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On a tryout, another James in the locker room

Posted by Darren Urban on May 12, 2012 – 4:06 pm

Javarris James has long admired his uncle cousin, Edgerrin. He followed in Edge”s footsteps when he attended the University of Miami, and did it again when he played in 2010 with the Indianapolis Colts and now — at least potentially — has a chance to follow him with the Arizona Cardinals.

Javarris James is one of 16 players working with the Cards during minicamp on a tryout basis. The Cards could probably use another running back this offseason, with both Beanie Wells and Ryan Williams coming back from leg injuries. He gained 112 yards on 46 carries for the Colts a couple of years ago in 10 games, and even if he were signed would be an incredible longshot to make the roster.

But right now, that’s not what he’s thinking about.

“I feel like I’ve been through worse,” James said. “I’m just happy to have this opportunity. The decision isn’t up to me. I need to study my playbook and execute my assignments, and that’s all I can do.”

Edgerrin James’ time in Arizona ended bittersweet. Edge was benched for a chunk of 2008, although he was the main running back in the playoffs as the Cards made their memorable Super Bowl run. James was then released the following offseason when Wells was drafted. Still, Javarris said “when we have talked, he had nothing bad to say about Arizona.”

Javarris James said it was “kind of crazy” how he has followed Edgerrin to college and then to the Colts and now the Cards. “I’m just happy I have someone like that I can get advice from,” Javarris said. “I just want an oppotunity to showcase my skills and hopefully take advantage.”

— Normally, it’s the undrafted rookie free agents that are on the fringe of the minicamps, and the Cards do have 16 of those. But with 16 tryout players for the rookie-only minicamp, it’s the tryout men who are on the very outskirts. The UDFAs will at least be around this summer. The tryout players could be done after Sunday.

“You can sympathize with what they are going through,” coach Ken Whisenhunt said. “This is an opportunity of a lifetime. A lot of guys don’t ever get this chance. Sure there is nervousness and some worry but I give them credit because they are working hard.”

— Besides James,the other 15 players trying out are: K/P Ricky Schmitt, QB Tyler Lantrip, WR Keenan Burton, K/P Brody McKnight, LB Liko Satele, CB Randall Burden, RB Keola Antolin, S Danyae Coleman, S Eddie Elder, LB Richetti Jones, CB Larry Parker, S Kenji Jackson, DE Everrette Thompson, DE Tom Nardo and DE Tevita Finau.

— The Cards will wrap up the minicamp Sunday morning. The rookies will get a day off — Monday is the Cards’ annual charity golf tournament — and then the players who don’t have to return to school will be part of the offseason conditioning program going forward.


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Rookies take the field for the first time

Posted by Darren Urban on May 11, 2012 – 12:39 pm

One practice in — and with just rookies — it’s impossible to know what will happen with any of them.

“It was interesting,” coach Ken Whisenhunt said. “The enthusiasm was great, the effort was great. I didn’t know quite what they were doing all the time.”

But it was clear Whisenhunt was enjoying the idea of being back on the field, in a totally teaching aspect, knowing that games are months away. That part of his job was lost last year with the lockout. “It makes you appreciate being on the field again,” Whisenhunt said.

— There is no way to draw any conclusions after one practice. Some of the passes were misfired or dropped, but it wasn’t a shock. Some guys looked a little nervous at first. Bobby Massie, as I noted, looks the part of a tackle. Then again, all the draft picks look the part. They better. They of course have to play the part, and we are a long way from being able to tell that. I’ll have a few photos up later today and we will have a video too (later though; We have Calais Campbell’s press conference with which to deal first.)

— There are nine “veterans” taking part, guys who were already on the team’s roster before the draft. That, Whisenhunt said, is everyone on the roster who is eligible to do so. There are others that wouldn’t mind getting the extra work, Whisenhunt said (and I’m sure the coaches wouldn’t mind it either), but the collective bargaining agreement won’t allow it.

— The only “injury” wasn’t; undrafted rookie cornerback James Nixon had to come out because of dehydration. The learning curve extends beyond the playbook for some. Center Ryan Bartholomew was also sitting out after he “dinged” his knee during conditioning workouts recently, Whisenhunt said.

— The biggest name among the tryout players: running back Javarris James, who played for the Colts and who is the cousin of former Cardinals running  back Edgerrin James.


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