Camp K report: Cardinals have to clean up before they can showcase tempo
GLENDALE, Ariz. — A referee crew led by NFL official John Hussey has been spending intimate time with the Arizona Cardinals over the past week.
Part of it was to help the team implement rule changes. For Arizona, it’s helpful for first-year NFL head coach Kliff Kingsbury as he learns the nuances of the pro league.
For the players, it’s given the team more flags to deal with as Thursday’s preseason opener against the Los Angeles Chargers nears. The Cardinals had a few too many flags Saturday in their scrimmage-like atmosphere, and the yellow continued flying through the air Monday as practice resumed.
“We expected to have more penalties than we had seen,” head coach Kliff Kingsbury said. “I think anytime you have NFL refs and they’re working their mechanics we’re going to get some flags thrown. There are a bunch of little things that kind of get let go in practice and they’re going to get called in games.”
The penalties, many of which have been pre-snap movement, must be cleaned up, especially for an offense that while being vanilla in the preseason, must get one thing down: tempo.
Running back Chase Edmonds said he’s excited to put the Cardinals’ offense out there this week, even if Kingsbury will keep most of his scheme under wraps.
“Just really go out there and see if we can execute some tempo, execute some good rhythm as an offense,” Edmonds said.
More emphasis will be placed on the 40-second play clock this week as well — if that matters.
The pace is one thing that makes Kingsbury’s offense unique. At least that’s what will be more visible in the preseason as the Cardinals try not to give too much away.
“There’s a reason why the league has turned their offenses into this,” outside linebacker Brooks Reed said. “It’s hard to defend a fast-paced offense like this.”
— Starting offensive tackles D.J. Humphries and Marcus Gilbert sat out practice on Monday. Kingsbury was not available after practice to answer whether they were having a day off or if injuries were the reason for Rees Odhiambo (left tackle) and Korey Cunningham (right tackle) playing with the first team.
— With starting left guard Justin Pugh out with a shoulder injury, Mason Cole took snaps in his place. While he has toyed with playing tackle in moments, he hinted that guard would be an easier transition if he does not win the starting center job over A.Q. Shipley.
“Tackle at this level is a lot different. I think that position kind of has outgrown me. Center and guard I think is relatively similar,” Cole said.
— Edmonds likes playing with Murray, the 5-foot-10 and 1/8-inch quarterback who may or may not be taller than him. He said he looked at one recent social media post of the duo that showed just how deceptive they can be because of their size.
“I was like that’s a short damn backfield,” the running back said.
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— Safeties Rudy Ford and Josh Shaw, plus corner Robert Alford, were among the Cardinals defensive players who got their hands on passes for interceptions on Monday. Shaw and Alford picked off Murray, while Ford intercepted Brett Hundley.
— Receiver Chad Williams was back at practice having missed much of camp with a minor injury.
— Tight end Ricky Seals-Jones left during the middle of practice with an apparent injury.