May 11, 2012; Tempe, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals tackle (76) Nate Potter throws a medicine ball during rookie mini camp at the Cardinals practice facility. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE
The Cardinals broke their first day of camp yesterday, except this was not your average day of camp. Veteran team leaders like Larry Fitzgerald, Adrian Wilson and Darnell Dockett were not there to motivate their teammates. Instead, the rookies were the only group at work.
Darren Urban was there to cover the action and according to some statements from head coach Ken Whisenhunt, thing went pretty well -- for the most part.
Whiz told the press (via Urban) that although the energy was high among the youngsters, he, "didn't know quite what they were doing all the time." That level of confusion is to be expected in the first practice for the rookies. They are all technically raw players that don't have the plays down pat yet. They really have not worked with one another up until yesterday and chemistry between players takes time to develop.
Urban also noted that rookie offensive tackle, Bobby Massie looked everything that he was made out to be. After falling out of the second and third rounds (where he was projected to go), the Cards, by all analysis possible at this juncture, seem to have gotten a steal in the young right tackle. Urban noted that he did not look "sloppy" coming into camp and that he carries his weight well. Hopefully that can translate to a dominant future right tackle for this franchise.
Lastly, first round draft pick Michael Floyd had some interesting things to say as well. He stayed humble, but it appears that he is gunning for the starting job on day one. Even if that does not become the case, any coach will appreciate the effort and reward their young players for it. Floyd also told reporters that he would like to shed some weight and clean up his route running skills a little bit. That will come with time.
By all reports, it sounds like the first day of camp went well for the rooks. They will have two more practices today and one more tomorrow (Sunday). After that, they will be on their own until OTAs start up on the 22nd. That is when the veterans come to work and that is when the fun begins.