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Sluggish Practice Steams Bruce Arians

Posted Jul 31, 2017

Notes: OC Goodwin to call plays; Zamort, Fua waived/injured; Jones, Bouka back

Cardinals safety Tyvon Branch during practice on Monday morning.

Linebacker Markus Golden had to halt his interview to grab a towel as sweat poured off him.

Offensive linemen sat at their lockers with a thousand-yard stare, waiting for their bodies to recover.

The Cardinals had a day off Sunday and returned for an outside practice Monday at 8 a.m., much earlier than usual for training camp. Coach Bruce Arians thought the players did a poor job adjusting to the heat and the start time, and he drove that message home by making them run wind sprints at the end of practice.

“Play like (expletive), I’ll treat you like (expletive),” Arians said. “They weren’t ready to practice. They were really ready to practice on Saturday. With fans and all that, they were ready to roll. They had a great practice Saturday. Today, awful.”

Arians pointed to a multitude of mental errors. There were penalties, missed assignments and misalignment.

“The heat kind of defeated us and you kind of saw it out there,” cornerback Patrick Peterson said. “He made sure that we knew about it by putting us on the line.”

The Cardinals didn’t perform well when traveling east in 2016, and they start this season with back-to-back games in Detroit and Indianapolis. Those games begin at 10 a.m. Arizona time, and Arians has scheduled early practices to get his team acclimated.

“You’ve got to be ready to play when the whistle blows,” he said.

Some players handled the punishment better than others. While sprints are never easy for linemen, safety Tyrann Mathieu said he once had to do 30 runs of 110 yards at LSU.

“I’ve died before,” he said. “I don’t think I can die again.”

[READ: A ROUGH PRACTICE, BUT IT WAS JUST A PRACTICE]

It was only the second time since Arians became coach that he made the whole team run as punishment. The first instance came during training camp in 2014.

“It’s just a challenge,” Mathieu said. “Obviously Coach doesn’t mean no harm. I feel like after a day off he’s trying to motivate us and push us to the next level. If he feels like it wasn’t a good practice, then maybe he has greater expectations for us – expectations, obviously, we want to meet. We don’t take it personal. We just try to look at it as a challenge.”

The Cardinals will have another morning practice on Tuesday.

“Like Coach said, sometimes fatigue makes cowards out of you,” Peterson said. “Not saying we have any cowards on this football team, but I want to make sure guys are dialed in and ready to go (Tuesday).”

GOODWIN TO CALL PLAYS

Offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin will be the play-caller for the Hall of Fame Game against the Cowboys on Thursday, Arians said. Goodwin coaches the offensive line in the regular season while Arians calls plays, but he gets an opportunity each preseason to direct the offense.

Quarterback Carson Palmer and wideout Larry Fitzgerald will not play in the game. Some of the team’s other starters aren’t sure if they will see the field.

“I think the young guys will go this week,” Mathieu said. “Hopefully we get a couple snaps, maybe a series or two just to get the feel back. I know me, personally, I want to get the feel back. I think it’s important for me to continue to play, continue to get reps. It helps my confidence.”

CARDINALS WAIVE/INJURED ZAMORT AND FUA

Cornerback Ronald Zamort, who ascended to the first team with Justin Bethel sidelined last week, was waived/injured Monday after tearing his ACL in Saturday’s Red-White practice. He will likely go on injured reserve if he clears waivers.

Linebacker Alani Fua (knee) was waived/injured as well. The Cardinals signed cornerback Jarell Carter, a rookie free agent from Trinity International.

JARVIS JONES, BOUKA RETURN TO PRACTICE

Linebacker Jarvis Jones (quad) and cornerback Elie Bouka (ankle) practiced in a limited capacity. Cornerback Justin Bethel (knee) is expected to return to practice next Monday. Linebacker Karlos Dansby (knee) wasn’t present in the open portion of practice.

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