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Fast Start For John Brown

Posted Jul 28, 2014

Notebook: Receiver excels in pads; Cooper's hurdle; tight ends in backfield

Wide receiver John Brown hauls in his 82-yard touchdown catch beyond cornerback Justin Bethel Monday.

As Calais Campbell walked past wide receiver John Brown and a surrounding interview contingent on Monday, the veteran defensive end vocalized an idea becoming more believable by the day.

“Future star right there,” Campbell said.

Brown was an unknown before the Cardinals drafted him in the third round in May, but has thus far wowed the organization with his progress. The Pittsburg State product picked up significant buzz with his offseason production and played well on the first two days of training camp.

Monday was the first day of full pads, and coach Bruce Arians was interested to know how he would handle the change.“Can he play that fast? Can he get off the jam?” Arians said. “It’ll be more physical.”

Brown did his part to give answers, highlighting the practice with an 82-yard touchdown catch from quarterback Drew Stanton in 11-on-11 action. The defensive players refrained from laying big hits during the session, so it wasn’t quite the real thing, but it was yet another standout showing in a long string of them.

Brown said the addition of pads doesn’t change a thing for him.

“I don’t treat it any different,” Brown said. “People can say what they want to say, but I treat it the same. You’re going to get hit regardless.”

While the understated Brown may hear the hype surrounding him, he is not letting it affect him.

“I don’t feed into all that,” he said. “I’m just worrying about me and helping the team. When it’s time to show up, I’m going to show up and see how it goes from there.”

COOPER TAKES ANOTHER STEP FORWARD

Starting left guard Jonathan Cooper put on the pads for the first time since fracturing his left leg in a preseason game against the Chargers last year.

Cooper was the No. 7 overall pick in the 2013 draft but missed his entire rookie season with the injury. While it was a significant step in his return, Cooper said at this point there was no mental hurdle he needed to clear.

“If you would have asked me during OTAs I would have said yes, but no, not today,” Cooper said. “I felt pretty good physically.”

Cooper lined up opposite Campbell several times during the practice and said he had his share of physical mistakes.

“As long as it’s not a mental error, I feel like I can live with it,” Cooper said. “But I still need to fix it, critique it and move on.”

ARIANS WANTS A TIGHT END TO PLAY FULLBACK

The Cardinals don’t have a fullback in training camp, but running back Robert Hughes resembles one and has lined up in that spot periodically. Arians likes the versatility Hughes brings, but in a perfect world, he would like the option of putting a tight end in the backfield.

That way, when two tight-end personnel huddles up, it’s easier to disguise the formation before the players reach the line of scrimmage.

“That’s the best of both worlds,” Arians said. “Put a true fullback in the game, and they’re going to get their best call against that. Two tight ends that are versatile, they don’t know what the heck you’re going to come out in. That’s the beauty of tight ends who are versatile.”

Arians has a pair of blocking tight ends in Troy Niklas and Jake Ballard who could experiment in that role during camp.

 “We’ll find out if we have one who can play fullback,” Arians said.

SENDLEIN HURT

Starting center Lyle Sendlein left early in practice with a left calf injury. The seriousness of the injury is unknown.

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