Cardinals build culture, bodies with offseason workouts underway

Apr 13, 2023, 7:28 AM | Updated: Apr 14, 2023, 1:27 pm

Arizona Cardinals head coach Jonathan Gannon speaks with reporters during the annual league meeting...

Arizona Cardinals head coach Jonathan Gannon speaks with reporters during the annual league meetings on Tuesday, March 28, 2023, in Phoenix. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)

(Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)

It has only been about two months since Jonathan Gannon was named the new head coach of the Arizona Cardinals, but as the team begins their offseason organized activities, his energy and authenticity has garnered respect.

“He’s authentic he loves the game,” tight end Zach Ertz told reporters Tuesday. “It’s not only him. It’s also all of the coaches that he has brought in.”

More than 15 new coaches have joined the Cardinals since the end of last season.

For Gannon, though, it was a pleasure to meet the players face-to-face.

“The guys that were here were here for a reason: they wanted to win,” Gannon said.

Beyond Ertz, who is rehabbing a knee injury, among those players in the building for the first day of official strength and conditioning work were quarterback Kyler Murray and running back James Conner. Gannon said Connor’s weight room exhibition was impressive.

“Watching him do curls with my body weight (equivalent). Jeez,” Gannon said.

While admitting everyone looked well-conditioned, he said the biggest challenge is keeping it up throughout offseason activities, including voluntary minicamp which begins April 25.

“I’ll talk to them about it on Thursday: everyone can do it for four days, who can do it for 40 days?” Gannon said.

“Every team in the NFL shows flashes or glimpses of winning behavior. You have to be able to do it consistently and those are the teams that play in January and February.”

But Gannon said it will take time to develop that consistency on the field because they want to take the time to get the know the capabilities of the personnel and how they can put them in the best scenarios for the team to be successful.

Zaven Collins said at the first team meeting, Gannon talked very little about “ball.”

“It was all about culture. How we are going to work. How we are going to come into the building and be prepared,” Collins said.

Murray and Ertz are recovering from reconstructive knee surgery and with Ertz about five months ahead of Murray in his recovery simply based on the calendar, he says his goal is getting on the field for the season opener.

“In order to play Week 1, I need to practice,” Ertz said.

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