Cardinals notebook: Marquis Hayes bringing old-school mentality to OL

Aug 18, 2022, 5:06 PM
Marquis Hayes #OL19 of the Oklahoma runs a drill during the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on Mar...
Marquis Hayes #OL19 of the Oklahoma runs a drill during the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on March 04, 2022 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

GLENDALE — Among the main takeaways from Arizona Cardinals training camp has been the grittiness that exudes from offseason addition and offensive lineman Will Hernandez.

Hernandez’s nastiness has been on display regularly this camp, whether he’s moving bodies out of the trenches or going toe-to-toe with defensive lineman J.J. Watt.

But he hasn’t been the only guard in his first year with the team to show off his desire to hit someone.

Enter 2022 seventh-round pick Marquis Hayes, or as his teammates and coaches call him, “Big Mo.”

“I just like his mentality, the way he plays the game, the way he approaches the game,” offensive tackle D.J. Humphries said. “He’s having fun, he’s trying to maul people, so that’s really exciting for the future knowing he’s going to be on our team and knowing that he’s going to be able to keep growing.”

“Old school lineman, a mauler,” Humphries added. “I love Mo and like I said, there’s certain stuff that you just can’t coach. We can get your feet right, we can get the technique right. We can’t make you want to punch somebody in the face.”

Away from the field, some might take Hayes’ calm, cool and collected nature as his persona on the field.

But once that 6-foot-5, 324-pound lineman touches the grass, get out of his way.

“I don’t know how to describe it, like I just woke up with it or something,” Hayes said. “It’s just always been there since I was younger. I always had that edge to me and try to finish (and beat the other man’s will).”

A little Ertz of joy

Tight end Zach Ertz traded in the pads for a swaddle last Thursday with the birth of his son Madden Matthew Ertz.

Madden marks the first child for Zach and Julie Ertz.

He also marks one of head coach Kliff Kingsbury’s future college recruits, whenever that time may be.

“I said that kid has a standing scholarship at whatever NAIA school I’m coaching at in 18 years,” Kingsbury said Thursday.

Keeping it light

It doesn’t matter if you’re a rookie or a long-time veteran, the monotony and daily grind of training camp will eventually creep in at some point or another.

A way for the Cardinals combat that is gathering around the (training) camp fire for a tale or two from Kingsbury and Co.

“Every now and then they’ll get a personal story but it’s very rare that they get a glimpse into that side,” Kingsbury said Thursday. “We do some things. The rookie shows always help. We have some coaches kind of tell their stories. We have certain players tell their stories, background, history, hopes.

“Different things like that that have been good. But it’s been a good camp, we keep it light when we’re away from this building because it can wear on you.”

Hernandez banged up

Hernandez was a nonparticipant at training camp on Thursday with an ankle issue.

“He has a little bit of an ankle, but it shouldn’t be much,” Kingsbury said after practice.

Hernandez was the lone projected starter for the offensive line that saw his number called in the team’s preseason victory over the Bengals.

He wasn’t hard to miss, either, given his sheer size and a handful of key blocks throughout his 42 snaps played (64% of offensive reps).

“We call Will ‘The Fridge,'” Humphries said.

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