Earning a nickname from Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians isn’t always a good thing.
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The world learned this week that Budda has a new nickname when Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians revealed that rookie safety Budda Baker had been dubbed ‘Fish Bait.’

“He doesn’t like it,” Arians said. “But quit biting on the play-action passes, he’ll get rid of it quick. I like the aggressiveness.”

So ‘Fish Bait’ might not be around for long, but Budda (Baker’s given first name is Bishard) will remain as long as he is a Cardinal. And he’s in good company. 

The Cardinals might lead the NFL in unique nicknames and first names.

Arians said this week that it’s unusual, but he learns ‘what the guys call’ his players because it helps with teaching.

It also beats the unprintable moniker Arians assigns to players who seem to have trouble picking up the Cardinals schemes.

Baker, for what it’s worth, became Budda when he was a baby, his mother thought he looked like Buddha. Thus the nickname, minus the “H.”

There’s also a Scooby (not the dog), a Gump (not Forrest), and an Ironhead (not Craig Heyward), to name a few.

And who can forget Frostee (no relation to a Wendy’s Frosty)?


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Some Cardinals players with unique first names/nicknames:

  • Budda ‘Fish Bait’ Baker, safety, Washington
  • Scooby Wright, linebacker, Arizona
  • D.J. ‘Knee Deep’ Humphries, tackle, Florida
  • Frostee Rucker, defensive tackle, USC
  • Gump Hayes, cornerback, ASU
  • Rudy Ford, cornerback, Auburn
  • Ironhead Gallon, safety, Georgia Southern
  • Cap Capi, linebacker, Akron
  • Ulrick John, tackle, Georgia State
  • Olsen Pierre, defensive tackle, Miami
  • Givens Price, tackle, Nebraska
  • Sojourn Shelton, cornerback, Wisconsin
  • Zaviar Gooden, linebacker, Missouri
  • Troy ‘Hercules’ Niklas, tight end, Notre Dame
  • Tyrann ‘The Honey Badger’ Mathieu

WHERE ARE THEY NOW?: Arizona’s NFL connections

MORE: Pro athletes with the longest tenure in Arizona

azcentral sports’ Kent Somers contributed to this story.

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