The second field and DBs work

Posted by Darren Urban on May 18, 2016 – 2:35 pm

Ever since Bruce Arians arrived in Arizona, he has made use of the second field during OTAs and minicamp. The concept is simple. With 90 players on the roster, and the veterans needing their time to learn, the third- and fourth-string players and others needing work head over to run the same script that the first two units run on the main field.

After the opening OTA, Arians said that meant 42 reps for each field, and significant work for the inexperienced.

“Most teams’ rookies got five or six reps if they were lucky,” Arians said. “Ours got 42. That’s one of the ways we try to bring young players along.”

Nowhere are those reps more important than at defensive back, with Patrick Peterson, Tyrann Mathieu and Justin Bethel all sidelined with injuries. The Cards are short enough that draft picks Brandon Williams and Harlan Miller, both cornerbacks, are getting their work on the main field thus far. Williams, not surprisingly, has a way to go given his inexperience at the position — Peterson has been working with him closely in practice. But reps against receivers like Larry Fitzgerald or Michael Floyd or Smokey Brown and even guys like J.J. Nelson will quickly show what needs to be learned.

There has been much speculation about whether the Cardinals will sign another cornerback. With the versatility on hand (safeties like Tyvon Branch and Marqui Christian will likely get some work there in practice) and the second field, the Cardinals will get a good sense of just what they have at cornerback on the roster — and whether they need to find someone else later.


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Posted in Blog | 15 Comments »

15 Responses to “The second field and DBs work”

  1. By D on May 18, 2016 | Reply

    I think if PP, Bethel and Mathieu are healthy in Aug, then this need should not be the highest priority with the (hopefully) much improved pass rush. It is giving the young guys good experience going against the #1 WR’s.

    I would think finding a experienced back up swing OT would be #1 on possible additions to the roster after other clubs have cut down their rosters. Fans shouldn’t expect J Veldheer to be an ironman and never miss a snap again this season.

  2. By mitchaz on May 18, 2016 | Reply

    Darren—kudos on all the great articles—loved the one about the two UDFA long snappers and today’s one about Riddick and Wagenmann.

    Who do you think will be the top three surprises in camp this year?

    Same question to everyone—who are your top three camp surprises?

  3. By Darren Urban on May 18, 2016 | Reply

    mitchaz —

    RE: Camp surprises

    I’d prefer to see what happens the balance of the summer before I start guessing at camp surprises.

  4. By rod on May 18, 2016 | Reply


    Can the Cardinals sue that lop Daryl Washington to get some of the money that was payed to him for the last two years because he hasn’t been in any changes or involved at all?

  5. By Darren Urban on May 18, 2016 | Reply

    Rod —

    RE: DWash

    They can try and recoup some of his money, I believe.

  6. By CreditCard on May 18, 2016 | Reply


    It appears as if the Cardinals will have 8 new starters (OT, OG, C, OLB, SS, CB, DE, and LS) for the 2016 season. This is 32% turnover rate (11 offense + 11 defense and 3 special team positions). What is the normal turnover rate for the Cardinals, and if you know what % for other teams? Initially, I was thinking the Cards lineup is fairly stable, but after digging into the data — I was somewhat surprised of the turnover rate.

    Your opinion.

  7. By Darren Urban on May 18, 2016 | Reply

    Credit —

    RE: Turnover rate

    I don’t have that data, but that doesn’t really shock me in today’s salary cap world.

  8. By Don on May 18, 2016 | Reply

    I think Bethal is going to step up and preform this season but I’m hyped that Williams and Miller are getting to work with the starters. I think Williams can turn into a great DB.

  9. By James samuels on May 18, 2016 | Reply

    Justin Bethel played with a fractured foot all last season at 75% and the Cards knew this. That is why They locked him in on a contract before he reached free Agency. I can’t wait to see him this season at 100%.

  10. By Mr. Know it All on May 19, 2016 | Reply

    CB BWill has great speed and he can catch.
    Was a RB until last year. If he got a
    chance to get RB reps he could help
    with depth. No disrespect to RB’s
    StepT or KWill, both are solid.
    It’s all about competition.

    Of course Jetstream started out at CB
    and with that speed easily made the switch
    to WR and the rest is history.

    TaiJones is not a impact player for the Raiders,
    but because of his speed he has played
    RB / CB and STs for several years.

    Pass Rush at OLB is much improved with CJones,
    and in year 2 MGoldn will turn QB “hurries” into
    more Sacks.

    TristO was with Miami Dolphins but his chance
    to play was up north and he dominated in
    Canada CFL.
    Name is Tristan “I Play Football Will Travel” lol

    OLB’s ShaqR and ZWagman have to prove It or PS is likely.
    Are they strong enough to set the edge?

    IMO AleOk is at the make or break point,
    and KMart may be on PS.

    I wonder how the UDFA CB from Canada Eli Bouka
    is progressing?

  11. By Austen on May 19, 2016 | Reply


    I know it’s still “soccer practice” but have you or any coaches seen anything that you like from Elijhaa Penny?


  12. By Darren Urban on May 19, 2016 | Reply

    Austen —

    RE: Penny

    Honestly, other than individual drills, haven’t watched him much.

  13. By faster on May 19, 2016 | Reply

    @creditcard, according to the NFL Players Association the average career length is about 3.3 years. that would mean 25 players would change in 3,3 years, or about 7,5 a year. so the 8 new starters aren`t much above the average.

    the nfl claims 6 years, that would be then 25 players each 6 years, or about 4 players a year. that would be well under our numbers, and interesting. i don`t know, which numbers are correct, but a turnover rate about double as the average would be something to think about. it could have advantages too, fresh players, players with different knowledge ….

  14. By rick Chancellor on May 19, 2016 | Reply

    They should sign a veteran. Always be prepared for injuries at this position.

  15. By Rockgod716 on May 31, 2016 | Reply

    Lots of talk about the secondary but I think the young DBs will come thru. Very ready to see the speedster Byndom get a shot, Any kid from Texas aka DBU has skills.

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