ARIZONA CARDINALS

Which Arizona Cardinal steals the ‘Hard Knocks’ stage in 2022?

May 25, 2022, 10:59 AM | Updated: 12:32 pm
Arizona Cardinals DE J.J. Watt looks on during OTAs on Monday, May 24, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake...
Arizona Cardinals DE J.J. Watt looks on during OTAs on Monday, May 24, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)
(Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)

TEMPE — Every season on HBO’s “Hard Knocks,” there’s usually that one guy.

That certain player or coach the camera just gravitates to.

So with the Arizona Cardinals gracing the series for the first time in its existence, who is going to be the one that steals the show this November?

Taking that question into account, I compiled a list of intriguing Cardinals to keep tabs on with a little help from a few teammates and head coach Kliff Kingsbury:

Wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins

This one should come as no surprise to Cardinals and “Hard Knocks” fans.

Hopkins will be back in the mix after serving his six-game suspension for violating the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy when the HBO cameras start rolling in November.

That didn’t stop Kingsbury from throwing his name out there even before he returns to the team.

“If they could go film Hop while he’s suspended that would be pretty good TV, but I don’t think they can do that,” the head coach said Monday.

“I think there’s a lot of high character men that we get to work with whether it’s staff, coaches, players every day so just to tell some of those background stories and get to know them on that level I think it will be great for our fans.”

Aside from his abilities on the field, Hopkins has many off-the-field endeavors to go along with his style.

This also won’t be Hopkins’ first time on the series, either, having been on the 2015 version as a member of the Houston Texans.

And boy, did he make a statement.

During a joint practice with Washington, Hopkins and cornerback DeAngelo Hall shared some words before the former “finished it.”

Defensive end J.J. Watt

Hey look! Another returning Hard Knocker in Cardinals defensive end J.J. Watt.

Watt shared the same “Hard Knocks” stage with Hopkins and also gave a performance to remember to say it lightly.

 

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On top of a potential encore, Watt will be another one the cameras focus on given his work ethic, veteran status and off-the-field activities.

Especially if someone forgets breakfast.

Quarterback Kyler Murray

It wouldn’t be “Hard Knocks” if the starting quarterback wasn’t spotlighted throughout the series.

Given his position and the rocky offseason he and the team have gone through, Murray is going to have a lot of eyes on him on and off the field.

He was also one of the players that came to mind when tight end Zach Ertz was asked on the matter:

Fans will likely also get a closer look into his life outside of football as a gamer and member of Faze Clan.

Outside linebacker Markus Golden

Junk on HBO. And no, not like that.

Cardinals fans have gotten to see how Golden operates on a daily basis.

Short answer: The guy’s motor never stops going.

Throw in his personality and his love for the organization and Golden is a prime candidate to be featured a ton.

Outside linebacker Dennis Gardeck

The nation is about to get a full look into the barbarian that is Gardeck.

Entering the season fully healthy, Gardeck brings another high motor and fun personality to the locker room.

He could also see an increase in playing time with fellow outside linebacker Chandler Jones now a Las Vegas Raider.

Cue up hitting the strobe tutorials and a full segment on what goes into his football playlist on top of learning more about the person behind the flowing hair.

“I’m sure Dennis is going to find a way on ‘Hard Knocks,'” Zach Allen told Arizona Sports’ Wolf & Luke on Tuesday.

Head coach Kliff Kingsbury

You can’t have a coach that already gets compared to a movie star not on this list.

In addition to that, his infamous house and his work schedule, the series will jump right into the narrative of Kingsbury trying to right the ship after three second-half-of-the-season failings hanging over his head.

Unlike last season’s collapse, 2022 is going to be documented to the fullest extent, good or bad.

Safety Budda Baker

On top of his hard-hitting ways, maybe we’ll get a live look into his alter ego: James the 45-year-old dentist.

Offensive tackle D.J. Humphries

Humphries and the offensive line always like to have fun and aren’t shy about it. I think that only enhances with the cameras around. Freestyle Fridays will be a thing that’s for sure.

Could we be in for a “Wild Hogs II?

Honorable mention

Wide receivers Rondale Moore and Antoine Wesley

Moore wasn’t originally on the list, but received a nomination from Wesley.

“I would say Rondale, there’s a lot more stuff,” Wesley said. “He’s a little more quiet but once you get to know him more it’s a lot of, ‘Oh I didn’t know that about you.'”

Wesley didn’t stop short with Moore, either, throwing his own name into the ring.

“Once you get to know me you’ll see why my name is Tweezy,” the wideout added. “I’m exciting, I’m fun to be around. I bring a lot of excitement to everybody.”

Strength and conditioning coach Buddy Morris

Who doesn’t love a sleeveless strength and conditioning coach outworking everyone?

“I don’t know if he’s going to want the cameras to follow him, but I think they’re going to find a way to follow him,” Allen told Wolf & Luke on Tuesday.

Kicker Matt Prater and long snapper Aaron Brewer

Running back Eno Benjamin gave his endorsement to the special teams duo of Prater and Brewer.

“I would say our specialists are pretty interesting guys to be around, Matt Prater and Brewer,” Benjamin told Wolf & Luke on Monday. “They got a lot of stories for the young guys.”

Life Changer Loans
Arizona Cardinals RB Eno Benjamin warms up ahead of OTAs on Monday, May 23, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) An Arizona Cardinals helmet during OTAs on Monday, May 23, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals CB Darrell Baker Jr. warms up ahead of OTAs on Monday, May 23, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals WR Rondale Moore warms up ahead of OTAs on Monday, May 23, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals WR Rondale Moore warms up ahead of OTAs on Monday, May 23, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals WR Antoine Wesley speaks with the media after OTAs on Monday, May 23, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury speaks with the media after OTAs on Monday, May 23, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals S Budda Baker speaks with the media after OTAs on Monday, May 23, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals DL Manny Jones runs through drills during OTAs on Monday, May 23, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals DL Leki Fotu runs through drills during OTAs on Monday, May 23, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals DL Kingsley Keke runs through drills during OTAs on Monday, May 23, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals DL J.J. Watt runs through drills during OTAs on Monday, May 23, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals DL J.J. Watt runs through drills during OTAs on Monday, May 23, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals DL Leki Fotu runs through drills during OTAs on Monday, May 23, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals S Budda Baker talks with CB Marco Wilson during OTAs on Monday, May 23, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports) Arizona Cardinals TE Zach Ertz speaks with the media after OTAs on Monday, May 23, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)

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