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D.J. Humphries Making Progress

Posted Oct 23, 2015

Notes: Goodwin praises No. 1 pick; John Brown sits out practice; No ends on defense

Cardinals rookie tackle D.J.Humphries has yet to be active for a game, but the No. 1 draft pick is making progress.

Rookie tackle D.J. Humphries was showing offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Harold Goodwin enough that Goodwin wandered over to Bruce Arians Friday to deliver a drive-by comment.

“Man, he’s getting better,” Goodwin told the Cardinals’ head coach.

That’s good news, not just because it’s something you hope to see from a number one draft pick who has been inactive every game, but also because Goodwin has never been shy to say if a player is doing otherwise.

“He’s working harder and he’s starting to see what these veteran guys are doing,” Goodwin said. “You can see he’s getting stronger. You can see the evolution of him maturing as a player. He came to me (Thursday) and said, ‘What do I have to do?’ I just laid it out for him black and white. He’s making strides, but as we know, Rome wasn’t built in a day.”

Humphries said he had to learn how to prioritize his time. In college, there were classes until mid-afternoon and then practice. These days, he’s headed home by late afternoon with a lot of free time. Goodwin said Humphries has learned that studying video on his own time was important.

Humphries also said he had to learn how to stop worrying about football too.

“Not going home and thinking about ‘I messed up on this’ or ‘I should’ve done that,’ ” Humphries said. “Doing what I need to do for that hour or so (studying) and then cutting it off.”

Humphries has time. Asked if he could trust Humphries enough to play, Goodwin said “he’s getting close.” With the offensive line set – and with veteran Bradley Sowell operating as the backup swing tackle – Goodwin said “there’s no rush” with Humphries.

Humphries had long come to grips with the knowledge – and criticisms -- he was a first-round pick who wasn’t active.

“Pressure, like my dad said all the time, pressure busts pipes or it makes diamonds,” Humphries said. “The pressure wasn’t really a problem. I just think it was too fast for me at that point. Once it slowed down for me, it started to make sense.”


The Cardinals have shifted around some official position designations on their roster. Given their 3-4 base defense, there are no more defensive ends on the roster – every lineman except for nose tackle Xavier Williams is now officially a defensive tackle. And safety Deone Bucannon was officially being called a “$” linebacker (for "dollar" or "money" linebacker) a couple of games ago.

“All that doesn’t matter,” defensive tackle Calais Campbell said. “They draw up plays and move us around a lot. Just depends on the matchup and what the coach sees and what he wants to exploit. If you see something, he draws up a whole bunch of blitzes and moves us all around. We take turns getting to beat up on guys.”

Defensive coordinator James Bettcher chuckled when it was brought up that he has a defense with no defensive ends.

“Truthfully, when you watch Buc (Bucannon) even, people say is he a linebacker, is he this, he’s wherever he lines up,” Bettcher said. “Those guys up front, they are wherever they line up. Whatever we can do to create the best matchup, that’s all we are trying to do.”


After hurting his hamstring in practice Thursday, wide receiver John “Smokey” Brown sat out practice Friday, bringing into some question his availability for Monday’s game. The Cardinals still have a practice left Saturday before the final injury report comes out.

Tight end Darren Fells (shoulder) and linebacker Alex Okafor (calf) also sat out. Defensive tackle Cory Redding (shoulder) was upgraded to full practice, but cornerback Justin Bethel (foot), defensive tackle Frostee Rucker (foot) and linebacker LaMarr Woodley (chest) all remained limited.

Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald was back to practice Friday after taking a veteran’s day off Thursday.

For the Ravens, safety Terrence Brooks (thumb), safety Kendrick Lewis (knee), wide receiver Breshad Perriman (knee), tight end Maxx Williams (knee/ankle) and defensive end Chris Canty (calf) all sat out. Cornerback Asa Jackson (thigh), cornerback Ladarius Webb (thigh) and guard Marshall Yanda (ankle) were all limited.

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