GLENDALE, Ariz. – A daily review of the hot topics coming out of Arizona Cardinals training camp:
Tyrann Mathieu made his long-awaited return to the field Wednesday, participating in a few individual defensive back drills as expected. He sat out contact periods and spent time running with former LSU teammate Kevin Minter on the Cards’ side field.
It didn’t take long for Arizona’s latest addition to start making an impact. Defensive tackle Isaac Sopoaga signed Wednesday afternoon and was at practice soon after. He was playing with the first-team defense, lining up at nose tackle at times. He said it wasn’t difficult to sign a contract, throw on a jersey and take the field, all in the course of about an hour. “No way,” he said. “I’ve been doing this for 11 years.”
On one play Wednesday, Abraham came off the edge and got into the backfield quick enough that when backup quarterback Drew Stanton turned around to find a receiver, Abraham was in his face disrupting the play.
Rookie Ed Stinson was part of the Cards’ nickel defensive front.
Ted Larsen's versatility was on display again. As the Cardinals’ backup center, he worked with Stanton during center-quarterback exchange drills, but Larsen and starting center Lyle Sendlein switched quarterbacks to get extra reps.
The defense looked strong again. Shaughnessy came down with an interception off a Stanton pass that was tipped at the line of scrimmage by safety Tony Jefferson. Later in practice, Jerraud Powers picked off rookie Logan Thomas during 7-on-7 drills.
The Cardinals spent the majority of their 11-on-11 periods working on either the run or deep passes. Jaron Brown made another big pass look easy when he grabbed a catch over cornerback Eddie Whitley. Carson Palmer and running back Andre Ellington even got in on the fun, connecting on a deep ball.
Jay Feely and Chandler Catanzaro will split the kicking duties Sunday against Cincinnati. Feely will kick in the first half and Catanzaro in the second. On Wednesday, Feely went 5-for-5, hitting from 23, 32, 39, 38 and 47 yards, respectively. Catanzaro hit his first two from 23 and 33 and then missed his final three from 41, 40 and 47.
Arizona holds its second to last training camp practice Thursday from 2-4:30 p.m. at University of Phoenix Stadium. Admission and parking are free.