azcentral sports’ Greg Moore and Bob McManaman on the first day of Arizona Cardinals training camp. || By Rob Schumacher
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Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer on the first day of training camp. || By Rob Schumacher
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Bruce Arians started his Day 1 camp press conference sending a message to fringe roster candidates who aren’t in camp. Sam Caravana/azcentral sports
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azcentral sports’ Kent Somers and Bob McManaman reporting day at Arizona Cardinals training camp in Glendale.
By Rob Schumacher/ azcentral sports
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Shot Clock: azcentral sports’ Greg Moore and Jay Dieffenbach weigh in on pressing issues with the Cardinals and Diamondbacks.
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azcentral sports’ Kent Somers and Jay Dieffenbach discuss Cardinals camp, Tyrann Mathieu’s status and more in our Shot Clock video.
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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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Moore, McManaman wrap up opening day at Cardinals training camp
Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer on the first day of training camp
Cardinals coach Bruce Arians to fringe players: Stay available
azcentral sports’ Kent Somers and Bob McManaman reporting day at Arizona Cardinals training camp
David Johnson’s work load; D-Backs’ head games
Shot Clock: Cards kick off fan-friendly camp
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
It was Day 1 of training camp, and everyone wanted to know about Carson Palmer’s arm and David Johnson’s touches and veteran leadership and the offensive line.
They’re key issues, and the answers will determine whether the Cardinals are fighting for a title or fading to black this year. But for defensive tackle Xavier Williams, none of those things were immediate concerns: “You’ll have to excuse me, I have to call my daughter.”
The 6-foot-2, 310-pound Williams found a quiet spot in the locker room, and as teammates talked with a throng of reporters about being “excited for the start of camp” and “ready to get after it,” the man who earns his living as a human bludgeon was smiling and almost singing into his phone, “Happy birthday!”
It was a reminder that team goals are accomplished by individuals, many of whom work invisibly in plain sight. I sought to get a sense of what they thought was important, figuring they’re the experts since they’re out there working while we all watch and wonder.
“Ask about the transition from college to pro,” defensive lineman Josh Mauro said.
Williams nodded in agreement.
Their transitions weren’t easy — both worked their way into the league as undrafted free agents. Williams came to the Cardinals in 2015 from Northern Iowa, and Mauro in 2014 out of Stanford.
“And now he’s the man,” Williams said, before stepping away to video chat with his little girl.
“I’m not the man,” the 6-foot-6, 280-pound Mauro said, before heading to the showers.
Rookie Dorian Johnson left the field dripping with sweat. “Sorry about that,” he said, shaking hands.
He was on the field for almost a half hour after practice ended, signing autographs. “It took a little bit longer than I thought, but I got that whole half over there.”
He said the biggest difference between pro and college is “pressure. But I like it. It keeps you grounded.”
Johnson, a 6-5, 305-pound guard from Pittsburgh, was drafted in the fourth round to bolster a unit that struggled with injuries last season.
Shortly after he headed in to catch his breath and dry off, linebacker Karlos Dansby said the biggest thing to watch for is “effort. That’s gonna make the difference for us.”
Dansby, a 14-year veteran is back for his third run with the team, in part because at 6-4, 250 pounds he still can make plays, and in part to show others how that’s done.
He’s deliberate and confident.
“You want to learn something about a guy? Watch their body language,” rookie wide receiver Chad Williams said.
Larry Fitzgerald, Williams said, always comes to the line focused, “locked in. He’s like a quarterback, but at wide receiver.”
Williams, at 6-1, 205, comes across as eager to learn and work. He just finished his first practice of his first training camp, and he looks ready for another.
Coach Bruce Arians has talked several times about how difficult it will be to make the team, which “hires 90 just to fire 37.” He has said it will be tough for players who get hurt to make the roster, though so far this camp he hasn’t used the clichés “the best ability is availability” or “you can’t help the club if you’re in the tub.”
“Stay available,” he said Friday.
Players seem to be listening. So far, the only newly reported injury of camp has been to Jarvis Jones, who Arians said “tweaked his quad” during the conditioning test.
Jones was dressed as a football player, but playing the role of observer when fans poured in to watch the first practice of the NFL season Saturday afternoon. No team reported to camp as early as the Cardinals. The team workout Friday was a conditioning test. The Saturday morning session was a mere walk through.
People rushed down the stairs to fill sections 105 through 110 at University of Phoenix Stadium. Most wore Cardinal red. Some carried footballs, hoping for autographs. One woman held a massive cutout photo of Fitzgerald’s face.
Just about everything Fitzgerald did elicited screams, even when he and newly re-signed running back Chris Johnson warmed up.
A young girl’s voice cut through the crowd countless times. “Larry Fitzgerald!”
Not to be outdone, a man shouted for Johnson. “CJ2K!”
The duo acknowledged the support when they ran past, causing the 2,000 or so spectators to scream like kindergartners who heard an ice cream truck.
But their experience wasn’t the norm.
About 2.5 tons of blockers followed Fitzgerald and Johnson to the field, prompting a fan to scream, “Linemen!”
They’re not as recognizable, but their success is essential. It’s a reminder of the questions that fans and observers want answered.
Palmer and Arians both said they expect the offensive line to be better. Palmer said the group has worked hard all off-season. Arians said they have more depth and experience because of last year’s injuries.
For his part, Palmer said his arm feels great. He said he’s found a training regimen that works, and Arians has vowed to make sure his No. 1 quarterback doesn’t overdo it in practice.
Palmer had zip on several throws, including one that Fitzgerald caught with one hand, pinning it to his helmet.
Johnson, meanwhile, has a goal of being the first player in history to gain 1,000 yards rushing and receiving in the same season. Arians wants him to get 30 touches a game, but only about 20 carries. The split, Arians said, should limit Johnson’s risk of injury.
I worry about teams that rely on star players rather than star-making systems. (I grew up watching Barry Sanders.) But as long as Johnson stays healthy, the team is right to feature him.
The veteran leadership will be key this year, Arians said. “This is not my team,” Arians said. “This is the veterans’ team. The vets are responsible for getting the young guys ready.”
Mauro also said such leadership was important. Championship teams, he said, “get contributions from everyone.”