Cardinals were “outstanding” in Day One of minicamp

GLENDALE, Ariz. – Cardinals’ head coach Bruce Arians is seeing incredible progress in his team during their offseason workouts. The players had an elongated weekend free to get some rest and relaxation in before the start of their mandatory minicamp on Tuesday.

The time off didn’t slow them down one iota.

“Outstanding practice. Maybe one of the best practices I’ve seen since we’ve been here together,” Arians said. “Both sides of the ball competed extremely well. We got done way early, and got maybe 30 extra reps in there. I thought it was an outstanding practice.”

Arians could tell the players were ready to get things started, which he feels led to such a high-energy practice.

“They’re excited about getting better,” Arians said. “It’s obvious at every position there’s competition, and you can’t have a bad day.”

Arians was asked to share his thoughts on what he saw from quarterback Carson Palmer, who got his first opportunity to take on the defense in 11-on-11 drills. Arians says it went as well as expected.

“I thought he (Palmer) was outstanding,” Arians said. “Of the hundred balls he threw, he only had one bad one. He tried to throw one too deep down the middle late. Other than that, everything was outstanding.”

“He (Palmer) moved around well. He’s been moving around all the time,” Arians said. “I thought his movement in the pocket, there was no hesitation in him. I had some hesitation a couple times when I saw those guys fall down in front of him, but other than that, it was really good.”

Arians has finally taken the “training wheels” off Palmer, letting him come back at his own pace now.

“As fast as he (Palmer) can go now. He’s ready to roll,” Arians said.

Arians talked about several other players, and what he saw from them on Day One of minicamp:

With Andre Ellington back, does Kerwynn Williams need to do anything different to keep his job?

“No. Just do what he (Williams) did last year,” Arians said. “The biggest thing for him is to improve his hands, because he’ll catch the ball out here when it’s just us, but as soon as we get in a game, he’ll drop some balls. His pass receiving ability is what slows him down a little bit, but his running ability is no problem.”

Arians on Deone Bucannon:

“Much more mature guy. All the guys from last year are much more mature. They know what to expect,” Arians said. “Buck’s (Bucannon) playing safety, he’s playing the dollar (linebacker position), he’s playing some linebacker. His role just keeps expanding.”

Arians on Alfonso Dennard:

“He’s (Dennard) a good vet that’s competing for a job,” Arians said. “He’s been there, he’s played in big games. He’s got some habits we need to break. He hasn’t played quite as much man as we play, and we’re not allowed to press right now, and that’s our forte. We’ll see once we get to training camp.”

Where is Andre Ellington with his health?

“He’s (Ellington) 100. Everything he’s doing is full speed right now. He’s got no setbacks whatsoever.”

Could Patrick Peterson return punts this season?

“That’s always a possibility,” Arians said. “Last year he (Peterson) had some issues, but that’s always a possibility.”

Michael Floyd’s health:

“He’s (Floyd) got a slight hamstring tweak,” Arians said. “I’m not going to risk it. He had too great of OTAs to risk it today.”

Will Kevin Minter have a bigger role this season?

“That’ll be up to him (Minter),” Arians said. “As far as expectations, that’s not what he’s made for. He’s not a nickel linebacker, unless teams are running the football. He’s a thumper. We need him in our division to play run defense. We’ll have other guys to play pass defense if we need them.”

Has Logan Thomas shown you enough progress from last year to now?

“It’s still a work in progress,” Arians said. “He (Thomas) makes some of those wild throws still, and you scratch your head sometimes.”

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