Arizona Cardinals training camp begins a week earlier this year, as the team has to play in the Hall-of-Fame game against the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday, Aug 3rd in Canton Ohio.
Five weeks of pre-season football can prove to be good or bad. The extra week gives the coaching staff extra evaluation time because there are many groups that will be battling in camp. But the downside to the extra week, of course, is the time open for injuries to occur. In NFL camp every year one or two key players go down to season-ending injury. Some teams escape it and others just get hit hard and their season ends before it starts.
The Cardinals dealt with that situation a few years ago when ex-offensive lineman Darnell Docket went down in camp, ever since they had a few nagging injuries here and there but not key players. Let’s hope that the bug passes by Arizona this year.
What to look for in camp: The first thing to look for is a healthy Bruce Arians, with all of his health issues over the last two years, the coach has said publically he is as healthy as ever and feels great.
In his new book released recently “The quarterback whisperer” coach let it be known his health was not great in 2016, in fact, he had cancer surgery to remove a small growth from his kidney and that was part of his bad year last year.
Along with his health not as good, his coaching slipped a little as well. There were several calls made that were not the best, and also sticking to a method of “no risk it, no biscuit” aided in some questionable decision making down the stretch of big games along with some not so good clock management.
Coach is looking forward to getting back to his winning ways and get back to the top of the coaching chain of “best coaches” as he was a few years ago. The changes have already been documented, as camp will not be as light as it was last year and the team came out of the gate sluggish and over-confident and not prepared as good as they could have been.
Look for the rest of this year’s training camps most important battles in our next article, stay tuned to KazualSportz.