Cardinals open mini-camp with CB Peterson MIA, Rosen in charge
TEMPE, Ariz. — Biggie Smalls blared as the Arizona Cardinals stretched, and Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” played as first-year head coach Kliff Kingsbury ran his three quarterbacks through technical drills in the team’s first moments of Tuesday’s voluntary mini-camp.
Yet reasons for the absence of star cornerback Patrick Peterson never came from the team’s head coach.
Peterson’s reported dissatisfaction wasn’t overly-concerning to the head coach.
“It’s voluntary. I communicated with Patrick and, you know, we know where he’s at, we know what’s going on. Kind of a conversation to keep between ourselves,” Kingsbury said.
John Gambadoro of 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station reported Tuesday that Peterson was unhappy, and the Pro Bowler’s string of cryptic Instagram posts alluded to that discontent. Arizona does not intend to trade the Pro Bowl cornerback, and it is not believed to be a money- or contract-related issue, per Gambadoro.
Peterson wants to be a member of the Cardinals, Kingsbury said, but the coach provided no explanation as to why the corner was away, when he might return, or what changed in the last few weeks. Peterson had participated in strength and conditioning sessions just two weeks ago.
“I don’t know if it’s disappointing,” Kingsbury said of Peterson’s absence. “If he hadn’t communicated, and we didn’t know what was going on, I think that’d be a different matter.
“It is a voluntary camp, and we know that Patrick wants to be here and wants to be part of this deal.”
In other matters of potential distraction from the first on-field install sessions, Arizona’s potential selection of Kyler Murray atop the NFL Draft hasn’t swayed current quarterback Josh Rosen’s approach.
Rosen was in attendance along with backup Brett Hundley and Charles Kanoff.
Kingsbury praised Rosen’s professionalism and called him a cerebral talent.
The head coach said he would keep his discussions with Rosen regarding the Cardinals’ draft plans in-house.
“I’m just going to keep going back to how he’s handled it as far as professionalism as far as he’s led, showed up early, done everything to the nth-degree of what we’ve asked of him,” Kingsbury said. “That’s the sign of a true pro.
“He went top-10 for a reason. I think people forgot that.”
— Asked if Kingsbury, GM Steve Keim and president Michael Bidwill had finalized their board, the head coach said the team had not as of Tuesday afternoon.
“We’re still working through it,” Kingsbury said. “It is a process. I wouldn’t say the hay is in the barn.”
— Kingsbury on the goals for the mini-camp in its first phase, which runs Tuesday through Thursday: “We want to get a top of reps so we can catch it on film.”
— Kingsbury, who recruited Murray out of high school, said he didn’t learn much new from the interview process of the Oklahoma quarterback: “I think when you do the research around Oklahoma just how people feel about him there and the impact he had following a high-profile quarterback, they felt like he handled himself well and left a good impression,” the coach said.