Greg Moore and Jay Dieffenbach, discuss Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians possible departure next season. James Harden plays like old man but you won’t see decline.
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Kent Somers of azcentral sports sits down to talk with new Arizona Cardinals safety Budda Baker at the team’s Tempe training facility. Baker played college ball at the University of Washington. | Tom Tingle/azcentral sports
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azcentral sports; Kent Somers discusses what we learned from the Cardinals minicamp.
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azcentral sports’ Kent Somers breaks down the Cardinals second day of minicamp on June 7, 2017.
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azcentral sports’ Kent Somers wraps up the Arizona Cardinals’ first day on minicamp on Tuesday, June 6, 2017. Tom Tingle/azcentral sports
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azcentral sports’ Jay Dieffenbach and Kent Somers discuss Blaine Gabbert’s role with the Cardinals and LeBron James’ performance in the NBA finals.
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azcentral sports’ Kent Somers and Bob McManaman discusses another week of the Cardinals’ OTAs. Patrick Breen/azcentral sports
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Bob McManaman of azcentral sports wraps up the Arizona Cardinals practice at their Tempe facility, Tuesday, May 30, 2017..
Tom Tingle/azcentral sports
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Azcentral’s Kent Somers and Bob McManaman catch up during second week of OTAs at the Cardinals Training Facility.
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Coaches and players talk about the importance of head coach Bruce Arians’ family fundraiser at Top Golf in Gilbert. (Michael Chow/azcentral sports)
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How has free-agent QB Blaine Gabbert adjusted so far to the Arizona Cardinals? (Michael Chow/azcentral sports)
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azcentral sports’ Jay Dieffenbach and Dan Bickley discuss the NBA MVP, the Diamondbacks and the Dodgers and the Arizona Cardinals’ defensive backs.
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azcentral sports insiders Kent Somers and Bob McManaman react to the big news from the first day of Cardinals OTAs. Video: Rob Schumacher
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The NFLPA has released its 2017 Rising 50 list of players poised to break out and rank among next season’s top-sellers in officially licensed merchandise and the Cardinals running back is No. 1.
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Shot Clock: azcentral sports’ Jay Dieffenbach and Kent Somers discuss the latest on Arizona Cardinals’ Carson Palmer and the NBA playoffs.
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Shot Clock: Colin Kaepernick is better than Blaine Gabbert, right? So why did the Cardinals not sign him? Also, Zack Greinke has his Randy Johnson moment … what does it mean for Diamondbacks?
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With camp starting tomorrow, players reported today and reporter Kent Somers lays out the future and what the team hopes for it.
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Cardinals insider Kent Somers gives some insight into the releasing of Daryl Washington and why it was probably best for both team and player.
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azcentral’s Kent Somers and Dan Bickley talk about the Cardinals decision to release linebacker Daryl Washington.
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azcentral sports’ Jay Dieffenbach and Bob McManaman weigh in on the Cardinals’ signing of Blaine Gabbert.
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Cardinals insider Kent Somers talks with Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians about mini-camp, his excitement about undrafted rookies, LB Daryl Washington and QB Blaine Gabbert at Steak 44 on Wednesday. Michael Chow/azcentral sports
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Cardinals insider Kent Somers talks with Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians about Arians’ annual fundraiser at Steak 44 on Wednesday. Michael Chow/azcentral sports
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The Arizona Cardinals announced Thursday that former St. Louis Cardinals QB Jim Hart would be inducted into the team’s Ring of Honor this season.
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azcentral sports’ Jay Dieffenbach and Kent Somers discuss what to expect from the Cardinals’ 2017 NFL draft class.
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Jay Dieffenbach and Dan Bickley assess the Arizona Cardinals’ selection of Haason Reddick in Round 1 of the NFL draft and discuss the needs the team still has to address.
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Check out how Cardinals fans were feeling during the team’s 2017 NFL draft party.
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Cardinals insider Kent Somers reacts to the introductory press conference for Haason Reddick and what the Cardinals might do next.
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With plenty of defense options on the table and all the quarterbacks gone, the Cardinals elected to go linebacker and Kent and Bob break down the reasons why.
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The Cardinals have made 18 picks in the first round of the NFL draft since 2000. Take a look at the standouts.
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With the 13th overall pick in this year’s draft, can the Cardinals afford to repeat their strategy with their last two first-round picks?
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Shot Clock: azcentral sports’ Jay Dieffenbach and Kent Somers have the latest on the Cardinals draft and the reinstatement of Daryl Washington.
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The Cardinals are hosting draft parties Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights at the Great Lawn outside of University of Phoenix Stadium.
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azcentral sports’ Kent Somers and Jay Dieffenbach discuss possible Cardinals strategy in the NFL draft, views on picking a quarterback and more.
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Bob McManaman ranks the top special teams players in the upcoming draft.
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Arizona Cardinals’ general manager Steve Keim and head coach Bruce Arians have found some of their best players in the third round.
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Arizona Cardinals Larry Fitzgerald and Chandler Jones discuss the importance of giving back and some bets amongst Cardinals players before the Larry Fitzgerald Celebrity Softball Game on Saturday at Salt River Fields. Patrick Breen/azcentral sports
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Cardinals GM Steve Keim has a tough task when it comes to finding quality talent and character to add to the team through the draft.
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azcentral sports Cardinals insider Kent Somers talks with Arizona Cardinals defensive tackle Fostee Rucker. || Video by Rob Schumacher/azcentral sports
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Cardinals defensive tackle Frostee Rucker discusses learning from last year’s expectations and adding Karlos Dansby and other veterans. Rob Schumacher/azcentral sports
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Breaking down the top three games of the Cardinals’ 2017 season.
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Shot Clock: azcentral sports’ Kent Somers and Bob McManaman discuss the Cardinals’ potential use (or overuse?) of running back David Johnson.
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azcentral sports’ Jay Dieffenbach and Dan Bickley discuss Carmelo, a dancer, and the Cards’ quiet, classy young superstar.
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azcentral sports’ Kent Somers and the Cardinals’ Larry Fitzgerald discuss Fitzgerald’s charity softball tournament on Saturday.
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The Cardinals’ Larry Fitzgerald joined azcentral sports’ Kent Somers to discuss the team and the upcoming season.
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Bob McManaman and Kent Somers at the NFL owners meetings on Wednesday, March 29, 2017. Bruce Arianas likes full-time officials, centralized replay and says there’s 1 QB in upcoming draft who’s plug-and-play. Video: Tom Tingle/azcentral sports
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Coaches of the National Football Conference take questions from the media in Phoenix on March 29, 2017. Tom Tingle/azcentral sports
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Cardinals insider Kent Somers and other reporters talk with Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians at the NFC coaches breakfast on Wednesday at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix. Video by Tom Tingle/azcentral sports
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Shot Clock: Is Bruce Arians leaving the Cardinals?
Somers sits down with Cardinals rookie Budda Baker
Kent Somers: Impressions from Cardinals minicamp
Kent Somers recaps Cardinals minicamp Wednesday
Kent Somers recaps Cardinals practice
Shot Clock: Blaine Gabbert a keeper for Cardinals?
Kent Somers, Bob McManaman talk another week of Arizona Cardinals OTAs
Bob McManaman after Cardinals practice Tuesday, May 30
Kent and Bob talk new NFL rules and wide out depth
Arians Family Foundation Fundraiser at Top Golf
Report card on Cardinals QB Blaine Gabbert
Watch out for Dodgers; Cards CBs apply for job
What Deone Bucannon’s injury means for Cardinals
David Johnson No. 1 on NFL Players Association list
No throws for Cards QB, cheap shot in NBA?
Kaepernick blackballed? Greinke now trade bait?
Kent Somers talks Cardinals rookies
Kent Somers talks Daryl Washington departure
Cardinals release linebacker Daryl Washington: Somers and Bickley discuss
Shot Clock: Gabbert a terrible fit for Cards
Somers sits down with Arians on Cardinals’ offseason
Bruce Arians talks about his annual fundraisers
Jim Hart to be inducted into Cardinals Ring of Honor
Shot Clock: Cards picks make instant impact?
Shot Clock: Tap brakes on Haason Reddick pick?
Sights and sounds from Cardinals draft party
Somers talks Reddick and possible 2nd and 3rd round picks
Kent Somers and Bob McManaman talk Cardinals draft of Haason Reddick
Cardinals’ top first round NFL draft picks since 2000
Can Cardinals afford to be patient with another first-round pick?
Cards face choices with draft, Daryl Washington
What to know about the Cardinals’ draft party
Shot Clock: Cardinals trade up for QB?
Top 5 special teams players of 2017 NFL draft
Keim, Arians striking gold in draft’s third round
Larry Fitzgerald, Chandler Jones talk about Celebrity Softball Game
Cardinals looking for ‘football character’ in NFL draft
Kent Somers talks with Cardinals DT Frostee Rucker
Cardinals DT Frostee Rucker on expectations, adding Karlos Dansby
Top 3 games in Cardinals schedule
Cards playing dangerous game with RB Johnson?
Shot Clock: New face of Cardinals franchise?
Larry Fitzgerald holding 7th annual charity softball tournament
Larry Fitzgerald 1-on-1 with Kent Somers
NFL meetings in Phoenix: On Bruce Arians, new rules, the draft
NFC coaches take questions at NFL owners meeting
Kent Somers talks with Bruce Arians at NFC coaches breakfast
The success of the Cardinals’ upcoming training camp will be determined by the answers to several questions, including the most important:
Did they emerge unscathed by injuries?
But there are other questions to answer and storylines to follow when the Cardinals begin training camp practice on Saturday at University of Phoenix Stadium. Here are five of them:
How much will they hit each other?
Coach Bruce Arians has promised it will be more often than the Cardinals did a year ago.
Arians thought he was too cautious with last year’s team, but there was good reason to be. It was a veteran group that went 13-3 in 2015.
So Arians backed off a bit in the hopes of avoiding injuries. What also happened, at least in his estimation, is that fundamentals weren’t emphasized enough. Tackling, he said, was especially affected.
When it comes to hitting in training camp, coaches are walking a slender line. It’s either hit more and hold your breath that someone will get injured, or hit less and hold your breath your team won’t be ready to play when the regular season opens.
Given the way his roster is built, Arians’ plan on how to manage contact will be intriguing.
How much contact is enough for running back David Johnson, around whom this offense is built?
Does it make sense to subject older players to increased contact, guys such as linebacker Karlos Dansby, 35; defensive tackle Frostee Rucker, 33; receiver Larry Fitzgerald, 33; and safety Antoine Bethea, 32?
Or players coming off injuries, such as right tackle Jared Veldheer, safety Tyrann Mathieu and safety Tyvon Branch?
MOORE: New book, media tour shows it’s now or never for Arians and Palmer
Speaking of health…
The 2016 season was full of injuries and illnesses for the Cardinals. Have those who were affected recovered, including the head coach?
Arians was taken to the hospital twice last season, once in training camp and again in November. In February, he underwent surgery for renal cell carcinoma (kidney cancer).
Arians says he’s fine now and ready to go.
Receiver John Brown says the same thing after dealing all last season with symptoms associated with sickle-cell trait.
Mathieu says the same thing after a subpar season attributed to his second major knee injury.
And linebacker Deone Bucannon (ankle surgery) is expected to be placed on the physically-unable-to-perform list for the start of training camp.
Arians’ value to the team is obvious. With nine more victories, he will become the franchise leader in coaching victories.
And the value of the above three players is obvious. All can change the direction of a game.
How will the defensive pieces fit?
Five starters are gone from last season. None was bigger, figuratively and literally, than 6-foot-8, 300-pound defensive tackle Calais Campbell.
There is depth on the defensive line, but with Campbell gone, there is no proven, elite player. Robert Nkemdiche was drafted in 2016 to be that person but was a disappointment as a rookie.
Safety Tony Jefferson, like Campbell, departed via free agency. Jefferson played as well as any Cardinals defender a year ago, but it was going to be impossible to pay him big money with Mathieu signing a huge deal last summer.
The Cardinals must figure out a safety combination that works. If Mathieu is ready, it solves a lot of problems. He can play safety in the base defense and move to corner in nickel and dime.
Bethea, signed in free agency, could play a big role. And Budda Baker, the second-round pick, could become an impactful player as the season progresses.
What’s at the bottom of QB depth chart?
The top two spots aren’t likely to change. Carson Palmer’s the starter as long as he’s healthy, and Arians trusts backup Drew Stanton.
It’s doubtful Blaine Gabbert overtakes Stanton, but stranger things have happened.
This is an important preseason for Gabbert. He has a chance to prove to the Cardinals that he fits in their long-term future, at least as someone who can compete to become Palmer’s successor, perhaps as early as 2018.
Coaches also like what they have seen from rookie free agent Trevor Knight.
How will the O-line changes look?
The tackles are flipping spots, with Veldheer going to the right side and D.J. Humphries to the left. Coaches are taking a risk because Veldheer was underrated at left tackle, and Humphries has limited experience on the left side.
But Humphries is a bit more athletic, and flipping Veldheer to the right side gives guard Evan Boehm someone with considerable experience next to him.
Boehm’s natural position is center, but he played well at guard when pressed into duty late last season.
He’s added strength this offseason, plus he’s smart and willing to listen. The bet here is that he plays well.
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