New era notes: Cardinals putting finishing touches on Week 1 prep

Sep 8, 2023, 6:01 PM

TEMPE — The Arizona Cardinals officially made it through the first game week of practice after Friday’s work. Now, it’s onto Washington.

Before the new regime under head coach Jonathan Gannon and general manager Monti Ossenfort take the field against the Commanders in Week 1, though, there’s still plenty to accomplish.

“The hay is not in the barn,” Cardinals head coach Jonathan Gannon said Friday. “Saturday’s a big day for us with what we’re doing, how we’re operating and Sunday we’ll let it rip.”

“A lot of football to be taught and learned and understanding we have a process we go through the day before the game that is very important and critical to kind of the last parts of the game plan,” the head coach added. “A couple more reps at different things, meetings, we do a mock game. It’s intense.”

Emotions in check

For a first-time head coach like Gannon, it wouldn’t be surprising if the jitters were there ahead of his first game in the role.

Honestly, it would be more surprising if there weren’t any.

One way to not let those emotions engulf you? Be where your feet are, a common JG-ism inside the walls of the Tempe training facility.

“There’s always a little bit of anxiousness, which is good, but that’s why you don’t look too much into the future, because you get anxious,” Gannon said. “You look too much into the past, you get depressed. There’s a certain amount of energy and anxiousness that’s good.”

Message received

Gannon may be embarking on his first NFL season as a head coach, but at least he’s gotten his regular-season feet wet in the past as an assistant.

The same can’t be said for Arizona’s batch of 2023 rookies, which features a handful of projected contributors and starters entering the season opener.

Two days out from game time, Gannon’s message to the youth movement is simple:

“Take a deep breath and go let it rip,” he said.


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