May 11, 2012; Tempe, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals quarterback Ryan Lindley throws a pass during rookie mini camp at the Cardinals practice facility. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE
The Arizona Cardinals are now through with the first three days of their full offseason of workouts. From Friday through Sunday, the rookies were on the fields at the practice facility, getting some reps in with their new teammates and learning the playbook all the while.
Both Kent Somers (Cardinals beat writer from the Arizona Republic) and Darren Urban (official scribe for the team) were there to cover the five total practices. After the jump, see what they had to say about some of the players, including their impressions on a couple of key names.
Although it is far too early to tell, according to some reports from the local sports writers, the young guys are off to a good start. It all starts with the first round draft picker, wide receiver Michael Floyd. Floyd, although he does not have full grasp of the offense yet, "caught the ball well" according to Somers. Floyd mentioned himself that he needs to work on his route running skills, but other than that, he appears to be right on schedule.
After Floyd comes cornerback Jamell Fleming, a player drafted in the third round by the Cardinals out of Oklahoma. Many were scratching their heads after the Cards took him in the third round, but if he does as well as he appeared to in his minicamp workouts, they may be forced to eat their words. Somers described his performance in this way:
CB Jamell Fleming had a good day with a few breakups.— Kent Somers (@kentsomers) May 13, 2012
After that, there were two sixth round picks that had good camps as well. 2011 draft choice, Quan Sturdivant, was a guy all over the field. He will be battling Reggie Walker for a spot on the 53 man roster this season, and so far, he is off to a torrid pace. He snagged a couple of balls out of midair and is beginning to show some understanding of the defense.
On Saturday, quarterback Ryan Lindley appeared to be getting the jitters out of his system, but on Sunday, it sounds like he was good to go. Somers noted that he was "sailing" a few balls for the first couple of days, but that he showed "steady improvement" over the course of the three days of practice. Lindley is definitely a project quarterback for the Cards and it is really tough to tell given the competition he is facing right now, but he appears to be on a good pace. Being able to work with QB coach John McNulty and the other QBs on the roster should help his cause.
Even though all of these players performed well, the sample size is just too small to draw anything from it. Not only were the workouts not the same as a game situation, but they were not matched up against veterans, either. Once OTAs begin on the 22nd, we will begin to get a better picture on where each of these players stand. For now, progress is the only thing that coaches and fans can really be looking for.