New era notes: Cardinals ‘better be buttoned up’ with Chiefs coming to town

Aug 16, 2023, 2:18 PM | Updated: 2:47 pm

Zaven Collins at practice...

Arizona Cardinals LB Zaven Collins runs through drills during practice on Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2023, in Tempe. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)

(Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)

TEMPE — The Arizona Cardinals new regime got its feet wet against Russell Wilson and the Denver Broncos to kick off their preseason slate.

Now, the ultra-consistent Kansas City Chiefs come to town for a Saturday showdown at State Farm Stadium.

Preseason or not, ears tend to perk up a bit more when the defending Super Bowl champions are on the docket.

For head coach Jonathan Gannon, the exhibition provides Arizona with an important stepping stone on his team’s path toward improvement ahead of the regular season.

“We’re still working on installing, still getting our operations correct, all those things,” Gannon said Wednesday. “But they know we have a really good football team coming in here, so we better be buttoned up.”

Still Tune-ing things

Cardinals rookie quarterback Clayton Tune got a long look in Arizona’s win over the Broncos last Friday, racking up more passing attempts (23) than both Colt McCoy (four) and David Blough (14) combined.

And for the most part, what he did with those reps — 13-of-23 for 135 yards, one touchdown and an interception — was encouraging outside of a few errant throws.

“We’ll kind of develop each individual plan and go from there,” Gannon said. “But he will get his opportunities.”

“Excited to see him go,” the head coach added. “He had a good day (Tuesday). Today we got some stuff in that we’re going to try to confuse him a little bit on defense, but he’s doing a good job.”

A little a-hole in them

The Cardinals offensive line is filled with behemoths who love nothing more than to put the guy across from them into the dirt.

Of all the names that reside within the OL room, Will Hernandez is the leader in the clubhouse when it comes to overall nastiness.

But there’s two more names that have flown under the radar more than others in that category.

“There’s Will or Big Mo (Marquis Hayes), but Paris definitely has a little a-hole in him,” D.J. Humphries said Wednesday. “He’ll take you to the ground and lay on you a little bit. Got to love seeing that from him. That’s his nature, too. It’s not like we have to jazz him up to do that.

“One phrase I used to love from (Bruce Arians) all the time was, ‘We’d rather say woah than sick ’em.’ That’s Paris and Mo. Both of those guys are ‘woah guys.'”

Residual effects

Cameron Thomas and Jeff Driskel were nonparticipants for a second-straight day of practice.

Per Gannon, Thomas is dealing with a “residual effect” from Friday’s win over Denver, while Driskel is dealing with a “residual effect” from a previous practice at State Farm Stadium.

It’s unclear if either will play Saturday night.

Out sick

Veteran tight end Zach Ertz made his way off the physically unable to perform list and back onto the practice field on Tuesday, nine months after tearing his ACL.

The tight end, however, did not take part in Wednesday’s action.

Don’t worry, it has nothing to do with his knee.

“He looked good out there yesterday,” Gannon said. “He came down with a little bit of a cold. … I think his wife and kid were sick and passed it to him. … He’s a little sore, but he looked good yesterday.”

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