ARIZONA CARDINALS

Cardinals notebook: RB Eno Benjamin’s confidence ‘through the roof’

Aug 9, 2022, 2:05 PM
Arizona Cardinals RB Eno Benjamin runs through drills during the Red & White practice on Saturday, ...
Arizona Cardinals RB Eno Benjamin runs through drills during the Red & White practice on Saturday, Aug. 6, 2022, in Glendale. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)
(Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)

GLENDALE — Arizona Cardinals running back Eno Benjamin won’t have anyone in front of him on the depth chart when the team takes on the Cincinnati Bengals this Friday.

It’s a preseason game, but it’s a start nonetheless for a player who has been hyped up by his fellow teammates and coaches throughout the offseason.

For Benjamin, the goal is remaining locked into the same mentality he’s brought over camp.

“I’m just going in head down,” the running back said Tuesday. “I’m looking to do whatever’s asked of me for however long. First game, second game, third game — just being able to be (available).

“My confidence is through the roof,” Benjamin added. “It’s Year 3. I feel like a lot more has slowed down for me and just getting on the field to get those opportunities definitely builds that confidence as well.”

Trace McSorley to start vs. Bengals

Colt McCoy is the officially listed starter for the team’s first preseason game of the year.

But when the team takes the field against the Cincinnati Bengals on Friday, it’ll be Trace McSorley running the offense for much of the game.

“He’ll get a bunch of reps and has done a really nice job when he comes in there,” Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury said. “I like how he plays, has got some swagger, some moxie and moves around and extends plays. I’m excited to watch him play.”

As for McCoy, the projected No. 2 signal caller behind quarterback Kyler Murray is on the mend with arm soreness.

And with Kingsbury confirming that Murray will see minimal to no preseason action, that leaves Jarrett Guarantano to pick up the extra reps behind McSorley.

“Kyler won’t play much if at all and then we’ll see how Colt’s arm progresses,” Kingsbury said. “We’ll be smart with him.”

Will or Valentine?

Right tackle Kelvin Beachum had already called new teammate Will Hernandez a refrigerator while on with Arizona Sports’ Wolf & Luke two Mondays ago.

On Tuesday, Beachum took things a step further, giving Hernandez a little more personality than a household appliance.

“That is a Brahman bull. I got bulls back in Texas. We got one called Valentine and he is put together. Will is a very, very put-together human being,” the tackle said.

“There’s not many guys that are built like that. … It’s impressive to be able to block with him, block alongside him. … It’s going to be fun playing next to him.”

And much like Valentine, it’s best not to mess with Hernandez on the field.

Here’s Valentine, by the way:

QUICK HITS

– McSorley and Guarantano ran the offense Tuesday with McCoy and Murray not participating in team drills.

Murray did about the same as he did Monday in terms of individual work but was seen throwing with his right arm again.

Kingsbury said after practice that Murray’s sore wrist was a reason why the QB did not throw with his right arm last practice and instead threw with his left.

– Wide receiver Greg Dortch again put up an impressive day of practice. The wide receiver won his battles against both Jalen Thompson and Budda Baker, scoring three touchdowns during 1-on-1s on Tuesday. He also scored during red zone drills.

– Arizona’s 2019 second-round pick Andy Isabella is still popping on tape as of late. On Tuesday, the receiver was reeling in a deep bomb from Guarantano for a score during 11-on-11s.

– DeAndre Hopkins, Trey McBride, Zach Ertz, Rodney Hudson, Markus Golden and Devon Kennard did not participate on Tuesday. Antoine Wesley, who is still being evaluated for a groin/hip issue, was seen on the sideline.

– Tight end Maxx Williams and wide receiver Hollywood Brown saw a little more action than in previous days. Each took part in individual work with Williams even picking up a few reps during 11-on-11s.

– Head coach Kliff Kingsbury turned 43 on Tuesday. He did not have any plans to celebrate the occasion, though. Maybe Mike Bercovici will use his local-celebrity status and set something up for his head coach in Scottsdale.

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Cardinals notebook: RB Eno Benjamin’s confidence ‘through the roof’