The Arizona Cardinals concluded their final practice of OTAs on Thursday. They did so about 40 minutes early, much to the dismay of a few media members. (Practice was scheduled to end at 11:15, after which players and Bruce Arians would be available. Some show up just a little while before the end for the interview part. Those that did that Thursday did not make it in time to talk to Arians or any of the players.)
Practice (and OTAs) ended early because of undrafted rookie kicker Chandler Catanzaro. He was given a field goal to decide whether they would practice more -- a pressure kick because of the peer pressure. He hit it and practice ended. He was the man of the hour, just as Will Batson was last year. He also hit a field goal to end the final practice of OTAs early.
Now for some observations...
The first team offensive line had a change. Today it was Earl Watford as the first etam right guard, but rather than Bobby Massie or Bradley Sowell at right tackle, it was Nate Potter with the first team. Sowell was at left tackle with the second team and Massie was the second team right tackle.
There were several players that were off to the side doing stretches and other work during the open part of practice, some expected, others that were new. Matt Shaughnessy, Troy Niklas, Anthony Steen , Alameda Ta'amu, Anthony McCloud, Zach Bauman, Deone Bucannon, Jaron Brown, Jay Feely and Larry Fitzgerald.
I saw kick return drills in the open part of practice. Ted Ginn and Damien Thigpen, whom the team signed yesterday, were back taking kicks. Catanzaro kicks the ball a long way, by the way.
I'll have more later on specific quotes, but Bruce Arians talked about Nate Potter as being the smartest lineman in terms of the guys fighting for a starting job. He's still in the mix, though.
Third round pick John Brown has been better than almost any other rookie Arians has had in learning the classroom stuff -- picking up the offense and such. He also said that Troy Niklas and Deone Bucannon both were picking things up well.
Kareem Martin has already put on 10 pounds and will probably add another 10 before the season starts.
Alex Okafor is looking good, according to Arians. He can't wait to see him with pads on.
Former ASU receiver Kevin Ozier picked things up super fast, which is why he got signed. Arians said he ahd never even heard of him and didn't know he was a local guy until he talked to him.
Arians said that Jake Ballard wasn't completely healthy when they signed him last year. He is now, though. Arians reiterated that he likes how the tight end group looks.
One last one...remember when I pointed out how undrafted rookie linebacker Glenn Carson was the backup long snapper? Apparently he is having a good camp. Arians pointed that out. He has made an early impression.
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