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Cardinals Seek Brand Bump With "All Or Nothing"

Series from Amazon/NFL Films set to arrive July 1

Parts of "Hard Knocks" didn't interest the Cardinals or coach Bruce Arians – specifically, the cutting of players on camera.

But there were parts of the annual show that intrigued the team, Arians and team president Michael Bidwill. It puts a team under the spotlight – and that's the biggest reason the Cardinals got involved in the Amazon/NFL Films eight-episode series "All or Nothing," which is now available on Amazon.

"I think about exposure for the team," Bidwill said. "Our players want it, our coaches want it, our fans want it.

"It's about respect."

The Cardinals aren't exactly under the NFL radar these days, with three straight double-digit win seasons and an appearance in last season's NFC Championship game. They have players that resonate throughout the NFL fan base with Larry Fitzgerald, Tyrann Mathieu and Patrick Peterson.

The hope is that a look inside the team and inside the lives of some of its top players can convert more fans nationally and raise awareness of what's been built in the desert.

"'Hard Knocks' is great, but 'Hard Knocks' is about training camp,' " defensive tackle Calais Campbell said. "This is a regular-season and playoff look into the way teams operate and I think everybody is interested in that. It's definitely going to make the brand stronger because all NFL fans will be interested. Why wouldn't they?"

The decision to chronicle 2015 couldn't have been timed any better. While the Cardinals would have had the fairy-tale ending with a Super Bowl, the team still won 13 games and made the NFC Championship – exactly the type of season you'd want to capture.

Other details work well too. The David Johnson hype at running back will only grow as the 2016 season gets closer, and the NFL Films group turned out prescient when it came to the third-round pick, highlighting him (and his fiancée-now-wife Meghan) in the series.

Coming from a small school (Northern Iowa) with little attention, "it was still an eye-opening surprise," Johnson said. "But it was pretty cool. It was cool to see how I have grown, even since the draft."

Like "Hard Knocks" – in which quarterback Carson Palmer once took part as a member of the Bengals -- there was a transition time to get used to omnipresent cameras. Eventually, Palmer said, they become "a piece of furniture in the room."

Players and coaches basically forgot about being recorded.

While the players haven't seen every episode yet, Palmer added, he was confident in the finished product.

"I'm sure they're not going to have video shots of our game plans," Palmer said. "As far as us just interacting as players and coaches, families and all that stuff, it should be shared with our fans."

General Manager Steve Keim admitted there were times he tired of putting on a microphone and having his conversations taped. But he likes the idea that the work the organization has done to become one of the top teams in the league will be put on display. It could actually help the product on the field, Keim added.

"It helps not only the brand, but it helps create resources you didn't have before," Keim said. "Sometimes, when you talk about free agency, there is a recruiting aspect to that. So when there is a perception of a team or an organization and it is good, it makes it that much easier to talk players into signing here and sometimes signing for less money, because they want to be part of something special.

"It all correlates to me."

If that becomes the case, then the decision of going "All or Nothing" will have paid off.

"We put together something we think is special and our hope is, July 1, there is a big positive bounce that extends for a long period of time that gets more Cardinals fans around the country," Bidwill said. "We have a lot of great characters, a lot of great people on this team, and I want to showcase these great people with this show."

The Cardinals take part in the L.A. premiere of the "All or Nothing" series

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