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first_img Comments   Share   Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Arizona Cardinals defensive end Calais Campbell (93) and defensive end Frostee Rucker (92) celebrate a stop as Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, left, gets up during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 27, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) The 30-point defeat was their worst loss of the season.But that was then and this is now. This is a new season, the postseason.“A very good start to 2016. A good practice,” Bruce Arians said Wednesday. “I thought our guys were extremely focused and a lot of energy on the practice field. It was fun to watch. Like I said, a good start to the year.”Defensive tackle and team captain Calais Campbell agreed.“Today was a great start to the week. We were out there, flying around, having fun, working on technique, honing our craft. Guys are really trying to fine tune their techniques by going at a pretty good pace, trying to really do whatever they can to get ready,” he said.“You can sense it in the locker room. Guys are ready, they’re focused. You want to capitalize on this opportunity.”The Cardinals, who clinched a first-round bye, practiced for 90 minutes, spending much of the time on Green Bay, one of the three possible opponents they’ll face in the divisional round.Thursday will be Minnesota, while Friday is Washington, the only team of the three that the Cardinals haven’t faced this season.“Almost all three (game plans) are complete,” Arians said.  “There will just be some minor touches when we find out who we play, but the majority of all three game plans is finished.” The Cardinals’ all-time playoff record is 6-8.“It’s something else,” linebacker Dwight Freeney said, referring to postseason football. “It’s when things that, I guess, you would call normal aren’t normal anymore. The intensity just picks up. The game just goes by faster.  Everybody has another gear. Every little thing matters. It always matters, but now it really matters and each little thing that happens can be a big thing.  It gets amplified.” – / 39 Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo TEMPE, Ariz. — Flash back one week ago.The Arizona Cardinals had just come off the practice field, their first one of the week, and by most accounts lacked the energy and passion that they had displayed throughout a franchise-best 13-win season.The focus wasn’t there, according to the head coach, who at the time feared his team would get beat four days later.He was right.The Cardinals were embarrassed at home, losing the regular-season finale to Seattle, 36-6. As the two-seed the Cardinals will host the highest remaining seeded team — No. 3 Minnesota, No. 4 Washington or No. 5 Green Bay — on Saturday, Jan. 16.  Kickoff is scheduled for 6:15 p.m. at University of Phoenix Stadium.With no game this week there isn’t an official injury report, though Arians sounded optimistic that both linebacker Markus Golden (knee) and defensive tackle Josh Mauro (calf) would be able “to get on the field before the week is over.”Both players sat out Week 17.The news is not as good for defensive tackle Cory Redding, who suffered a high right ankle sprain early in the first quarter against Seattle.“I don’t see Cory possibly making this next game,” Arians said.As far as that last game, quarterback Carson Palmer was asked whether he noticed any hangover from the loss to Seattle.“None,” he answered. “We got together as a team on Monday and just talked about, ‘It’s time to move on. Whatever happened, happened that last game.  It’s time to focus on this next season.’  We came out today and had a great practice. It was short. It was quick. It was to the point.”The Cardinals are back in the playoffs for the second straight year, tying a franchise mark last done in 2008 and 2009. Top Stories Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img

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