Bethel, headed to cornerback, bulks up

Posted by Darren Urban on April 5, 2013 – 11:33 am

It’s inevitable, really, the physical strides a player makes in the time after his rookie season to his second NFL season. It’s not always in-your-face, but guys usually understand what it takes to prep their body for the NFL rigors after being in it a season. For a guy from a smaller school, it does become apparent. I remember that’s what happened with Greg Toler, and now that he’s been back a few days, the same can be said for second-year defensive back Justin Bethel.

Bethel came into the week looking pretty powerful. He said at week’s outset he wanted to be bigger if he was going to have to play safety. Then Bethel found out in the initial meetings with the coaches they want to work him at cornerback. Bethel weighed in at 201 pounds Thursday and said he’s in a much better place taking care of his body.

“I had to learn,” Bethel said. “I didn’t eat well at all. I’d eat here, go home, watch TV, come back the next day. If I wasn’t getting it (at the facility) I wasn’t eating. That messed me up weight-wise.”

Bethel wanted to be beefed up a bit to be physical at safety, but he said he doesn’t feel it has affected his speed, which already has made him a special teams demon. He plans to see how he feels on the field first before trying to figure out the right playing weight — “If I lose, I lose,” he said — but wants to keep his speed. Bethel (below, between Andre Roberts and Patrick Peterson) wouldn’t even credit himself for his bigger upper body, saying it was hereditary, and acknowledged it is work to keep weight on.

“It’s easy for me to drop weight,” Bethel said. “I go to sleep and drop like three pounds.”


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50 Responses to “Bethel, headed to cornerback, bulks up”

  1. By DontTakeLosses on Apr 5, 2013 | Reply

    What a specimen, great guy too. This was a good draft pick. Arians loves the young guys, he could play. Wondering about Fleming’s flame out…

  2. By D on Apr 5, 2013 | Reply

    3 weeks from now front office will be knee deep into the draft…

    just think..if Philly and Detroit decide to go defense and Fisher falls to 7, that would let AZ fill 3 spots on the Oline and would give them a great option in round 2 between whoever is left as a QB vs a Pass rusher…. imagine Massie and Brown next to each other…they would block out the sun.

  3. By zippo79 on Apr 5, 2013 | Reply

    Damn Bethel is a beast, considering how he looked last year. He looks like a man now. no offense Bethal! congrats keep up the hard work!

  4. By hummer53 on Apr 5, 2013 | Reply

    JB looks great. Eatin chicken and waffles and lifting weights in S. Carolina I see.

  5. By John The Draft Guy on Apr 5, 2013 | Reply


    I have been wondering the same thing as donttakelosses;

    Fleming seems to be the forgotten man. I heard rumors of his poor work ethic but his talent is evident. With Cason, Powers, Peterson and now Bethel at CB, do we know where Fleming is?

    I know this will be decided on the field but it seems strange that a third round pick with talent seems to be getting looked by.

  6. By Darren Urban on Apr 5, 2013 | Reply

    JTDG —

    RE: Fleming

    I don’t know where Fleming stands. As for Bethel at CB, they might just not see him as a safety. This may have nothing to do with Fleming.

  7. By John The Draft Guy on Apr 5, 2013 | Reply

    The Last 10 years at #7 overall;

    It is interesting looking at the history of the draft. Things like guards are not taken in the first 15 picks or how impact players are sought over steady players, which gives those playoff teams steady guys while the not so good teams struggle with hits and misses. So, is pick number 7 lucky? Here is the last ten #7’s

    03 – Byron Leftwich- Up and down career
    04- Roy Williams – up and down
    05- Troy Williamson- Bust
    06- Michael Huff- Bust
    07- He should have went 5th but dropped to 7 . Of course its AP.-great pick
    08- Sedrick Ellis- Steady player
    09- Darrius Hayward Bey- Bust

    OK, at this point, are you thinking trade down? Well it gets better.
    10- Joe Haden- big time CB
    11- Aldon Smith- great pass rusher
    12- Mark Barron- very good safety

    So ten drafts. Four bad picks, 2 OK picks and 4 good picks. So, do the cards play it safe with a guard like Warmack and break tradition, will there pick be easy with Fisher falling to them, or do the take a chance on a game changer Like Dion Jordon or Geno Smith and shoot for the Boom or bust?
    It will be interesting.

  8. By Joe Luchenta on Apr 5, 2013 | Reply

    Go to sleep and lose 3 pounds man I wish I had that problem

  9. By Jorge on Apr 5, 2013 | Reply


    Also interested in hearing on Flemming… Looks like a very interesting and talented player and could pair up greatly with PP. Any news on him?

  10. By Jorge on Apr 5, 2013 | Reply

    Nevermind… keep up the good work!

  11. By djjackson81 on Apr 5, 2013 | Reply

    We will see what Bowles and Arians can do with Flemming. As far as Bethel goes he may just be looked at as a corner and that may not draft a CB because Bethel.

  12. By Credit Card on Apr 5, 2013 | Reply

    Most of us fall asleep and magically gain three pounds.

  13. By DontTakeLosses on Apr 5, 2013 | Reply

    JTDG, Jorge, Darren:

    Recall Rashad Johnson was pretty hyped when he came in too. Some of these guys, it takes a while to get your sea legs, to mature. Hopefully, Fleming follows Rashad’s lead. He has talent. too. Imagine how good our D backfield can be… it has the potential, based on athleticism and ball hawking, to be the best we’ve ever had.

    That was what Rashad was presented to be by his college coach, high football IQ. Then he dissappeared for 2 years.He sure knew where to place himself on the field last year, he was a ball hawk. Although Antrelle “toasted” Rolle could not cover a lick, he was quite a ball hawk as well.

    All this just makes me mad as hell at whatshisname;) ;( And Carroll is up there talking smack about how much better Wilson is going to be.

    Add Warmack and/or OT, an OLB, a TE, an RB, we could be a sleeper. C. Palmer had a lousy team, lousy receivers and still put up 4k plus 22/14. Those are studly numbers…with our guys, he could put on a clinic. What he shares with Warner is he gets the ball out fast, he sees the field, little hesitation from film I saw. And he does not miss his receivers just sayin’, ya know what I mean (Karlso Dansby imitation;).

    Think what he might do in a Tom Moore offense, with two studs on outside and Housler and Roberts down the middle. It could be surgical. 5k? Why not? 30/15? Sure.


  14. By Scott H on Apr 5, 2013 | Reply

    Not related to this but…are we ever gonna hear from Joshua Cribbs again??? What has happened / is happening with that?

  15. By joe holst on Apr 5, 2013 | Reply

    This secondary scares the death out of me ,1 awesome player and the rest are unimpressive. How are they going to stop Boldin and Crabtree? Percy harvin, golden tate, zach miller. ugh

  16. By Andy Kw on Apr 5, 2013 | Reply

    Hey Darren,
    Will this team look at LB Rolando McClain in free agency?

  17. By Darren Urban on Apr 5, 2013 | Reply

    Andy Kw —

    RE: McClain

    I think we are to the point where it is wait until after free agency.

  18. By Bay Area Bad Boy on Apr 5, 2013 | Reply

    I like both Flemming and Bethel. Think they both add something to the team. Just want an o-line so we can have time to throw down field.

  19. By iammattyoung on Apr 5, 2013 | Reply

    Hey D.U.,

    Please keep your ear to the ground about Rolando McClain. I know the guy has had some character issues, and hasn’t fulfilled the potential he showed at Alabama, but given DWash’s suspension, he may be an inexpensive option at ILB that could be dropped later. If Vontaze can turn around, anyone can, and BA is definitely the type of coach who gets the most out of young guys,

  20. By aaron on Apr 5, 2013 | Reply

    We’ve got some big ass corners.

  21. By ored on Apr 5, 2013 | Reply

    i know it was’nt the correct conclusion but just seeing the word miss and dansby in the same sentence,i thought “why not”,if we could agree to a 1 yr deal to unite him with some previous team mates could be a good short term fit.

    maybe fleming got a little frustrated with lack of playing time(you know,the rookie thing of not playing),hopefully he’s back this year with renewed expectations,i know there were high hopes for him.

    has anyone heard anything on rhodes,is he still free,and was his leaving just not being able to agree to terms,if so and not finding love elsewhere maybe we could revisit that avenue.

  22. By DontTakeLosses on Apr 6, 2013 | Reply

    ored: Rhodes wanted to test market, but what a great year he had, He brought it, hard. Big too. Miss Dansby, lol. Haha.

  23. By ored on Apr 6, 2013 | Reply

    don’t take: then just maybe rhodes will be willing to reconsider,definately a player we could use.don’t know how much dansby has left but it would sure bring back memories,it was a special time,i think he got his payday but not much more,i’m good with that,after all they are professionals and time is short.

  24. By SteveG on Apr 6, 2013 | Reply

    Dear Mr. Bethel..

    Those pounds are not lost. I can see them right now…(Please advise if you want them back, but they seem to be getting comfy here on my belly)….

  25. By AzDesertRat1953 on Apr 6, 2013 | Reply

    Wow! The kid has turned into a Monster. Might be A-Dub started a fire in Bethel that will burn for a long time.

    Now I see why BA was so thrilled when he seen His players on day one.

    GO CARDS!!!

  26. By philly cards on Apr 6, 2013 | Reply

    I don’t care how many muscles he has or doesn’t have. What is his awareness at? If he was a better tackler they might have kept him at saftey. But you have to be even smarter there. I see the new achilles heel, the secondary

  27. By johnnybluenose on Apr 7, 2013 | Reply

    it’s hard for me to believe that lott or somebody else within the training staff was not educating and monitoring bethel and the other rookies last year on proper eating habits. he certainly looks very fit right now though.

  28. By Jason on Apr 7, 2013 | Reply

  29. By Jason on Apr 7, 2013 | Reply

  30. By carlo milan italy on Apr 7, 2013 | Reply

    looking at roster in the official site ..bethel is still listed 190 lb.,do u know if Nate Pitter added spme weight?
    another question.why massie in the case they draft a tackle should switched to guard a natural right tackle and didnt allow a sack after game 8..i think if there is one who should change positiion is levi who was never effective at 6 season-

  31. By Darren Urban on Apr 7, 2013 | Reply

    Carlo –

    RE: weights/Massie

    The weights will be updated after minicamp. As for Massie, the coaches are going to do what they think is best.

  32. By DontTakeLosses on Apr 7, 2013 | Reply

    1) Curious about Rolando McClain too. Any take or insider word on him Darren?

    2) Hard to believe Cards “stacked” roster (relatively speaking of course) and still have $9M under cap… thinking we may get a surprise signing? Daren? Lol. I know you said its a quiet period until after draft, but a lot of unsigned guys available after that.


  33. By Darren Urban on Apr 7, 2013 | Reply

    DTL –

    rE: McClain/FA

    As I have told others, I expect this to be the time when the Cards wait until after the draft.

  34. By Andy Kw on Apr 7, 2013 | Reply

    BRING BACK FS KERRY RHODES PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    He has not signed any where although he had a pretty good year last season. Please bring him back at a reasonable contract and give some competition with Yeremiah Bell. Kerry Rhodes is fast and is a good tackler as well. He is a turnover machine that we should bring back.
    -Patrick Peterson will perform even better in the 2013 season.
    -Antoine Cason will get the #2 spot and perform better than his previous years in San Diego.
    -Jerraud Powers will be a key piece to stopping the pass and will be much healthier.
    -Rashad Johnson will be a beast out there on the field.
    -Yeremiah Bell will be able to tackle but the turnovers for him will be limited which is why I am begging for this team to bring him back. Bruce Arians love veteran leadership and Rhodes can perform to expectations.

  35. By D on Apr 8, 2013 | Reply


    If Jockel and Fisher are off the board and AZ can’t move down…I could see them taking L. Johnson to play Right Tackle this year, move Massie to RG, keep Brown at Left Tackle for one more year…before they can move on in 2014 from those high contracts on Brown, Synder and Colledge….

  36. By clssylssy on Apr 8, 2013 | Reply

    There are still some young QBs who have been flying under the radar but who could be developed into a player for the future and could probably be drafted with a higher draft pick. I find that, winner of the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award for 2012 (Andrew Luck was 2011 winner) and 2012 Kellen Moore Award (AP Player of the Year) winner Collin Klein looks like the kind of young talent BA would love to get his hands on and transform. He was described by CBS as “a combination of Tim Tebow and Ryan Tannehill” and passed on the Combine because he was invited to come as a TE and has been working with Jake Plummer to try to make it into the NFL as a QB. He led his school to a 11-1 record, rated #1 in the nation until defeated that one game by Notre Dame. Do you know if the Cards have bothered to check him out?

  37. By John The Draft Guy on Apr 8, 2013 | Reply


    Thanks for the link. Enjoyed the read.

  38. By Louisville Card on Apr 8, 2013 | Reply

    Hi Darren,

    I’ve been hearing BA say that he wants a speedy wideout. Do you see a scenario where the cards could trade down and take Tavon Austin with their first pick. I know they took WR first last draft first but he would be an immediate impact player with his blazing speed, and they could still address the line with their next two picks…

  39. By Darren Urban on Apr 8, 2013 | Reply

    Louisville —

    RE: Trade down

    I could see the Cards trading down. For a speed receiver? That I’m not expecting.

  40. By John The Draft Guy on Apr 8, 2013 | Reply

    Louisville Card;

    I’ve heard (and it makes sense) that the niners want to move up to get Austin.
    Now how far up, I dont know.

    Austin is the self proclaimed best player in the draft. Can’t agree there but he could be the most exciting.

    I don’t see the cards going in that direction in the draft, but you never know. I honestly could not understand the Floyd pick last year.

    I would think if you wanted to add speed at wide receiver, a guy like Ryan Swope from Texas A&M in the third would make more sense. At 6′ and around 200 pounds, he put up a 4.3 forty. Not to mention his production, especially with Tannehill, was great.

    I dont see wr in this draft. But With Fitz, Floyd, Roberts as our top 3, it gets a little cloudy after that. It wouldn’t be horrible to take a Swope in the 3rd, if roberts wasn’t a long term plan.

  41. By Jason on Apr 8, 2013 | Reply


    I posted another article but I guess it got lost in the shuffle. It showed Carson’s stats pre-knee injury, post-knee/pre-elbow stats and finally post knee and elbow stats. Despite a small dip in overall QB rating he has been pretty consistent through his injuries. I just keep reading all of these comments and hearing all of these talking heads who keep insisting that Carson has downgraded and hasn’t been the same since the injuries. While it may be true to a degree I feel it is just being regurgitated through the ranks and it was refreshing to read a couple of people who have a different take and some film/stats breakdown to validate their points.

    On a side note my 2 cents about the draft:

    I don’t think we trade down this April. I think our target will be on the offensive line (hopefully) so obviously Joeckel, Fisher, Warmack, Cooper & Johnson are the players we should be looking at. While I’m not a scout or talent evaluator I think the question you’d have to ask is who on your roster can play tackle and who can play guard and gauge that against how you grade the players available in the draft. With that being said, if you HONESTLY believe Levi Brown is an “elite” LT and the top two LT’s in the draft are gone you probably will take Warmack/Cooper. If you feel like the LT’s in the draft are an upgrade or have a higher grade than the guards you take the LT and find out which guy on the roster can play G. Either way we should be able to upgrade 2 positions with one pick and hopefully get a huge boost to our o line.

  42. By John The Draft Guy on Apr 8, 2013 | Reply


    Honestly, about the draft, I can see BA and Keim going with the best player for their scheme approach. So who are the top seven players in the draft according to the cards? Unfortunately, none of us will see that big board before the draft.

    But one has to think,
    Joeckel, Fisher, Lotulelei, Milliner, Floyd, Warmack and Cooper.

    But I think guards are devalued. As I said before, if you had a choice between pro bowl guard Logan Mankins, who dominates, or Darrelle Revis, Joe Thomas, Demarcus Ware, Haloti Ngata, or or even Patrick Peterson, who would you take? I think every time , the guard would be last on the list.

    Then you throw in guys like, Dion Jordon, Ziggy Ansah, Geno Smith, Barktavious Mingo, Xavier Rhodes, Jarvis Jones and Lane Johnson. Where do these guys fit on the cards big board? Could one of them be rated in the top 7.

    Here is what I know;
    Guards dont go before pick 15 historically.
    QBs are always pushed up boards higher than their value.
    In a passing league, a pass rusher is highly valued.
    Tackles who can protect against those pass rushers are highly valued.
    Teams want players who make their team better and can make a difference in top 10.

    With that being said, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a top 10 big board like this;
    Star Lotulelei
    Luke Joeckel
    Dion Jordon
    Ziggy Ansah
    Eric Fisher
    Dee Milliner
    Geno Smith
    Lane Johnson
    Barktavious Mingo
    Xavier Rhodes

    My wildcard is Alec Ogletree to break the top 10. Who knows where the cards have him.

    My other one to watch is Kenny Vaccaro. Last year, Mark Barron broke into the top 10. Vaccaro is just as good as Barron. Funny. Barron went on the 7th pick. The cards have a need at FS. Don’t be surprised.

  43. By Jason on Apr 8, 2013 | Reply

    I agree with you about G value and draft position. I read an article with Keim where he was asked about taking a G in the top 10 and his response was to the effect that if he was a perennial all pro caliber player then the top 10 is not too high.

    I read a different article where Keim wanted Adrian Peterson over Levi Brown…as a scout I think he values his draft grades above all and so I think it would be interesting what the Warmack grade is and how they value him. I personally would want the #7 to be Johnson/Fisher/Jordan

    I’m not a fan of Saftey in the top 10 as much as I’m not a fan of Guard…LT, QB, CB and pass rusher are who I think should be targeted in the top 10

  44. By Jason on Apr 8, 2013 | Reply

    Here’s the article

  45. By John The Draft Guy on Apr 8, 2013 | Reply


    Agree a 100% that Keim will trust his draft grades.

    In a deep Safety draft, you would think Vaccaro would drop. But for those teams true to their board, they will choose him. I don’t think he is a top 7 player, but he could be.

    Star’s heart condition
    Jarvis Jones slow 40
    Jordon and Ansah are boom or bust players. More potential than production.
    Are 3 tackles really rated as the 7 best players.

    It doesn’t take much for one team to view this draft completely different and push an Olgetree, Vaccaro, or even a Bjoern Werner/Demontre Moore.
    Heck, Both Werner and Moore were top 5 picks till the combine on mock drafts.

  46. By John The Draft Guy on Apr 8, 2013 | Reply


    I’ve got to agree with Sando. Good example of 2001 draft.

    2012 draft- Luck, RG3, Trent Richardson, Matt Kalil, Blackmon, Claiborne, Barron
    2011 draft- Cam, Von Miller, Darius, AJ Green, PP, Julio Jones, Aldon Smith

    When you look at the impact of the players in the top 7, it is hard to justify a guard. Especially when you look at Tampa’s Carl Nicks (5th round) and Jahri Evens of NO (4th round) as two of the best guards in football. Even Mankins was a late 1st rounder. Decastro went 23rd last year.

    I just dont see it.

  47. By ored on Apr 8, 2013 | Reply

    rhodes is still out there,if his price is coming down then that’s one less spot to fill for a year or two.
    would be interesting indeed to get austin,but more likely as noted swopes,reciever from oregon st.also might work,and did’nt asu have a reciever clock 4-3’s?
    if star fell to 7 then he would be aligning,lol.

  48. By Jason on Apr 8, 2013 | Reply

    It’s just so up in the air with Keim and Arians leading their first draft. You have zero idea if Keim’s quotes were just a smoke screen or his true thoughts. Conventional wisdom says 7 is too high for a Guard….my point is what if the grade is a can’t miss all pro guard from day one. It’ll be interesting.

    3 tackles are going in the top 10 and I think it’s justifiable.

    I think we’re in a great position because we don’t have to draft for need so we can trade down or pick bpa. Again, I think Keim stays true to his board and makes the pick he values the most. I’m just excited to see which direction we go!

  49. By Andy Kw on Apr 9, 2013 | Reply

    Steve Keim is the best General Manager in the NFL.

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