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Midway Through Camp, Gannon Takes Cardinals On 'Dry Run'

Team works at Dignity Health Training Center prior to Chiefs game, Minnesota trip

Running back James Conner during a rep at practice this week outdoors in Tempe.
Running back James Conner during a rep at practice this week outdoors in Tempe.

Jonathan Gannon made sure the Cardinals were focused on the Chiefs this week in their second preseason game, but the schedule implemented by the coaching staff for the week had the regular season in mind.

"I wanted to dry run our schedule," Gannon said. "The practice plan isn't the same, but the schedule is (set) as far as Week 1 in Washington."

After spending the first two-plus weeks of training camp at State Farm Stadium, the Cardinals returned to the Dignity Health Training Center in Tempe. The location changed, but the structure of practices haven't.

"We set up practice like we're still in training camp, so we're not running cards, we're not doing versus-scouts (team), or anything like that," Gannon said. "We wanted to dry run it for the players to get in their routines and what they need to do to get ready to play from Monday morning until Sunday kickoff."

That meant, with a Saturday game, Tuesday was done with a Wednesday schedule, Wednesday with a Thursday schedule, and so on. It also meant the Cardinals practiced outside for the heat for the first time, although they also were in their practice bubble part of the time.

Game week is about preparing for your opponent, in this case future Hall of Fame coach Andy Reid and MVP Patrick Mahomes. But it's also about creating a plan that works best. Gannon said he's made tweaks as they figure that out.

"I think what coach Gannon has done this week is really treat this like a game week and not necessarily from scouting the Chiefs or putting a game plan together, but more importantly, what's your process?" quarterback Colt McCoy said. "I think that is what this week should be for. Some of the young guys can get with the older guys and say 'What's your process,' and they can kind of learn a little bit and everybody could kind of develop their own routine."

The Cardinals will follow with a week of practices against the Vikings in Minnesota next week.

The Cardinals won the preseason opener against the Broncos in thrilling fashion. The excitement on the sidelines was evident once the two point conversion was successful, and as McCoy reiterated, winning -- even in preseason -- is the a goal.

Tackle D.J. Humphries would love for the team to build on that momentum entering Saturday's game against the Chiefs.

"Any time you go on the grass and get a win is huge," Humphries said. "It doesn't matter the situation, when we go on the grass, our mentality is to make sure we win. Developing that identity, we're trying to win every situation no matter oh, this doesn't count. We're trying to win."

ROSTER MOVE: The Cardinals signed interior offensive lineman Braylon Jones on Friday. Jones played for the Houston Gamblers of the USFL this spring, and has spent time with the Dallas Cowboys.

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