Quarterback Drew Stanton (5) explains a play to rookie wide receiver Jaron Brown during Tuesday's workout.
Jeff King was flush from the heat as he sat in front of his locker Tuesday, his offseason officially over.
The veteran tight end still smiled though. Football had returned.
"This is what you live for, this is what you train for," King said. "You go home and bust your butt for six or seven weeks to get in shape and this is when you show up and have fun and prove your worth across the league."
The arrival of new coach Bruce Arians brings with it a multitude of changes, not the least of which was a "soft open" of training camp two days before the official opening and run test out at University of Phoenix Stadium. So at the team's Tempe facility, the team's rookies, along with a handful of veterans, went through meetings and worked out on the field for about an hour as a prelude to what's to come.
As usual, the coaches started from the beginning of the playbook, a refresher course typical of the opening of training camp.
"(This time) is huge, selfishly, for my position," quarterback Drew Stanton said. "The quarterbacks want to get back out there and
work through the verbiage. Anytime you can bring the young guys along … we're going to need someone to step up. The sooner we can get them back on track with everything the better off we will be."
The veterans on hand were specific. The quarterbacks, including Carson Palmer, were there. So were a handful of inexperienced non-rookies trying to forge a career, like defensive tackle Ricky Lumpkin, defensive end Everrette Thompson, linebacker Colin Parker and wide receiver Kerry Taylor.
There were also players who didn't get a chance to work as much as they wanted during OTAs and minicamps because they were coming off surgeries and rehab. That included King, tackle Levi Brown and linebacker O'Brien Schofield.
"I wasn't able to go in all the OTAs, so it was good to get some work mentally with the speed of this offense," King said.
"I like it. Kind of getting your feet wet, getting your feet up under you, you don't have that first full shock of a full practice with nothing going on beforehand."
Arians champions the extra time rookies are allowed to have, both pre-camp and during the offseason, believing it actual helps them in roster battles with veterans. Linebacker Kevin Minter, the team's second-round pick, said he thought the extra two days are an advantage for anyone here.
Minter also said felt "a lot of nerves" coming back to Tempe despite having spent a couple months at the facility in the spring.
"Everyone is in that season mode now," Minter said. "Everyone is gunning for a job. It's not like it was a couple weeks ago. You definitely feel the heat out here."
Minter wasn't talking about the humid temperatures, which the players will deal with one more day on the field. After Thursday's run test, the first full camp practice comes Friday. The team has five days of practice before their first camp off day July 31.
"There is a lot of work still to be done," rookie guard Earl Watford, the team's fifth-round pick, said. "At the same time, we're getting a lot of chances to show -- right now -- what we can do, what we know, what we don't know."