azcentral sports’ Greg Moore and Bob McManaman break down the Arizona Cardinals’ Red-White practice Saturday afternoon in Glendale.
Hannah Gaber-Saletan/ azcentral sports
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Bruce Arians discusses injuries and expectations before the Cardinals Red-White practice.
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Greg Moore and Kent Somers break down the Cardinals Red-White practice preview.
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Kent Somers and Bob McManaman of azcentral sports give their take after Arizona Cardinals practice at University of Phoenix Stadium, Friday, July 28, 2017. || Tom Tingle/azcentral sports
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azcentral sports’ Kent Somer and Bob McManaman break down the Arizona Cardinals final practice before the team’s 2017 Red-White practice.
Tom Tingle/ azcentral.com
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Arizona Cardinals Head Coach Bruce Arians talks about the overall quality of practice, the rookies on defense and the play of defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche.
Tom Tingle/azcentral sports
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azcentral sports reporters Rick Morin and Bob McManaman wrap up the activity at Arizona Cardinals training camp on July 27, 2017.
Tom Tingle/ azcentral.com
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azcentral sports’ Greg Moore and Mark Faller discuss early concerns for the Arizona Cardinals at training camp.
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Three takeaways from Cardinals training camp
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azcentral sports’ Bob McManaman wraps-up the action from Arizona Cardinals training camp in Glendale. By Rob Schumacher
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azcentral sports Scott Bordow and Bob McManaman wrap-up Day 2 at Arizona Cardinals training camp. By Rob Schumacher
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azcentral sports’ Greg Moore and Bob McManaman on the first day of Arizona Cardinals training camp. || By Rob Schumacher
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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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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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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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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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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’ 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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Greg Moore and Bob McManaman break down the Red-White practice
Bruce Arians pre-practice press conference
Cardinals Red-White practice preview
Somers, McManaman on Gruden possibility, CB battle
Kent Somers and Bob McManaman break down Cardinals practice
Arians at Cards Camp Friday
Wrapping up the day at Cardinals Camp- July 27 edition
Shot Clock: Early hiccups for Cardinals
Take away from Cardinals Camp July 24
azcentral sports’ Bob McManaman wraps up the action at Cards camp
azcentral sports Scott Bordow and Bob McManaman wrap-up Day 2 at Arizona Cardinals training cam
Moore, McManaman wrap up opening day at Cardinals training camp
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
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
Kent Somers and Bob McManaman talk Cardinals draft of Haason Reddick
Keim, Arians striking gold in draft’s third round
Larry Fitzgerald, Chandler Jones talk about Celebrity Softball Game
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?
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
It’s still the preseason, but it felt a little different Saturday as the Cardinals held their annual Red-White practice.
There were more fans than at other open workouts, and some had even lined up hours before anyone took the field.
Players wore full gear, instead of practice sweats.
And coach Bruce Arians pulled out a signature black newsboy cap, rather than the baseball hats he’s been wearing throughout training camp: “I wear this on special occasions,” he said.
“Looking forward to today. The lights get a little bit brighter,” Arians said before players went out for their dress rehearsal.
There were any number of storylines to track.
How’s Carson Palmer’s arm? Has all that rest helped?
Who’s going to be the No. 2 receiver? John Brown is out with a quad injury, so who’s going to step up?
What about the cornerback spot opposite Patrick Peterson? Justin Bethel hyper-extended his knee. Who’s going to seize the opening?
But for as essential as all those concerns are for a team with Super Bowl aspirations, they’re second-tier issues.
The most important thing to gauge during the live portions of Saturday’s practice was offensive-line play. The unit was dogged by injuries and struggled last season. For the Cardinals to return to title contention, that will need to improve.
Key to it all will be D.J. Humphries, stepping in as the Day 1 starter at left tackle. It’s his first full season in the position since college, and he’s eager for the job.
He had been on the right, and he compared the switch before practice to learning to write with his off hand.
Humphries and I discussed the position recently. To me, playing left tackle is the most difficult thing in sports. Harder than consistently hitting a golf ball straight. Harder than hitting a curveball. Harder even than playing quarterback.
My reasoning is logic based: If an athlete isn’t 6-foot-5 and 300-plus pounds, there’s no need to apply. Size isn’t a disqualifier for golf, baseball or quarterback.
Plus, as was said of Ginger Rogers, offensive linemen need to do everything their counterparts do — only backwards.
Humphries added to that, saying that pound for pound, the best athletes on a football field are pass rushers. And thinking about the premier players in that position currently and in the past, he certainly has a point.
It’s difficult to judge offensive-line play during practice sessions. In the summer, when everyone is in shorts, it’s almost impossible. Even on days where players wear full pads during training camp, it’s tough. Teammates rarely go after each other at full speed because they’re learning systems and have been instructed to try not to get each other hurt.
It’s all but impossible for a team to get through an NFL season without serious injury, but the Cardinals’ offensive line had it bad last year.
Among the returning starters, guard Mike Iupati suffered an ankle injury, Jared Veldheer went to the injured-reserve list with a torn triceps, and Humphries missed time with a concussion.
Center A.Q. Shipley, meanwhile, had surgery in the offseason to fix a lingering problem with his core.
Right now everyone is in good shape, we think.
Veldheer missed time Friday, causing concern. It was called “a personal day,” and he said in the locker room before hitting the field Saturday that he felt good.
Veldheer is moving from left tackle to right, completing a switch with Humphries.
Shipley is returning at center.
Iupati, after losing weight to become more nimble and reduce injury risk, is at left guard.
Evan Boehm is playing right guard.
Success this season hinges on this group providing consistent protection for Carson Palmer, who has revamped his training regimen to focus on arm strength. If it works, and he has a stable pocket, the hopes are that he can return to the form that had the Cardinals one win away from the Super Bowl a year and a half ago.
The red zone and “move the ball” periods of the Red-White practice were the closest thing to live football we’ve seen since last season.
It was our chance to see whether the unit looks in sync — and for the most part, they did.
In the red zone, Humphries, Iupati, Shipley, Boehm and Veldheer provided Palmer plenty of protection on most of his drop backs.
There were a few blips.
On one play, the crowd roared on a long completion to Larry Fitzgerald, but Tyrann Mathieu likely would have gotten a sack on a safety blitz.
Later, from separate series starting at the 11-yard line, Chandler Jones and Markus Golden likely would have had coverage sacks.
For the “move the ball” portion, the Cardinals took the ball on their own 20-yard line and started a march down the field. Here they ran the ball more, getting positive yards seemingly at will.
Running back David Johnson was out during the period, since ball carriers were getting tackled rather than tagged off or wrapped up — a rare show of full-contact hitting. But Elijhaa Penny filled in admirably.
He picked up 12 yards going outside. He gained 6 inside.
After a few Palmer completions — and again during this session, the blocking held up, though the drive featured mostly short drops — the Cardinals offense was at the 5-yard-line.
Penny took a handoff and tried to go up the middle – when nothing was there, he bounced to the right and slipped in for a touchdown behind Boehm and Veldheer.
Again, it wasn’t perfect, and it’s too early to tell too much.
We need to see Humphries and the rest of the line against live opponents, rather than teammates.
But the unit facing a lot of questions provided a lot of answers on a day when everybody was watching and the lights were a little brighter.