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Veteran Zach Pascal Hoping To Make Impact On Receiver Room

With questions about Hopkins future, wideout has history with Gannon

Wide receiver Zach Pascal makes a catch during Monday's OTA.
Wide receiver Zach Pascal makes a catch during Monday's OTA.

Zach Pascal – and his teammates – put on a helmet for the first time on Monday, with the Cardinals opening their organized team activities for the summer.

The veteran was signed as a free agent, a player who had been with head coach Jonathan Gannon both in Philadelphia and Indianapolis. He joins a wide receiver room that may or may not have a significant different look by Week One.

Hollywood Brown is still around, as is Rondale Moore and Greg Dortch. But third-round pick Michael Wilson will make a bid for playing time, Pascal is hoping to make a bigger impact than he did with the Eagles last season, and of course, there is the uncertainty of DeAndre Hopkins.

"I've never met DeAndre, I can't comment on that," Pascal said. "But the room we've got right now, we've got a lot of hungry guys. Guys that want to perform, that want to make a lot of plays. A room like that? You can only get positive out of it."

Hopkins said during the IAMATHLETE podcast on Monday he was in Toronto. The Cardinals' work right now is voluntary – there were a handful of veterans not on hand Monday, including safety Budda Baker – and Gannon made the point that guys like Hopkins and Baker will show up when they want and will fit right in.

If Hopkins isn't around, however, the 6-foot-2 Pascal arrives with the ability to play all four special teams, block on the edge and yes, hopefully provide a target the Cardinals need and Pascal wants to be.

Last season, Pascal had only 15 receptions in 17 games for Philly and was only targeted 19 times. He had averaged 70 targets the previous three seasons while with the Colts.

Pascal wants to work back to better personal production "as long as it's helping the team win games.

"I mean, I just came from playing in the Super Bowl," Pascal said. "That's where my mindset is at. I'm coming in to fill a role and be wherever they need me."

Gannon wasn't getting particular with the role – "When we signed him we had a legitimate role and like we talked about, (but) roles can change – but Pascal will be on the field.

"What Zach brings to the table from a football character standpoint and a receiver and special teams standpoint, I'm glad he's here," Gannon said.

Given that Pascal – and Wilson, for that matter – are bigger receivers, the move to larger wideouts is possible given the smaller size of Brown, Moore and Dortch. Gannon wouldn't say he has a specific philosophy for bigger receivers, however.

"Get open, catch the ball," Gannon said.

Pascal wouldn't mind a chance to do that.

"I don't know what role I'm going to have," Pascal said. "I'm just ready for whatever."

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