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The bear in Niklas, and a closed practice

Posted by Darren Urban on August 4, 2014 – 5:38 pm

We start this post with words of wisdom from tight end John Carlson, a sage who to my cohort Kyle Odegard described rookie tight end Troy Niklas thusly: “He looks like a 12-year-old boy who swallowed a grizzly bear.”

That’s better than thinking him a outsized refugee from a boy band, but nevertheless, I don’t think it’s going to stop the spike in girls who retweet any item with a Niklas photo on it.

Niklas2useblog

As for practice today, it was strange to watch a workout at University of Phoenix Stadium with it closed to the public. Usually there are cheers for every single catch, and to have a reception in a vacuum was a different feeling. Among the things I noticed:

– Ted Ginn hauled in a nice long bomb early. Taking the top off the defense just like Bruce Arians likes.

– Earl Watford continued to get some first-team reps splitting with Jonathan Cooper.

– Clearly there wasn’t supposed to be much if any hitting — defenders were pulling off completely on many plays — but in one bang-bang instance, linebacker Sam Acho leveled running back Stepfan Taylor on a swing pass only by going hard after the ball. The hit was incidental and yet Acho came out way ahead. Acho has had an impressive camp thus far.

– Quarterback Logan Thomas continues to be up and down. He’ll have a nice throw and then another than you aren’t sure what was happening. When the pocket breaks down and he tries to hold his ground, he definitely looks uncomfortable much of the time.

– Rookie safety Deone Bucannon got himself an interception and almost had another.


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Posted in Blog | 21 Comments »


21 Responses to “The bear in Niklas, and a closed practice”

  1. By azdesertrat1953 on Aug 4, 2014 | Reply

    I have been thinking how to put into words how Troy Niklas looks and that is the best I have heard yet, Kyle Odegard that’s a good one.
    “12 yr.old who swallowed a grizzly.” LMAO!

    GO CARDS!!!

  2. By krehbieo14 on Aug 4, 2014 | Reply

    Great way to describe Niklas! He’s that blocking tight end that Arians hope he would be. Can’t wait to see him in preseason packages.

  3. By Pete Dowdle on Aug 4, 2014 | Reply

    With Carlson, Niklas, Ballard,, Housler, and Fells being the most mentioned TE’s thus far and, therefore, the frontrunners to make the final cut, who of that lot do you think (this side of even the first preseason game) will actually make it and who do you think will (hopefully!) be retained on the practice squad? How many TE’s do you know Arians to be interested in keeping? Carlson and Ballard seem to be consistently mentioned as having good showings thus far; are they rightfully to be considered the best two options and the certain two to make the cut? With Niklas being a second round pick, and with Housler coming off of two mediocre, if not disappointing, seasons (and seemingly not standing out during this offseason), do you think he’ll make the cut on account of that fact alone, even though he’s missed considerable time and reps thus far due to injury? I’m intrigued by the position and how it’ll be used by Arians, and I’m looking forward to the battles taking place within the position.

  4. By Ron on Aug 5, 2014 | Reply

    Logan:

    Expect Logan to look better in mobile situations but NFL classic pocket passing not, the issue will be how the offense works with a mobile QB suddenly inserted into the game or even if Logan waits a couple years will the whole offense and WR group need to be readjusted. Watching Oak last year it was a mixed bag as wide outs can suddenly get open as the QB moves about but they also realize quickly that timing routes don’t generate many balls thrown there way, leading to some standing around watching the QB and waving there arms when the DB moved away.

  5. By Marlin on Aug 5, 2014 | Reply

    Its a big deal that ACHO looks good. Great News!

  6. By Big Ken on Aug 5, 2014 | Reply

    Yeah I wonder if we could get any kind of a ‘flier’ pick for Housler in a trade.

  7. By Louisville Card on Aug 5, 2014 | Reply

    Hi Darren,

    It sounds like from your few articles where you’ve mentioned Thomas, that he’s not beating out Lindley. Do you think Lindley has any shot to even make the team. Seems like he is the better player of the two, although we haven’t seen Thomas really play yet. Would Keim be willing to pick the better player even if it isn’t Thomas and part ways with him after a few months?

    Side note Teddy Bridgewater is killing it in Minnesota from all reports JTDG…

  8. By Darren Urban on Aug 5, 2014 | Reply

    Louisville —

    RE: Lindley

    Here is what was said about it this summer: http://www.azcardinals.com/news-and-events/article-2/Ryan-Lindleys-Battle-At-Quarterback/2fd49c48-5c18-48e2-992a-dc969317667f

    We have not seen a lot of Lindley thus far in camp. Can’t be a good sign, but we will see.

  9. By krehbieo14 on Aug 5, 2014 | Reply

    Good thought. It could happen since he’s in a contract year.

  10. By Scott H on Aug 5, 2014 | Reply

    NICE photo! Just love to see those dreds flying behind #11!

    Looking forward to seeing Ginn Jr adding more big plays to the offense this year.

    Great to hear how good Acho has been looking. Need some people to step up into the vacancies left by Dansby and Washington.

  11. By georgiebird on Aug 5, 2014 | Reply

    Thought this article had some connection to Jack Nicklaus the Golden Bear

  12. By br in nc on Aug 5, 2014 | Reply

    Ron,
    Its a pretty good bet they are coaching Logan to stay in the pocket and let the play develop, as you stated that is not something he is comfortable with yet. He used his running ability in college, and would take off (admittedly sometimes to early) but in his defense he is so athletic and could make positive plays with his legs, as well he never had WR’s that could catch the ball or hold onto it, he has to have time to adjust to having such good WR’s, I think in the end the offense will adjust to his style a little and he will have to adjust as well and be more of a pocket passer, sort of a meet in the middle proposition, and if/when he takes over permanently as the Cardinals QB, SK & BA will adjust the type of player they bring in to surround him with the best tools available for both him and the team to succeed. Honestly at this level most guys can play for either type of QB, most skill position players only need to make minor adjustments and they will be off and running.

  13. By br in nc on Aug 5, 2014 | Reply

    Scott H,
    Hopefully Ginn can hold onto the ball, he had a fumble problem in Carolina, used to drive Rivera crazy! But with all the loses at WR that the Panthers had this off-season I’m willing to bet Ron Rivera would take him back in a heartbeat! Heck if Marin Brown and the. Rookies impress BA & SK enough Cardinals may want to dangle Ginn in front of Carolina for a draft pick. Just a thought.

  14. By br in nc on Aug 5, 2014 | Reply

    Georgiebird
    Oddly enough the Golden Bear ha a grandson who plays TE for FSU, he was very highly ranked (#4-5 TE in the nation coming out of HS) He was just in his second motorcycle crash in less than a year and missed most of spring practice and may miss some of training camp for FSU. UHHH, hello, Mr O’Leary, motorcycles don’t seem to be your thing, may want to get a truck, a big heavy, made of metal, truck!! Just a suggestion though!

  15. By br in nc on Aug 5, 2014 | Reply

    Talking TE’s got me curious with the Cardinals drafting Nicklas in 2nd round and not hearing a whole lot of noise about other TE’s pre-draft (except Enron, but he was not in Nicklas’s class coming out of HS) you may find this interesting, I know I did
    Othe names. That dont exactly pop out at you as top pro prospects that were rated top 10 TE coming out of HS (and rated ahead of Nicklas
    Malcolm Facaine
    Brandon Fulse
    Nick Vannett
    Dan Tapko
    Just goes to show you rankings don’t mean much out of HS, Just like draft positions, you just never know, sure fire bets can be first round busts or you can find a gem in Round six!!
    ***Deeply sorry about the crappy format, my cursor was jumping all over the place and it is next to impossible to fix the format on this tiny phone screen without deleting entire post and starting over, and that just wasn’t happening folks!!!***

    Jay Rome/Georgia – ranked #1 TE by some, #4 by Scout.com, reminded a lot of people of Tony Gonzalez (I know not really fair to a HS kid, I think it adds undue pressure on these kids) but anyway he hasn’t done much, best year he had 199 yards in 2 seasons he has 251 yards and 2 TD (he redahirted has 2 more years eligibility )

    Ben Koyack/Notre Dame – Yep same class as Nicklas, Koyack was ranked #2-4 pretty consistent ranking by most services has not done much, something like 19 catches last year, no brained he stayed in school for his senior season, and a lot of draft boards show possible 2nd round selection

    Austin Seferin-Jenkins/UW – Drafted 2nd round Tampa Bay. Rivals and a few others had him ranked as #2 TE (oddly enough behind #1 TE Nick O’Leary/FSU, see my comment above in response to georgiebird)

  16. By br in nc on Aug 5, 2014 | Reply

    Talking TE’s got me curious with the Cardinals drafting Nicklas in 2nd round and not hearing a whole lot of noise about other TE’s pre-draft (except Enron, but he was not in Nicklas’s class coming out of HS) you may find this interesting, I know I did
    Othe names. That dont exactly pop out at you as top pro prospects that were rated top 10 TE coming out of HS (and rated ahead of Nicklas
    Malcolm Facaine
    Brandon Fulse
    Nick Vannett
    Dan Tapko
    Just goes to show you rankings don’t mean much out of HS, Just like draft positions, you just never know, sure fire bets can be first round busts or you can find a gem in Round six!!
    ***Deeply sorry about the crappy format, my cursor was jumping all over the place and it is next to impossible to fix the format on this tiny phone screen without deleting entire post and starting over, and that just wasn’t happening folks!!!****!!

    Jay Rome/Georgia – ranked #1 TE by some, #4 by Scout.com, reminded a lot of people of Tony Gonzalez (I know not really fair to a HS kid, I think it adds undue pressure on these kids) but anyway he hasn’t done much, best year he had 199 yards in 2 seasons he has 251 yards and 2 TD (he redahirted has 2 more years eligibility )

    Ben Koyack/Notre Dame – Yep same class as Nicklas, Koyack was ranked #2-4 pretty consistent ranking by most services has not done much, something like 19 catches last year, no brained he stayed in school for his senior season, and a lot of draft boards show possible 2nd round selection

    Austin Seferin-Jenkins/UW – Drafted 2nd round Tampa Bay. Rivals and a few others had him ranked as #2 TE (oddly enough behind #1 TE Nick O’Leary/FSU, see my comment above in response to georgiebird)

  17. By br in nc on Aug 5, 2014 | Reply

    **EBRON not Enron**

  18. By br in nc on Aug 6, 2014 | Reply

    IMHO Acho has been solid and quite impressive from year one, hopefully he is taking the next step up to bigger and better things like pro bowl consideration.

  19. By hminus on Aug 6, 2014 | Reply

    The TE position in BA’s 2nd year looks MUCH better top to bottom than it ever did under the former administration…very hopeful going foreward.

  20. By hminus on Aug 6, 2014 | Reply

    Glad to see Earl Watford doing well,Coop will come around sooner rather than later & will get better as the season approaches…Logan Thomas has MUCH greater potential & upside than RL does & believe he should be retained…

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