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Greg Little Rescued From His Couch

Posted May 11, 2018

Notes: Chris Campbell begins rookie camp with interception; Wilks OK with safety depth

Wide receiver Greg Little makes a catch on the first day of rookie minicamp.

The Cardinals’ rookie minicamp kicked off on Friday, and it featured a plethora of first-year players, a handful of second-year guys, and one 28-year-old veteran.

Back in 2011, Greg Little was in the same shoes as these youngsters, entering the NFL as a second-round pick of the Browns. The wide receiver averaged 52 catches and 607 yards his first three seasons, but his career declined quickly from there. Little last played in a game in 2014, and said he spent all of last season sitting on the couch.

“When you come in the league, everybody has high expectations,” Little said after practice. “Everybody thinks they’re going to have this illustrious career. That’s not always the case.”

Despite being without a team since August of 2016, Little was offered a tryout by the Cardinals this weekend and jumped on the chance. He didn’t care that he was the oldest player on the field by a longshot.

“Opportunity,” Little said. “Coach (Steve) Wilks came in yesterday and that was the first thing he put on the board. That really hit home for me.”

Little seemed to help his cause, catching the eye of Wilks.

“He was out there making some plays,” Wilks said. “He stood out a little bit. It was good to be able to get him out here. I know he was excited about the opportunity he had. Hopefully he can continue to make the best of it throughout the weekend, and we’ll see exactly what happens on Sunday.”

CAMPBELL GETS A PICK

Sixth-round pick Chris Campbell was the only defensive player chosen by the Cardinals in the draft, and he made his presence felt in his professional debut. The cornerback out of Penn State picked off a pass in a 1-on-1 drill against a wide receiver.

He slowed down after the interception until Wilks and other coaches yelled at him to take the ball to the end zone. Campbell sprinted past the pylon to cap the play.

“Man, it was a great feeling,” Campbell said. “That was the only thing I was thinking about today – ‘I’ve got to get my hands on a ball.’ And I did. First practice, interception, it was something I was trying to do and I was blessed enough to accomplish that.”

Wilks is intrigued by the 6-foot-1 Campbell’s measurables and was happy with his first practice.

“If you follow my history, you know I like guys with a lot of length,” Wilks said. “Guys that are long, physical – that can use those attributes at the line of scrimmage in bump and run. We can’t really do that in this particular setting, but he made a nice play on the ball today with the interception in the 1-on-1 period. It’s early. It’s shorts and T-shirts. But we’re excited about him and the things we think he can bring.”

WILKS SATISFIED WITH SAFETY GROUP

The Cardinals released Harlan Miller on Thursday, leaving a group thin on experience behind starters Budda Baker and Antoine Bethea. Last year’s sixth-round pick, Rudy Ford, is next in seniority, while three undrafted free agents – A.J. Howard, Jonathan Owens and Zeke Turner – fill out the position group.

Wilks was asked if the team plans to add another veteran safety to the mix.

“I think right now, what we have on the roster is appealing to us as a staff,” Wilks said. “But I will say this: We’re going to continue to evolve and be aggressive in always trying to get the right mix. I told the guys today, ‘Nobody’s going to get complacent around here. It’s not a free lunch.’ So we’re going to continue to work hard and we’re going to continue to find guys that are going to make us better. If that means bringing guys in and out, that’s what we’re going to continue to do.”

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