Flagstaff, Ariz. — Eddie Elder is one of two Arizona State Sun Devils hoping
to make the
Arizona Cardinals roster as an undrafted rookie free agent.
However, he’s the only one wearing No. 42.
Elder, of course, knows the history of the number, as ASU legend Pat
Tillman donned that jersey while in college before switching to number 40
in the pros. So to have it as a Cardinal is,
“I didn’t pick this number; it was a coincidence,” Elder said. “But I’m
honored to wear this number. Pat Tillman is a great person who did
everything for Arizona State and the state, so it’s an honor.”
Elder said he was shocked when he got it, and given that he came from a
college program where no one will ever wear that number again, that can
If Elder hopes to keep the number on a red and white uniform all
throughout the preseason and into the regular season he’ll have to pick
things up rather quickly, as undrafted free agents tend to have less leeway
when it comes to figuring the game out. That can be difficult for college
players who, though coming off successful careers, find the NFL game to
be quite a bit different.
For his part, Elder said the most difficult part of the transition from college
to the pros has been learning the playbook, which has led to many late
“There’s a lot of plays that you have to learn, a lot of schemes,” he said.
Though for Elder, 23, this camp is as much about learning the Cardinals’
playbook as it is about simply how to play as a professional, which he said,
means soaking in as much knowledge as possible from veterans like Adrian
Wilson and Kerry Rhodes.
And hopefully, if he can combine knowledge of the playbook with the
wisdom imparted on him by the veterans, just maybe he’ll find a way to
stick with the Cardinals this season.