“Best” to open minicamp, and Niklas hurt

Posted by Darren Urban on June 10, 2014 – 2:13 pm

Bruce Arians said Tuesday’s minicamp practice was the Cardinals’ “best practice so far,” which it notable from the standpoint a) it was pretty freaking hot out there and b) it went longer than an OTA because it’s minicamp and they can go longer. Some of the quick hit notes before I post a Patrick Peterson story later this afternoon:

— Rookie TE Troy Niklas is sidelined again. He had actually returned to the practice field following his hernia surgery that kept him out of the first few OTAs but then got a finger caught and twisted in a jersey last week and broke his hand. And so Niklas goes back to the mental reps, although Arians said Niklas should be ready for training camp.

“It kind of sucks I’m missing out of the reps,” Niklas said. “It’s frustrating. … I feel like I know the offense and I know what to do. Now it’s about teaching my body how to do it.”

— Some good news from the injury front: First-round pick Deone Bucannon was on the field after missing some time with a turf toe. “He needs it psychologically and just to get out and play,” Arians said.

— A couple of high-profile guys out: LB John Abraham, who has sat out almost every OTA so as to not overextend his aging body, reported for minicamp, “threw up a few times,” Arians said, and was sent home. The Cards hope to have him back Wednesday. Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald worked out on the side with strength and conditioning coach Buddy Morris to protect a hamstring that had been giving him some issues.

— Big praise from Arians about safety Tony Jefferson and cornerback Justin Bethel. He even said Bethel could become the Cardinals’ best cornerback at some point given his skill set. We’ll see with Peterson there, but it’s nice to have the confidence of the head coach.

— Who emerges as the starters at right tackle, right guard and tight end can only be determined when the pads go on, Arians reiterated, although he did say Bobby Massie has been “much better” with mental mistakes at right tackle.

— Arians said the reason the Cardinals tried out vet RT Tyson Clabo is because the team is going to look at available bodies, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they would sign someone with the sole reason to be the starter.

— Asked to assess what he had seen out of newly signed linebacker Ernie Sims, Arians had a five-second or so pause before saying “OK. OK.” A ringing endorsement it was not.

— The Cardinals have two more days of minicamp before the veterans are released until training camp.


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Posted in Blog | 22 Comments »

22 Responses to ““Best” to open minicamp, and Niklas hurt”

  1. By ored on Jun 10, 2014 | Reply

    stay healthy!!!!!

  2. By Big Ken on Jun 10, 2014 | Reply

    Chilly review for Ernie.

  3. By Scott H on Jun 10, 2014 | Reply

    Argh, I don’t like hearing that Fitz is having issues with the hammy already. I don’t want this to be an issue that hangs around all season ( again ). He managed it well enough last year that he never missed any time and was still productive ( VERY productive at times ), but….I want Fitz to be healthy!

    Especially since I will be FINALLY be making my first trip ( EVER ) to Arizona this year to see my beloved Cardinals in their home stadium. I will be in the house on Oct 26th for the game against the Eagles. Looking forward to seeing this amazing stadium…looking forward to seeing Fitz live…and looking forward to seeing a win against the team that I hate like no other ( although, the Seahawks are pretty damn close ). Some of my Eagle fan friends are making the trip with me, so….I need this one, fellas!

  4. By D on Jun 10, 2014 | Reply

    There are reasons why these free agents are available.

  5. By jeffgollin on Jun 10, 2014 | Reply

    Bethel and Jefferson.

    Hmmm. You watch these below-the-radar guys during their rookie preseasons and you think: “Boy! These guys are special athletically.” And you wonder whether or not they can go ahead to live up to their potential.

    And then the head coach gives them glowing grades early in their second preseason.

    Gives you a nice, warm,, fuzzy feeling, don’t it?

  6. By Iain on Jun 10, 2014 | Reply


    Will Niklas still be able to take part in some drills (obviously not catching) or is he totally out for a while? Thanks,

  7. By Darren Urban on Jun 10, 2014 | Reply

    Iain —

    RE: Niklas

    Since there are only two more days of on-field work in the offseason, I’d say he’s done.

  8. By clssylssy on Jun 10, 2014 | Reply

    Sure seems like there are a lot of injuries and these guys are in shorts! Kinda makes me worry what will happen when they are in pads and having contact. It seems with the latest CBA and all the limitations about practicing, contact and even time in which they can receive instruction from the coaches that the number of injuries have increased and there have been more early season ending injuries, not just with the Cards but league-wide. I’m thankful that we have such a quality strength and condition staff and one would think that workout bonuses would be an incentive but are we missing something? I understand that this is a very physically demanding sport but it sounds like a large number of players weren’t able to participate in OTA’s and minicamp. I guess we should be excited that they showed up and didn’t blow it off like players from other teams. GO CARDS & STAY HEALTHY!

  9. By Scott H on Jun 10, 2014 | Reply

    D –

    Well, yeah, there are reasons why these FA’s are available. And? There are also 32 teams that are going to have needs at different positions for any number of reasons as they progress through OTA;s, mini-camps, training camp, and the pre-season. And these needs will make many of these guys viable options at some point.. It’s the reality of the NFL every year. Teams will have to take a flyer on someone because they have to.

    Keep in mind, these 32 teams also have a limited number of spots that can be occupied at any given time. Teams can’t have 250 players in camp, ya know? Way too much to keep track of. So that, too, is at least partially why some guys have to be available right now.

    But some of these guys ARE viable options and some of them will make a contribution somewhere. It’s all about perspective. Any given player you wouldn’t give a second glance to today could be a guy you might feel lucky to have a month from now.

  10. By br on Jun 11, 2014 | Reply

    Just to follow up on Scott H comments,

    Everyone remember there isnt a lot to choose fro right now on the FA front, mostly guys that have been to trining camp with multiple teams, and veterans whoeither have an inflated price tag or who have been thru multiple seasons and are beat to hell and should retire but cant bring themselves to see that, remember by the time this is all said and done and all cuts are made there will be well over 1000, FA walking the streets, more to choose from, yes, but there is also a reason they were cut! Firm believer in building thru the draft and patch weak areas with solid veterans, those big name multimillion dollar free agents are nice but you need more than one to turn a team around, and you really cant afford more than a few, draft em, mold em, keep em!

  11. By Patrick Eagan on Jun 11, 2014 | Reply

    How does Jonathan Cooper look? I haven’t heard much about him.

  12. By LadyBird04 on Jun 11, 2014 | Reply

    Disconcerting that Fitzgerald already has hamstring issues. Glad Floyd worked the off season with Palmer and hope the newbies can fill the gap. How long before Floyd is our #1 and Fitz is #2? Fitz doesn’t miss games and tries to tough it out but it shows in his production.

    Glad to hear Bethel is flourishing and showing the promise he had when he came to the Cards two years ago.

    Hope the little dings and nicks our rookies are getting will work themselves out and let these young players benefit from pre-season and camp. We just got John Brown and Buccanon on the field and now Niklas broke his “hand” – hope that heals well (there are loads of small bone/tendons in the hand that can prove to be a nagging issue).

  13. By Patrick Hoog aka Don't Take Losses on Jun 11, 2014 | Reply

    lol: ““threw up a few times,” Arians said, and was sent home.” Ha. Wonder if PP is our rotational TE cover on emergence of one Justin Bethel? Thoughts?

  14. By Darren Urban on Jun 11, 2014 | Reply

    DTL —

    RE: Bethel

    I think I’m going to slow the roll on the Bethel stuff. Good to talk about in June. Wait and see for September.

  15. By Chuck 1 on Jun 11, 2014 | Reply

    Re: Arian’s praise of Bethel and Jefferson

    Recall that BA called Levi “an elite tackle”.

    Nuff said.

  16. By joelhc on Jun 11, 2014 | Reply

    love that tony jefferson is looking good after the draft last year i was screaming for the cards to pick up two guys undrafted jefferson and vontaze bufict and i have been rooting for bethel for awhile he just has so much heart always says the right things really like his character.

  17. By joelhc on Jun 11, 2014 | Reply

    just finished reading the comments about the “slow the roll on bethel” yeah correct me if i am wrong but he has been a standout from camp early on for the last couple of years without it translating into to much playing time apart from special teams. I am rooting for the guy, but also not getting to excited.

  18. By BigAl on Jun 11, 2014 | Reply

    P. Hoog
    lol: “threw up a few times,” you know what that means…out of shape! At least enough to not be able to handle training in Az in June!

    And I was thinking that was part of the reason for grabbing A, Cromartie to help
    w/the TE coverage which was clearly our weakness last year! See Eagles game…

    I love our secondary w/one exception…only 3 guys are 6’1″ or better…PP=6’1″
    Teddy Williams=6’1″ & Cromartie is 6’2″…Oh, forgive me there are a couple new
    UFA safety guys that go 6’2″ & 6’3″ not sure if they’ll be around come Sept. Even
    D. Buc is all of 6’1″ so this is a concern to me w/the emergence of the TE position
    becoming so prevalent in today’s game…There are also some big/tall WR’s in this
    league as well…fortunately not so much in our division…Thoughts?

  19. By JohnnyBluenose on Jun 11, 2014 | Reply

    @Scott H…..glad you are going to make it to Phoenix this year. Should be a very good game. I will be there too and for the following two home games, Detroit and Saint Louis….coming from Nova Scotia. Maybe I will bring some lobsters to the tailgating.

  20. By cardsalltheway on Jun 12, 2014 | Reply

    “…got a finger caught and twisted in a jersey last week and broke his hand.”

    I’d like to see the replay on that just to see how it’s even possible. The hand is now the achilles heel.

  21. By Scott H on Jun 13, 2014 | Reply

    JohnnyBluenose –

    Oh Yeah! Keep an eye out for me! See ya there, bro. And travel safely.

  22. By CRinQC on Jun 17, 2014 | Reply

    Yeah, remember that BS comment well … spit up soda thru my nose when I read that crap!

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