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Camp Sunshine! The Cardinals are 92 percent ready for season

Shutdown Corner

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Every team is a Super Bowl contender during training camp, at least that's what the local media in each NFL town seems to think. Puff pieces about teams/players/coaches often read something like, "[Player X] is poised to have a career year because he's getting over [ailment/personal tragedy/weight issues/immaturity]. He will have a key role in [Team Y] making [playoffs/Super Bowl] after last season's [surprise/disappointment]."

To celebrate the brimming positivity being felt by each of the NFL's 32 fanbases, this month Shutdown Corner will take a team-by-team look at the flowery and buoyant prose being written by local columnists and writers, and the hopeful quotes of players and coaches in our daily feature, Camp Sunshine. Today, the Arizona Cardinals.

I'd put the numbers at 83 percent and 17 percent, respectively.

Cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie(notes) estimates he is only 85 percent recovered from a knee injury suffered last January and a toe injury that hampered him this off-season.

It's hard to imagine Rodgers-Cromartie being 15 percent better than he was in Sunday afternoon's practice. In a workout heavy on passing, Rodgers-Cromartie dominated, breaking up several passes.

-- Kent Somers, Arizona Republic

Let's hope Deuce Lutui(notes) keeps taking his first name lightly:

Cardinals wide receiver Early Doucet(notes) has started to take his first name seriously, and it seems to be paying off.

After injuries short-circuited his first two seasons in the NFL, Doucet got a jump start on his third year before everyone else, beginning his off-season training program before most players began their off-season, period.

-- Zach Buchanan, Arizona Republic

But, but there is no libertarian candidate for state mine inspector!

To the outside world, the Cardinals appear to be in trouble at their two inside linebacker spots. And the outside world encompasses pretty much everyone other than a few players and coaches.

Karlos Dansby(notes), a mainstay on the weak side for the past three years, left for Miami. Gerald Hayes(notes), who played the strong side the past three seasons, likely is out until early September after undergoing back surgery in July.

What's left is a collection of journeymen and youngsters with all the name recognition of a Libertarian candidate for State Mine Director.

-- Kent Somers, Arizona Republic

The party pooper:

To the editor:

Wow. The Arizona Cardinals are back and it's amazing how we all have to break our backs to ensure that they and the new legion of fans are entertained and amused, yet most of us in town will get nothing tangible in return. The attitude of this team has changed from gratitude for the fans that stick by them no matter what, to one of entitlement and disdain when they are asked to give just a little time to those fans that have multiplied since Super Bowl and support them.

I was at the practice today with my children and a total of maybe 10 or 12 players took time away from the showers to even think about giving autographs or talking to fans, and of those only three or four made the effort to give more than 20 or so precious autographs. It was sad. Being pleasant and cool with fans is part of the job of any public figure and the smart ones get it and they become beloved not just for the job they do but because of their heart, without fans they are nothing.

I do hope these men realize that with those great paychecks comes the responsibility to give back to each community they come in contact with. They can be greedy with their time, their money and their selves for only so long before it comes to bite them and the fans will dwindle to pre-Super Bowl levels and they'll have to come to their senses in order to get the glory back, just like everyone else.

HONEY BROWN, Flagstaff (letter to editor of Arizona Daily Sun)

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