GLENDALE, Ariz. – A daily review of the hot topics coming out of Arizona Cardinals training camp:
So much for safety Tyrann Mathieu taking it slow. The second-year star safety, who returned to practice Wednesday after an 8 1/2-month recovery from a torn ACL and LCL, took the field with the defensive scout team Thursday and didn’t shy away from contact. While he wasn’t in the box stuffing the run or jamming receivers at the line of scrimmage, Mathieu did his share of hitting. He knocked receiver Ted Ginn to the ground on one play and then dropped running back Andre Ellington after a catch on another play.
Mathieu and nose tackle Alameda Ta’amu, who also returned Wednesday but from a torn ACL, only practiced for about an hour. They took off their knee braces and watched from the sideline for the rest of practice.
The defense, yet again, made a habit of intercepting Arizona’s three quarterbacks. Linebacker Keenan Clayton picked off a Palmer pass and then lateraled the ball to Mathieu during his return. Safety Deone Bucannon intercepted a pass from Ryan Lindley, as did Tony Jefferson. Patrick Peterson also picked off a pass by Drew Stanton on a dead play.
Before practice, Jay Feely and Chandler Catanzaro warmed up with kickoffs. Feely’s new approach, which has him starting 13 yards behind the tee, put the ball in the end zone on the majority of his kicks. However, his kicks didn’t appear to have as much hang time as Catanzaro’s. The rookie started his approach 10 yards behind the tee, and all of his kicks landed deep in the end zone.
During the kicking period, Feely went 2-for-3, missing his first attempt, from 43 yards, off the right upright. He hit from 46 and 45. Catanzaro made all three, from 44, 47 and 51.
Thursday will be the Cardinals’ final open practice of training camp at University of Phoenix Stadium. Practice goes from 2-4:30 p.m. Parking and admission are free.