Defensive backs Dominque Rodgers-Cromartie (left) and Adrian Wilson model the Cardinals' new black jerseys at Thursday's draft party.
The Cardinals officially went black to the future Thursday.
Using the annual draft party as a backdrop, the Cards unveiled their alternate third jersey at Majerle’s Sports Grill in Chandler a few hours before making their first-round selection in the 2010 NFL draft.
The jersey is predominantly black, and will be worn with white pants that have a black stripe with a red accent, as well as black socks.
“We’ve been asking for it for years,” wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald said. “(President) Michael Bidwill does a great job of always finding new and better ways to keep Cardinals’ fans excited, keeping players excited.
“It’s so stealth,” Fitzgerald added with a grin. “It’s so sleek. It’s black. What’s better than black?”
Because the jersey is of an “alternate color” and not a “historic” option, the Cardinals cannot change their helmet color in games with the new uniform.
“Our coaches and players have done a tremendous job creating a specific and well-defined identity as a team that is powerful, aggressive, progressive and exciting,” Bidwill said. “We think these uniforms reflect all of those same things. As an organization you want to make sure you keep moving forward, both on the field and off, and this new uniform is part of an overall organizational effort to continually keep things dynamic and innovative.”
NFL rules allow a team to wear its alternate jersey in one preseason game and two regular-season games. The Cardinals have not yet decided which games will feature the new uniforms.
But Fitzgerald may have let out a bit of news when he said with a smile, “we have a Monday night game against San Francisco and a Christmas night game against the Cowboys, so if I was a betting man, I’d put it on those two games. … I think that’s when we’ll probably wear them.”
Said safety Adrian Wilson of the black uniform games, “I think me and Michael came to an understanding. I only had to put him in a headlock a couple of times. Seriously, though, I think he has a plan.”
Nine NFL teams wore alternate color uniforms last season: Baltimore (black), Carolina (process blue), Chicago (orange), Cincinnati (orange), Houston (red), Denver (orange), Philadelphia (black), San Diego (light blue) and Seattle (green). There were also a handful of teams that wore historic -- or "throwback" -- jerseys.
“We’ve wanted them, but it takes time for us,” Wilson said. “It’s a good look for everyone.”
Coach Ken Whisenhunt agreed.
“In a word? Awesome,” Whisenhunt said. “I know it’s something Michael has been working on for some time and how important it was to him to come up with something that the fans and especially the players would be excited about. I don’t think that’s going to be a problem. Now it’s up to us to make sure that we play as great as we’ll look in these new uniforms.”
Through Monday, the new uniform merchandise will be available exclusively at the team store at the Cards’ Tempe facility, at the AZone store at University of Phoenix Stadium and on-line at azcardinals.com.
Thursday, Apr 22, 2010 11:05 AM