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Easygoing Eno Benjamin Not Feeling Any Pressure

Notes: DL coach Buckner excited for second stint; Kirk not present at practice

Arizona Cardinals running back Eno Benjamin during a training camp practice on August 13, 2020.
RB Eno Benjamin carries the ball during training camp.

Eno Benjamin is not an uptight person, and right now, that could be a big benefit.

The rookie running back has only been practicing with the Cardinals for a couple weeks, but in this abbreviated training camp, cutdown day isn't far away.

The seventh-round pick out of Arizona State is battling for a spot on the 53-man roster, but the "free spirit," as coach Kliff Kingsbury calls him, is not obsessing over the looming decision.

"Is that an advantage? I'm not sure," Benjamin said. "I'm just going out there trying to do the little things right, and I'm just being myself around the guys. The guys have been really friendly, helping me out as much as possible. Not just the running backs; everyone on the offensive team. That makes it a lot easier as far as being a rookie trying to make the team."

Kenyan Drake and Chase Edmonds are the duo atop the depth chart, and Benjamin is projected to be the No. 3 back provided he beats out D.J. Foster for the role.

Kingsbury has been impressed by his vision early in camp.

"He has a knack for finding the hole, there's no doubt," Kingsbury said. "He definitely has a feel for the run game, and that's exciting to see where he can take this thing. He has to find a role in and contribute on special teams, and he knows that, but we like what we've seen so far."

Benjamin said mental preparation has helped him adjust to the speed of the NFL.

"It's a little bit different," Benjamin said. "(Rushing lanes) do close faster, but me, I'm a film guy. I like to read defenses and have the pre-snap reads. The way I think is, I should have an idea about where the (play) is going before the ball is even snapped. That helps me play faster."

BUCKNER GLAD TO BE BACK HOME

Brentson Buckner is back for his second stint as the Cardinals' defensive line coach after leading the group from 2013 to 2017.

He is excited for the reunion, but admitted the reason why it happened wasn't exactly in his control.

"First thing that went into me being back: I got fired from Oakland," Buckner said with a laugh.

Arizona is home for Buckner, whose family remained here as he coached for the Buccaneers in 2018 and the Raiders last year. He is glad to be in the Valley year-round again, and has enjoyed catching up with players like Larry Fitzgerald, Patrick Peterson and Corey Peters who are still around from his initial stint with the team.

"It was just like coming back home, like hopping on a bike again," Buckner said. "It's nice to be here, be with my family, and have a chance to come back to the Cardinals and get the ship turned around."

NO KIRK DURING OPEN PART OF PRACTICE

Wide receiver Christian Kirk was among a handful of players not participating during the portion of practice open to the media. Others included defensive tackle Jordan Phillips, linebacker De'Vondre Campbell, guard J.R. Sweezy and tight end Maxx Williams.

Williams was not present for the third consecutive day.

Images from Wednesday's practice at State Farm Stadium, presented by Hyundai.

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