Arizona Cardinals training camp: Arians says players in good shape, ready to go

2013-07-26T00:00:00Z Arizona Cardinals training camp: Arians says players in good shape, ready to goThe Associated Press The Associated Press
July 26, 2013 12:00 am  • 

GLENDALE - New location, new coach, new quarterback.

Change was definitely in the air when the Arizona Cardinals reported to training camp Thursday at the University of Phoenix Stadium.

The Cardinals had held training camp at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff for all but one season since the franchise moved to Arizona in 1988, but the team shifted the site this year to its home stadium, joining a league-wide trend.

New coach Bruce Arians cut short a planned team run on Thursday, saying he'd seen them run enough in the offseason.

"I saw everything I needed to see, stopped it early," Arians said. "We need to put pads on and start hitting each other a little bit and hitting somebody else.

"Obviously, they're in really good shape and ready to go."

The initial public workout is scheduled for today, and the team will don pads for the first time Saturday.

"I'm tired of playing soccer," Arians said of the many offseason workouts in shorts. "Soccer's a great game, but we play this one in the trenches. I want to see our offensive line and defensive line. I think we can become pretty good pretty quickly."

Absent on Thursday was guard Jonathan Cooper, the first-round draft pick who has yet to reach a contract agreement. Cooper was working as the first-team left guard through most of the offseason practices.

All Arians would say about that situation was: "I'll talk about the guys that are here. The guys that aren't here, I don't have nothing to say about."

There will be an addition to the roster soon, with offensive tackle Eric Winston confirming to SiriusXM NFL Radio that he has agreed to a one-year contract with Arizona.

The addition would create an interesting situation on the offensive line, where Levi Brown was projected as the starter at left tackle with second-year pro Bobby Massie on the right side. Winston has started every game in his six NFL seasons - five with Houston and last year with Kansas City - and while he said he knows he has to compete for the job, he said he expects to wind up as the starter at right tackle.

Massie practiced some at left tackle late in the offseason workouts. Then there's Nate Potter, who as a rookie became the starting left tackle midway through last season. The coaching staff also wants to use Potter some at guard.

Arians wouldn't say the team was looking for outside help because he was dissatisfied with the tackles.

"It's just a matter of if there's somebody out there to make our football team better, that's our job to go get them," the coach said. "The more competition the better."

The team also reportedly was closing in on a deal with outside linebacker John Abraham as a pass rushing specialist.

Brown, labeled an "elite" tackle by Arians earlier this year, wouldn't stop to talk to reporters as the players left the field, saying he had a meeting. But center Lyle Sendlein did stop and spoke of the addition of another tackle.

"It just goes to show you're going to have to compete for your job," Sendlein said.

As for the makeup of the line, Sendlein said, "I wouldn't expect them to put anything in cement because we haven't even put on pads, and that's where we do most of our work, or all of our work.

"So there's going to be decisions made on who's playing and who's going to be on the team and who's not, and that's going to be decided on how we perform over the next four or five weeks."

The Cardinals have less room than they had in Flagstaff, where the team had three full practice fields at Northern Arizona University. But Arians said that with the configuration that's been worked out at the stadium, there is plenty of space to get the work done.

The team is staying at the nearby Renaissance Hotel. Arians joked that he was worried the accommodations were "too nice."

NFL countdown

41 days

Until the Broncos and Ravens meet in Denver to kick off the 2013 season

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