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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Arizona Cardinals offensive linemen Evan Boehm and Cole Toner talk after practice about moving to different positions and having to adjust at the Tempe facility, Tuesday, May 30, 2017. Tom Tingle/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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Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians talks about his team after practice Tuesday in Tempe. Video by 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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Cardinals draft picks had some time to sit down and answer some questions about their experiences and expectations of the future on Thursday.
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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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azcentral sports’ Jay Dieffenbach and Dan Bickley discuss Daryl Washington possibly returning to the Cardinals and how James Harden can’t beat the Spurs by himself.
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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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Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians is ready for the 2017 NFL schedule to be announced.
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Cardinals General Manager Steve Keim talk about the upcoming NFL draft. || David Kadlubowski/azcentral.com
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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: Blaine Gabbert a keeper for Cardinals?
Kent Somers, Bob McManaman talk another week of Arizona Cardinals OTAs
Cardinals linemen Boehm, Toner on position changes
Bob McManaman after Cardinals practice Tuesday, May 30
Bruce Arians on Carson Palmer, RBs, more
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 rookies take to the microphone
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
Daryl Washington-Cardinals meeting: What happened?
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?
Bruce Arians wants to know date of London game
Keim on Cardinals’ NFL draft prep
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
If three tumultuous seasons with the San Francisco 49ers taught Antoine Bethea anything, it was that football still mattered and he’d never take the game for granted. It was a hard lesson to learn for a veteran defensive back who averaged 100 tackles and 11 wins a year during his first eight seasons in the NFL.
Everything seemed to come easy for him and the Indianapolis Colts.
Bethea won more games in his rookie season with the Colts (16) than he won in the past three seasons combined with the 49ers (15). He won a Super Bowl that first season, and his Indianapolis teams also advanced to the playoffs six of the next seven years, which included another Super Bowl appearance.
Ask Bethea if the game was still fun for him during the past three years in San Francisco, and the Cardinals’ new strong safety won’t lie.
“Yeah, it was fun, because you see the other side of the pillow,” he said. “You don’t take it for granted. When I first came into the league, man, it was 12 wins every year. It was like, ‘Oh man, this is easy.’ Going to San Francisco, things didn’t really pan out like I thought it would, but at the end of the day I love the game.
“I appreciate coming to work day in and day out, the camaraderie with the guys, Sundays, going out there and playing the game. Even though Sundays didn’t turn out how we wanted them to turn out a lot of the time, you appreciate that. You don’t take this for granted.”
Bethea turns 33 next month and although he signed a three-year deal with the Cardinals in March, he knows that time is precious and his window to win again is closing fast. That’s why he said he signed with Arizona, however. He likes his chances here as much as anywhere.
Bethea, who will be back on the practice field Tuesday when the Cardinals begin their three-day mandatory minicamp, looked around the locker room and pointed out all of the assets. There’s a healthy Carson Palmer and a still-hungry Larry Fitzgerald. There’s the league’s brightest young offensive star, David Johnson, and pass-rushing monsters on the edge, Chandler Jones and Markus Golden. There are also very special athletes beside him in the secondary such as Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu.
And then there is the influence and leadership at the very top with coach Bruce Arians, whom he knows well from their days together with the Colts.
“I think I fit in well,” Bethea said. “I’ve been in it for a while so I kind of know what it takes. Coming to a team that has a bunch of vets and seems like everyone here has one goal in mind. It’s the same goal of mine as well so when there’s a bunch of like-minded people in a situation together, I think it just makes the transition that much smoother.”
Bethea, a three-time Pro Bowl selection, will be counted upon in multiple ways. He’s still playing at a high level and will be asked to step into a starting role on a deep and talented defense that ranked second overall in the NFL a year ago.
His role will also include mentoring and guiding several of the team’s younger players such as rookies Budda Baker and Rudy Ford along with Harlan Miller, Elie Bouka and others. To both ends, Arians knows he can trust Bethea.
“Oh gosh, ‘Toine is the ultimate pro,” Arians said. “He’s one of those guys that knows what he’s doing. He never feels pressure because he’s always aware and he’s getting guys lined up already. Especially in hurry-up situations. He can take command real quickly. I have all the confidence in the world in him.”
Teaching has become just as enjoyable as playing for Bethea and, in many of the Cardinals’ young defenders, he sees unlimited potential.
“The athleticism,” he says, “is off the charts. But to stay in the league, you’ve got to play above the shoulders. That’s where I think I can probably help the most. If you are athletic, that’s going to flash but a lot of times when you can’t play above the shoulders that kind of slows your athleticism down.
“As a veteran, I just try to give my two cents what to look at, how to look at things, how to read things and try to help the athleticism go through the roof.”
Winning, remember, is Bethea’s greatest wish. The only way to do that and get back to the glory days he enjoyed with the Colts and avoid the tumultuous times he had with the 49ers is by leading through example. Time is of the essence.
“It’s not about coming in and raising your voice or whatever the case may be,” Bethea said. “It’s coming out and leading by example and just fitting in where you need to fit in, pulling the young guys aside and trying to get them on the same page with the older guys that have already been there. And with that, having a number of leaders on this team, hopefully that can pay dividends.”
It already has, according to Arians.
“Those guys are coaching the crap out of our young guys,” Arians said, “and eventually, they’ll take their job. But right now, it’s getting them ready to win.”