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Brandon Flowers Gets First Veteran Look

Posted Jul 25, 2017

Notes: CB in for workout; Diverse coaching tree; Playing safer

Cardinals cornerbacks Justin Bethel (left) and Brandon Williams might have more competition for the starting spot.

It’s tinkering season for General Manager Steve Keim.

Coach Bruce Arians confirmed that the Cardinals are taking a look at veteran cornerback Brandon Flowers. He received a physical on Tuesday to check for any lingering issues from a concussion that sidelined him last season, and is slated to work out for the team on Wednesday.

Arians has been happy with the play of cornerback Justin Bethel in the early stages of training camp but the Cardinals have always liked to kick the tires on potentially fruitful additions. Flowers, a 2013 Pro Bowler with the Chiefs, only played in six regular season games last year, but had a 25-yard interception return against Carson Palmer and the Cardinals in the preseason.

While Flowers, 31, is the first veteran to be brought in since camp began, he’s not expected to be the last.

“You’re going to see some guys come in here real fast to build this roster, just in case,” Arians said. “Either young guys haven’t performed well enough, (or) there are so many good veterans on the street that you want to have guys ready to go.”

Bethel has the lead on Brandon Williams for the starting cornerback spot opposite Patrick Peterson. That gap hasn’t seemed to close, but the possible addition of Flowers would add another player into the mix.

Last season, the Cardinals added several cornerbacks in the weeks leading up to the first game, and trade addition Marcus Cooper ended up becoming the starter. Bethel will need to continue to play well to hold onto the spot.

“Justin’s had good days every day,” Arians said. “The best thing with him, he just comes back and goes back to the next one. It used to bother him. He’s learning to get amnesia.”

A DIVERSE COACHING TREE

The Cardinals had former Rams wideout Torry Holt in to help coach during minicamp and former Steelers wide receiver Plaxico Burress is among the coaches during training camp.

Arians also has a large number of older assistants on staff, and that mix is by design. He likes to get a variety of viewpoints by bringing in coaches from all different ages and ethnicities.

“I think it’s probably the most eclectic, diverse coaching staff in the league,” Arians said.

Assistant head coach Tom Moore is the second oldest of the bunch at 78 – behind 82-year-old Tom Pratt -- and Arians has always held a special bond with him. They enjoy talking offensive philosophy and have no problem speaking up when they disagree.

Moore’s 39 years of NFL experience are tied with Pratt for second-most among active coaches behind only Dick LeBeau, and he has 53 years of coaching overall. Moore recently received a clean bill of health as he primes for another season on the sidelines.

“It’s amazing,” Arians said. “If you drink Chardonnay and smoke cigarettes, you’re going to be healthy. That’s all genetics.”

A PUSH TO MAKE THE GAME SAFER

A report released Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association found evidence of CTE, a brain disease with a variety of concerning symptoms, in 110 of the 111 former NFL players that were studied. The sample wasn’t random so it’s unknown how closely that number correlates to all NFL players, but it was a reminder to Arians that there must be a continued effort to lower the risk.

“I think it’s something that needs to be ongoing in all sports, not just football,” Arians said. “I don’t think they should be specific when you think of hockey and the collisions. All sports, everybody should be doing all the research they can in that area to make the game safe.”

INJURY UPDATE

Linebacker Alani Fua (knee), safety Ironhead Gallon (knee) and defensive tackle Ed Stinson (hamstring) were injured in Monday’s practice. Fua and Gallon will get MRIs to determine the severity of their injuries, Arians said.

Cornerback Elie Bouka (ankle) and cornerback Jumal Rolle (hamstring) will miss two weeks with their injuries.

Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, linebacker Karlos Dansby and defensive tackle Frostee Rucker were given the day off.

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