Arizona Cardinals general manager Steve Keimwas a guest on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM and spoke about a number of things -- depth, trades, potential free agent targets and more. One thing of note is what he said about a couple of players and how good they have looked through spring workouts. He has been very pleased with the play of guard Jonathan Cooper and safety Tyrann Mathieu.
Keim called them "core player players for us that we're counting on."
Both suffered major injuries their rookie season in 2013. Mathieu recovered quickly but didn't have the same impact. Cooper got hurt again with turf toe and a broken wrist. He ended up on the bench most of the season before starting two games when Paul Fanaika was hurt.
"They never looked right last year, to me," Keim said. "They both drug their legs. They both favored that injury and this offseason both of them seem to have cleared that hurdle mentally and physically."
Head coach Bruce Arians said Cooper had and "outstanding" spring. Mathieu looked like he did his rookie year the way he was moving around.
"(Cooper's) natural bend and athleticism was always his strength, and you finally see that now on tape again," said Keim.
Cooper, a former top 10 pick, has been disappointing thus far in his career. Mathieu was an impact player in 2013 when the Cardinals defense was so good. He was not the same player a year ago.
If both are back to where they were in 2013 and can avoid further injury, their impact will be huge this coming season, which is full of high expectations.