FLAGSTAFF - Matt Leinart admits he was pretty much clueless in picking up Ken Whisenhunt’s offense last year:
“I know at this point last year, I had no clue,” Leinart acknowledged candidly. “A little bit, but really had no clue what was going on.
“This year, I feel like I do. I have a command of the offense.”
Leinart said he’s matured personally with the birth of his son and professionally as a quarterback.
Unlike the public perception, he said he’s basically a homebody.
“Believe it or not, I like to be in the house pretty much every night.
“It may not seem like it. But that’s pretty much how I am.
“My teammates could tell you the same thing. …
“People can think whatever they want. But the most important thing, as I’ve always said, is what my family sees and knows and what my team and my coaches know. They know I work my butt off.”
The Cardinals made their first test of the microphones the NFL now allows defenses to use at Wednesday night’s practice at the old Lumberjack Stadium.
Two players can use them; linebackers Karlos Dansby and Matt Stewart were picked Wednesday.
The system is designed to minimize the issue of teams stealing each other’s signals.
The Cardinals closed out the practice with a goal-line session.
CENTER RETURNS TO VALLEY
Al Johnson was supposed to have missed one practice to rest a sore knee.
But he never got back on the field. So he returned to the Valley to get checked out.
Scottsdale’s Lyle Sendlein ran with the first team at center on Wednesday. Sendlein, a second-year player out of Texas and Chaparral High, filled in at times last season.
The Cardinals have experienced backups at most every position, but not many on the offensive line.
HAIR YESTERDAY, GONE TODAY
Cornerback Eric Green said he lost about 3 pounds just by cutting his long hair.
“I was surprised,” Whisenhunt said. “Just because, I don’t know this for sure, but it seems like it would take so long to grow it out so long.”
Also, Green wants coaches to call him “Eric” instead of “EG.”
Said Leinart of the new look, “He looks like he’s 10 years old.”
MAN OF THE PEOPLE
Leinart is among the most diligent Cardinals at signing autographs at training camp.
He says the fans have “been great for us” at home games.
Then, “They come all the way here to watch practice. That’s the least we can do.”
Rookie receiver Early Doucet is “coming along fast,” Leinart said.
“The biggest thing is to keep harping on the little things, the route running, the depths of the routes and just understanding the position.”
Doucet, Leinart said, “is in the perfect mold of Anquan (Boldin),” in that he has a similar body type and similar style of play.
“It’s perfect for him to learn from a guy like that.
“He’s in a great position. He’s just got to keep studying, and he’ll be fine.”