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Arizona Cardinals having to change evaluation process with lack of fundamentals at lower levels

Players enter the NFL without having been in a huddle or a three-point stance.

Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians addressed over 100 high school football coaches at the team's facility in Tempe this past week and defended the game of football. He spoke of things he has addressed previously in the media about concussions and technology and said how coaches have to convince moms football is okay.

He also spoke  to the need to coach more fundamentals.

NBC Sports Radio 1060's Ed Cole was there and wrote about it. The spread offense and practice focused more on scheme than fundamentals is forcing the Cardinals to change the way they evaluate players.

"I was a wishbone quarterback. I loved the option," Arians said. "But we had two kids come in last year; two wide receivers. I said, ‘You get in the huddle right here.' (They said), ‘Coach, (I've) never been in a huddle.' (They've) never been in a huddle, (in) high school or college.

"We're drafting offensive linemen, paying them a million dollars, and they've never been in a three-point stance," Arians said. "So we're having to go back, (and) re-evaluate how we draft players, (and) our expectations levels of those players because of fundamentals. Fundamentals - blocking and tackling - still is how you win the game."

This puts extra pressure on Cardinals scouts, general manager Steve Keim and Arians. It is welcome pressure, but it would make their job easier if kids coming out of college knew how to play NFL football.