The Cardinals have been careful with veteran quarterback Sam Bradford all offseason, keeping him on a plan so as not to overwork a knee that has been repaired from injury multiple times.
But as OTAs wrap up and the team has its offseason finale of mandatory minicamp next week, coach Steve Wilks said Bradford figures to ramp up.
“(It’d be) more of a team setting, really trying to give him different looks from a blitz standpoint, also two-minute (offense),” Wilks said of what Bradford could get in minicamp. “Today was a good day in terms of an operational day for us, and he didn’t get any of that work. Next week, those are some of the things we are trying to get him in the mix.”
Wilks said they’ve varied what kind of work Bradford has taken part in thus far. The plan to work Bradford in has felt a little like what the Cardinals did in 2015 when they did something similar for Carson Palmer, who was coming off his 2014 ACL tear.
Palmer also was ramped up as the Cardinals reached minicamp. Wilks said he feels “pretty good” with where Bradford is health-wise.
“I think he’s on schedule,” Wilks said. “He feels real confident right now with how his knee feels. Again, we are doing a great job in-house with the trainers and strength and conditioning coach and getting him where he needs to be. I think from a mental standpoint, he’s feeling pretty good.”
KIRK READY TO FOCUS ON FOOTBALL
Rookie wide receiver Christian Kirk spoke for the first time since the recent dismissal of charges after an arrest at the Phoenix Open.
“Obviously there was a negative response to (the incident), but you have to block those things out and hold true to who you are and move on from it,” Kirk said, adding “I’m really happy it is cleared up. I’m glad to be back and doing what I do and showing people I am the person that I am.”
Kirk continues to make strides toward his role this season, which is expected to be large given the veteran free-agent losses at the wide receiver position.
Kirk said he doesn’t want to get ahead of himself in terms of what his role might be, noting is still learning.
“I want to be interchangeable,” Kirk said. “It’s about mastering the system.”
Wilks said Kirk has flashed in OTAs, catching a touchdown down the seam Monday.
“We’re moving him around quite a bit,” Wilks said. “Just shows his versatility and his ability to play all positions. I know the thing was he was just a slot guy but he can play all positions.”
WILKS’ LETTER OF CONDOLENCE, ROOTED IN HISTORY
Recently Wilks sent a letter to the widow of a local Pop Warner and assistant high school coach, Mike Thompson, who died unexpectedly. Wilks was asked why.
“I know the impact he has probably had on those young men,” Wilks said. “Being a product of a single-parent home, my mom worked all the time at the post office, and if it wasn’t for my Pop Warner coaches, to be quite honest I don’t know if I’d be where I am today.”
Wilks said he had a couple of Pop Warner coaches – Don Robinson and Ray Robinson, not related – who would make sure Wilks had something to eat or kept his grades up when his mom couldn’t be around.
“I know the kind of impact those kinds of coaches have,” Wilks said. As for the letter, “it was just in my heart.”
OTA Day Seven
Images from the Cardinals returning to work for their final week of 2018 OTAs.