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Early Tests For Levi Brown

Posted Aug 12, 2013

Notebook: Colledge returns to practice, Cards' starters to get 20 plays

Left tackle Levi Brown (75) shares a conversation with quarterback Carson Palmer earlier this week in Tempe.

Levi Brown had no control of the NFL schedule, so all he could do was shrug after seeing his first two games back after missing a year were against Clay Matthews and DeMarcus Ware.

“It is what it is,” Brown said. “It really doesn’t matter who you got to face. You’ve got to go out there and get the job done. I mean, (at) left tackle position you’re going to face the best players as far as pass rushers and things like that.

“It’s kinda good that it’s happening right now … go out there and see what it is.”

The “it” Brown referred to is his left triceps, which was torn last preseason. He missed all of the 2012 season and spent minicamp and OTAs just getting back into football shape. Training camp has been spent trying to impress coach Bruce Arians but Friday’s preseason opener against the Packers was Brown’s first time to truly test his triceps. His next test comes Saturday at University of Phoenix Stadium against Ware and the Dallas Cowboys.

“He played extremely well against Clay and I’m anxious to see him this week against DeMarcus,” Arians said. “He’s getting battle tested against two of the best in the NFC right off the bat.”

Arians added he wanted Brown to be more consistent in practice.

Brown said his arm is “not bad.” He hasn’t had any issues with the triceps, such as extending it, which was his primary concern leading into training camp.

“Neither arm really fully extends all the way out after all these years of constantly punching, but it is what it is,” Brown said.

COLLEDGE RETURNS TO FIELD

Arians hasn’t camouflaged the warnings. The longer Daryn Colledge was out with a nerve injury in his right leg, the better chance Paul Fanaika had of starting.

On Sunday, Colledge dressed for practice. On Monday, he practiced.

“It’s always good to be back practicing, especially when somebody at your position is doing well,” Arians said. “It behooves you be back on the field.”

Colledge knows he won’t just be handed back his starting job, especially after the praise Arians doled out to Fanaika. However, Colledge was working with the first-team offense during practice Monday.

“I have about three plays on tape right now so I’ve got a lot to show,” Colledge said. “I got to go out there like anybody else and earn a spot on this team. I believe there’ll be a little bit of grace out there. They know I need to knock some rust off.

“This will be one of the toughest offensive lines I have to make in my eight years in the NFL, so the competition out there is stiff.”

20 IS THE NUMBER

Arians planned on letting the starters play 15 snaps against Green Bay, but an effective offense limited the Cardinals to nine snaps in three series.

So Arians upped the number of plays for his starters to 20 against Dallas.

“I don’t want to get in a full half,” Arians said.

The more snaps the better, said starting quarterback Carson Palmer. But Friday night wasn’t enough to establish an identity.

“It’s tough to get a gauge for your group and your team after nine plays, but I thought we did a good job,” Palmer said. “There’s always things we need to clean up and areas we need to improve on.

“As we go into this game we’ll have a better feel. Hopefully, we get a little more action and have some more film to watch and critique and learn from.”

SEEING THE 4-3

Since their first minicamp back in April, the only defense the Cardinals have faced was a 3-4. That continued Friday against Green Bay, which plays a nearly identical scheme. But Saturday, the Cards will face Dallas’ 4-3 defense, led by new defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin.

“It’s good to get it taught and see the different nuances of how you run it, how you pass it against this style of defense,” Arians said. “A Tampa-2 team is different than what we’ve been going against. It’s very good exposure, especially the second week.”


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