Cardinals notebook: ‘Jury’s still out’ on cornerback Marco Wilson
GLENDALE — Entering training camp, the Arizona Cardinals’ cornerback situation was among the weak spots on this team.
More than a week into camp, the position appears to be even murkier than previously thought, especially when looking at second-year pro Marco Wilson.
“We want him to step up and be an every-down starter but we’ll see,” head coach Kliff Kingsbury said Thursday.
“I think the jury’s still out and the rest of the young guys, someone’s got to step up and help us out.”
Wilson was thrown into the fire his rookie season following now-New England Patriots CB Malcolm Butler’s sudden retirement.
And much like any other rookie, Wilson flashed his potential but still had his fair share of miscues and lapses. Across from Byron Murphy Jr., Wilson primarily played on the outside.
Over 14 games played (13 starts), Wilson recorded four passes defensed, 48 tackles and two forced fumbles.
With Wilson sidelined by a groin issue, the Cardinals rolled out the combination of Byron Murphy Jr., offseason addition Josh Jackson and second-year Cardinal Antonio Hamilton as the first three cornerbacks on the field Thursday.
Kyler calling the shots?
Quarterback Kyler Murray may have sat out of last Saturday’s practice with a sore wrist, but that didn’t stop the signal caller from still getting involved in the offensive scheme.
Instead of running the plays, Murray was on the headset calling the plays, a job typically handled by Kingsbury.
“I just wanted him to know this (expletive) ain’t easy,” Kingsbury said. “Every now and then he starts shaking his head when I’m calling it in there and I’m like, ‘Alright, well go ahead, big dog.'”
And while Kingsbury liked having Murray in a role that gives him a different perspective of the offense, another run at play-calling does not appear in the cards for the QB any time soon, even after he is able to return from an absence due to COVID-19.
“He was coaching them up like right until the last second, like while they’re trying to throw he’d be saying stuff, so I probably won’t do that again,” Kingsbury said.
“He did a good job. It’s just I would not want to play for Kyler Murray if I was a quarterback and he was the coach,” the head coach added.
‘The more competition, the better’
For the most part, the Cardinals’ starting offensive line is locked in behind Rodney Hudson, Kelvin Beachum, D.J. Humphries, Justin Pugh and Will Hernandez.
Competition isn’t waning in the OL room, however. And that’s just how Pugh and Co. like it.
“I always say this every year, the more competition the better,” Pugh said Thursday. “We played 14 different offensive linemen last year so you have to have guys ready to play.”
Two guys in a battle to earn more reps are Josh Jones and Sean Harlow.
After starting right guard didn’t pan out for Jones, he’s been kicked back over to tackle, spending time on the starting left side with Humphries sidelined at the start camp with a stomach bug.
Harlow continues to get added work at the starting center spot as the team continues to play it smart with Hudson.
Rookie Lecitus Smith is another guy seeing some reps at center behind Harlow, while Marquis Hayes looks to make his mark on the depth chart.
“They know all their plays inside and out,” Pugh said. “They came in, they put the work in in the OTAs. … You ask them any question walking by them in the hallway, they’re going to give you an answer and it’s going to be right. Very impressed with how the rookies came in.”