Snacks on snacks: Cardinals’ rookie OL duties more than just carrying gear
Jul 27, 2023, 8:19 PM | Updated: Aug 3, 2023, 11:18 pm
(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
GLENDALE — Rookie duties are an annual tradition in the NFL.
They can encompass many different forms, such as carrying veterans’ helmets and other football gear.
And in an Arizona Cardinals offensive line room led by D.J. Humphries, they always include snacks.
This year, the line has not one but two members of the 2023 draft class in its ranks in Paris Johnson Jr. and Jon Gaines II.
And they certainly have their work cut out for them when it comes to some of the requests.
“I’ve been hitting (Johnson) with old school, nostalgic stuff to see if he can find it and just watch him scramble a little for it,” Humphries said after Day of training camp wrapped up. “He’s very cool and calm, so sometimes when you ask to get something, he’ll be like, ‘What? What? What is that?’ He’ll figure it out eventually. I didn’t really want it but thanks.”
Snacks aren’t the only request, either, as beverages are fair game.
But just because you have the drinks, doesn’t mean the job is done.
“We have a refrigerator that happens to be empty right now,” Kelvin Beachum said Thursday. “(Johnson and Gaines) have to get that refrigerator filled pretty quick. I did see the Amazon order that they have ready, but the refrigerator happens to be still empty at the moment, so that’s something they got to work on.
“Did he tell you we have six more Amazon boxes on the way?” Johnson added. “We spent $800 on Amazon on snacks … the bubbly, they want straight sparkling water. They’re fancy.”
All jokes aside, getting stuck with rookie duties on top of trying to find your footing can be a lot for first-year pros.
But at the end of the day, this batch of rookies are the first and definitely won’t be the last to undertake the requests of their elders.
“It’s part of the job. It’s fun,” Johnson said. “There are some moments where it’s like, ‘Really? Again?’ But at the end of the day, everybody else in the locker room had to do this, too.
“When you think about it like that and just being grateful to be in the NFL, it’s kind of fun.”
As for what Humphries has up his sleeve for Johnson next?
“I think I’m going to send him on a Cheer Wine scavenger hunt,” the vet said. “They don’t even make Cheer Wine on the West Coast, so we’ll see if he can figure it out. I think that’ll be the next one for sure.
“I have him getting a lot of sour straws for me lately, but it’s like a specific flavor that I want and you got to look for it to find it. He found a whole box of them. I was like, ‘This kid, I see where he’s going with this.’ Now, we got to elevate to Cheer Wine. It’s time to go.”