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Intensity At 11, And Camp Practice Aftermath

Emotions rule the day in final open padded work of training camp

The last padded practice before the Cardinals have their first preseason game -- the last open padded practice of the season -- was worth the price of admission. OK, it was worth more than that, since admission is free anyway. But it felt like the most intense work of camp.

The competition got heated. Once, guard Will Hernandez, Mack truck that he is, got rolling downhill and hit linebacker Kyzir White and the play was more or less over (always tough to tell when there is no tackling and the runner is often go to run even after being "down.") White didn't like that much, and there were some words. Later, tackle D.J. Humphries and defensive tackle Leki Fotu were in the middle of an emotional scrum, and Hump definitely was still feeling some kind of way on the sideline.

But there were no fights. Just emotion.

"It's part of the game," Hernandez said. "As long as it doesn't cross a certain line. It's cool, especially between us. As long as we don't get cheap and we don't get stupid."

Gannon has made clear any fighting carries with it consequences -- like being thrown out of practice -- and the players know that.

"It goes through your head because at the end of the day it's something that aligns with us," Hernandez said. "I don't want to hurt my teammates, I don't want something stupid to happen. So it runs through my head. It's just competition.

"I'd be more worried if there was nothing even close to (emotions)."

-- Running back Marlon Mack had to be helped to the locker room after hurting a leg. That's not ideal, since Mack looked pretty good in the brief time he's been in camp -- Saturday was his first practice. We will see how long he misses, but with Keaontay Ingram still not doing everything, it will be interesting to see how the RB reps play out against the Broncos Friday. Especially since it seems unlikely you want to use James Conner much (if at all.)

-- Still very little from tight end Trey McBride. Wideout Hollywood Brown also wasn't taking part in 11-on-11. Tight end Noah Togiai still was out too.

-- The session ended with the offense trying to pull off a two-minute drive and the defense dominating, both with the ones and the twos. Defensive coordinator Nick Rallis was in a good mood in his post-practice presser.

-- There were some eye-catching moments on both sides of the ball. Colt McCoy made a beautiful pass to James Conner out of the backfield -- it couldn't have had better touch -- to complete a pass despite tight coverage by linebacker Zaven Collins. Collins later completely blew up a run play, to the extent that usually doesn't happen when full tackling isn't going on.

-- Cornerback Antonio Hamilton did a nice job baiting quarterback Jeff Driskel on a play and swooping in for an interception.

-- Safety Budda Baker and wide receiver Zach Pascal had a serious collision in the end zone going for the ball. For a brief moment, you worried about Baker -- until he rolled to his back and did a kip-up

-- Rookie wide receiver Michael Wilson continues to impress, getting reps he might not otherwise with Brown sidelined. But during one sequence, he tried to snare a fourth-down pass from McCoy on a slant and cornerback Marco Wilson broke it up. Wilson seemed like he still felt he should've made the play. That's when injured quarterback Kyler Murray came up to him on the sideline to seemingly give him encouragement.

RB James Conner with the pretty catch.
RB James Conner with the pretty catch.