Tweaked process, same message: Cardinals begin strength and conditioning program

Apr 15, 2024, 7:36 PM

TEMPE — Arizona Cardinals head coach Jonathan Gannon isn’t the biggest believer in momentum, especially on a year-to-year basis.

So, although there were some positives to take away from 2023 — improving the culture inside the locker room being chief among them in a 4-13 finish — the head coach is clean-slating things in Year 2.

“People say, ‘You pick up where you left off.’ I don’t necessary believe or agree with that,” Gannon said as Arizona’s strength and conditioning program kicked off Monday. “I think you gotta start from the first building block of how we operate, how we do things. Make it very clear.

“But now, the acceleration of building that should be a little bit quicker. That’s what I’m looking for. A little bit of a speed and efficiency of how we’re doing things. They took to the speed today.”

Part of Gannon and the Cardinals building back up includes tweaking aspects using both coaching and player input in the overarching direction of better serving the athletes.

It also includes the players once again utilizing the blueprint Gannon and Co. have put forth and taking the team into their own hands.

Last season, Gannon first saw that on display during organized team activities. It took another jump during training camp before steadily rising over the following months of football.

Despite the record, you could tell the team was marching to the same beat and further connecting throughout the adversity thrown its way last year.

That was a big credit to players like linebacker Kyzir White, who is already seeing that in motion after a day of offseason work.

“All throughout the year last year we worked on it and you definitely feel it walking into the building this year,” he said. “Real good energy. Just trying to make the new guys feel comfortable and everything like that.

“Want to make it real family-oriented and keep taking it day-by-day, step-by-step and building relationships. That’s just going to help us when we get on the field.”

This time in the offseason also provides a chance for younger voices to begin finding their way into the conversation that much more.

On top of looking to improve upon his ability as a pass catcher and blocker, tight end Trey McBride is embracing the chance to take on a bigger leadership role under the new regime.

“I’m fired up to be in Year 2 with this staff, to see all the new guys who came in, just to be back in the building and have everyone back,” McBride said Monday. “A lot of energy, a lot of excitement. Fired up to be back.

“This is the closest I’ve felt with the tight ends room,” he added. “I feel like I’m a leader in a sense in that room. I want to bring these guys together. I want to be that guy that they can lean on. I want to help them anyway I can.”

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Tweaked process, same message: Cardinals begin strength and conditioning program