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Cardinals talk 2023 season at NFL owners meetings

Head Coach Jonathan Gannon spoke to various topics pertaining to 2023 season

PHOENIX — "It's still the honeymoon phase," new Cardinals Head Coach Jonathan Gannon said. "I'm not going to lie."

Gannon is still adjusting to life in the NFL as a first-time head coach as he spoke to the media during the NFC coaches breakfast during the NFL owners meetings on Tuesday. 

The 30 minute media session covered everything from Kyler Murray's rehab, the NFLPA (failing) report card for the organization to the status of Deandre Hopkins moving forward.

"The decisions will be driven with the players in mind first," Gannon stressed.

The new head coach stressed the importance of accountability with what is mostly a brand new coaching staff as the team enters the upcoming 2023 season (and offseason). That, plus the ability to work as a team first and foremost if they hope to find any success on the field.

"Those guys know we have to be together as one and team first mentality and I think the players will feel that quickly when they get in the building," Gannon said.

As for the potential of star Deandre Hopikins leaving the Valley, Gannon kept his response rather short and vague.

"Right now, I'm opereating under the premise Hop is our starting 'X' receiver," Gannon emphasized. "That's probably a better question for GM Monti Ossenfort, but Hop has been great and I am looking forward to working with him."

What that means is the public will have to wait and see what happens in the coming months. The same can be said with Kyler Murray's injury recovery process, after tearing his ACL in the 2022 season.

"Kyler's been great, he's attacked his rehab and doing everything he needs to do and chomping at the bit to get back," Gannon said. "When Kyler is fully ready to play mentally and physically, that's when he'll play. I am not going to put a timeline on it, because those are usually wrong."

Murray isn't a topic of discussion without bringing his character into question, which it was on Tuesday morning. Gannon's response? Nothing but for support for K1 and again, preaching a team-first mentality.

"All of our guys know it has to be team first because that's how you build a consistent winner," Gannon said.

Another hot topic of discussion was the recent NFLPA report card, which graded each NFL organization on several topics including the weight room, training room, locker room, nutrition and more. The Cardinals led the way with five F's, a league high, although they did rank near the top in strength staff (A-) and training staff (B+).

A concerning piece of feedback, yet Gannon doesn't look at that as a barometer of success within the organization.

"No decision that I make is going to be predicated on a report card or a media story," Gannon said.

He then proceeded to iterate changes have since been made and the team is headed in a positive direction within those categories.

"We had a couple of meetings with the head of several departments and said we need this and we don't need this," Gannon said. "Michael Bidwill has pulled the trigger on all of it so I love where we're at right now."

This is just the start of the offseason and there is expected to be much more change coming in the months ahead as the football activities ramp up.

One thing is for certain though, Gannon is aiming to foster a new culture within the locker room and is confident the men will follow suit.

"I can't wait when the players get back here in the building," Gannon said. "I will let them know this is the 2023 season, this is how we're going to do things, this is what's expected and this is how we're going to run the operation and they'll turn the page real fast."

Next order of duties will be voluntary offseason workouts starting on April 11.


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