In most professions, a bad day at work does not need to be explained to a throng of inquiring minds.
The NFL is unique in that regard, as the media is the conduit from an organization to its fans. The Cardinals have experienced a rough season in 2018, and it’s not easy to hear probing questions repeatedly.
Safety Antoine Bethea and defensive tackle Corey Peters have handled the situation with aplomb, and for that, they have been named the co-winners of the Pro Football Writers Association’s Steve Schoenfeld Good Guy Award, given annually to the players who best exemplify professionalism in dealing with the media.
“It’s important to understand that this is professional football,” Peters said. “Part of that responsibility is the media. The media helps to grow the game and the reason we are able to make the money we are able to make. It’s a huge responsibility that, regardless of circumstance, we have to take care of. I appreciate everybody here and I feel they have been fair as it relates to me. I always try to repay that and help them make their job easier.”
Peters and Bethea were recognized in a post-practice presentation on Friday along with defensive end Chandler Jones, who was given the Lloyd Herberg MVP Award for a second straight season. Jones has 49 tackles, 12 sacks and three forced fumbles on the year.
Schoenfeld was the Arizona Republic’s Cardinals beat writer from 1998 through the summer of 2000. He was killed by a hit-and-run driver in October of 2000. Herberg covered the Cardinals for the Republic from 1988 through 1994, when he died of cancer.
There has long been an interwoven fabric between NFL teams and the media that chronicles them. Bethea and Peters often give thoughtful and incisive answers and make themselves readily available.
“If I’m there, I’m not going to turn (an interview) down, and nine times out of 10 I am in the locker room,” Bethea said. “I understand the media has a job to do, to get the information out to the fans and to the public. Being in this league awhile, we know it comes with the job description. Even though sometimes we don’t want to do it, it’s something we’ve got to do.”
ROLES FOR SWEARINGER, COOPER UP IN THE AIR
Safety D.J. Swearinger and wide receiver Pharoh Cooper are a couple of intriguing players for 2019, but it remains to be seen if they will have roles in the season finale against the Seahawks.
Cooper was active in last week’s loss to the Rams but only returned one punt for a yard. Coach Steve Wilks said it’s a possibility he returns kicks and punts against the Seahawks, although running back T.J. Logan is also an option.
Swearinger is trying to learn the defensive playbook in a matter of days. His availability could depend on how the inactive list is shaped by injuries.
“I’m still waiting to see how things shake out from a number count, but it’s a possibility,” Wilks said.
MAYOWA, GOLDEN QUESTIONABLE AGAINST SEAHAWKS
The Cardinals could be thin at defensive end in Seattle, as Markus Golden (ankle) and Benson Mayowa (back/neck) are questionable after not practicing this week. Zach Moore would likely start opposite Jones in their absence. Tight end Ricky Seals-Jones (shoulder) will not play.
For the Seahawks, guard J.R. Sweezy (foot) is doubtful, while guard D.J. Fluker (hamstring), safety Bradley McDougald (knee), defensive end Dion Jordan (knee), safety Tedric Thompson (ankle) and running back Rashaad Penny (knee) are questionable.
DUPRE, TASINI ADDED TO ACTIVE ROSTER
Wide receiver Malachi Dupre and defensive tackle Pasoni Tasini were elevated from the practice squad to the active roster. Cornerbacks Leonard Johnson and Deatrick Nichols were released to make room.
Dupre was a 2017 seventh-round pick of the Packers out of LSU.
Images of key players for this week's opponent, the Seattle Seahawks