The Cardinals have a handful of coaching interns on hand to help them through the offseason and training camp. One of the faces is very familiar — former Cards running back Marcel Shipp.
“It’s weird,” Shipp said after a recent workout. “Just being out here, it felt like I’m hurt and just not practicing.”
It’s been a while since he’s practiced as a Cardinal. Shipp made the team back in 2001 as an undrafted rookie out of UMass. He outplayed Thomas Jones early on, and just when Jones was dumped and Shipp thought he was going to get his chance, Emmitt Smith was signed. Then after 2003, when Smith was hurt all year and Shipp played pretty well, Denny Green came in in 2004 and dropped the post-offseason work bomb on Shipp that — despite Shipp running first team all offseason — Smith was indeed the starter. Oh, and to add injury to insult, Shipp suffered his ugly broken ankle/leg during the Red-White Scrimmage in training camp, ending his season. (I still have the photo of Shipp lying in pain with teammates trying to help him, his foot at an angle it should never be for a human being.)
That’s ancient history now, though. Shipp actually stayed with the Cardinals through training camp of 2008 before being released, and after a brief camp stop with the Houston Texans, moved on to an effective stint in the UFL from 2009-2011 with the Las Vegas franchise. In 2012, he was the running backs coach for Vegas until the UFL finally went under. But it gave Shipp the coaching bug.
“I always thought about it,” said Shipp, who often works youth football camps, including some through the Cardinals. “The opportunity on the professional level, though, you can’t put that into words.”
There was a small connection with Bruce Arians too, since both Arians and Shipp were born in Paterson, N.J. With the Cards, he’s working with the wide receivers.
“I’m just blessed to be back in, especially with the Cardinals,” Shipp said.
With Shipp around in coaching (for now), Josh Scobey working in the team’s personnel department and Damien Anderson the team’s Alumni Relations Manager, it’s like the Cards are getting the running backs room, circa 2004, back together. No word on whether Emmitt is on the way.
Tags: coaching staff, Marcel Shipp
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