Nkemdiche shows his stuff

Posted by Darren Urban on August 25, 2016 – 9:02 am

There are caveats all around, from the fact he was going against non-starters on the offensive line to the fact he has fresh legs considering he has missed so much time in camp because of his ankle sprain. But Wednesday, rookie defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche made quite the impression in one-on-one work.

It’s what everyone had been waiting to see since Nkemdiche was drafted, what was put on hold when he sprained his ankle badly back in QB School — before the team had even reported to training camp. Since then it had been a long wait. Coach Bruce Arians had said his No. 1 draft pick would be back out there Wednesday, and then the Cards instead got him in uniform Monday. That turned out to be less-than-exciting, because Nkemdiche did very little before ending his day early.

So (with Tuesday off), Wednesday again became a big day. This time, Nkemdiche was one to watch. He worked in 11-on-11 plays, locking up with 2015 No. 1 pick D.J. Humphries a couple of times. But it was when the Cardinals broke into one-on-one drills that caught many eyes, including mine. He was so quick off the ball, you understood the ankle certainly isn’t a problem anymore. He followed up with a great spin move too. (The video can be seen with this tweet.) We still have a couple of days to go, but right now I’d expect Nkemdiche to get his first preseason game work Sunday in Houston.

One practice — one drill, for that matter — does not make a player. Nkemdiche still has things to prove and learn. But as Arians said the other day, as long as he knows what gap to be in, he’ll be able to contribute. And he put on display for the first time Wednesday what his ability could mean.


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9 Responses to “Nkemdiche shows his stuff”

  1. By John The Draft Guy on Aug 25, 2016 | Reply


    Very rarely do you get excited about players. (at least it seems in your writing), but you seem like you are pumped about Nkemdichi.

    Looking forward to seeing him in the next game.

    BTW, I watched the cards game again last night, (to be honest, like the card players, I feel asleep during the game the first time).

    I do have to say Brandon Williams had a better game. He was turned around by Allen, but finally began to get his head around and make plays for the ball later in the game against back ups. He was beaten deep but the ball was a little underthrown and he was able to break that pass up.

    Overall, he did improve from game one (where he was aweful). I still, like Keim, want to see a vet push him (Of course I would really like to see the Lewis signing), but I will be watching him.

    Humphries and Shipley are struggling a bit. If they struggle in game 3, it might become a concern. Not much out there right now to replace them with though.

  2. By clssylssy on Aug 25, 2016 | Reply

    Can’t wait to see this guy in action. Should make a big difference to the equation to see the combo of he and Calais plus Chandler Jones.
    Also looking forward to seeing more of Boehm as the Center seems to be the weakest link for our Oline. Hoping that Iupati is just “saving himself” for the Patriots like Fitz. GO CARDS!

  3. By D on Aug 25, 2016 | Reply

    By the time he enters the game on Sunday, with the injuries to HOU O line, he should dominate.

    I believe if BA and Keim want to keep the best players on the 53, they will keep the following on the Dline: Nkemdiche, Campbell, Stinson, Peters, Williams, Gunter, Rucker and Mauro. J. Mauro has played well, much better than Coker and Barkley at the QB spot which I could see BA only keeping 2 this year.

    Releasing Iosia, Pierre and Bryant.

    JTD: Lewis at CB is hurt, Steelers passed on him, I don’t see him signing here.

  4. By Scott H on Aug 25, 2016 | Reply

    Physically speaking, it sounds like this kid lacks nothing. And technique is something he will learn and refine as he goes. Seems like the only concerns would be his mental game or injury. But I cannot wait to see this kid play! How cool will it be to see the #90 flying around, dominating, making plays again?

  5. By Ottis Anderson Fan on Aug 25, 2016 | Reply

    Definitely looks like Dockett 2.0 in that #90 uni!

  6. By CARDS62 on Aug 25, 2016 | Reply

    Music to my ears hearing these reports on Robert N. We are going to have to come up with a great nickname for this guy.
    Still remember how great it was watching Eric Swann in the middle and this is what I am thinking/hoping for our rookie. Can not wait to watch him play on Sunday. Fox has our game live on Sunday at 4:25PM EST I believe so it will be nice watching a game before midnight.

    Go Cards!

  7. By Scott H on Aug 26, 2016 | Reply

    Cards62 –

    I am SOOOO looking forward to seeing this game on Sunday. I just hope I continue to feel that way after the game starts. Pre-season or not, I think there is definitely some pressure on the offense to look sharp and to put some points on the board.

    Another flat showing for this team is going to be cause for some concern. For me, anyway.

    I don’t think BA would be too happy, either, so I’ll consider myself in good company.

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