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Time For Michael Wilson's Close-Up, And Thursday Before The Broncos

The play was during the Cardinals' last padded practice this week, in a fourth-and-2 situation where the first-team offense was going for it. Rookie wide receiver Michael Wilson ran a slant, quarterback Colt McCoy threw him the ball, and cornerback Marco Wilson made a nice play to break it up.

Yet Michael Wilson still was visibly mad he didn't make the catch.

"Any time the quarterback has trust, it's fourth-and-2, he wants to throw to a rookie wide receiver, I feel like I gotta come down with it," Wilson said. "Two times before that where I caught a pass on Marco in one-on-ones, and it's not going to be 100 percent. I've got to, not accept that, but learn to handle that."

This is the mentality the wideout from Stanford has carried all along. Under the radar after an injury-filled college career, the third-round pick has looked good in camp. But now he'll start playing against other teams, like Friday night's preseason opener against the Broncos, and this is the next step to see if what he brings can hold up when it counts.

"I want to take the momentum and confidence I've built in training camp and OTAs and use that to perform at the highest level," he said. "You can do great in practice but you are measured and judged off how you perform in a game."

It's early in the process. Marquise Brown, for instance, has barely practiced in 11-on-11 situations yet, so it is difficult to get a true handle on what the Cardinals might do with their receiver rotation. But if Wilson keeps performing like he has, he'll be part of it.

"I feel like I have had a solid camp," he said. "There are one or two plays every practice where I'm like, 'Ahhh, I wish I would've made that play' or ran this route better, but for the most part I feel really confident with how I have been able to beat press, win my one-on-one matchups.

"In college you want to win every time and kill guys, but Marquise was telling me in the league, these guys are just as good as you. I am just getting used to that. You go against good corners, you're not going to win 100 percent of the time."

Like that time against Marco on fourth down, which after it was over injured QB Kyler Murray came over to give Wilson some encouragement.

"He was like, 'It was a good route. That's just how it is in the league sometimes,'" Michael Wilson said.

-- I expect Michael Wilson to get a good chunk of playing time. All the battles for spots that have been highlighted -- Christian Matthew and Kei'Trel Clark at cornerback, the defensive line rotation, Elijah Wilkinson and Dennis Dailey at left guard among them -- are worth watching.

-- We know Colt McCoy will start at QB. How many snaps he gets and whether Jonathan Gannon plays all four QBs is TBD. Of course, it'll be rookie Clayton Tune that everyone will be watching. I still think McCoy is basically a lock to start the season, but If Tune has any chance, it starts now.

-- Given they are three and four years into their careers respectively, you'd think Zaven Collins and Isaiah Simmons wouldn't play a ton. But does that change given that they are playing brand-new positions?

-- The Broncos are supposed to be playing their starters, which includes QB Russell Wilson.

-- Offensive coordinator Drew Petzing is still trying to figure out if he is going to be up in the booth or down on the field calling plays during games, but for this first one, he's going to be on the sideline.

-- And yes, I am interesting in the punting (and holding) battle between Matt Haack and Nolan Cooney.

-- We have arrived at some games, preseason as they are. See you Friday night.

WR Michael Wilson
WR Michael Wilson