Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians talks about the receiving corps and the importance of players not getting soft-tissue injuries. Video by 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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Bruce Arians wraps up Cardinals minicamp
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
Coach Bruce Arians likes to say the Cardinals don’t become a team until September. Until then, they are 90 or so individuals just trying to make the roster.
Despite that belief, Arians noticed something different about this group during offseason practices, which concluded on Thursday.
These players seem looser, more at ease, and as a result, practices were more fun, he said.
“I think last year was a lot more business-like,” Arians said. “They worked hard. The expectations were higher from the outside, and rightfully so, and from the inside. They are always high from the inside.”
That statement implies the 2016 Cardinals’ didn’t handle those expectations well, which a 7-8-1 record supports. They were coming off an appearance in the NFC title game and considered a favorite to take one more step the next season.
It’s only June, but there appears to be less pressure on the Cardinals as they prepare for 2017. There are questions about quarterback Carson Palmer’s arm strength, a re-shuffled offensive line and the loss of five starters on defense.
“They don’t have them (expectations) from the outside because nobody is picking us to win more than seven games,” Arians said, “but they damn sure have them from the inside because those expectations never change.”
Arians’ observation of this year’s group having more fun hasn’t resonated with everyone. Palmer said he hadn’t thought much about the differences between the teams, but agreed that last year’s offseason was “very workmanlike, very serious. There was a lot of expectations on us and maybe too much pressure.
“I think after going through the last couple years, this core group of guys has really learned to enjoy it. I think there have been more enjoyment, more celebration, maybe a little less pressure.”
Outsiders, including reporters, aren’t allowed to attend all practices so judging the Cardinals’ enthusiasm for practice is difficult for them.
What Palmer liked this offseason was the Cardinals’ ability to bounce back from a bad practice. On Tuesday, the offense struggled, he said, but was much better on Wednesday.
“You can’t stack bad practices back to back,” Palmer said. “I think that’s a sign of a mature football team, a good football team.”
Veteran players don’t have to return until training camp starts in late July. Rookies will work at the team’s facility for two more weeks, then go on summer break.
Arians will leave soon for his home in Georgia, and judging by his comments on Thursday, he will have little to worry about between now and the start of training camp.
“I thought our veterans really improved,” Arians said. “Our young guys have a ton of talent and they just have to learn what the hell they’re doing.”
The Cardinals made it through the spring with only one serious injury. Starting inside linebacker Deone Bucannon underwent surgery on a lingering ankle problem, and likely will start training camp on the physically unable to perform list.
It’s questionable whether Bucannon will be ready for the start of the regular season.
“We had great participation,” Arians said. “Guys worked extremely hard. Really couldn’t ask anything more of them work-wise. And they’re learning to work smarter.”
That means learning how to play well in critical situations, something last year’s team often failed to do. Spring practices were filled with attempts to re-create game situations.
For instance, on Wednesday the Cardinals offense started on the 8-yard line and had to drive for a field goal within a short time frame. It handled the situation well.
The defense’s goal was to stop the offense from getting into Phil Dawson’s field-goal range, which is about the 37-yard line.
“We put them in situations where there were 12 seconds left in a game, you’re down by eight and no timeouts,” Arians said. “Can you get two plays run? The same thing defensively. You have to be able to make that call, that second play quickly and get things adjusted.
“Just putting those guys in those situations over, over and over.”
All of this will be repeated at training camp. The entire offensive and defensive schemes will be re-installed, and players who haven’t studied during the break will be exposed.
“I thought our veterans really improved, especially, all spring,” Arians said. “Young guys have a lot of talent; they just have to learn what the hell they’re doing.”