Skip to main content

Arizona Cardinals Home: The official source of the latest Cardinals headlines, news, videos, photos, tickets, rosters and game day information


Presented by

Red And White And Conner, And Camp Practice Aftermath

Running back's catch highlights not-quite-dress-rehearsal 

James Conner said he wanted to treat Saturday's Red and White Practice like a game, and it was as close as the Cardinals were going to get to such a thing before next week's preseason opener against the Broncos.

The veteran running back certainly leaned into it. The emotions were there, especially when the first units faced off in a drive later in practice. The offense was moving the ball and, after Conner had a nice gain on a middle screen, head coach Jonathan Gannon came out to talk to the defense -- and Conner lingered just behind Gannon, no doubt delivering some trash talk.

Two plays later, Conner outleaped Budda Baker (more on that later, because Conner thought Budda was taking it easy on him) for a spectacular touchdown catch.

"I just wanted to get into the mentality of everything," Conner said. "Get ready for this moment. It's going to be here."

Conner said it is still undecided how much if at all he'll play in preseason games, "but with the way we practice and the way the defense is playing, if we come to play every day, we can emulate preseason without the actual reps against the opponent."

-- As for the catch, Conner was downplaying both his own play and the idea he beat Baker on the play.

"I actually bobbled it a little bit," Conner said. "I need to catch it cleaner. We'll put it on the backside. Budda, in a game, he might've played it different. I'll take a great catch though."

Conner added he didn't think Baker jumped as high as he could have. "It's just iron sharpening iron. That's all it is."

-- Attendance for the day was 15,000.

-- Before the workout, Gannon said he didn't want to call it a dress rehearsal for the preseason games, but that it would be something like that. Coaches spent time on the field and up in the booth as the staff worked on their gameday communication.

"(Players) don't have scripts memorized, they don't know what's being called, they just have a gameplan memorized and it's probably honestly harder than a game because they don't know exactly what's being called," Gannon said.

-- Gannon isn't talking specifics about injuries, but the same players who haven't been participating in practice weren't on Saturday -- WR Hollywood Brown, RB Keaontay Ingram, CB Quavian White, TE Geoff Swaim. TE Joel Honingford did get back into action.

-- Kicker Matt Prater made all six of his field-goal tries -- from between 35 and 43 yards -- with punters Matt Haack and Nolan Cooney getting three holds each.

-- There were probably more penalty flags than Gannon would've liked, especially early in practice, and the vast majority were on the offense. But later in 11-on-11, the Cardinals played clean.

-- The first touchdown scored as a 17-yard pass down the middle from Clayton Tune to Greg Dortch. Dortch had another solid day, as he presses to find a way on to the roster. The first four spots figure to go to Hollywood Brown, Rondale Moore, Zach Pascal and rookie Michael Wilson -- the latter of whom caught a pair of touchdowns and already seems to have some chemistry with QB1 Colt McCoy.

-- GM Monti Ossenfort was on the sideline paying close attention to every play, taking notes as the practice wore on.

-- New deep safety Isaiah Simmons should've had an end zone interception on a McCoy overthrow of Wilson, but Wilson managed to get into Simmons just enough that Simmons couldn't hold the ball when he went to the ground.

-- Tight end Noah Togiai again showed up, making an excellent juke after a catch to shake linebacker Jesse Luketa for extra YAC.

-- Former Cardinals coach Don Coryell was officially inducted into the Hall of Fame on Saturday. Here's the story when he was selected to go into Canton.

-- The Cardinals are off until Monday. They have three practices left at State Farm Stadium open to the public, and then after the Broncos' game, camp will be over in Glendale and moves back to Tempe.

RB James Conner breaks out of the pack with the ball on Saturday.
RB James Conner breaks out of the pack with the ball on Saturday.