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Notes from final week of Arizona Cardinals OTAs

Tidbits from the one day of media access

NFL: Arizona Cardinals-OTA Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Cardinals opened their final week of OTAs on Tuesday and it was the one day where media was allowed to attend. I was there for some of practice and then for media access. Here are some notes from the press conference with Bruce Arians and time in the locker room.

  • Arians was pleased with how the team came back from the holiday weekend. The tempo and pace was good.
  • The young guys are getting a lot of reps and "some of them are improving."
  • Arians would like to try and incorporate some of the double field concepts during training camp. Having the size of the coaching staff he has is key to making it work.
  • He reiterated his thoughts on blitzing. "I ain't happy if we ain't blitzing," he said.
  • Earl Watford's reps at center are about positional flexibility and the number of guys the team can dress on Sunday. When asked about whether he would compete for the starting job, he quipped, "if you're a backup, you're a starter."
  • Carson Palmer is experimenting with some throws. Instead of just throwing to the open guy, he tries some windows to see if he can do it.
  • J.J. Nelson is about 161 pounds and they hope to get him to 165. He made it sound like it would be some work -- putting 5 pounds on him is like putting 20 on Arians. Arians talked about his ability to track the ball and catch the ball over his shoulders.
  • Justin Bethel got his walking boot off last week and he is starting to do some light treadmill work. He is enjoying the mental reps of practice and helping coach the younger guys.
  • Robert Nkemdiche is getting used to the volume of things to learn. Instead of 10-12 defensive calls a week, the Cardinals do about 30. He is able to lean on everyone in the defensive line room.
  • I was told the long snapper competition is very tight, going back and forth. It will probably go deep into the preseason.

There is more to come over the next couple of days with the audio I got.