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Virtual Installation Progressing As Cardinals Wait For Next Phase Of Offseason

Rookies missing out on crucial field work but are now able to join meetings

Coach Kliff Kingsbury talks with quarterback Kyler Murray during offseason work in 2019.
Coach Kliff Kingsbury talks with quarterback Kyler Murray during offseason work in 2019.

The installation of the playbooks has been ongoing for the Cardinals, albeit virtually, and even with the voluntary meetings held with a technological bent, coach Kliff Kingsbury can see enthusiasm from his players.

"They've definitely been receptive to talking football again," Kingsbury said Monday during a Zoom press conference. "It's been a reprieve for them to bring some normalcy back and to talk football and see their friends and teammates."

Where the Cardinals – and the rest of the NFL – goes from here is to be determined. Kingsbury said he has not heard yet of details of how his players might end up back in the Dignity Health Arizona Cardinals Training Center, adding that he is hoping to see some guidelines about that at the end of this week.

A memo had been sent out to teams recently addressing the potential partial reopening of team facilities, which included guidelines of limited staff but not players.

If the Cardinals are able to reach a second phase of offseason work, Kingsbury said one of the main thrusts would be to incorporate the rookies – who were finally able to officially join veterans in the virtual meetings Monday – into the roster and "develop some rapport and culture."

The lost field time will impact all teams, Kingsbury added. Losing the rookie minicamp – which would have taken place this past weekend – and the five practices cost those rookies needed reps. The reality is whenever the Cardinals return to the field, the veterans will need the vast majority of the reps available.

There will be some basics Kingsbury will need to see when the rookies finally do get on the field, though, with veterans or not.

"That's the one hesitation with Zoom meetings," Kingsbury said. "Everybody is going to nod and say, 'Yes sir I got it,' but when you get out there (on the field) sometimes they don't got it."

The Cardinals have been spending an hour a day during their meetings installing the offense and defense. Then there are position meetings, and Kingsbury said the Cardinals have tried to switch things up at times and "keep it fresh," having some positions meet with other positions during some of the time together.

"We try and be as efficient as we can with these guys with their time, understanding it is a unique period," Kingsbury said. "A lot of guys have families and keeping them safe and healthy and taking care of those people is first and foremost."