Cardinals rookies are getting all the reps
That in itself makes for an interesting weekend, Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt said, though it has its benefits, too.
"It's certainly, from the standpoint of intimidation factor or being more comfortable it's easier when you don't have the vets in here because everybody feels like they are on the same level," the coach said.
That said, Whisenhunt noted that with so many rookies -- only rookies -- there are plenty of instances where guys simply do not know where they are supposed to be.
"When you've got some veterans, that helps some of their nervousness from that perspective," he added. "It's an interesting time."
Right tackle Bobby Massie, a fourth-round pick out of Mississippi, admitted he wouldn't mind having some guidance out on the field.
"I like having a vet because I don't have another right tackle, it's just me," he said. "So I'm trying to ask the guard and everything, what I'm doing and he doesn't know, he's focused on his own position."
Massie said he feels good about the weekend so far, though, adding that he has enjoyed getting all the work at right tackle.
And that's the real benefit of this weekend, as guys who would not normally be getting as many reps get a chance to impress the coaching staff, including sixth-round pick Ryan Lindley, who comes to the Cardinals out of San Diego State.
"When you're the fourth guy with veterans you've got to take what you get in camp," the rookie said. "Right now I'm just looking forward to using the reps and getting better, just learn from your mistakes and don't make the same one twice."
For Lindley, there has been plenty of opportunity to not only make mistakes, but correct them. He and Nevada's Tyler Lantrip are the only QBs in camp, so if the coaches aren't throwing passes, they are.
Which means, if his right arm isn't tired yet, it likely will be.
"Probably by tomorrow I will a little bit," Lindley said of feeling it in the arm, "but I try to keep it loose."
As Whisenhunt said, though, this weekend is as much about seeing how players respond to adversity -- be it soreness, learning new schemes, working with unfamiliar players or adjusting to the weather -- as it is just making plays on the field.
"I told these guys, this is an evaluation for you not so much athletically -- you have to have the athletic skills to play in this league -- but it's really about who's going to correct their mistakes, who's going to learn from this process, who's going to be able to make those plays when they're really tired, when they're sore, when they're confused," he said. "[Friday], at the end of practice, some guys were so out of it they couldn't even line up right.
"Listen, at some point in an NFL game that happens to everybody, and you've got to be able to fight through that and focus and make your plays. The good players do that; the pros do that, so that's part of the evaluation."
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