There has been a little bit of on-field work for the veterans the last couple of weeks, but it was very limited. Each position went out on its own to work with position coaches on technique for a short time, and then the offensive skill positions got together for a little while so quarterbacks could throw some routes to the receivers, tight ends and running backs.
But the offseason officially shifts again tomorrow, when the first of 10 organized team workouts will be held at the team facility in Tempe. In year’s past, the OTAs came after the full team minicamp. With the new collective bargaining agreement, minicamp is now the last thing the veterans will do before breaking up for the summer prior to training camp. Minicamp will be June 12-14. In the meantime, the Cards will have their OTAs Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of this week, May 29-31, and June 4-7. (Sorry, the OTs aren’t open to the public, and only one minicamp practice will be open — the June 13 Fan Fest event out at University of Phoenix Stadium, with details still TBA.)
In OTAs, players are allowed to wear helmets (they have not been able to in the on-field work up to this point) but no shells or pads. Offense and defense can go against each other, but “live contact” isn’t allowed. As always, don’t look to deep into OTAs — or minicamp, for that matter — for answers to lineup questions. I keep thinking back to the comment from coach Ken Whisenhunt during rookie minicamp: “You’re not going to make the team this weekend. If you want to make a good impression, don’t make mistakes and do it right from a technique standpoint.”
Obviously vets have to show a little more than that, but that first line — “You’re not going to make the team this weekend” — rings true. No one is making the team because of OTAs. No one is winning a job (starting with Kolb v Skelton.) It takes a lot for anyone not to look good in shorts and t-shirts. Training camp and preseason games ultimately will be from where those decisions are made. But coaches will pay attention to effort and focus. This is where the offense and defense is installed for the first time. This is what the Cards were missing last season from a mental standpoint. That’s what this will be about.
Tags: Ken Whisenhunt, OTAs
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