Cardinals notebook: A competitive training camp comes to a close

Aug 19, 2022, 2:36 PM
Arizona Cardinals star backer Isaiah Simmons runs through drills during training camp on Wednesday,...
Arizona Cardinals star backer Isaiah Simmons runs through drills during training camp on Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2022, in Glendale. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)
(Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)

GLENDALE — With Friday’s walkthrough concluded, Arizona Cardinals training camp 2022 is now just a memory.

All and all, Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury came out of the three-week stint pleased with the work his players and staff were able to get in.

“Having the coaching staff back for the fourth year basically intact for the most part, you’re able to continue to expand your playbooks and the players are able … to start at Year 4 and evolve and do new things,” Kingsbury said Friday. “That makes it a lot of fun for us.

“Competitive camp, we had some guys get nicked up here and there. Nothing too serious yet, which is always a blessing and hopefully it stays that way.”

Next up on the Cardinals slate is a matchup against the Baltimore Ravens before a handful of joint practices in Tennessee. Arizona’s preseason concludes with the road game against the Titans.

‘From top to bottom’

The Arizona Cardinals broke training camp Friday, but the answer to the question of who is going to take over the vacant pass rusher spot opposite Markus Golden hasn’t gotten any clearer.

The Cardinals believe that’s not for a lack of talent, though, with a mixture of rookie and veteran candidates still engrained in the battle for starting OLB snaps.

“We got a good group. I feel like this is one of the best groups I’ve been around from top to bottom with all the draft picks we got in and the guys,” outside linebacker Devon Kennard said Friday. “It’s been good. I feel like we’ve been pushing each other and working hard every day.”

There are a lot of ways the Cardinals could go when it comes to the vacant OLB spot.

Dennis Gardeck has already showed his ability to impact games and Kennard brings a wealth of experience entering his ninth NFL season.

But the younger backers on the roster include rookies Myjai Sanders, Cameron Thomas and Jesse Luketa. Second-year pro Victor Dimukeje had a big preseason opener with two sacks.

“I think all of those guys are talented and doing a really a good job,” Kennard said. “Cam had a really good week this week. Jesse Luketa looked good in the game and is doing a lot of good things. Myjai’s rush ability and versatility have shown a lot.

“I think our organization did a good job drafting guys that come in and fit the culture that we have in our room and on our team.”

Revenge game? No so much

When the Cardinals take on the Ravens on Sunday night, a certain offensive player will face his former team for the first time.

No, ex-Baltimore wide receiver Hollywood Brown isn’t playing. Ravens 2019 sixth-rounder and current Cardinals quarterback Trace McSorley is.

But if you ask McSorley, who is expected to start against his old team, the shifty signal caller isn’t looking at this game any differently.

“I’m just looking forward to getting out there,” McSorley said. “I have nothing but respect for them. They drafted me, gave me a chance in the NFL, so I’m just looking forward to getting out there.

“I’m not going to go out there labeling it ‘revenge game’ or anything like that. Just excited to go out and play and show what we can do for a second week in a row.”

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