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Receivers Do The Job

Notebook: Kolb satisfied with wideouts; defense learning Horton system


Wide receiver Stephen Williams pulls in a touchdown pass Thursday night in Oakland.

OAKLAND, Calif. – Every time a rumor has popped up about who the Cards would turn to as a receiver opposite Larry Fitzgerald, it was met with the reality that the organization does want to consider the many young wideouts on the roster.

Some of that promise flashed Thursday night in a 24-18 preseason win over the Raiders, when the Cards not only got a spectacular catch from Fitzgerald but saw impressive plays from guys like Stephen Williams, DeMarco Sampson, Isaiah Williams and rookie tight end Rob Housler.

"We had some guys make plays, just about every one of them," coach Ken Whisenhunt said. "It's an area where we thought we had some depth, and it kind of showed that way tonight. That's one of exciting things about the preseason, seeing how it works out."

The Cardinals didn't even use holdover Max Komar, who sat with a sore groin. But seven players had at least two catches, as the Cards posted a team passer rating of 126.7.

It isn't certain that the Cards won't make another move before the regular season at the wide receiver position, but the idea the team is actively searching for someone hasn't been true either.

"I have always been the kind of guy who says I am going to work with what I've got and be satisfied with who we have," quarterback Kevin Kolb said. "Andre (Roberts) blew right past one of their starting corners today and I didn't hit him on it, so he's got plenty of speed. If that's what we go into the season with, we'll make it work and it'll be fine. These guys are plenty talented."

Whisenhunt was asked what he thought of the way his defense was able to put the new scheme of coordinator Ray Horton into practice, and he simply said "mistakes."

"We had the opportunity to make some plays and we were not in the right spots," Whisenhunt said. "We were trying to do a little more than maybe we should have in the second half with some of our young guys, and we suffered for it.

"We've got a lot of growth to do. We will certainly get a test in Green Bay (next week). But I like the way they are playing together."

Defensive tackle Darnell Dockett thought, for a trial run, the Cardinals graded out just fine.

"There were new calls and a whole bunch of new chemistry, but we did pretty good," Dockett said. "There are things we have to work on. We have so much in our package we still haven't run. It's good to get the basics down, after being off six, seven months. It's a big challenge but we met it."

Tight end Todd Heap sprained his left thumb making a 13-yard reception of a John Skelton pass. But x-rays were negative, and heap spent the second half icing the injury down on the sideline.

"If he had caught it the first time, he wouldn't have sprained it," Whisenhunt said, referring to the bobbled reception on which Heap looked to have gotten hurt. Heap said he wasn't sure on what play he was hurt, and added that if it had been a regular-season game, he would have continued playing.
"No big deal," Heap said. "I tried to make two-for-one (catches). … It's precautionary. You just want to make sure you're all right."

Safety Hamza Abdullah pulled off his 24-hour White-House-To-The-Black-Hole experience, making four tackles against Oakland after eating dinner with President Obama the night before. Literally. Abdullah sat at the same table as the President.

"To break bread with the President, that's just ridiculous," Abdullah said.

Abdullah said the President was talking about the ESPN story broadcast about him and the written story about his brother, Vikings safety Husain. Then the President asked where his brother – who was at the next table – was.

"I was like, 'Husain!' " Abdullah said. "My brother looks over, and I was pointing at the President, and the President says, 'Oh, what's up Husain?' I was like, 'Wow.' "

"I was just appreciative of the opportunity."

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