Kingsbury still ‘excited’ about young WRs after Cardinals work out Crabtree
GLENDALE, Ariz. — A day after the Arizona Cardinals worked out veteran receiver Michael Crabtree, head coach Kliff Kingsbury wasn’t expressing worry about his current wide receiver group.
“We’re going to continue to bring guys in that we think can possibly improve our roster,” said the former Texas Tech head coach of the former Texas Tech receiver.
Kingsbury didn’t put the lid on the possibility of the Cardinals eventually coming to an agreement with Crabtree, who according to 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s John Gambadoro did not agree to sign with Arizona despite being offered a contract Monday.
“Anything can happen,” Kingsbury said. “I think, like I said, he’s a talented player, has been very successful in this league. We’ll see how that goes.”
Sixteen-year pro Larry Fitzgerald and second-year receiver Christian Kirk have been the most consistent players in the position group so far in camp, but despite the question-marks surrounding who stands out after that duo, Arizona has expressed confidence in its young receivers.
Unlike a year ago, in which Kirk and Chad Williams won starting jobs heading into the season, there are a multitude of high-profile options.
Rookie second-round pick Andy Isabella returned to practice Tuesday after injuring his knee last week, making his availability for the Thursday preseason opener against the Los Angeles Chargers look more possible. Fourth-round pick Hakeem Butler has flashed but has lacked consistency.
Among the rookies, sixth-round pick KeeSean Johnson has impressed the most.
Kingsbury appears confident that that trio will make strides.
“I’m excited about it, honestly, for them to start with a young quarterback and grow together,” the head coach said. “I think to me it’s a fresh start for all those guys and to learn from a guy like Fitz — that’s one way to expedite how to do things as a pro.”
Johnson is fighting for first-team snaps along with Kevin White, Trent Sherfield, Damiere Byrd and Pharoh Cooper. Those four vets are vying for a roster spot, period.
Kingsbury emphasized that who makes the final roster could come down to which player can contribute on special teams — Byrd and Cooper have the edge there. Sherfield has been consistent and able to play any position, while White has gotten to run with the first time most of camp.
White, whose four-year NFL career has been limited due to shoulder and leg injuries, was not at practice Tuesday. Kingsbury didn’t hint at what his injury status was before practice but did speak about White’s history.
“I think he just understands it’s about consistency and availability at this point for him,” the head coach said.
Those things are nice.
But while the Cardinals have gotten plenty of looks at all their wideouts during practices, the preseason, starting with Thursday’s game, is a chance for any of the youngsters to be more than available and consistent.
It’ll give them an opportunity to make the Cardinals feel a little bit better about keeping the receiver room as-is with the regular season exactly a month away.