GLENDALE — Much has changed since the whistle blew on the Arizona Cardinals’ 2012 season. There’s a new general manager, a new head coach, a new quarterback and countless other new faces tasked with returning the franchise to the playoffs for the first time since 2009.
Heck, there’s even a new training camp location –University of Phoenix Stadium.
One thing though hasn’t changed: The run test.
It marks the official start of training camp; and the players can’t participate in training camp until they pass the test which consists of a 300-yard shuttle run (50-yard intervals) to be covered in 70 seconds.
“Extremely pleased, saw everything I needed to see,” said head coach Bruce Arians, who noted he stopped the run early after each player ran the drill twice.
“He gave us a little break. He took it fairly easy on us,” linebacker Daryl Washington said.
“Don’t need to see them run anymore in shorts. Obviously, they’re in really good shape and ready to go,” explained Arians.
The Cardinals had not been together since mid-June, but each player in attendance passed the test. Rookies Jonathan Cooper (unsigned) and Ryan Swope (concussion questions) were absent Thursday.
“Shows that people actually worked in the five, six weeks that we’ve had off,” center Lyle Sendlein said.
Of course, this year’s run test took place inside an air-conditioned stadium as opposed to outside in the nearly 7,000-foot elevation of Flagstaff, the Cardinals’ previous training camp home.
“I don’t know,” Sendlein said. “Us big guys and running don’t mix well no matter how high in the air you are. We did what we had to do.”
And now with the run out of the way, practice can begin.
“We need to put pads on and start hitting each other a little bit and hitting somebody else,” Arians said smiling. “I’m tired of playing soccer. I mean soccer is a great game, but we play this one in the trenches and I want to see our offensive line and defensive line, and I think we can become pretty good, pretty quickly.”