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Zach Allen supports new-school style of Cardinals practices

(AP Photo/Matt York)

The implementation of a snack break at Cardinals training camp has generated headlines around the country, which has turned some to criticize the team for creating a culture of softness and distractions.

But Cardinals rookie defensive end Zach Allen told Bickley & Marotta on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station that camp has been plenty physical so far.

“My body feels like it’s physical,” he said. “From being in the trenches, both the D-line and the offensive line are really physical groups and I think the players that you see there, they have a history of being known as tenacious, physical players.”

Phoenix-native Terrell Suggs is certainly one of those players who could be defined as that, and Allen says that it’s the players who are making sure the physicality is there.

“The intensity is brought by the players,” he said. “So that’s what we can contribute. The rest of those decisions are left up to the coaches and upstairs.”

He mentioned that breaks during practice aren’t uncommon in football.

“You can say what you want, but in college, we had way more breaks and stuff like that,” Allen said.

Allen likes the methods new head coach Kliff Kingsbury is using.

“Being smart with your players doesn’t make you soft it just gives you an edge,” he said.

“I’m all for it, and you want to get as many of your guys as you can for the first game.”

A lot of preparation is needed for that first game, specifically for a Cardinals team that has so many new faces and new schemes to learn. Making sure those players and formations ready to go for Week 1 requires live simulation and game-like scenarios, something that could be lost in a camp that’s not as physical. But Allen thinks the Cardinals are doing just fine with it.

“I think you can replicate it as much as you want,” he said. “It’s just being smart: taking shots that you wouldn’t, going low, staying off the ground, stuff like that.

“Practice still gets physical.”

Despite being OK with the breaks and understanding that rest is needed, Allen knows the critics are right about physicality.

“You got to bring it every day or else you’re going to look silly,” he said.

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