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Measurement In Titletown

Cards' preseason trip to Green Bay can benefit learning curve


The Cards continue their prep work with a preseason game in Green Bay Friday.

GREEN BAY, Wis. – Playing at Lambeau Field for the second game of the preseason makes it a little different than a normal exhibition game for the Cardinals, if for no other reason than it'll be the first time the Packers have played at home since winning the Super Bowl.

"You want, like, cliché stuff?" former Packers guard-turned-Cardinal Daryn Colledge said. " 'It's gonna be electric!' "

Colledge smiled as he said it, but it is true. It is an atmosphere that will benefit the Cards' development. At the same time, "you can't lose sight that it is a preseason game," coach Ken Whisenhunt said.

The Cardinals are still installing parts of the playbook despite being less than a month from the regular season. There is no gameplanning – at least from the Cards' side; the Packers did do a little in a 2009 preseason matchup – and the Packers will have much more cohesion given their stability at quarterback and in the coaching staff, compared to the Cards.

The Packers and their championship status is to what the Cards aspire.

"Let's go test it and see what happens," quarterback Kevin Kolb said. "It's not going to tell us where we are at, but it will point us in the direction we might be going."

Kolb is expected to play into the second quarter this week, and it wouldn't be a surprise to see the starting offensive line to play even longer, getting work with second-string quarterback John Skelton.  

Kolb said he is still getting comfortable with the offense – he insisted he will be ready by the time the regular-season opener arrived Sept. 11 – but that shouldn't impact him.

"I like to think I know something about the game of football," Kolb said, "so regardless of what you get thrown into, you should have a pretty good idea of what is going on."

The Packers provide a couple of extreme tests. The passing game, with quarterback Aaron Rodgers, is prolific, which should highlight the Cards' search for pass-rushing pressure and cornerback play in a secondary where there are battles for starting jobs.

On the other side of the ball, the Packers can bring pressure, giving needed work for the offensive line.

Then there is, cliché or not, the atmosphere. After a sparse and mild crowd in Oakland last week, Lambeau will be filled and loud.

"The place is always sold out," Colledge said. "The fans are die-hards. They are loyal. They are all about their football."

That works for the Cardinals, who wouldn't mind something a little more intense.

"I don't know how people look at preseason games, but I can assure you we don't look at it as a preseason game," defensive lineman Darnell Dockett said. "We're coming to play ball."

The Cardinals still don't have any cuts coming until after the third preseason game, but younger players are going to have a difficult time making much of an impression. With the absent offseason, veteran preseason play has been more important than ever.

The time to learn, in live situations, is shrinking quickly.

 "It is a great time," Whisenhunt said, "to play a team like this."

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