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    Bruce Arians on Deone Bucannon, John Brown, more

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Ready or not, there was first-round draft pick Haason Reddick running with the Cardinals’ first-team defense on Tuesday.

The 13th overall pick found himself starting at inside linebacker alongside veteran Karlos Dansby because the regular starter, Deone Bucannon, won’t be participating in organized team activities after recently undergoing ankle surgery.

Bucannon missed the final three games of last season with the ankle problem and both he and the Cardinals thought it would heal without surgery. That wasn’t the case and now there is a concern that Bucannon might not be in the lineup when the team opens the season on Sept. 10 at the Detroit Lions.

“It was lingering so we went ahead and had it operated on,” coach Bruce Arians said following voluntary practice at the team’s Tempe training facility. “We think if everything goes perfect, he’ll be ready (for the first game).”

2017 RISING 50: Cardinals’ David Johnson No. 1 on list

Reddick played defensive end and outside linebacker at Temple and is just learning how to play the inside position. The rookie seemed to hold his own, however, during Tuesday’s workouts. The game slowed down for him immensely, he said, compared to what he experienced last week during a three-day rookie minicamp.

“Today it actually slowed down a bit,” Reddick said. “Rookie minicamp was fast. I mean, bullets was flying. Everything was ‘full speed, full speed, full speed’ and at that time I didn’t really have a great grasp of the playbook yet so it was like, ‘Aw, everything’s moving so fast.’ I’m still making minor mistakes and still have a lot to learn, but as I continue to get in my playbook and understand my job and my assignments and what it is I have to do, the game is slowing down slowly but surely.”

MORE: How Madden ’06 led Cardinals rookie to believe he belonged in Arizona

Reddick said veteran players have been great in helping him absorb information. He singled out Dansby for helping make sure he lines up in the right spots. But if he’s going to hold down a starting role, Reddick knows it’s going to be up to him to prove he can handle it.

“It’s not intimidating,” he said. “I’ve got to step up now. I’ve got to step up, go out there and make plays and be somebody that the team can count on.”

So far, Arians likes what he sees from Reddick, whom the Cardinals had ranked as one of the top five prospects in the entire draft. He knows there will be bumps along the way, though.

“As much as we’ve thrown at him, it’s been pretty good,” Arians said. “We’re going to start something new this year. We’re going to put the accountability sheet up tomorrow. We never do it in OTAs. We’re doing it this year and I’m sure he’ll be on it a few times.”

MORE: Cardinals QB Carson Palmer throwing less this spring

More of Mauro

One of the more dependable depth players the Cardinals have had the past few seasons is defensive tackle Josh Mauro. He might no longer be just be part of the team’s rotational reserves off the bench, however.

“Josh could be our starter,” Arians said. “Josh only plays great every time he gets on the field. He doesn’t play good, he plays great. He’ll improve his pass rush but he’s a great run defender and a tenacious player.”

Mauro appreciates the kind words. He’s just intent on  improving and taking what he’s learned from playing alongside so many good veterans up front.

“I feel like not only in football, but in life, you always need to be progressing in some aspect, in some way,” he said. “For me, ever since I got in the league, I’ve just been trying to improve every year and it’s been a blessing being able to learn from such great veterans as Calais (Campbell) and Frostee (Rucker) and Tommy Kelly and Corey Peters. Just seeing what those guys have been able to do during the duration of their careers, I’ve just tried to mimic their work habits and some of the things they’ve done to progress them in their careers.”

MORE: Deone Bucannon has surgery, may miss start of season

Allen to help coach

The team on Tuesday announced it has added former Pro Bowl running back Terry Allen to the coaching staff as a participant of the Bill Bidwill Coaching Fellowship. Allen follows Levon Kirkland as the second participant in the program, which provides recently retired NFL players an opportunity to gain coaching experience at the highest level.

For the next two seasons, Allen will work exclusively with the Cardinals running backs. Allen, 40, played for 10 seasons in the NFL with the Vikings, Redskins, Patriots, Saints and Ravens following his collegiate career at Clemson. With Washington in 1996, he ran for an NFL-leading 21 touchdowns 1,353 yards.

“We had a very extensive search. He really stood out,” Arians said. “… He was a great player, but he’s also got the fire to get back into football, so we’re really happy to have him on our staff. “

MORE: Cardinals rookie WR not lacking confidence

Reach McManaman at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @azbobbymac and listen to him live every Wednesday night between 7-9 on Fox Sports 910-AM on The Freaks with Kenny and Crash.

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