Understandably, there has been a lot of coverage to one of the Cardinals’ new coaching interns and to the new Bidwill coaching fellow. But Jen Welter and Levon Kirkland aren’t the only new coaches the Cardinals will have in training camp and the preseason (OK, Kirkland is around for two years.) There are six others:
— Rashied Davis – WR/Strength & Conditioning. Davis is a former wide receiver with the Bears and Lions.
— Emile Michael Harry – WR. Harry played wide receiver for the Chiefs and Rams.
— Rod Hood – DBs/DL. If you are a Cardinals’ fan, you really already should know Hood (but if you don’t, I wrote about him this summer.)
— David Kelly – RB. Kelly has been a college coach at a handful of stops.
— Keith McKenzie – LB. Played linebacker and defensive end for the Packers, Browns, Bears and Bills.
— Willie Williams – DB/DL. Played cornerback for the Steelers and Seahawks.
Tags: coaching staff, David Kelly, Emile Harry, Jen Welter, Keith McKenzie, Levon Kirkland, Rashied Davis, Rod Hood, Willie Williams
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The news the Cardinals and Bruce Arians have added Jen Welter as a coaching intern for camp and the preseason has created, not surprisingly, major nationwide buzz. Hiring the first NFL coach tends to do that. Mostly the reaction has been positive. But Arians didn’t do it for the reaction.
Arians cares about the idea of opening a door or bringing down a barrier. He said as much. He did not have to do this, however. He noted back in March players would accept anyone who would be able to coach them to better play, including a woman. It got a reaction then, but that’s as far as it had to go. At the time, Arians didn’t have anyone in mind (although he was aware of the one-time work of Dot Murphy coaching receivers at Hinds Community College in Mississippi.) Even when he heard from Texas Revolution coach Devin Wyman suggesting Welter, Arians didn’t have to do anything, and again after he brought her in for a visit during an OTA.
But Arians believes both in the door-opening possibility for women and Welter as coach. He isn’t about to bring in a coach he doesn’t think can coach. What would be the point in that? Publicity? It’s not like Arians and the Cards don’t have plenty of that already. When Arians says his players are on board, I believe that too.
Arians made the point that there will be six other coaching interns. Welter isn’t the only one. She’ll work with the inside linebackers with her master’s in sports psychology and her 14 years of professional football playing experience. Whatever it ends up meaning beyond that will be a bonus for Arians and the Cardinals — even though it certainly will mean more.
Tags: Bruce Arians, Jen Welter, Kevin Minter
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The future of rookie wide receiver Damond Powell has yet to be determined, after the scary weekend shooting that left him hospitalized. Josh Weinfuss reports that Powell was hit once in the jaw and once in the neck, but is stable. His immediate football future, obviously, is in doubt. The Cardinals have not made any roster moves yet, but with Powell dealing with these injuries, keeping a roster spot for him seems unlikely — especially since new tight end Jermaine Gresham will need a roster spot once he officially signs his deal.
A likely scenario is that Powell would end up on the “reserve/non-football injury” list, which would keep him from counting against the 90-man roster. For that to happen, they would technically have to waive him and then 24 hours later when he clears he would revert to the team’s reserve-NFI list.
The Cardinals have their first training camp practice Saturday.
Tags: Damond Powell, Jermaine Gresham, training camp
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Cardinals wide receiver Damond Powell, who signed as an undrafted rookie in May, was shot Friday night in his hometown of Toledo, Ohio. The report said the injuries — Powell was hit in the face — are not life-threatening. According to the report, Powell was sitting in his driveway when the shots came from a car down the street.
Powell had 19 catches for 317 yards and three touchdowns last season for the University of Iowa. He is fighting an uphill battle to get a receiving spot at a deep position, which not only has veterans like Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd, John Brown and Jaron Brown but also Brittan Golden and fifth-round draft pick J.J. Nelson.
UPDATE: Here is the statement from the Cardinals on the matter: “We are aware that Damond Powell was the victim of a shooting last night in Toledo, where he remains hospitalized. We have been in communication with his family to offer whatever support and resources we can provide. We will continue to monitor and provide updates as appropriate.”
Tags: Damond Powell
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There are questions, fair ones, about what tight end Jermaine Gresham will bring to the Cardinals now that he has agreed to a one-year contract. (With the roster already at 90, the Cards will have to release someone once Gresham officially signs.) But as usual with GM Steve Keim’s prove-it deals, there is very little downside to make the move and the potential of real upside.
Assuming Gresham is healthy after back surgery — and he would’ve had to have passed a physical already — he gives the Cards a receiving target that has done it in the NFL, which the Cards did not have on the roster. It gives the Cards experience, period, which the Cards didn’t have. Plus, he played some with Carson Palmer, and while Gresham has had issues with consistency, Palmer is the type of leader that can help in that regard.
As of now, it’s hard to imagine Gresham not as starter assuming he plays as expected. And thus far, these kinds of Keim signings — Winston, Abraham, Dansby, Cromartie — have turned out pretty well.
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There is nothing new on the Jermaine Gresham front, other than the veteran tight end visited the Cardinals. But now comes the Adam Schefter report that the team also talked to former Pro Bowl tight end Chris Cooley — who hasn’t played since 2012 — about possibly signing. Hard to tell what Cooley might have left in the tank, but it certainly underscores the reality that the Cards want to add a veteran tight end given their inexperience at the position. Cooley has apparently been ramping up his workouts thinking he could indeed play again.
I know I’ve had questions about former ASU/Desert Vista tight end Zach Miller as a possibility. I don’t know what his health situation might be; he was dealing with a season-ending ankle injury.
Veterans report to camp a week from Friday.
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It’s been known for a long time that Adrian Wilson would be going into the team’s Ring of Honor — not just from when he retired earlier this offseason, but from the day the team released him in 2013 — but now we know exactly when. Wilson’s ceremony will come at halftime of this season’s home game against the 49ers on Sept. 27.
Unlike the two previous ROH inductees in Kurt Warner and Aeneas Williams, Wilson is already constantly around the team. No official job has been announced, but Wilson was at every day of the summer OTAs and minicamp helping out with the secondary and learning from General Manager Steve Keim.
Wilson will be the 15th member of the Cardinals’ Ring of Honor. The other 14: Warner, Williams, owner Charles W. Bidwill, Sr., coach Jimmy Conzelman, tackle Dan Dierdorf, halfback John “Paddy” Driscoll, halfback/defensive back Marshall Goldberg, cornerback Dick “Night Train” Lane, halfback Ollie Matson, halfback Ernie Nevers, safety Pat Tillman, halfback Charley Trippi, cornerback Roger Wehrli, and safety Larry Wilson.
Tags: Adrian Wilson, Ring of Honor
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It wouldn’t be an offseason for the Cardinals and General Manager Steve Keim without a veteran free agent signing or two by the time the team got to training camp. Given the retirement of John Carlson earlier this offseason, making a tight end one of those signings wouldn’t be a surprise. So it’s also not a surprise when Adam Schefter reported Sunday morning former Bengals tight end Jermaine Gresham would be visiting the Cardinals this week.
Gresham, a former first-round pick who spent his first five seasons with the Bengals (and once a teammate of Carson Palmer), has started 67 NFL games (of 73 total) and has 280 receptions. He’s a pass catcher on a team that could use a proven one at tight end now that Carlson is gone. He had to have back surgery earlier in the offseason for a herniated disc, which is why he hasn’t signed anywhere yet. He also has been criticized for his inconsistency over the years in Cincinnati.
Gresham has already visited the Saints, who traded away Jimmy Graham, and there is interest there. Gresham also could visit other teams. The Cards have Darren Fells and Troy Niklas as blocker-first-types. Veteran combine signee Ifeanyi Momah — who has been working with Palmer in Palmer’s San Diego workouts — has looked good as a receiver in non-padded OTAs and minicamp. The Cards also have seventh-round pick Gerald Christian, Ted Bolser and Gannon Sinclair at tight end.
Tags: Carson Palmer, Darren Fells, Gannon Sinclair, Ifeanyi Momah, Jermaine Gresham, John Carlson, Ted Bolser, Troy Niklas
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Tyrann Mathieu loves his dog, King. He isn’t shy about that. So it’s probably not a surprise Mathieu was willing to do a video in conjunction with PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) about the dangers of leaving your dog in a hot car. Anyone who has live in Arizona knows how crazy hot their car is in the summer when you first get into it after it has been sitting in the sun. Anybody with half a brain knows that leaving anything live — whether it’s a dog or a child — in that situation is simply stupid, not to mention criminal. Yet it happens, as we all know.
So Mathieu did this awareness video. It’s frightening, really, as go-pros mounted in the car show a increasingly sweaty Mathieu — wearing a t-shirt and jeans — try to keep cool as best he can and clearly not being able to help himself much. He lasts eight minutes before opening the door, wearing a look on his face as if he is about to pass out.
Obviously a dog — or a young child — won’t be able to get out of the car like that. It’s good for the Cardinals their key safety made it out himself.
Speaking of Mathieu and King, they will be part of the video series coming soon called “A Bird’s best friend,” chronicling Cardinals and their dogs.
Tags: Tyrann Mathieu
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No, there is nothing new — with training camp a tad more than two weeks away — when it comes to the status of suspended linebacker Daryl Washington. That nothingness was confirmed when Mike Jurecki was told by league spokesman Greg Aiello there was no change in Washington’s status. That is simply the only news — if that qualifies — as Washington’s suspension for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy stretches toward 14 months. The original term was for at least a year, and he was suspended in late May of 2014.
Jurecki also reported that Washington had indeed applied for reinstatement (and later reported that came on May 8.) Obviously, he hasn’t been reinstated. Not sure if that means no decision has been made, or if it was denied. Aiello’s public comment does not clear that up. As for the NFL’s official policy on reinstatement, here are the words verbatim from the policy:
(e) Reinstatement Criteria: After the completion of the one-year banishment period, the Commissioner, in his sole discretion, will determine if and when the Player will be allowed to return to the NFL. A Player’s failure to adhere to his Treatment Plan during his banishment will be a significant consideration in the Commissioner’s decision. A Player seeking reinstatement also must meet certain clinical requirements as determined by the Medical Director and other requirements as set forth in Appendix B.
And there is this as well:
Set forth below are the procedures to be used when an application is received by the Commissioner.
1. Within 45 days of receipt of the application, the Player will be interviewed by the Medical Director and the Medical Advisor, after which a recommendation will be made to the Commissioner with regard to the Player’s request for reinstatement.
2. The Player will execute appropriate medical release forms that will enable the Commissioner’s staff and NFLPA Executive Director’s staff to review the Player’s substance abuse history, including but not limited to attendance at counseling sessions (individual, group and family); attendance at 12-step and other self-help group meetings; periodic progress reports; and all diagnostic findings and treatment recommendations.
3. The Player will submit to urine testing by an NFL representative at a frequency determined by the Medical Advisor.
4. The Player will agree in a meeting with the Commissioner or his representative(s) to comply with the conditions imposed by the Commissioner for his reinstatement to the status of an active Player.
5. All individuals involved in the process will take steps to enable the Commissioner to render a decision within 60 days of the receipt of the application.
While it says steps will be taken to “enable” the Commissioner to render a decision within 60 days, nowhere does it say a decision must be made in 60 days. In the meantime, no news means no news.
Tags: Daryl Washington
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