Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians joked about how NFL training camps are now pretty light, calling it "Camp Cupcake" to the media when camp opened. It got several laughs. But when the media asked a few players about it, there were some laughs, but the responses were not in agreement.
Sure, the days of two-a-days many days in a row are gone. The league only allows teams to practice once a day and to have a walk-through. Pads don't even go on for the first two days.
Backup quarterback Drew Stanton said Arians also said the same thing to the players about camp on Friday, but Stanton said, "I haven't gotten a cupcake yet," and then said disagreed. He did say "it's much more mental," but the physical aspect is stiil work.
Cornerback Jerraud Powers, speaking to reporters after practice, said, "no, man. It's brutal," referring to practice.
Starting quarterback Carson Palmer went more in-depth about practices.
"I've never been in a 'Camp Cupcake' and I don't expect to," he said, noting he did remember the days of two-a-days and having them multiple days in a row.
"I don't remember it being anymore difficult than these (practices) are," he said. "I mean, we get after it. We're out there for two hours and forty minutes and it's so competitive, and it's so fast-paced, and it's so up tempo. Back when you had those double days, you just can't go that hard for that long, so practice isn't as competitive. It isn't as intense. That one practice we do is enough."
Watching the players come off the field after their one practice it isn't easy. True, they have it better than before, but if you watch practice, you see how intense it is. Practice moves really quickly.
Sure it might be "Camp Cupcake" in a sense. But that type of camp is still good enough to prepare a team to be great.