Inside the Cardinals’ Tempe facility, there is a small overflow locker room next to the main locker room. It’s reason for existence is simple — with 90-man rosters, it’s impossible to house every player in the main room. It’s the spot in the offseason where all the undrafted rookies and a couple of the lower-round drafted players reside.
There isn’t a player in there who isn’t hyper-sensitive about their NFL future. Recently, someone from the front office came in to give a couple of guys the tap on the shoulder, and they were cut. The moment made a deep impression.
“Now anybody (new) who comes into that locker room, it’s like, ‘Oh man,’ ” rookie wideout Krishawn Hogan said.
So Wednesday, minicamp practice had ended. A man walked in to the room wearing dress pants and a collared Cardinals shirt.
“He came up behind me and said, ‘Hey, as soon as you’re dressed,’ ” Hogan said. For a handful of guys in the room, time froze. It got quiet. “I’m like, ‘Oh man,’ ” Hogan recounted.
The moment passed quickly. Turned out the visitor was director of media relations Chris Melvin, and he just wanted to tell Hogan he was wanted for an interview. (Media access includes the main locker room, but not the overflow version.) Hogan came out to talk to one of the local TV stations, and his heart could start again.
There was extra reason for Hogan to be wary Wednesday, having false started a couple of times in practice. Not only did he hear it from coach Bruce Arians but Arians noted it to the media afterward. “If he can count, he’s got a chance,” Arians quipped about Hogan’s opportunity to make the roster. It speaks to the tenuous nature of many of these players, even when rosters are so big. There is a vigilant eye always on the locker room door.
“I know I had some good plays out there today, but I had some plays I definitely wish I could take back,” Hogan said. “When (Melvin) came up behind me, I was just like, ‘Please, give me tomorrow.’ ”
Tags: Chris Melvin, Krishawn Hogan
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The Cardinals are down to one preseason game. And by now, there probably isn’t much to determine. In fact, it’s tough to get past the words of Darnell Dockett going into this one: “You always want to play preseason games and make sure everyone gets out healthy,” Dockett said, and obviously, with Jonathan Cooper, that didn’t happen. “I’ve never been a fan of preseason games. I understand the games because young guys are trying to get on rosters and this might be their big chance, so I’m all for it. But guys who have to play 16 regular-season games … my biggest thing is getting out healthy.”
That’s why quarterback Carson Palmer may not play, and why I’m sure the Cards will be careful with what they do tomorrow night.
All that said, Bruce Arians did say there was still “four or five” roster spots still up for debate. The positions he named were the back end of wide receiver, safety, cornerback, tight end and offensive line. He didn’t name names, and that’s where the speculation comes in. At receiver, for instance, Kerry Taylor has worked hard for this team and is a smart guy. But Mike Thomas, the newbie vet, has the speed Arians so covets. At safety, can special teamer Jonathon Amaya hold off Tony Jefferson or big Curtis Taylor? Tight end is a very interesting spot too. Veteran Jeff King hasn’t been able to get on the field much, and Arians wants to see him play. When the offseason started I assumed he would be here, but with his balky knee, I’m not so sure anymore — not that the Cards have overwhelming options elsewhere.
That’s the thing about guessing about the 53-man roster (which I will attempt to do later today). It’s hard to know what a new GM and a new coach really like to do. It’s hard to know what they think about raw players like G Earl Watford and TE D.C. Jefferson, guys who probably aren’t ready to help right away but guys who may not make it through waivers to put on the practice squad.
— With RB Rashard Mendenhall (knee) and TE Rob Housler (ankle) sitting out practice yesterday, I’m sure that would basically rule them out. I am guessing there might be a couple other guys sitting as precautionary, but it did seem like the Cards are fairly healthy right now, all things considered.
— I don’t expect to see major Broncos players, like Peyton Manning. Doesn’t matter whether it was Mike Shanahan or John Fox as coach in Denver, the QB never seems to play that last preseason game.
— Arians has a press conference scheduled for 1 p.m. Friday. Not sure if cuts will come by then or not (teams must be to 53 by Saturday afternoon) but regardless, whatever this 53-man roster is on Saturday, I will be surprised if it is still the 53-man roster on Tuesday, after waiver claims and the like. Arians said he would probably warn “two or three” players that their spot on the 53 could change into a practice squad spot by Thursday. It’s the reality of the business.
— And as we have said many times, this team is is going to churn the roster. Director of media relations Chris Melvin is going to be a busy man putting out new bio after new bio this season, methinks.
— UPDATE: The game, no matter what your TV guide says, will be live on Ch. 15 ABC Thursday. Pregame starts at 5:30 p.m.
— It’s good to know Tyrann Mathieu’s eyebrow is coming back. Time to end the preseason.
Tags: Broncos, Bruce Arians, Carson Palmer, Chris Melvin, Curtis Taylor, D.C. Jefferson, Earl Watford, Jeff King, Jonathon Amaya, Kerry Taylor, Mike Thomas, Rashard Mendenhall, Rob Housler, Tony Jefferson, Tyrann Mathieu
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Couple of quick things on this Tuesday morning.
One, the 2010 media guide has been published and has been updated on the site, if you are into that sort of thing. Stellar work once again by the media relations staff headed by VP Mark Dalton, along with Chris Melvin, Mike Helm and Nate LoCascio.
Speaking of Melvin, who is king of the game program, he asked me to pass along this note. Fans looking to get their picture in Kickoff Magazine — the official game program — have that chance. Just send in your best photo of yourself, or family, or friends (or everyone) wearing their favorite Cardinals’ gear. It can be in your home, or tailgating before a game, or wherever. If there is a good shot of you sporting a Fitz jersey in Rome, what the heck. If your picture is selected, you will be featured in a regular season Kickoff Magazine. Submit the picture, your name and the town you live in (and don’t forget those details) to firstname.lastname@example.org. Fan photos will be selected based on size and photo quality.
Tags: Chris Melvin, Mark Dalton, media guide, Mike Helm, Nate LoCascio
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Just heard from my good friend Chris Melvin, media relations manager and king of the game program — Kickoff Magazine — and he is looking for pictures of you. Apparently a new part of each Kickoff issue will be a few photos of fans wearing their favorite Cardinals gear. So send in your best photo of yourself, family and/or friends representing. The picture can be taken at home, on the road somewhere, or tailgating before a game. Wherever.
If your picture is selected, you will be featured in an upcoming program. Just get the picture, your name and town in which you live (and make sure you ID everyone in the photo) and e-mail it to email@example.com. The pictures selected will be based on size (if it is too small, it won’t reproduce well), photo quality and, of course, number of submissions.
Tags: Chris Melvin, Kickoff magazine
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