Arizona Cardinals rookies more than ready to attack Year 1

May 12, 2022, 7:00 PM
Arizona Cardinals rookie running back Keaontay Ingram speaks with the media during his introductory...
Arizona Cardinals rookie running back Keaontay Ingram speaks with the media during his introductory press conference on Thursday, May 12, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)
(Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)

TEMPE — It was that classic first-day-of-school feeling at the Arizona Cardinals training facility on Thursday.

The group of Trey McBride, Cameron Thomas, Myjai Sanders and Keaontay Ingram graced the facility for the first time, getting the ins and outs of how things go down in Arizona.

And while there wasn’t any football played, you could feel just how amped the four rookies were to actually be in the building and embarking on their new journey.

The slog of the draft is over. It’s onto the real deal for the 2022 draft class.

“I could get used to this red, love it. It looks great,” McBride said. “This is awesome. I’m just so excited to be here. First of all, I’m grateful for coach for giving me an opportunity and things like that.”

“I love this place and so grateful to be a Cardinal.”

It’s a crash course of sorts right out of the gate for the rookies, who must now get integrated into the team’s way of doing things.

There’s also the fact of meeting their new teammates in the flesh.

Luckily for Sanders, he’s already got a foot in the door with fellow Cincinnati Bearcat and safety James Wiggins on the roster.

“I reached out to (Markus Golden), me and him got into contact,” Sanders said. “And Isaiah Simmons, I texted him a couple times.

“I’m just waiting to meet them in person for real, honestly, and meet my new teammates. It’s kind of crazy watching them play and then you’re actually on the field with them.”

The same goes for Thomas, who had been at the facility for only about an hour before meeting with the media but is more than eager to get to know the guy he modeled his game after in defensive end J.J. Watt.

As for Ingram, the running back has his sights set on being a contributor right away — whether that’s out of the backfield or on special teams.

But there’s more than just on-the-field aspirations for the rookie, who is looking to really dive into all things Arizona and get a better understanding of the state’s diversity.

“I want to get out in the community,” Ingram said. “I feel like me having this platform, I got to be able to distribute it. I feel like that’s my job. And I do love mixing different cultures, my Samoan brothers, my Mexican brothers, the Black brothers, the white brothers, whatever you want to call it.

“I like to pick each other’s brains and try to mold it in mine and just see people’s differences and see different people’s upbringings. That’s just the person I am.”

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