The Arizona Cardinals have opened training camp, and with the first few days of camp in the books, here are three players who stood out during the first week.
Ryan Williams, RB
Williams ruptured his patella tendon in the preseason against Green Bay last season and is working hard to get into his first NFL game. In Saturday's Red-White scrimmage, Williams was running like a man on two good knees.
Check out the run Williams makes at the 1:22 mark in this video from azcardinals.com. He makes a sharp cut and hits the hole. Notice his acceleration and the speed he is able to generate before being caught by a defender. At the end of the run, he goes head over heels and has his feet stick in the turf.
Despite that potential to reinjure the knee, he pops up and plays to the crowd after the long gain.
Williams also gets an introduction to All-Pro safety Adrian Wilson at the 1:40 mark. Williams tried a draw and Wilson filled the hole and drilled him to the turf.
Williams had one more run at the 2:00 mark and his knees again looked like they locked up for a second. He's still able to keep moving, showing the strength he has built back up.
Williams looks to give incumbent running back Beanie Wells a good run for his money for the starting job over the course of training camp.
Kevin Kolb, QB
Kolb has emerged as the starter on the team's first depth chart of the preseason. It may not be a giant step, but at least it gives the team a place to start as they go through their five preseason games.
According to Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic (via www.azcentral.com), Kolb has been getting more of the first-team reps but is finding the going tough against the Cardinals' first-team defense. John Skelton took the snaps with the second team and fared better against the second-string defense.
Kolb left Monday's practice with a bruised right thigh, but the injury doesn't appear to be serious.
The quarterback battle will rage on over the summer, but the first shot has been fired.
Andre Roberts, WR
Everyone had Larry Fitzgerald inked in as the top receiver on the depth chart, but the No. 2 receiver position was supposed to be a toss-up between Andre Roberts, Early Doucet and rookie Michael Floyd. Roberts has emerged at the top of the initial depth chart.
There's still plenty of time for Floyd to try and knock him off, but Roberts is coming off of career bests in receptions (51) and yards (586). Players don't get listed on top of the depth chart this early without making the right impression on the coaching staff, and Roberts appears to have done that.
Of course, it's all subject to change.
The Cardinals will get their first taste of live action when they take on the New Orleans Saints Sunday at 5 p.m. (Arizona time) in the Hall of Fame Game, which will be aired on NFL Network.
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