The first practice for the Cardinals is over. With that, a few observations I made today, knowing that the Cardinals still aren’t wearing pads:
— The first units were how the Cardinals ended the offseason work. Bobby Massie and Paul Fanaika were running first-unit right tackle and right guard respectively. With LB John Abraham still absent, Alex Okafor ran with the first team on the other side from Matt Shaughnessy. In nickel defense, as expected, rookie safety Deone Bucannon was essentially the second linebacker along with Larry Foote as the Cardinals used six defensive backs.
— Justin Bethel had a good start to camp and it’s easy to see why Bruce Arians has been impressed with his play. He is definitely coming along as a cornerback.
— That said, a play after Bethel won a battle with Michael Floyd, Floyd came right back and beat Bethel on the sideline. Floyd continues to look like a beast, using his big body to make plays. It will be interesting to see him in pads.
— CB Antonio Cromartie has a good day in his Cardinals’ camp debut.
— Injured safety Tyrann Mathieu came on to the field after practice was well underway, and was greeted with loud cheers from the fans as he crossed the sideline.
— Rookie wide receiver Walt Powell made an impressive full-speed fingertip grab of a Logan Thomas bomb and managed to keep his feet to complete the 60-or-so yard TD pass.
— The Cardinals worked on a lot of screens, and there is little question the plays will be in the arsenal for the tight ends this season if Arians chooses to dial them up.
— Thomas had his moments, good and bad, as has been his reputation. In one early drill with no defense, rookie tight end Troy Niklas didn’t get his head around on a Thomas bullet and the pass slammed against the side of Niklas’ head. On this first day, Thomas got almost all of the third-team reps as Ryan Lindley did a lot of watching.
— The Cardinals announced that about 10,000 fans showed up to the first day of practice at University of Phoenix Stadium.
Tags: Alex Okafor, Antonio Cromartie, Bobby Massie, Bruce Arians, Deone Bucannon, John Abraham, Justin Bethel, Larry Foote, Logan Thomas, Matt Shughnessy, Paul Fanaika, training camp, Troy Niklas, Tyrann Mathieu, Walt Powell
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