With the OTAs being finished, the Cardinals began their mandatory minicamp this past Tuesday. The minicamp only lasted three days and already, it has come to a close as well. No more helmets, no more required meetings, nothing... at least not until late July rolls around.
But for the players as individuals, the end of minicamp signifies the beginning of the marathon they are about to partake in. The regular season will be here once again before they know it and if the Cards want to be successful, each player will have to buy into the process.
One of the players that seems to get that hard work never ends is Lyle Sendlein. The starting center for the Cardinals was an undrafted free agent out of Texas and, as all undrafted players do, he had to work to get to the position he is in now. He had this to say to Darren Urban about the dead period for the next 40 or so days:
"It's not like, ‘Hey, go out and throw your book bag in the air and I'll see you in August.' You can't just sit on your butt for 40 days," Sendlein told Urban. "You have to do what it is your team is expecting you to do to be ready for camp."
The team expects that all players show up to camp in peak physical condition and with the mindset to do what it will take to achieve greatness. If that objective is failed, fans, coaches and teammates all become disappointed. Daryl Washington seems to understand the basic concept as well.
"We know where this team was two years ago, where this team was when it went to the Super Bowl. Everyone's mindset is the same - win a bunch of games. We have to believe in it. Hopefully we all have that confidence to be that team everyone wants us to be, even if we have to prove it to ourselves and everyone else."
Words can only go so far. Come July, this team will have to show us all what it is made of. It is what they do off the field between now and then that truly will give us a good indication of what they accomplish in 2012.