Jerraud Powers: “It’s gonna be realistic” to see six or seven DB packages this season

GLENDALE, Ariz. – An oblique injury is nothing to play around with, which is why Cardinals cornerback Jerraud Powers is easing his way back into the action at training camp.

Powers “dinged” his side last Saturday at the Red and White practice. He walked off the field, and to the locker room on his own power, which is always a good sign (when head athletic trainer Tom Reed doesn’t have to escort you back to the locker room, that’s an encouraging thing).

Powers was held out of Monday and Tuesday’s practices, but he made his return to the field on Wednesday. Powers got taped up and did some work on the side field on Tuesday, but he got padded up and went out for a little bit with his teammates a day later.

“It felt good, it’s (oblique) coming along, just kinda taking the time,” Powers said. “An oblique can be a little tricky; you think it feels good, then one sudden move, and you can kinda set yourself back, but it felt good just to be back out there.”

Powers had some extra armor on underneath his uniform on Wednesday in the form of a shoulder pad. He says it didn’t really hinder him in his lateral movements at all.

“It felt fine (with) all my movements. It was a little stiff, a little sore, but it wasn’t (anything) I was worried about. It’s kind of what I expected,” Powers said.

With Powers down the last few days, it was Justin Bethel’s time to get his reps and show head coach Bruce Arians that he should be in consideration for the other starting cornerback spot opposite Patrick Peterson. Powers has been impressed by what Bethel’s done in his absence.

“I think he’s (Bethel) coming along, he’s coming along well,” Powers said. “You can tell he’s learning, you can tell he’s getting better every day. Everybody’s been on him, including myself, including Patrick (Peterson), including the coaches. He realizes we’re gonna need him.”

“Right now, (at) the corner(back) position, there’s a lot of battles going on, and we’re telling him (Bethel) we’re gonna need him, (and) he’s gonna have to step up and play a lot this year,” Powers said. “I think he’s taking it to heed, and every day you can tell he’s focusing on things that he needs to get better at.”

At one point in talking to Powers on Wednesday, Peterson stopped by and played hard hitting journalist. He asked Powers what his expectations are for the Cardinals secondary, which is so stacked right now.

“Pretty big expectations,” Powers said. “Patrick Peterson’s lost a lot of weight, (he’s) back to his old self. I think he needs to gain about five pounds, but that’s up to him to decide.”

“I think we got some playmakers out there that’s going to compete. We’re definitely going to have a pot out there to see who’s going to make the most plays,” Powers said. “I think (I’m) in the lead coming off last year, but we’ll see how that goes.”

Peterson followed that up by asking Powers what’s the likelihood he plays on Saturday night in their preseason opener against the Kansas City Chiefs.

“I think I’m gonna be able to go, and hopefully B.A. (Bruce Arians) gives me the nod,” Powers said. “I feel like if you’re out there, I’m gonna have to be out there as well, just to let people know. We’ll see.”

Powers jokingly said Peterson gets on his nerves before he really expressed how he felt about his running mate.

“Nah, it’s great. I’ve been knowing Pat (Peterson) for a long time. His cousin was my roommate in college at Auburn (University). I give him a hard time (for) not coming to Auburn,” Powers said. “I got film of me and him fighting over a punt ball in (an) LSU/Auburn game. We’ve been knowing each other for a long time.”

There’s so much depth in the Cardinals secondary. It’s frightening to look up and down their roster and see names like Powers, Peterson, Bethel, Rashad Johnson, Tyrann Mathieu and Tony Jefferson, not to mention all the younger cornerbacks and safeties who are fighting for jobs.

Powers thinks it’s a realistic possibility that we’ll see a lot of six and seven defensive back lineups this season, if for no other reason than to get all that talent playing time at the same time.

“I think it’s gonna be realistic,” Powers said. “I think we have so many playmakers, especially at the safety position that’s proven. We’re gonna have to come up with some packages where we can have the best guys on the field at the same time. There’s no need to have a guy off the field that’s a playmaker just as the guys (are) on the field.”

“I think we’re gonna have a few packages where (we’re going to have) a lot of DBs (defensive backs) on the field doing a lot of different things, and make it fun,” Powers said.

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