Marquis Hayes, the Cardinals' final seventh-round pick this season, has already done enough in camp to get a reputation.
A scrap or two will do that for a guy. It's certainly impressed his veteran tackle.
"There is certain stuff you just can't coach," D.J. Humphries said. "We can get your feet right, we can get your technique right. We can't make you want to punch somebody in the face."
Hayes, who played left guard at Oklahoma but has mostly worked at right guard so far as a rookie, isn't denying it.
"It's just always been there since I was younger, had that edge to me," Hayes said.
It got him in trouble at times at Oklahoma – he estimated he had "a couple, probably like 15" flags for extracurricular penalties in college. While Hayes is likely high with that guess, he acknowledged that his physical style, "sometimes it hurts me."
"I'm a rookie, so I don't try to go out there and do nothing crazy, try to respect the vets," Hayes said. "But when I'm in with the '2s,' I try to go hard with that because we are on the same level trying to compete for the team."
The fight to gain a backup offensive line spot is intense. After the starters, Sean Harlow is certain to stick as the backup center. Josh Jones will be there as a swing tackle. After that? Hayes, Justin Murray, Josh Miles, Lecitus Smith and Rashaad Coward all have arguments to make on a roster that may keep only nine at the position.
"You watch certain players and you know they go after people each and every snap and they are pushing off and they are finishing," coach Kliff Kingsbury said. "They are usually ones at which no one is going to try to retaliate. Will (Hernandez) and Big Mo kind of fit that criteria.
"When (Hayes) knows where to go, he is moving bodies and coming with a purpose."
Knowing where to go is still a work-in-progress. Humphries said Hayes has the one-on-one battles "down to a science" but Hayes still must improve on learning his role in the big picture.
That too can be coached, Humphries said, to add to the hunger with which Hayes plays.
"I just like his mentality," Humphries said. "The way he plays the game, the way he approaches the game. He's having fun, he's trying to maul people. That makes me excited for the future."
KINGSBURY: SHOTGUN STILL PREFERRED
When Kingsbury first was hired, he made it clear he felt like anything that needed to be done offensively could be accomplished in the shotgun, so his QB's work under center would be limited.
The coach said Thursday, heading into his fourth season, that thought process hasn't changed.
"It's a mix of both but I will always be predominantly shotgun if I'm calling plays," Kingsbury said.
ERTZ BABY ARRIVES
Zach Ertz, who has been sidelined with a calf injury, tweeted Thursday that and wife Julie had their first child: Madden Matthew Ertz.
Kingsbury said he texted his tight end to tell him congratulations.
"I said, 'That kid has a standing scholarship to whatever NAIA school I'm coaching at in 18 years,' " Kingsbury quipped.
LEMONIER OUT, NEW TIGHT END IN
The Cardinals released veteran outside linebacker Jessie Lemonier Wednesday. Kingsbury said the Cards, with so many pass rushers ahead of Lemonier on the depth chart, wanted to give him a chance to latch on elsewhere.
Gaining the roster spot was needed, however, after the Cardinals signed Josh Hokit on Thursday. While Trey McBride is expected to play Sunday, the Cardinals are unlikely to suit up Ertz (calf), Maxx Williams (knee rehab) or Stephen Anderson (ankle) at the position.
Hokit has spent parts of the last two seasons on the 49ers practice squad mostly as a fullback.
Images from 2022 Cardinals Training Camp at State Farm Stadium