jalil Brown during one-on-one drills when the teams held a joint practice Tuesday.

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. – Training camp is about the redundancy, so a chance Tuesday to practice against the Kansas City Chiefs was, for the most part, to break up the monotony.

"Just to go against another color is good," said safety Kerry Rhodes, before considering that the Chiefs, like the Cards, wear (albeit a brighter shade of) red. "OK, another red, but it was against different people."

The two hours of work at Missouri Western State University the lone joint practice between the teams, who play Friday night at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City. There were no scuffles, no heated exchanges during the practice. That could have been the heat – it was humid and 99 degrees – but it was also about being a pro, said Cardinals guard Daryn Colledge.

"Everyone is trying to be smart," Colledge said. "It's good to get work in. we are both trying to make each other better. We don't have to worry about playing each other until the Super Bowl. We can work and move on."

Coach Ken Whisenhunt said he was pleased with the work, which in the end not only didn't have any fights but didn't look much different than any other practice – except for the 180 players running around the field.

Whisenhunt said he didn't think the practice will impact Friday night's matchup. He also said the afternoon can work into the evaluation equation.

"It's a different competitive situation and how they respond in those situations are always a valuable piece of the puzzle," Whisenhunt said.

Friday night wasn't lost on the players though. Defensive end Calais Campbell said he didn't want to give away "too many of my tricks" so he'd have something in store for Friday. John Skelton, who will start at quarterback Friday, felt the work improved as the practice went on and the offense moved into team drills.

The Cards also had running back Ryan Williams take another step forward, with Whisenhunt saying he "grew up into a pro" by practicing even though his knee was sore from rehab.

"Coach said that's what professionals do, work through problems and you practice," Williams said. "That really made me feel good."

Chiefs wide receiver Steve Breaston, a former Cardinal, had been looking forward to matching up against top Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson, who arrived in Arizona after Breaston left.

But Breaston spent time with former teammates like Andre Roberts, Larry Fitzgerald and former coaches like offensive coordinator Mike Miller and quarterbacks coach (and former receivers coach) John McNulty right after practice.

"I don't think it was 'Wow' until they got here and you see so many familiar faces," Breaston said. "Once you put the pads on though, it's all work."

The work goes back to being separate Wednesday. The Cards practice twice prepping for the "real" meeting against the Chiefs, their Tuesday work all part of the process.

"It almost feels like you get an extra preseason game again," said Colledge, noting the Cards already have five preseason games. "For us, its feels like a lot this year."

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