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Eyes Have It For Secondary

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The Cardinals' defensive backs were trying to figure out where they went wrong as Laveranues Coles (87) and the Jets scored six touchdowns through the air.

As Brett Favre tossed touchdown pass after touchdown pass last weekend, the Cardinals' secondary got frustrated – with themselves.

Four weeks into the season, the group didn't pull off some fundamental parts of their job that made it much easier for Favre to have his career-best day in throwing for TDs.

"We have some guys back there, we didn't look at their keys," cornerback Rod Hood said. "In the secondary it's all your eyes. You have to train your eyes to be in the right position. That puts you in the right position.

"It is surprising because it's four weeks in. It's one of those things that is a humbling experience because you know you have to continue to work on it."

Coach Ken Whisenhunt praised his defensive backs for taking the initiative to study more after the Jets' debacle and agreed the group didn't do a "good enough" job preparing. He also said it was a slight overreaction to the game, given that the Jets – with a big lead – could afford to take chances down the field.

Safety Antrel Rolle agreed that the group had "bad eyes" and read the wrong keys, but he also said it's "not anything to stress about."

As long, of course, as the defensive backs avoid the same situation again.

"In the secondary, you can't make mistakes like that," Hood said. "Up front you can get out of your gap and you blow a five, 10-yard run. In the secondary, that's a touchdown."

NO NEW NEWS ON Q

Anquan Boldin was not at practice Thursday, instead going to the doctor for the tests that should determine his prognosis going forward. Whisenhunt said he expected to have something concrete about Boldin Friday, but wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald sounded certain himself when talking about the team's receiving corps.

"This is not my first time playing without Q," Fitzgerald said. "It's definitely a lot easier when he is out there. I am going to have to definitely play good football and guys are going to have to pick up the slack."

DOUCET'S FIRST CHANCE

In the event Boldin doesn't play, the Cardinals will probably activate third-round pick Early Doucet for the first time – something Doucet has waited for since the opener. Doucet, who was slowed with a hamstring injury in training camp, has never really been in the mix for playing time.

Doucet acknowledged he was shocked a little once the regular season began and he went out to warm up before the first game in San Francisco and then was told he wasn't active for the game.

"It was hard at first," Doucet said. "The first time it was devastating. But after that it was a matter of me accepting it and continuing to go out and do the little things to be ready."

Doucet called the opportunity to play because his mentor Boldin was hurt "unfortunate," but insisted "I will prepare and be ready for Sunday."

INJURY UPDATE

None of the players who didn't practice Wednesday were able to practice Thursday either – safety Adrian Wilson (hamstring), DE Bertrand Berry (groin), tight end Jerame Tuman (hamstring) and Boldin – and Thursday tight end Leonard Pope (ankle) was also on the sideline completely. Pope had been limited Wednesday. Whisenhunt said if Wilson and Berry can't practice Friday, they will not play Sunday.

Backup offensive lineman Elton Brown also hurt his shoulder during practice Thursday.

Defensive tackle Darnell Dockett (hamstring) returned to full practice.

EXTRA POINTS

The game against the Bills Sunday is officially sold out, making the Cards 24-for-24 in sellouts since moving to University of Phoenix Stadium. The game will also now be broadcast on local TV. …

First Things First, Kurt Warner's foundation, has organized the second annual America's Team Ball Drive, which collects sports equipment to send to soldiers overseas. The drive runs through Oct. 12 and new and gently used equipment is being collected at Valley Wal-Marts. Fans can also bring donations to University of Phoenix Stadium Sunday for the Bills game.

For more information, visit www.kurtwarner.org.


Contact Darren Urban at askdarren@cardinals.nfl.net. Posted 10/2/08.

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