New era notes: Cardinals shift gears to lower tempo on Day 3
Jul 28, 2023, 7:35 PM | Updated: Aug 3, 2023, 11:19 pm
(Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)
GLENDALE — There was a noticeable difference in intensity between Days 2 and 3 of Arizona Cardinals training camp.
Unlike Thursday’s showing, full speed was far from a constant.
It was all by design.
As mentioned by head coach Jonathan Gannon and seen during offseason workouts, mental days are a big part of the new regime’s plan.
Instead of flying around with their hair on fire, it was much more about players understanding the why behind the drills and formations.
There’s a lot of information to take in and the drinking-out-of-a-fire-hose approach has its faults.
But don’t fret, things are expected to ramp back up soon enough.
Christian Matthew gets an extended look
There are question marks as to who exactly is going to fill out the starting roles in the CBs room.
And while Gannon won’t put titles alongside his defensive backs in an effort not to set a floor or ceiling, there’s been an early trend three days into camp.
Matthew has been getting consistent run with the first team.
The 6-foot-4, 200-pound cornerback gives Arizona a different look given his length at the position and appears to have a lot more confidence entering Year 2.
“When you hear (you’re with the first team), you’re excited,” Matthew, who learned he would be starting camp with the 1s, said Friday. “But excitement can be a negative emotion if it overwhelms you.
“I just try to stay as even keel, because if you get too excited you could lose that job. I’m just going to try to stay even and stay in this place.”
Matthew made a total of three starts across 14 games played last season. That number has a chance to increase in Year 2.
Colt McCoy, Trey McBride take a backseat
A pair of perspective starters saw limited to no action on Friday in McCoy and McBride.
McCoy was back with the first team for Day 3 of camp yet did not throw a single pass throughout the practice.
It’s unclear if the decision against throwing was part of a plan set forth by the coaching staff or due to injury.
The QB at least saw the field, something McBride did not.
The tight end was stuck watching from the sideline as the Geoff Swaim, Noah Togiai and Bernhard Seikovits picked up more reps in his absence.
Both McBride and McCoy put in a full workload the day prior, so their participation heading into Saturday will be something to watch.
Kei’Trel Clark makes a play
A lot like Matthew, the rookie Clark appears to be moving up the depth chart early on.
Getting a lot of run with the second team on Friday, Clark picked off Day 2 standout and fellow rookie Clayton Tune during 11-on-11s.
“(Clark and Garrett Williams) are both smart guys, they’re hungry and eager to learn, they’re humble. I love them. I kind of try to take them under my wing and try to give them as much as I know. They’re real talented.”
No change in the trenches
The first and second teams of the offensive line did not change Friday.
The 1s consisted of D.J. Humphries, Elijah Wilkinson, Hjalte Froholdt, Will Hernandez and Paris Johnson Jr.
The 2s were made up of Josh Jones, Dennis Daley, Jon Gaines II, Marquis Hayes and Kelvin Beachum.