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In A Darkened Room

Notebook: Watching video after a game can be intense experience


Coach Ken Whisenhunt watches a play intently during Saturday night's preseason opener.

FLAGSTAFF – The first practice after a game – especially a game that doesn't go well – can be intense as coaches try to right the wrongs.

The same can be true when sitting in a darkened room breaking down the video, seeing both the good plays that were made and more importantly, trying to learn from mistakes.

"You're a man," safety Adrian Wilson said. "Everyone in there is a man and everyone has to be responsible for their actions. That's something, as a defense, we understand that. I think down to a man, everyone would say that's what it is, you have to be accountable."

Judging by coach Ken Whisenhunt's comments about the mental errors the Cards committed in Saturday's preseason win, video sessions this week should have provided plenty of fodder. The intensity was a given.

Part of that, Whisenhunt said, are all the players competing for positions. A mistake could harm the chance to move up the depth chart or even make the roster. Part is the coaches making sure they are correcting errors.

"Even though there is intensity, what comes out of it is good," Whisenhunt said. "There is a difference in my mind between intensity and negativity. I wouldn't say negativity is a part of it. Now, if you make a mistake continually, you're going to get called out on that. That's hard. But that's the only way sometimes to get it corrected."

Wilson said he loves breaking down video, in learning about opposing players and his own defense, helping him understand the "big picture."

Sometimes, Wilson acknowledged, watching video "is negative to begin with."

"But if you go out and use it to correct a mistake, it becomes a positive, a learning experience," Wilson said. "If you make the same mistakes, you're probably not going to play. You're probably not going to be on the field. And you're probably not going to be on the film."


John Skelton's impressive preseason debut, combined with the impressive practices of fellow rookie Max Hall, has made for an interesting battle for the team's third spot. There's only one wrench in that ideal – Whisenhunt is still preparing his top two quarterbacks, Matt Leinart and Derek Anderson. It's not like the recent past, where a veteran like Kurt Warner could get by with a minimum of preseason work.

"We are also trying to make sure Matt and Derek get their share of reps," Whisenhunt said.

Hall did not play in the preseason opener. Whisenhunt said he is hopeful Hall gets a chance to play in Tennessee.

When it was pointed out that Skelton (at 6-foot-6) and Hall (6-1) are polar opposites in many ways, Whisenhunt replied, "but there is a difference in body-type between Peyton Manning and Drew Brees and they are both excellent quarterbacks."


While Whisenhunt said inside linebacker Gerald Hayes was progressing in his rehab from back surgery, there still is little concrete when it comes to the return of the veteran to the field. Whisenhunt said Hayes is "moving around well" but when it comes to coming back for the regular-season opener, Whisenhunt said "I wouldn't rule it out but I wouldn't say it's probable either."

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