Practice report: Cardinals work overtime

January, 28, 2009
1/28/09
5:34
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

TAMPA, Fla. -- Veteran reporter John Czarnecki of FOXSports.com is serving as the pool reporter for the Cardinals' practices this week.

Pool reporters watch practice, speak with the head coach and file a report covering the basics without revealing strategy. The league and team in question read and approve pool reports before making them available. Here is Czarnecki's report from Wednesday:

The NFC champion Arizona Cardinals conducted a fast-paced practice for two hours and 15 minutes at the Bucs' facility, and when it was over as many as 20 players, guys like Kurt Warner and Larry Fitzgerald, hung around to keep working on individual aspects of their game.

"A lot of those guys have been doing that all year and it's helped us, too," Arizona coach Ken Whisenhunt said of the post-practice period.

Overall, Whisenhunt was pleased with his team's first work here.

"It was much better than our normal Wednesday practices because we installed much of our offense and defense last week in Arizona," he said, "so this was more review than working on new stuff like during the regular season."

All of Arizona's injured players like linebacker Travis LaBoy and defensive end Antonio Smith practiced, although on a limited basis. Wide receiver Anquan Boldin participated fully and showed no effects of a hamstring injury that caused him to miss the divisional playoff game against Carolina.

"He looked good today and he also looked good late last week," Whisenhunt said of Boldin. "We took a little easier on him early last week just to be safe."

The Cardinals opened practice, as is their custom, with 20 minutes of walk-through work for the both the offense and defense and then 12 minutes of special teams work before joining together for team stretching. In the remainder of the drills, the players were in helmets and shoulder pads and shorts.

Most of the team periods would last between eight to 10 plays. Interestingly, in one offensive pass skeleton drill, backup Matt Leinart attempted one more pass than starter Kurt Warner. However, in another full team drill Warner took all the snaps as he did in the final five-play session of the day.

But the best pass completion of the day might have been third-stringer Brian St. Pierre's sideline throw and catch by rookie Lance Long, a practice player, against the first team defense.

"We like to keep all of our quarterbacks involved," Whisenhunt said. "It's the only way to keep them sharp and I think that's important. Basically, we are trying to keep to the same routine as we possibly can. For the last four weeks our [practice] tempo has been good as it has been all season."

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