Arizona Cardinals: 3 major impressions from Thursday’s practice - August 3rd

As Arizona Cardinals training camp rolls on, we’re gaining more insight over what this team is made of in 2023, and Thursday’s practice continued that trend.
Jul 26, 2023; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Greg Dortch (83) during training
Jul 26, 2023; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Greg Dortch (83) during training / Rob Schumacher/The Republic / USA TODAY

The Arizona Cardinals are steamrolling toward their annual Red & White Game, which will mark the first major milestone in camp - or the second, with new practice uniforms being the first. But before that game commences, the Redbirds still needed to get a practice session out of the way, and it was yet another one where several players once again made their presence known.

Below, we are discussing a pair of players who, even if they aren’t every down assets for 2023, will nonetheless play an important role with the team. We will also update you on one major position battle in particular. So who stood out in yesterday’s practice, what could be in store for them this season, and which battle is still anyone’s game?

Major impressions from the Arizona Cardinals practice from Thursday

1 - Greg Dortch (again) making presence felt

If this sounds familiar, it’s because Greg Dortch was impressing us all this time last year. Often, players like Dortch - undersized and underrated - fizzle once the regular season begins, but he even enjoyed a few good outings until Rondale Moore returned and took his spot. 

Dortch reclaimed that spot last season, and in camp, he doesn’t look interested in relinquishing it any time soon. The slightly-built receiver is once again making plays all over the field, so maybe the current coaching staff will be wise enough to give him the chance he deserves as opposed to only playing him when they need to. 

2 - Shakeup at offensive line

The offensive line has, as projected, seen an overhaul, with Hjalte Froholdt, Elijah Wilkinson, and Paris Johnson Jr. as part of a starting five that played elsewhere last season. On Thursday, Dennis Daley got his crack in the unit when he rotated in and out with Wilkinson at guard. 

Daley is an incredible run blocker, so giving him a chance in the starting five makes sense given the system the Redbirds want to adopt. And he may not be the only one seeing time with the First Team as interior lineman Jon Gaines II gets acclimated to life in the NFL and center Pat Elflein continues to move up the depth chart. 

Source: New era notes: Kei’Trel Clark brings the spark on Day 8 of Cardinals camp by Tyler Drake, Arizona Sports

3 - Competition for Starting Center Far From Over

Speaking of the offensive line, Pat Elflein, and Jon Gaines, they are also in the running to take the starting center job away from Froholdt, as is Hayden Howerton. Having more experience than the others combined, Elflein will most likely emerge as the victor for the job, especially once his playing time with the First Team increases. 

But if someone other than Elflein is lining up with the First Team come Week 1 against the Washington Commanders, don’t be surprised. As Thursday’s practice told us - and most of training camp, for that matter, nothing is set in stone at the position. 


Source: Arizona Cardinals OC Drew Petzing on starting center job: 'Let the best man win' by Bob McManaman, AZ Central