Exactly one week ago today, the Cardinals reported for training camp.
They have had six total practices since; two without pads and four with pads. After one week of practice, some trends and play are starting to develop.
With that said, here are the top five things we have learned thus far:
Number one: Give it a rest
The Cardinals are serious about resting Carson Palmer and his right throwing arm. Palmer has been given the day off twice during the opening week of camp.
Coach Bruce Arians is committed to giving Palmer off one day a week. He has said Palmer will not play at all in the first and last preseason games.
The Cardinals have extra camp time because of the fifth preseason game, so it certainly makes sense to give Palmer extra rest.
Number two: B is for...
The “B” word that was hovering over Robert Nkemdiche, last years number one draft pick, will not be for “bust” but rather “bounce back”.
Nkemdiche has been the rave of camp. Coaches and players continue to use the words “explosive” and “disruptive” when describing his play.
With pro bowler Calais Campbell now in Jacksonville, Nkemdiche is evolving into a playmaker at just the right time.
Number three: The Chronicles of Reddick
The Cardinals aren’t totally convinced rookie first round draft pick, Haason Reddick, can handle the starting duties at inside linebacker.
Reddick has been forced to step into a starting role because of Deone Bucannon’s unavailability due to offseason ankle surgery and has shown flashes and shined in pass coverage.
But to be sure he is not overwhelmed, the Cardinals on Thursday inked 9-year veteran linebacker, Philip Wheeler, to a one year contract. Wheeler played the last two years with the Falcons, including playing in Super Bowl LI.
Number four: A leg up
42-year-old placekicker Phil Dawson is very impressive to talk to and watch on the practice field. The 19-year veteran has a routine he takes very seriously in his preparation for practice, the week and games.
Because he is so detailed in his routine, a last second game-winning kick is no different to him than a first quarter extra point. Three times last year, the Cardinals failed to make good on kicks in late game situations.
Dawson has designs on fixing that. And he hopes his success leads to his age not being mentioned in the same breath or same sentence as his name.
Number five: Where are the wide outs?
Coach Bruce Arians is not pleased with the overall play of his wide receivers. He said outside of number one, Larry Fitzgerald, receivers two through six have been disappointing.
In fact, he called their play during one practice the worst he’s ever seen in his career.
Arians has been seen spending more time watching and encouraging this group. The Cardinals spent only one draft pick on this position in April.
And, as of yet, third round pick Chad Williams, hasn’t distinguished himself.
There's still plenty of time before the regular season begins, so we'll see how things round out. The Cardinals kick off their pre-season schedule on Aug. 3 in the Hall of Fame game against the Dallas Cowboys.
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