CARDINALS CORNER

New era notes: Paris Johnson has no time for your trash talk

Aug 21, 2023, 3:39 PM

Paris Johnson Jr. (Jeremy Schnell/Arizona Sports)...

Paris Johnson Jr. (Jeremy Schnell/Arizona Sports)

(Jeremy Schnell/Arizona Sports)

TEMPE — Touchdowns, tackles and trash talk, three things that go hand in hand at the NFL level.

The first two are necessary to the game of football.

The last one? Not so much, especially for Arizona Cardinals rookie offensive lineman Paris Johnson Jr., who would much rather put someone in the dirt than take part in a jawing match in between plays.

“I’ve definitely experienced some that in the preseason games,” Johnson said Monday. “I don’t really talk back. I’ve never been a guy that talks back, because I’m always thinking about the play call and I’m running through exactly what I did in my head and who could I have done that better.

“And for the most part, I’m just trying to breathe. I’m 320 pounds, I’m trying to breathe. I could really care less. I’d rather hit you than have a whole conversation. It doesn’t really add value.”

Well said, rookie.

Uncomfortable near the top

Second-year pro Keaontay Ingram turned in a strong performance in his first preseason action on Saturday night, seeing touches in the running, passing and return games.

After dealing with what he called “a little bit of a nick” earlier in training camp, the running back definitely helped his case as the team’s RB2 behind starter James Conner.

That doesn’t mean, however, that he’s taking his foot off the gas pedal.

“Uncomfortable,” Ingram said when asked how he currently feels about his spot as Arizona’s second option. “It’s not a position to be comfortable in. It’s the No. 2 role.

“You got to earn it at the end of the day. I didn’t do too much last year in my personal opinion. Everybody got a fresh takeoff and it’s up for grabs.”

Golden reps

Another game, another extended outing for Cardinals rookie quarterback Clayton Tune.

For a second straight game, Tune led all Cardinals signal callers in snaps (49), passing attempts (24) and carries (six) for a final stat line of 133 yards on 50% passing and 35 rushing yards, both team highs.

Cardinals head coach Jonathan Gannon has spoken on the importance of repetition. Against Steve Spagnuolo’s versatile Chiefs defense, the first-time head coach liked what he saw out of his rookie passer.

“It was a good learning experience for him,” Gannon said Monday. “They gave him a lot of different looks. Reps are gold in the NFL, especially for rookies and rookie quarterbacks.

“I thought he took a step forward and I like where he’s going. It was good to see him make a couple throws in there and some things like everybody that he needs to clean up.”

Cutdown day approaching

After the Cardinals wrap up their preseason slate against the Minnesota Vikings on Saturday, they’ll be one step closer to the regular season.

But before Arizona can get to where the games actually count, there’s the pressing matter of whittling down the roster to 53 players next Tuesday.

“You want to keep everybody, but you can’t,” Gannon said. “The decisions we make in the next couple weeks will be for the betterment of the team and what we think is the right thing to do for everybody.

“But those are tough days, because you love everybody in there and you appreciate all their hard work and their effort and what it takes to go through an offseason or go through a training camp. They make a lot of sacrifices and we appreciate that. They’re hard days.”

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New era notes: Paris Johnson has no time for your trash talk