Nkemdiche’s arrival, playing time and a panther

Posted by Darren Urban on April 29, 2016 – 2:36 pm

Robert Nkemdiche did his whirlwind introduction at the Cardinals’ facility today. The No. 1 pick came in just for the press conference, flying back home to Los Angeles in the afternoon. He’ll return later next week with the rest of the rookies for rookie minicamp. Until then, here are some thoughts and quotes about the defensive tackle:

— Last year’s No. 1 pick D.J. Humphries came in and was almost immediately believed to be a guy who would sit and watch as a rookie. The same is definitely not the case with Nkemdiche.

“I expect Robert to come in here and be the best D-lineman we got,” defensive line coach Brentson Buckner said. “I don’t want him to come here and think he’s being redshirted.”

— That doesn’t mean he will be the best lineman, only that Buckner is expecting an effort to get there. And he’s expecting the other defensive linemen to respond in kind to fight for that playing time. “There’s no sleeping on your laurels, now,” Buckner said.

— Asked about Nkemdiche’s reputation of taking some plays off, Buckner said he didn’t see it as an obvious issue. “You show me any player in the country, especially d-linemen, that plays every snap full speed, I’ll give you a million dollars,” Buckner said, noting that the best college d-linemen are usually playing the whole game. “It depends on what your eyes see. … In the NFL you’re not going to play 90 plays. With our (roster), he’ll play 30 plays. You take that energy and condense it to 30 plays, you tell me who wouldn’t want that type of player?”

— Nkemdiche was asked when he might start shopping for that pet panther he has said he wanted to get.“I haven’t had any time to think through it yet,” he said, although that was cut off by both Bruce Arians (“Game 8”) and Michael Bidwill (“In Charlotte”) chiming in from the side of the room.

— The Cardinals understand Nkemdiche’s December incident raises questions. They aren’t shy of saying they all believe it was a one-time mistake, nor are they afraid to inject a little humor.

“I made a kind of joke about it, you get a guy who falls out of a second-story building and walks away from it, that’s my kind of guy,” Buckner said. “Because he’s not afraid of a double-team anymore, know what I mean?”

Buckner added he’s watched Nkemdiche since high school and has never heard any coaches speak poorly of him.

— When Nkemdiche first arrived at the facility Friday, after an early morning flight from Chicago, he got in, said hello to a handful of players in the building (Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu included) and then, out of nowhere, asked if it was OK if he got a workout in before his press conference. That wasn’t a good idea, he was told, since, you know, he hasn’t signed any contract or waiver or anything yet. He seemed a tad disappointed.

— He looks like he will fit in well in the locker room. He greeted everyone — from Peterson to Chris Johnson to former practice squad tackle Rob Crisp — like he had long been teammates with them already.

— He’s been compared a bit to Darnell Dockett and he will wear Dockett’s former No. 90 (which spent last season with Cory Redding). And if you look at Nkemdiche, he looks a little like Dockett, especially with his profile.



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20 Responses to “Nkemdiche’s arrival, playing time and a panther”

  1. By Dynosoar on Apr 29, 2016 | Reply

    I give him props for giving only a courtesy “hug” to Mr. Goodell. That shows intelligence.

    Love the “game 8” and “In Charlotte” comments.

    It’ll be quite fun to watch as opponents O-Lines try to figure out who to double team. With more QB pressure our secondary is going to feast. I’m looking forward to who we bring in next and when Keim makes his trademark trade deeper in the draft for more picks.

  2. By texascard on Apr 29, 2016 | Reply

    D. You want to compare maybe you should try randy Gregory. How’d he turn out so far. Maybe you should go watch some tape on the honey badger in college before you compare him to this r Gregory jr

  3. By Darren Urban on Apr 29, 2016 | Reply

    texascard —

    RE: Compare

    I’m good.

    By the way, you didn’t exactly disprove my point.

  4. By sbrown on Apr 29, 2016 | Reply

    I watched the press conference streamed on the Cards web site.
    Nkemdechi look good, confortable and spoke up to the reporters questions.

    While I was not crazy last night with the pick,( darn Indy ) now looks like another SK hit in the draft.

    Wish all the best to Nkemidche as he begins his Cardinal career.

  5. By texascard on Apr 29, 2016 | Reply

    They named him “the honey badger” for god’s sake

  6. By rod on Apr 29, 2016 | Reply

    Alright, the introductory videos on Robert N. have won me over, seems very nice and likable, like the other players that the BASK trust has assembled.

    Can’t wait 🙂

    Rooting for you buddy.

  7. By Dr. G. on Apr 29, 2016 | Reply

    Nkemdiche really needs to FOCUS on football right now to dispel the things he doesn’t want to constantly deflect and defend… It’s pause time for the posse, nutty women, partying, panthers, and whatever else will derail the start of his career.

    When you don’t know what you don’t know, trouble lurks. This young man doesn’t realize the degree of his naivete…eg., the Panther fantasy being one of many. He will not be getting one, period. The Game and Fish and state law will have some disappointments for him. ((Some foreign country, maybe))

    ‘Diche…Just concentrate on YOUR JOB AND FITNESS…that will keep you busy becoming the very best and you’ll say, “”trouble, what trouble?”” Happy trails in your new career…

  8. By Dr. G. on Apr 29, 2016 | Reply

    RobertNk…I forgot one thing…if you really like exotic cats, you can probably be a volunteer maintenance man at a local zoo feeding the animals. That can educate you about how impossible it is to care for a wild cat without monumentally expensive resources, and still satisfy your dreams..later ((FOOTBALL!))

  9. By Eazy E on Apr 30, 2016 | Reply

    I love the pick! This was the guy I wanted most over Mackensie Alexander, Ryan Kelly, etc. He is a beast don’t get it twisted and the off the field stuff is usually overblown most of the time by the media and his included!

  10. By dan on Apr 30, 2016 | Reply

    We need a stud PUNTER.

  11. By Scott H on Apr 30, 2016 | Reply

    Sure hope he continues to look like Dockett on the field, too! But I always cringe when I hear newly drafted players ( haven’t even participated in an OTA yet ) compared to Pro Bowl or even HOF players. I don’t see where / how that helps anyone. Fans hear comparisons to Darnell Dockett and that then that becomes what they expect. And when he isn’t Dockett by mid-season, they’re expressing disappointment. Not fair to these new guys.

    I hear the new RB with the Cowboys, Elliot, being compared already with Emmitt Smith. Really?? Like it’s fair to him to have to try to live up to THAT?

    This is where the media swarm around the draft is a bad thing. These guys are all so hopped up to be the one who got it right, ya know? So, they all have to start with their comparisons while these guys are still standing on the stage holding their team jerseys. I hate that.

  12. By faster on Apr 30, 2016 | Reply

    after nkemdiche, whom i cann`t rate, williams is a good pick. a A- (the- is for the health concerns). he has all the tools to develope to a great player.
    and today lets have some excitement, the keim show of the late round picks (the succesfull, grins).

  13. By CARDS62 on Apr 30, 2016 | Reply

    Hello Faster can you give us some more insight on the CB Williams pick?

    Darren and Faster interesting that the kid said he was not expecting his name to be called Friday or at all. Is he just being humble? What was his draft prediction?

    We know he is an athlete with his 40 time and high school record. We need young corners and we did have some success with DRC and Greg Toler.

    I do not know this player at all, but definitely an interesting pick.

  14. By Jake on Apr 30, 2016 | Reply

    I can’t stop watching tape of Myles Jack and wondering WHAT IF the Cardinals took him at the bottom of the 1st round. That guys has an unreal skill set, and at the bottom of the 1st, it could’ve been an acceptable risk/reward scenario. Still excited to see what Nkemdiche brings though!

  15. By faster on Apr 30, 2016 | Reply

    @cards, i like the williams pick, because he can start immediately as a special teamer, his expirience as a running back will help him tremendously. and it would be interesting to know his wonderlick score, his change from offense to defence was quick.

    a bit of a concern is the older injury of his neck, i hope he has healed full, as a returner there is allways the danger of another injury.

    i like his speed, his on and of field motivation (he played defence, because he got more playing time, and, it helped, that cbs last longer in the NFL, so no stupid).

    it`s a “no risk, no fun” pick, but much more likeable then the first round pick. and i really hope, my feeling about nkemdiche is wrong.

  16. By Scott H on Apr 30, 2016 | Reply

    Three things to love about this draft so far –

    1) Chandler Jones as our 2nd round pick. Tell me anyone else did better in the 2nd round than we did!

    2) The positions that have been targeted. They make PERFECT sense for our immediate needs. GREAT job there. Yeah, the players themselves have to pan out, but….you can’t say the organization didn’t target all the right positions.

    3) Michael Floyd is still here!

    And God strike me down if I spoke too soon on #3.

  17. By Chris on Apr 30, 2016 | Reply

    Really Miller over taking Scooby Wright with the 205th pick??? Cause we have so such much depth at ILB.

  18. By John S on May 1, 2016 | Reply

    Well, the more I read the more I think I like the pick, and should add up to a scary pass rush for some opposing teams this year… just not sure it was best move in filling in on our bigger needs so to say.
    I’d still like to see the Cards re-sign my man Freeny for one more year, an even scarier rush yet; and besides, he could help teach this youngster a thing or two.. on life in the NFL and improving techniques.. better spin moves and such, ha!

  19. By Big Ken on May 3, 2016 | Reply

    He wanted to get a workout in and told he wasn’t allowed. Now there’s a football player.

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