Cardinals “really like” what they have with their tight ends
TEMPE, Ariz. – The Cardinals have six tight ends on their roster – Ted Bolser, Gerald Christian, Darren Fells, Ifeanyi Momah, Troy Niklas, Gannon Sinclair – and they’re a bunch of redwoods.
“Damn they’re tall. They look pretty getting off the bus. If anything, they’re pretty getting off the bus,” head coach Bruce Arians said.
Fells and Niklas are the only ones in the group with any NFL experience; they played in 17 games last season for Arizona. The best way to get the other four players up to speed is to get them active in the offseason, which Arians, offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin and tight ends coach Rick Christophel are doing in the first wave of OTAs.
“Carson (Palmer) was really featuring them. We had some go balls that were wide open and he was trying to find his second and third read with the tight ends,” Arians said. “They are such big targets, and they can all run. Troy (Niklas) made a nice catch, (Ifeanyi) Mo (Momah) made a heck of a good catch one time, and he’s learning every day he’s out there, and Darren (Fells) is like night and day. Just even talking to him, he has so much confidence than the guy that was here last year at this time. He’s playing (at) an extremely high level right now.”
Niklas is making his way back from an injury filled rookie season. Two high-ankle sprains limited him to seven games last season and put him on injured reserve.
It’s a different looking tight end group than what Palmer’s used to seeing. The improvements Niklas and Fells have shown Palmer so far in the offseason has him encouraged about what’s to come.
“(I) really like the group. Troy’s (Niklas) come a long way from his ankle injury and looks really, really good. He’s just big, he’s got such a big wing span and radius. Darren’s (Fells) looked really, really good. Darren’s improved a ton,” Palmer said. “(Ifeanyi) Mo’s (Momah) the wild card. Mo was out here at the veteran Pro Day and got signed. He’s got something to him. He’s got very good quickness, he already kind of gets it. To play tight end in this offense is not simple. His thing is, ‘can he block? What’s he gonna do?’ I know he knows that. We’ve talked about that, and that’s a big challenge because you just can’t be a pass catcher in this offense.”
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