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No Crowd Noise Would Affect Cardinals' Defensive Calls

Notes: Zach Allen adds 15 pounds; Kingsbury wants to follow Suns, Coyotes' lead

Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Vance Joseph (left) speaks with linebacker Jordan Hicks during a game in 2019.
Defensive coordinator Vance Joseph (left) will disguise his calls more with linebacker Jordan Hicks if there are no crowds this season.

In a normal season, an NFL stadium is so loud that players can barely hear each other from a few feet apart.

In 2020, there is a distinct possibility that COVID-19 will either eliminate or drastically reduce fan attendance – and the resulting crowd noise – on game days.

If that is the case, quarterbacks will be able to hear the defensive communication, and vice-versa, which is something the Cardinals must consider, much like a baseball team when there is a runner on second base.

"(Linebacker) Jordan Hicks actually brought it up to me about two days ago, about our calls if there are no fans in the stands," defensive coordinator Vance Joseph said. "We have to make sure we have multiple calls for our pressure and our rotations, our disguise stuff."

Joseph said the scenario would have other effects on the defense.

"The hard count is going to be really good, on the road and at home," Joseph said. "Defensively, it's going to take some adjusting if there are no fans in the stands."


Quarterback Kyler Murray isn't the only player who transformed his body this offseason.

Defensive end Zach Allen said he was intent on making his coronavirus quarantine a productive one and put on 15 pounds of muscle.

"I've definitely gotten a lot faster, stronger," Allen said. "It's all been good weight."

Allen, the first pick of the third round in the 2019 draft, played in only four games as a rookie before a neck injury ended his season.

The Cardinals have veteran Corey Peters and free agent addition Jordan Phillips locking down two starting defensive line spots, and Allen seems to be the favorite to nab the third starting slot in base defense.

"When you build your goals, you have to start there," Allen said. "I definitely think (starting) is a big goal for me, and I have some bigger goals after that."


Like many other Arizona sports fans, Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury has been excited to watch the impressive season finishes of the Suns and Coyotes.

The Suns are 7-0 in the bubble in Orlando, with a chance to win all eight regular season games and make the playoffs heading into Thursday's finale against the Mavericks.

The Coyotes made it to the Western Conference playoffs for the first time since 2012 and currently trail the Avalanche 1-0 in the first round after knocking off the Predators in the qualifying round.

"Those guys have got it rolling," Kingsbury said. "They've got good mojo going for the city and state. We're hoping to follow in their footsteps."

Images from the first practice of training camp on Wednesday at State Farm Stadium, presented by Hyundai.