ARIZONA CARDINALS

Cardinals notebook: C Rodney Hudson seeing daily growth with QB Kyler Murray

Aug 6, 2021, 1:03 PM
Arizona Cardinals center Rodney Hudson (61) sets up on offense during Arizona Cardinals training ca...
Arizona Cardinals center Rodney Hudson (61) sets up on offense during Arizona Cardinals training camp on August 4, 2021 at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona (Photo by Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

GLENDALE — The Arizona Cardinals did not stand pat this offseason after being on the outside looking in on the playoffs.

While a lot of the talk has been about the team’s defensive additions like J.J. Watt and Malcolm Butler, general manager Steve Keim’s doubling down on his roster revamp with the acquisition of veteran center Rodney Hudson could end up being the biggest move the team made this offseason.

And for an offensive line looking to limit penalties and stack back-to-back seasons of improved play, head coach Kliff Kingsbury couldn’t be more pleased with how things have developed so far in regards to Hudson.

“He has a real presence about himself understanding the defense,” Kingsbury said after training camp on Friday. “He studies it like crazy. Out there he’s making calls, he’s getting things changed, they’re communicating.

“And then he’s a physical presence. He gets moving in the run game, he’s a great pass protector. It’s been fun to watch them build that relationship and it will take some time to get on the same page, but he’s just got a real presence on the field.”

No matter what the situation is, there’s gonna be a learning period for anyone entering a new offense with unfamiliar teammates. Especially when you also have an added COVID-19 list sting thrown in like Hudson had earlier in camp.

Hudson is no exception, who said he feels like a rookie again with just how much information he is taking in from Kingsbury’s offense.

With every passing day, the center is feeling more and more comfortable with his new signal caller.

“[I’ve seen] daily [growth],” Hudson said. “I think relationships are built over time, and the more we can be around each other and communicate about different things, it’s just gonna keep growing every day.

“Every offense is different, whether it’s terminology or scheme or stuff like that, but plays are the same, so to speak,” he added. “There’s only so many plays in football. … It’s learning the technique that they want you to use and executing it now.”

But while Hudson brings 10 years of NFL experience to the Cardinals’ offensive line, the center is still experiencing a first in his 11th season.

“He’s the most athletic quarterback I’ve ever played for, for sure,” Hudson said of Murray. “I don’t think that’s a question. He has a big arm and like I said, keeping plays alive and extending plays. Just continue to block and get him free.”

CB Malcolm Butler dealing with ‘small maintenance issue’

A notable name not on the field Friday morning was starting cornerback Malcolm Butler.

It marked the first time this camp the cornerback missed any time.

“Kind of a small maintenance issue, but we expect him back soon,” Kingsbury said.

Butler is coming off a season in which he started all 16 games for the Tennessee Titans, recording four interceptions, 14 passes defensed and 100 tackles. He figures to take on a starting cornerback role alongside Robert Alford this year in Arizona, with Byron Murphy working in the slot.

Butler was joined on the sidelines by A.J. Green and Rondale Moore, two wide receivers that have already missed time this week due to “minor issues.”

Potential starting right guard Brian Winters has also been sidelined for much of this week’s training camp and was expected to miss a couple of weeks.

While Kingsbury doesn’t have an exact timetable for the guard’s return, he imagines “it will be before the season gets started.”

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Cardinals LB Tanner Vallejo runs through a drill during training camp Friday, July 30, 2021, in Glendale. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Cardinals LB Terrance Smith runs through a drill during training camp Friday, July 30, 2021, in Glendale. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Cardinals LB Isaiah Simmons runs through a drill during training camp Friday, July 30, 2021, in Glendale. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Cardinals LB Isaiah Simmons runs through a drill during training camp Friday, July 30, 2021, in Glendale. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Cardinals LB Isaiah Simmons runs through a drill during training camp Friday, July 30, 2021, in Glendale. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Cardinals running backs go through drills during training camp Friday, July 30, 2021, in Glendale. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury during training camp Friday, July 30, 2021, in Glendale. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Cardinals LB Chandler Jones looks on during training camp Friday, July 30, 2021, in Glendale. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Cardinals LB Jordan Hicks (58) and others wait to run through drills during training camp Friday, July 30, 2021, in Glendale. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Cardinals LB Markus Golden waits to run through drills during training camp Friday, July 30, 2021, in Glendale. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Cardinals LB coach Bill Davis during training camp Friday, July 30, 2021, in Glendale. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Cardinals S Budda Baker and LBs Chandler Jones and Isaiah Simmons point to the crowd during training camp Friday, July 30, 2021, in Glendale. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals LB Chandler Jones (55) and Devon Kennard (42) chat during training camp Thursday, July 29, 2021, in Glendale. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals DL Victor Dimukeje (92) runs through drills during training camp Thursday, July 29, 2021, in Glendale. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals running backs Eno Benjamin (26) and Jonathan Ward (29) run through drills during training camp Thursday, July 29, 2021, in Glendale. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals running backs James Conner (6) and Chase Edmonds (2) run through drills during training camp Thursday, July 29, 2021, in Glendale. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals RB Jonathan Ward runs through a drill during training camp Thursday, July 29, 2021, in Glendale. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals LB Devon Kennard during training camp Thursday, July 29, 2021, in Glendale. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals LB Chandler Jones during training camp Thursday, July 29, 2021, in Glendale. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals LB Devon Kennard during training camp Thursday, July 29, 2021, in Glendale. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals running backs Chase Edmonds during training camp Thursday, July 29, 2021, in Glendale. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals LB Markus Golden during training camp Thursday, July 29, 2021, in Glendale. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals LB Zaven Collins looks on during training camp Thursday, July 29, 2021, in Glendale. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals RB James Conner runs through drills during training camp Thursday, July 29, 2021, in Glendale. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals LB Jamell Garcia-Williams during training camp Thursday, July 29, 2021, in Glendale. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals LB Chandler Jones looks on during training camp Thursday, July 29, 2021, in Glendale. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals S Chris Banjo warms up during training camp Thursday, July 29, 2021, in Glendale. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)

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