Rookies get to show — good and bad

Posted by Darren Urban on June 4, 2013 – 6:22 pm

At some point, as I watched Earl Watford and Alex Okafor sign their first contracts Tuesday, it was tough not to picture them — at some point — getting their chance to play. That would have been true anyway, and even moreso under a regime that clearly values the idea of playing young players.

That also is underscored by the decision by Bruce Arians to hold virtually two separate practices this summer. It makes a ton of sense given that Arians walked in preaching that his staff would be teaching and then hiring a ton of coaches to do just that (Arians talked about smaller class sizes, something every school teacher wishes for every day.) Undrafted rookie safety Tony Jefferson also said that to me the other day, that Arians gives everyone a chance to show what they can do — which is a great thing for the young guys.


Arians noted Monday that in the last period of Monday’s OTA, the final period was done on one field with everyone together. That meant about two reps for the young players who are usually on the second field.

“This last period, all they did was stand and watch,” Arians said. “That’s how it is most places.”

There’s a lot more to see on the tape each day when Arians and the staff who spend their time with the first two units on the main field break down field two. Players doing well can catch the eye. But what if a player struggles? Certainly, the staff is going to see that a lot sooner than they would have most years. You wonder if it could cost a guy a chance at getting to training camp.

“On the other field, you get 30 to 40 (reps),” Arians said. “They are weeding themselves out quickly. It’s easy for us as coaches to evaluate, to see if there are things worth salvaging.”

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15 Responses to “Rookies get to show — good and bad”

  1. By Credit Card on Jun 4, 2013 | Reply

    Watford looks like an athletic offensive lineman. Big and strong — my guess coaching at this level along with better players around him, he might really turn into an impact player. Hopefully this kid likes to hit and put a helmet on, if so he might turn out to be real gem.

  2. By Eazy E on Jun 5, 2013 | Reply

    Boy, he really seems infatuated with young players. I love youngins too but you need vets also. Usually with youngins, a lot of mistakes occur and remember we don’t have Luck to bail us out of a precarious situation. We have the WRs but not the TEs like Indy and most importantly again not the QB.

  3. By aaron on Jun 5, 2013 | Reply

    I’m not sure why everyone is quick to praise Luck and discard Palmer. That 4, 000 yard season Luck just had…. Palmer has had 3 of them, on less talented rosters. And, what TEs in Indy are you referring to? Their rookie, Fleener, was kind of a disappointment. I hope you do realize that Clark wasn’t on that roster lalast year. By the way, he’s infatuated with rookies because this is a young man’s game. A shelf life on players these days isn’t very long. You need a bunch of talented young guys to be a good team for a long time.

  4. By shannon robinson on Jun 5, 2013 | Reply

    One of my goals this year will be accomplished when the Cardinals give a game ball to Coach Pratt – that’s when our 120 pound seventy years young pass rush specialist coach will have plied his work and taught all his big guys his secret moves and hand work at the attack point and the defense will have recorded six sacks to dominate one of our division rivals. My “can’t wait moment” for 2013.

  5. By Mike Hadzinski C.M. PUNK on Jun 5, 2013 | Reply


    any truth reggie walker last oh depth chart.

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

    Mike Hadzinski —

    RE: Walker

    He is working on the second field, yes. But there is no depth chart right now.

  7. By ored on Jun 5, 2013 | Reply

    i think palmers experience should count for something,maybe his physical skills have diminished somewhat but the years of learning will show their value.luck had a good year but just think how much better he will become 3-5 years from now,then he will also learn to rely more on experience and less on athletic skills.

  8. By wilyb on Jun 5, 2013 | Reply

    Geeez…I have no idea why we are comparing the Cards to the Colts using Arians as the pivot man. The hallmark of a good/great coach is the ability to build a system that works with what he’s got. Since the proof is in the results that are obtained, the jury is still out on that question.

    I happen to think the Cards have made some great personnel decisions that will pay dividends once Arians (the coaches) figure out what they got and how to best use the pieces to win games.

  9. By cards4sb on Jun 5, 2013 | Reply

    Well said wilyb. Couldn’t agree more!

  10. By rod on Jun 5, 2013 | Reply


    I just started viewing your blog because of the growing pains the azcardinals message board is experiencing since the recent upgrade.

    I wish I would have been here a lot sooner. Your articles are very informative and well written!!

    Keep up the great work!!


  11. By Darren Urban on Jun 6, 2013 | Reply

    Rod —

    RE: Message boards

    First of all, thanks. Please spread the word when you get back to the board.

    Along those lines, we are working diligently to try and fix the problem.

  12. By rod on Jun 6, 2013 | Reply

    looks like there is another version so far so good. I pass the word in a couple days when I know it’s rocking again.

    Talk to you later


  13. By sbrown on Jun 6, 2013 | Reply

    Wilyb – , good point, to look back it looked like Wiz tried to make the players fit his system, where BA is going to mold his style to the talent he has on both sides of the ball.

  14. By dieselbomb on Jun 8, 2013 | Reply

    sbrown says :

    Wilyb – , good point, to look back it looked like Wiz tried to make the players fit his system, where BA is going to mold his style to the talent he has on both sides of the ball.
    = = = =


    Whiz was way, way, way too stiffnecked about adhering to His program.

    Everyone struggled from the QB on down to the Waterboy.

    I was elated to hear BA imply that the team was going to be centered on player’s abilities. That’s the only smart process to follow. I’m dearly hoping we’ll see fruit from that idea over what we’ve been seeing since Kurt Warner retired.

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