Arizona Cardinals players don’t want to use OTAs to get better in 2021

(Photo by Rob Schumacher-Arizona Republic)
(Photo by Rob Schumacher-Arizona Republic) /

The Arizona Cardinals have reportedly agreed to significantly reduce their amount of OTA practice sessions this year.

For a few weeks, I was so happy the Arizona Cardinals didn’t reduce or nix OTAs this year. But I knew it was too good to be true.

Instead of the NFLPA issuing a public statement on behalf of the team like they did for several other NFL franchises’ players, members of the Cardinals roster and staff went behind closed doors and changed things up.

According to 98.7 Arizona Sports, Arizona’s players went to team leadership and both sides agreed to cut the amount of this year’s OTA practices from 10 down to just three.

How will fewer OTA practices impact the 2021 Arizona Cardinals?

Where in the world does this make sense? This is very upsetting that the Cardinals would even think about reducing their chances to work together as a team, especially with so many new players this year.

Arizona had so many disciplinary issues in 2020 because of the pandemic, and now they want to double down on that again? This is a form of redshirting that they told this year’s first-round pick, Zaven Collins, there wasn’t going to be any of.

This is a direct slap in the face to the previous Cardinals rookie classes that have come through. How much better would all of them have been if they had OTAs?

If there is anything that’s going to tick off Arizona’s fan base, it’s having rookies get less work. If Collins is the leader of the defense, it would be nice to hear something from him on how this reduction of OTA practices is unnecessary.

If the 2021 season goes poorly for Cardinals general manager Steve Keim and head coach Kliff Kingsbury, this will be a reason why. Arizona plays in arguably the hardest division in the entire NFL and missed work is bad work.

I wish there would have been a set of players who voted no and tried to stop this. Until those details come out (and if), we’ll never know for sure.

Some of you who disagree will only say, “it’s just OTAs.” Similar to Allen Iverson’s infamous “we talking bout practice” quote. It’s more than that though.

OTAs are about the players acclimating their bodies, getting reps, seeing formations, learning the snap count and cadence, and being able to make mistakes in practice so that way come game time, they’re limited.

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Let rookies and young Cardinals make their mistakes now and not during the season. Otherwise, this is not a good look for Arizona. We’ll see how it plays out.