The return of Cardinals players kept Buddy Morris busy on Monday afternoon, but he made time to slip upstairs to the office of team president Michael Bidwill.
Morris, the team's second-year strength and conditioning coach, wanted to personally thank Bidwill for the expanded weight room which has gotten its first usage the last two days. It is one of several renovations being done to the team's training facility in Tempe, which includes a new cafeteria, a revamped training area and a new locker room which is still under construction.
For Morris, the extra square footage of the weight room opens up many possibilities. He referred to it as the "Taj Mahal of weight rooms in the NFL."
"You ever see that movie 'Stepbrothers'?" Morris asked Tuesday. "Remember when they build the bunk beds? 'So much more room for activity.' That's what we got here.
"It really opens up and allows us accommodate a lot more guys, do a lot more things, more than we were capable of doing last year. It's really been a blessing because we can handle a greater volume of guys. We're getting more work done in a shorter amount of time."
While this Phase One portion of the offseason is voluntary, the weight room was humming with activity on Tuesday as youngsters and veterans alike began the process of getting in tip-top shape for the 2015 season. The players seemed impressed by the new digs.
"It's gorgeous," quarterback Drew Stanton said. "Getting a chance to get back in here and get back to work has been exciting in and of itself. But to be able to utilize this kind of facility, and have that kind of cafeteria – we're waiting on the locker room to get finished, we're excited about that – but the weight room and to really get to work, it's exciting."
There are still changes to be done – Morris wants the weight machines painted red because it signals aggression and there is ongoing construction in other areas – but the Cardinals hope the renovations become a competitive advantage in years to come.
"It's pretty cool," safety Tyrann Mathieu said. "Obviously it cost a lot of money, but I think we put in the work the last few years. I think we deserved it. It's great for us."
Images of the Cardinals working out in the expanded weight room and on the practice field Tuesday