The Arizona Cardinals’ behind the scenes’ look aka CARDS FLIGHT PLAN got back to basics this season with a look into a normal OTA and Minicap.
Coming off of the pandemic, rookies and veterans alike got a chance to workout, do drills, get on the field for drills and installs and overall just get to know their teammates.
If you haven’t watched it yet, check it out at the link below:
What were the biggest takeaways?
Let’s take a look:
#1. A.J. Green is set to be a big part of their offense, and Kyler thinks he has plenty of pass-catchers this season
The last two years, injuries have derailed the up-to-that-point legendary career of the new Cardinal. His time with the Bengals came to an end, but his career? It might not.
“18 can still go.” said HC Kliff Kingsbury. The coach also interacted with the longtime Cardinal Christian Kirk about his new role in the slot, asking if he liked it and did mention that a move back outside if needed wouldn’t be unreasonable.
With Larry Fitzgerald’s status still up in the air for 2021, Green will be relied on to improve a passing attack that saw solid offensive gains from the year prior, but still seemed like it was only scratching the surface in the passing game.
If he can return to form or even 80% of who he was...look out.
#2. Dennis Gardeck is still rehabbing...and might be a surprising part of the team’s success
Dennis Gardeck, aka Gardecki (via the team) or Gardeck the Barbarian (courtesy of one Ron Wolfley) tore his ACL late against the Eagles, tragically derailing a statistically crazy productive season in which he had 7.0 sacks off of less than 100 defensive snaps.
He didn’t have an updated timetable, but seems to have finally gotten over some of the hump of being a special teams only type of player. If the Cardinals’ defense sees Chandler Jones and J.J. Watt need a spell, he’ll be relied on. His work ethic and mentality has him up to the task.
#3. Some safe surprises from “27 and 42” coming?
The Cardinals’ head coach in Kingsbury had some interesting comments about two of their minicamp players: #27 SS Jamal Carter at 6’1, 215 and #43 Donald Rutledge (per Ourlads).
Both are 6’1, 215 lb. Strong Safeties...who were even listed as inside linebackers at one point on the Cardinals’ website.
Having guys who are that size who can play in the box and cover is a strength for any team, but it’s even more of a strength potentially on special teams where you run fast & hit guys hard downfield. It remains to be seen if they can stick on a relatively full roster this season but if there’s a diamond in the rough, perhaps they’ve found it.
#4 Rondale Moore made a ridiculous catch in traffic
The newest Cardinals receiver apparently made such a great & tough catch between two players that HC Kliff Kingsbury called Steve Keim over to ensure that he saw it.
While he’s only 5’7, Moore has a chance to be the kickoff and punt returner as well as compete with Andy Isabella and Christian Kirk as a true deep threat with his footspeed.
Given that he and Andy Isabella are the only receivers signed after this year behind DeAndre Hopkins...you’d hope that he can make enough of an impact to assure that he’s a starter moving into 2022.
#5 D.J. Humphries is the Pudding King
Year one? In the bag. Year two? Done deal.
Year three for D.J. Humphries in the annual “offensive line cookout”?
Never in doubt.
Humphries’ blocking skills were only outmatched by his cooking skills, to the point where OL coach Sean Kugler’s disappointment over his meal not taking the title brought the best joke in the episode:
“The [O-Line] depth chart will be determined by the voting here today.” Outstanding piece of content. And as Kyler Murray said in this episode...you can never have too much of that.
What other takeaways did you have? Sound off in the comments section!