Jake Plummer and the Arizona Cardinals will be in Flagstaff for the next two weeks
Will the Cardinals be this season’s Cinderella team?
While that remains to be seen, Verde Valley football fans won’t have to travel far to get an early peek at this year’s line-up. The Cards arrived in Flagstaff for its annual preseason training camp on Friday night and will remain in the high country until Aug. 15.
Activities will include two-a-day practices on most days and the annual Red-White intrasquad game this Saturday, Aug. 3 at NAU’s Walkup Skydome.
The daily practices are open to the public at no charge. Morning sessions, which will feature the most contact, will typically start at 8:40 a.m. The afternoon drills, mostly walk-throughs and light activities, will begin at either 3 or 3:45 p.m.
Workouts will be held on NAU’s practice fields adjacent to the Skydome. In case of bad weather, the Cards will go inside the dome. Fans can obtain updated daily practice information by calling (928) 523-2273, the Cardinals’ Flagstaff hot line.
The scrimmage will start at 2 p.m. on Saturday. NAU will charge for this game — $8 for reserved seating, $6 for general admission and $4 for kids 12-and-under.
Arizona’s first exhibition game comes at San Diego on Aug. 10. The Green Bay Packers will visit Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe on Aug. 17 and the Denver Broncos will come calling Aug. 24. The final preseason game is Thursday, Aug. 29 at Oakland.
Dave McGinnis’ Cardinals start the regular season Sunday, Sept. 8 against Washington. While the Redskins have been heated division rivals for years, that will change starting this autumn.
The NFL realigned its teams during the off-season, and the Cards are now part of the new NFC West. Seattle, moving over the AFC, joins Arizona as does San Francisco and ’02 Super Bowl runner-up St. Louis.
Dallas, New York (Giants), Philadelphia and Washington are in the NFC East. Chicago, Detroit, Green Bay and Minnesota comprise the NFC North, while Atlanta, Carolina, New Orleans and Tampa Bay are in the NFC South.
Buffalo, Miami, New England and New York (Jets) make up the new AFC East, followed by Baltimore, Cincinnati, Cleveland and Pittsburgh in the AFC North; Houston, Indianapolis, Jacksonville and Tennessee in the AFC South and Denver, Kansas City, Oakland and San Diego in the AFC West.
The Cardinals finished 7-9 last year in Dave McGinnis’ first full season as head coach. The team has only made the playoffs once since moving to Arizona in 1988.