Cardinals notebook: Antonio Hamilton continues to gain his peers’ respect

Aug 8, 2022, 9:16 PM
Arizona Cardinals CB Antonio Hamilton runs during training camp on Monday, Aug. 8, 2022, in Glendal...
Arizona Cardinals CB Antonio Hamilton runs during training camp on Monday, Aug. 8, 2022, in Glendale. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)
(Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)

GLENDALE — It’s no secret the Arizona Cardinals entered training camp with more than a few questions regarding their cornerbacks room.

Can Byron Murphy Jr. be that consistent CB1 threat that he was at the beginning of the season? Is Marco Wilson that every-down starter the team needs him to be in Year 2? And who is going to step up and take over that third CB role behind them?

It’s still relatively early on in camp, but one name that’s been talked about more and more with every practice is Antonio Hamilton.

“I’ve been impressed with Hamilton,” head coach Kliff Kingsbury said Monday. “He’s stepped in and second year in the system, super competitive, very athletic. Contributed a lot on special teams last year, and when we needed him, stepped up in that role. But he’s really played well in camp.”

Hamilton cracked the team’s roster last season during a time where Arizona needed bodies in the secondary and on special teams. Winning the practice-squad battle over Rasual Douglas, Hamilton played 17 games with the Cardinals in 2021 (two starts), finishing with 38 tackles, four passes defensed and a fumble recovery.

The cornerback could see his number called much more on defense this time around, however, as Arizona continues to evaluate talent. He showed off his upped play Monday with a pick-6 off of Colt McCoy early on in 11-on-11 work.

“I think one guy for sure that deserves some respect and should get a lot more respect is Antonio Hamilton,” Wilson told Arizona Sports’ Wolf & Luke on Monday. “He’s the best guy I’ve seen on special teams and he can turn around and lock down anybody, any receiver down on the field, if he needs to.

“He can play inside, he can play outside, he can safety. I think that’s somebody that’s going to gain a lot of respect this year.”

Kyler, the lefty?

Quarterback Kyler Murray did very minimal individual work on Monday and opted to throw with his left arm instead of his right.

The signal caller had been dealing with a wrist issue before testing positive for COVID-19.

Kingsbury is hopeful Murray “can cut it loose” later this week.

Wide receiver Hollywood Brown also got some individual work in as he ramps back up from a hamstring issue.

Kingsbury said the hope is for the wide receiver to be full-go by Wednesday.

Rookie tight end Trey McBride, who had been resting with a sore back, also saw a full workload on Monday.

Kliff’s Red & White standouts

In his first chance to talk about Saturday’s Red & White practice, Kingsbury listed off five standouts from the day.

– QB Trace McSorley: “I really liked how Trace performed. I thought every opportunity he gets he looks like he knows the system, plays with confidence, steps up, makes plays.”

– QB Jarrett Guarantano: “For not getting a bunch of reps, I thought he made some good decisions and handled the operation well.”

– RB Keaontay Ingram: “I thought Keaontay Ingram did a nice job when he had his opportunities to either run it, catch it. He’s a big, physical back that’s played in some similar systems so that was good to see.”

– DL J.J. Watt: “I thought J.J. looked great. He made some big plays down there on the goal line.”

– DL Zach Allen: “Zach Allen’s come a long way and (he and Watt) seem to be very disruptive out there.”

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Cardinals notebook: Antonio Hamilton continues to gain his peers’ respect