The final minicamp of the summer -- and the last on-field work for the Cardinals for the offseason -- was hot. The temps stretched into the 100s for a couple of hours, and it was felt.
For Steve Wilks, that was part of the point.
The Cardinals have had a practice bubble -- to help protect against the heat -- for a few years now, but it has rarely been used in the offseason. Part of that is because of the 90-man roster (there are only so many people the bubble can safely house, and it makes it tough when the first 90 are all players) and part of that is because if the limited nature of the offseason practices. But it goes beyond that with Wilks, who noted people in the organization have been "talking about using the bubble since I've been here." That isn't necessarily something Wilks is looking to do.
"It was hot (at minicamp), but it’s a part about building that mental toughness, that callus," Wilks said.
Wilks also noted that, for the same reason, there will be some outside practices during training camp, in that often muggy (for Arizona) August heat. The way Wilks directed offseason work, with high tempo and a demand for intensity, it would make sense if that was only ratcheted up once the pads come on. Add to that working outside, and the Cardinals indeed better become mentally tough.