The Arizona Cardinals are now in day two of a three-day OTA this week at headquarters in Tempe
Head coach Bruce Arians said he was happy with what he saw at the first day of OTA’s yesterday in Tempe as the Arizona Cardinals took the field as a full team for the first time since losing their playoff game to the Carolina Panthers in January. Only a handful of players did not participate.
Per azcardinals.com, rookie Jaxon Shipley, Shaq Riddick, Zach Wagenmann, and Alani Fua did not practice on Monday. Shipley was finishing school, Riddick is nursing a hamstring injury, Wagenmann and Fua both foot injuries.
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Arians said the goal is to stay conditioned. His biggest worry is fatigue. He pointed to fact that the team can only practice for three hour each day, however, it is in the last 45 minutes players tend to get hurt. I say amen to that.
We saw how many injuries the Cardinals went through last season. Was some of it because of conditioning? Maybe. It is always a concern. If the Cardinals can be what Arians called “the best conditioned team since I’ve been here” after just day one of OTA’s, that is a good sign.
Why wouldn’t they want to improve conditioning? Its a big deal, especially on defense, late in games. The defense spent a lot of time on the field in the last quarter of the 2014 season and it eventually caught up to them because depth at certain positions was paper thin. This team has a feeling of having lost something they could have achieved last season, a Super Bowl Championship.
They have their doubters this season. The feelings are mixed on how the Cardinals will do. Some, like ESPN, think they’ll regress to 6-10. Some think they will contend. A lot of that is on the health of quarterback Carson Palmer.
Newly acquired linebacker Sean Weatherspoon knows how good this team can be with Palmer.