Cardinals quick and efficient on Day One of OTAs
TEMPE, Ariz. – Phase Three of the Cardinals offseason workouts began bright and early on Tuesday morning with the first day of OTAs.
Head coach Bruce Arians liked what he saw from his men in the early going.
“Really, really pleased with the first practice, the energy level, the communication on both sides; it’s light years from where we’ve been in the past,” Arians said.
Arians was quick to give praise to Buddy Morris, Roger Kingdom and the rest of the conditioning staff for making sure each and every player came to the first practice in tip-top shape.
“This is the best conditioned team I’ve seen since we’ve been here. Guys are in great shape,” Arians said.
Arians and his staff allotted time for 42 plays to be run in practice; all of which they got in pretty much in record time.
“The barometer for me is how much time is left on the clock, or (did) we get all the plays run?” Arians said.
They were able to get all the plays run plus have 8-10 minutes left over at the end, which speaks to the tempo and how well things ran on Day One.
“The tempo of practice was outstanding. The number of reps that we got, we’re monitoring the distance our (wide) receivers and DBs (defensive backs) run, so hopefully we’ll stay within those parameters,” Arians said.
Arians saw the wide receivers and defensive backs start to wear out toward the end of OTAs last season, so he’s keen on not letting that happen again this year, and that’s where the distance monitoring comes into play.
“We don’t want any soft tissue injuries because of fatigue,” Arians said. “That’s the biggest problem in training camp; you’re only allowed to practice (for) three hours, so you practice (for) three hours. Most of your injuries come in the last 45 minutes, and it’s a fatigue factor because of a dumb a—rule.”
Quarterback Carson Palmer was on the field during 7-on-7 drills, working on getting himself even closer to 100-percent. Palmer gave an honest assessment of his performance.
“I felt rusty like (I) expected,” Palmer said. “(It) just felt good to not be around cones, and hurdles, and step-overs and all the different on-field things that we’ve been using; bags and all the different stuff. It felt good to be around other humans and going in 7-on-7 and have that competition, that speed, that quickness of the game, because I (have) a lot of work to do, a long way to go. It’s a good first step for me.”
It didn’t take Palmer long to feel the love coming from his defensive teammates, as they sung his name and jersey number during some of the drills.
“There’s a lot of trash talking going on early. That’s the stuff that you miss. That’s the stuff I couldn’t wait to get back in for,” Palmer said. “They took one on the chin today defensively. Tomorrow’s a new day, and we know they’ll come back hard tomorrow.”
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