The first day of training camp for any NFL rookie, especially one taken in the top 10 of the NFL Draft, can be daunting to say the least.
When it takes an extra three days to get there due to a financial holdup, well, even more so.
Yet, Arizona Cardinals guard Jonathan Cooper didn’t appear to sweat the small stuff or the big stuff when he took the field at University of Phoenix Stadium for his first training camp walkthrough Monday.
According to head coach Bruce Arians, the No. 7 overall pick ‘breezed’ through his conditioning test, impressing fellow teammates in the process.
Among them, the man he’ll be charged with protecting in 2013, quarterback Carson Palmer.
“I love his attitude,” Palmer said Monday. “He’s a glass-half-full guy with a happy-go-lucky smile on his face. [He] loves football. It’s hard to love football at the offensive line position in training camp.
“To come in and run the conditioning test right off the bat and then get thrown in the first play with a smile on his face the entire time is what I like seeing.”
Now a contagious personality and a hearty smile are nice attributes to have this time of year, but they’ll only get a lineman so far, especially one paid to be a difference maker right away for a much-maligned unit.
In Palmer’s eyes, though, Cooper — the player and the person — has already shown he’s every bit deserving of being the highest-drafted guard since 1998.
“I don’t care what position you play, when you look like that and are as athletic as he is and smart; and I’ve only been around him for a little while but he seems like a good dude and a good person,” said Palmer. “He’s going to be a great guy in the community, and he’s going to represent the organization well. You can’t draft guys like that high enough.”
Pass the conditioning test in front of the entire team? Check.
Impress the starting quarterback with your attitude? Check.
Handle the first training camp practice with ease?
For Cardinals rookie guard Jonathan Cooper, the answer seems to be an emphatic check.