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Kyle Soelle Thrilled To Stay Home For NFL Opportunity With Cardinals

Notes: Roster shrinks for rookie camp; Kyler rehab update

Rookie linebacker Kyle Soelle, who played at Scottsdale Saguaro High School and Arizona State, gets loose during rookie minicamp on Friday.
Rookie linebacker Kyle Soelle, who played at Scottsdale Saguaro High School and Arizona State, gets loose during rookie minicamp on Friday.

Kyle Soelle grew up rooting for the Cardinals, attending open practices and games, and to this day has the memories of the 2008 Super Bowl run – when he was 9 -- emblazoned in his brain.

The linebacker starred at Scottsdale Saguaro High School, and then Arizona State, and didn't have to move for his NFL attempt after signing with the Cardinals as an undrafted free agent.

"This is every kid's dream, to play for their hometown team," Soelle said Friday after the first rookie minicamp practice.

When linebackers coach Rob Rodriguez called Soelle post-draft to try and convince Soelle to come to the Cardinals – Rodriguez was also one of Soelle's coaches at ASU – "it was really a no-brainer," Soelle said.

The Cardinals should have some opportunity at inside linebacker, where Soelle excels, and he is also able to play special teams. The team has inside info on Soelle's strengths because of Rodriguez, and defensive coordinator Nick Rallis raved about him after seeing him work out in the pre-draft local pro day held by the team.

"Not only did we get to see the skillset and the movement skills, but we also got to see kind of the leadership and the work ethic," Rallis said. "It was really cool. That was a unique perspective because it was like, 'Man, we get to work with this guy.' We knew that this was a guy we would love to have as part of our squad."

Soelle acknowledged he was disappointed he wasn't drafted. But that has changed some since signing with the Cardinals, and feeling the rush of emotion pulling Cardinals gear on at his locker.

"Every day, coming to work, I'll make sure I have a smile on my face because I feel blessed and privileged to have this opportunity," Soelle said.


The Cardinals, under coach Jonathan Gannon and GM Monti Ossenfort, have taken a different approach with rookie minicamp. There are no helmets, and there were on 23 players on the field on Friday.

Normally a rookie camp is teeming with tryout players, in part to fill out a practice and perhaps to find a couple of diamonds in the rough. But the Cardinals only had four tryout players in – punters Matt Haack and Ty Long, wide receiver Marquez Stevenson, and running back Christian Beal-Smith – while leaving the focus on the players they feel have the best chance to make a roster.

"I've been a part of both the ways of doing it," Gannon said. "We thought we could maximize the guys that we feel that will be here and help us win games moving forward. What we decided logistically, it's a little bit better for the players. They get an introduction to how we do things this weekend, and then we submerge them with the vets (starting Monday.)"


Quarterback Kyler Murray continues to rehab at the team facility, although Gannon didn't have any specific updates.

"He's doing good," Gannon said. "You can ask him about the rehab but I know he's making strides and again, he's a long way away but we don't play for a long time either.

"I gave him some hard questions (Thursday) in the team meeting and he was right on it."