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You've Got Mail: Let Training Camp Commence

Topics include cornerbacks, opt-outs and 5,000 yards for Kyler

CB Robert Alford
CB Robert Alford

The Cardinals are at State Farm Stadium. Practice begins this week. Mailbags, however, are forever and never stop. So here's another one. As always, send a question by going here.

From Jason Beckum via

"Last year we didn't have Robert Alford and had Patrick Peterson for the first half of the season and our secondary struggled without them. Yet we keep getting wide receivers. Are we going to look at getting a decent backup for our cornerback position if one of the three go down? I included Byron Murphy. We have a lot of questions behind them. Maybe get DRC back. Brandon Carr or Cyrus Jones or Cordrea Tankersley are out there."

At this point I haven't heard about them bringing in anyone else but that doesn't mean they wouldn't. Part of the issue here is you are looking for a No. 4 and a No. 5 CB to be good enough to hold up as a 1 or a 2 -- and if they could do that, they'd be a 1 or a 2 and they would already be on a roster. I hear you on how it turned out last year, but they tried to do it last year when they signed Tramaine Brock and that wasn't exactly as hoped either. Realistically, if you lose both of your top two corners before the season, you're gonna be in a tough spot. And it's also tougher to sign a vet now, when they have little chance of playing if everyone is healthy (and those guys usually aren't special teamers.)

From John Ingram via

"Hi Darren. Long-time football fan here but would really appreciate it if you could explain what actually happens when coaches and players go through a walkthrough. Just the basic process would be fine. Thanks."

It's literally what it sounds like -- the unit lines up in formation, and the players walk through a play. Maybe a slow jog. Nothing close to full speed. But it's a step beyond just talking about it up on the white board in a meeting.

From Kenyon Carlson via

"Do you believe the Seahawks actually upgraded their defense with the signing of Jamal Adams (considering he's been substituted for Clowney)? I don't consider Adams as a significant upgrade to Clowney as pass rushers can be disruptive and affect the outcome of a game. The Seahawks might have saved cap money this year by choosing not to re-sign Clowney to big money, but they also paid a steep price by giving up two first-round draft picks. I see the signing of Adams as a trade-off for losing Clowney."

I guess we will see how this plays out. I fully understand why teams are hesitant to sign Clowney to the money he's looking for, because of his availability and because the production doesn't always seem to be there (although his impact can be less about numbers and more about pressure.) I don't think it is as simple as saying the Seahawks gave up Clowney to get Adams. Now, if Adams is the final piece to a Legion of Boom sequel, that might be worth it to Seattle. But there is something to the idea that, at some point, you better have younger and cheaper talent to keep everything going. As far as Adams vs. Clowney in direct comparison, that's apples and oranges.

From Jesse Arrieta via

"Hello Darren. More than likely there will be none to few fans in stadiums this season. Game Pass allows for delayed viewing of games. National broadcasts allow live viewing. Unfortunately, we are not one of those teams that shows up on live TV each Sunday, Monday or Thursday. Any chance the Cardinals can stream live games here on the website? Even if it costs fans a fee, that is something I would be interested in as I am sure other fans would be too. I am sure that this would require the approval of the NFL. Perhaps they can make an exception for this season to allow each team to do that."

Hey Jesse. I understand the predicament. I am guessing that you don't live in Arizona? Because games will be on TV locally every week like always. And you actually can see it through the site (and Yahoo ... with a couple of restrictions) if you are in-market. If you are out of the market, that makes it tougher. That's why there is Sunday Ticket on DIRECTV. I fully understand not everyone a) has DIRECTV and/or b) can afford Sunday Ticket. But one of the reasons the NFL is able to make so much money is because they are able to sell their game rights for very nice fees. Unfortunately, live streaming that directly to the website would take away from the product, so it wouldn't happen.

From Tom Cowley via

"Hi Darren. Did I miss the press release coverage re. our acquisition last week of the offensive lineman from San Diego -- great name -- who is he and what was the need for him? I believe we have larger needs: pass rusher, CB, etc. Has our bankroll increased much since the recent NFL restructuring? Might be able to afford Everson Griffen? Thanks."

I mentioned it in my story about Marcus Gilbert opting out. Koda Martin has a good name, but he also is a long shot to make the roster. They were already going to bring him in before Gilbert's decision. You need bodies for camp. His arrival doesn't preclude other needs or moves. As far as the cap space increasing with NFL "restructuring," that would've only mattered had the opt-out guy -- in this case, Gilbert -- had a significant cap number, which he did not. I have not heard anything about Griffen.

From Boston Mike via

"Hi Darren. I have a gripe. Arizona products Christian Kirk went to Texas A&M, Byron Murphy went to Washington. And Brentson Buckner's son is a highly recruited defensive end going to Oregon. What the heck, man. Do you know how good ASU would be if all these guys stayed home? They need to answer for their crimes."

Whose crimes? ASU for not securing them? Surely you aren't implying these kids don't have the right to go wherever they want to go for college. As a Sun Devil, of course I would've loved to see these guys play at ASU. But not everyone wants to stick around for college. Besides, Kirk and Murphy got the best of both worlds, moving on to see something else in college and then coming home to play for the pro team in town.

From Zane Nathens via

"Hey Darren. I want to talk about Gilbert opting out. It bothers me for a couple reasons. One, because his deal was under the assumption he would be 32 when he played. Now it has tolled. And he'll be 33. There comes a point where the player aging matters. If he were 26, this wouldn't matter. But maybe we don't offer that one-year deal to 33-year old Marcus Gilbert. Know what I mean? Furthermore, we have two youngsters (and elder Kelvin Beachum) who will now surely capture that long-term right tackle job and ending Gilbert's career in AZ. But he still gets the guaranteed portion of the deal. I'm gonna say it plain, feels like he's stealing money."

Couple points to make here. One, the only guarantee he got was $150,000 to sign, plus he'll get $350,000 as a high-risk opt out. That's it. In the grand scheme of things, that's not much. Second, because of that, if they choose to move on next year and release him or if his age catches up to him, that's available. Third, why would it bother you about paying him that money? I never really understood that. It's the team's money. I could understand if it was Michael Bidwill saying such things, but if the team understands it, fans should too. What about the times a player is cut from his contract when he still has money remaining? Lastly, maybe in another scenario (OK, probably not) I could understand the frustration. But I absolutely do not understand, when people can die from this virus, why someone would balk at a person deciding this isn't safe for him. No, not everyone gets that choice. But NFL players did, and he has every right to exercise it.

From Thomas Krepelka via

"Do you know if the Cardinals have worked with Kyler regarding his footwork in the pocket (have you had the opportunity to speak with either the QB or Kliff) specifically about throwing off his back foot? While the arm talent K1 has is evident throughout his body of work, Kyler seems reluctant to step into the pocket and has shown a propensity to throw off his back foot, trusting his arm talent instead."

Have I asked about it specifically? No. Do I think he needs to get more comfortable in the pocket on this level? Yes. But I never considered him throwing off his back foot an issue, to be honest. I don't ever recall Kliff bringing it up, either.

From @Brae215 via Twitter:

"Why are we going to have De'Vondre Campbell and Isaiah Simmons split time at inside linebacker when we could move Simmons outside or play like a hybrid LB where he can rush and drop into coverage?"

How do you know that's not what is going to happen? He's not playing outside full time. He doesn't have the size for that. It would be a little more simple had they not signed Campbell but they didn't know they'd be able to get Simmons. Campbell is a good player. They will find a way to use both.

From Michael Travers via

"Hello Darren, pictures of Kyler certainly look like he has bulked up in anticipation of this season. Reminds me of what Russell Wilson did after his first year in the league. It is good to read how D-Hop wants to become close friends with Kyler. How many targets would you predict between Murray and Hopkins? More than last year's 104 catches? Do you think 5,000 yards is possible? Also, how much of the offense do think will be no-huddle? Could the Cards be the first team to run over 50 percent no-huddle?"

Given that Hopkins is in his prime, I expect him to have a lot of targets. Will he have 100 catches? I don't know if I'd go that far, given that Fitz and Kirk will see their share of throws. I'd be hesitant on 5,000 yards -- Murray hasn't even gotten to 4,000 yet. I think this offense can be a lot better, but let's hold off on saying it's going to be that good, which is what you are saying with 5,000 yards. As far as no-huddle, I think they will be smart with its use. More than 50 percent seems like an awful lot -- especially when they didn't get to work on it at all in the offseason.

From Peter Kacmar via

"Hi Darren. Is there any perhaps even unofficial threshold regarding number of players placed on Covid reserve list which would trigger a game to be postponed? The Marlins got their game postponed when there were like 11 players affected, if I remember correctly."

I am sure there have been discussions about the topic. But there has been nothing announced or even discussed in any kind of public setting.

From Devin Booker Hoopin! via

"You watching the Suns? Dude, this has been a fun two weeks. I hope so much they get in the playoffs. Only two games out with three games left. Boy is it exciting. I know Larry's excited, being a part owner and all."

Of course I am watching the Suns. It has been great, and there is nothing better to be here when the locals are doing well. The Coyotes in the playoffs too. (We won't talk about the D-Backs. That starting pitching ... yikes.) I hope this is a springboard for the Suns going into next season. I also hope no Cardinals forget to take their COVID test.

From Nel Dort via

"Hey Darren. Since camp is back (yay!) it's time to revisit the center position. So it sounds like Mason Cole gets the first crack at it. And I assume Lamont Gaillard is No. 2. I have all the hope in the world for the young guys, but I guess I'm still worried about the unknown. Is it safe to assume they have A.Q. (Shipley) on speed dial? This feels like a mirror Lyle Sendlein situation."

I would not be surprised if Shipley could be a fallback, but make no mistake, the hope is that Cole -- or Galliard -- can be the guy. Max Garcia has also played center in his career. I guess at this point, I'll be surprised if Shipley returns, barring injury.

From Bella Quody via

"Hi Darren! I think you covered this a little before, but I want to ask again. In the circumstances that there is no open camp, meaning no fans, are you and the media team planning to film as much as possible? I understand there are some things you can't film. However, for the stuff that fans would be sitting in the stands watching anyways, is there ANY WAY that you guys could just set up a couple tripods and let it run? Just a straight hour of practice. Might seem boring to you, but we drive to the stadium to watch that boring stuff. Just fill the void please. Thanks!"

Well, there will be no fans. Of course will will get you as close to the content that everyone is used to seeing during training camp. Obviously, under the current circumstances, it'll be different. Unfortunately, we can't really just set up a tripod and let it run. But I promise we have a few things in the works, which we will be letting everyone know soon.

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