The defense has been ahead of the offense all week, and that was on display again Thursday. Safety Adrian Wilson came up twice to put thunderous hits on running backs as they hit the hole.
Cornerback Antrel Rolle made a leaping interception in the end zone, showing his athletic ability hasn’t been stunted by last year’s knee injury. The defensive line as a unit — especially the reserves — have been impressive. This was a defense that had high hopes last season, before injuries shredded its plans. The hope has returned.
King hurt again: The bad luck of defensive lineman Kenny King continued Thursday. While the Cardinals were saying King injured his right hand, a source said King actually has reinjured the wrist that sidelined him for the past two seasons.
King was sent to Phoenix for medical tests, and the team expects to know more today. King had hurt his wrist during training camp each of the previous two years. But he had looked good this week and was thankful he was getting another chance.
“I get on my knees every night praying, thankful that I am still here,” King said earlier this week.
Edge’s preseason plans: If it were up to him, running back Edgerrin James would play little in the team’s preseason games, “close to zero,” he admitted with a grin.
But it may not be up to him, and he understands that, saying he’ll play as much as he has to to finetune the offense. His problem with preseason games isn’t that he doesn’t want to work, but that they just don’t matter.
“In the preseason, you can do all the wonderful things,” James said, “and then you get to week one and it’s, ‘So what?’ ”
Secret mock: Coach Dennis Green will have his team have its mock game Saturday, but with the workout being held in the new Cardinals Stadium, the players aren’t the only ones getting to practice.
“It’s sort of a dress rehearsal, like for the (public address) guy,” Green said. “Everyone opening the new stadium, which doesn’t happen very often, will get a dry run. That’s a good thing. We don’t want to come out against Pittsburgh (in the preseason opener Aug. 12) like it’s a great building with an inexperienced crew.”
The Cardinals have closed the event to the public and the media.
Thinking of Matt: James said he has no problems with unsigned Matt Leinart making sure he gets the best deal he can.
“(For Leinart), get the scripts of what we are doing, make sure you are going over the plays, make sure you are on page mentally,” James said. “When you get here, we will welcome you in.” Kirby’s addition: Running back Kirby Wilson was absent Thursday after wife Dani gave birth to their fourth child, Savannah.
TODAY AT CAMP
The Cardinals will practice at 8:45 a.m. and then hold a walkthrough at 2:30 p.m. before leaving camp for the weekend.
Kenny King: DL left practice with a right wrist injury; Tim Bulman: DT sat out with a sore back; Rolando Cantu: Guard was carted off after injuring his right knee; Still out: FB James Hodgins (PUPknee), DE Anton Palepoi (PUPshoulder), LB Karlos Dansby (thumb), RB Roger Robinson (toe), T Oliver Ross (knee).
Adam Bergen Ht.: 6-4; Wt.: 267; Pos.: TE Age: 22 Role: Battling Leonard Pope for top receiving tight end How he got here: Signed as an undrafted free agent in 2005, he had 28 receptions as a rookie. Big TD: Caught his lone NFL touchdown pass against St. Louis last season in Kurt Warner’s triumphant return to the Arch City.
— Compiled by Darren Urban