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You've Got Mail: May The Throwing Commence

Topics include Kyler Murray's stretching, captains and the 'junior' for Fitz

AZC_CardinalsMailbag

As we move into June and the Cardinals still have to work on the logistics of training camp, we still have the mailbag and as many answers as we can get. As always, leave a question for next week right here.

From Jason Zumwalt via azcardinals.com:

"Has Kyler started throwing to his receivers? Also, is he stretching? Does he do yoga? Nice that he's lifting weights but his hammies are what took him down last year."

Well, according to Kliff Kingsbury the Kyler-throwing is about to commence. I know everyone has been waiting for that, and if it is true what Kingsbury said and Kyler plans to make that as somewhat of an early extension toward training camp, that actually could work out pretty well. As for the balance of Murray's workouts -- and his yoga tendencies, one way or the other -- I can't speak to those. But I would be surprised if, after his issues last season, that isn't something he has discussed with the team and Buddy Morris and potential ways to ward off trouble.

From Shravaka via azcardinals.com:

"Hi Darren, as you probably know, I have been somewhat active on the website commenting on the article you wrote with the headline, 'Cardinals Players, Organization Speak Against Racism, Killings.' There is one important link within this dialogue we all might want to comment on, and yours specifically is requested. No matter how uncomfortable it may be, we must find the courage to participate in this dialogue. This directly affects the Cardinals! If I were Michael Bidwill I would play this clip to the entire organization and then let everyone know that he does not have all the answers, but is willing to listen and work towards them."**

It sure feels like the organization is listening, judging by Kliff Kingsbury's comments. Much is left to be done, of course, but this time feels a lot different than previous pushes towards reform and understanding -- particularly from the NFL.

From Artie Bratton via azcardinals.com:

"With all that is going on with the protests, I understand now more than I did before why Colin Kaepernick was kneeling during the national anthem. However, as a Veteran, I feel that is offensive to me, and many others would agree. LeBron James says that it's not about the flag or the military. The national anthem is about two minutes. So why not have an additional two-minute moment of silence or special speech or what ever the players want so they can have there voices heard. If we are going to be inclusive let's give them their time."

If indeed the sticking point about the kneeling is just about that "disrespect" that it supposedly shows, then I think your plan has some merit. What I have to wonder, however, is how many people -- if your plan was in place -- would then question why there has to be two minutes of silence spent on such a thing, or why it needs to take place at a football game when all they want to do is watch sports. Because I would suspect that would be an argument. The point of protest is to put the issue in front of everyone to see and deal with -- and some clearly would rather not.

From Steve Drumm via azcardinals.com:

"Hey Darren, I read a couple of weeks ago that the Cardinals were interested in Vikings free agent DE Everson Griffen. The team, I believe, has about $8.9 million in cap space and signing Griffen could be tough if he is not interested in doing a one-year prove-it deal. If the Cards cut Haason Reddick, who is due to get $4.3 million, how much more cap room would that create and do you think it would be a good move to replace Reddick with Griffen?"

According to overthecap.com, Reddick's salary is guaranteed. So releasing him would create no cap space -- the Cardinals have a $4.3 million cap hit either way. (He's actually only owed about $2.3M in salary, the rest of the cap hit is prorated bonus. So they would save some cash, but no cap.) I think it's moot anyway -- I don't see Reddick being released because that still leaves you short depth-wise.

From C Williams via Twitter:

"Are you confident this season will happen 100 percent?"

Am I confident 100 percent a season will happen? Yes, barring something crazy bad. Am I confident 100 percent what it will look like (or even what my role might look like)? Absolutely not. Maybe not even 50 percent on that one right now.

From Matt via Twitter:

"Are there any talks regarding fans being able to attend games this year?"

I'm sure that topic is among many discussions going on right now at the highest levels -- levels that, alas, I am not able to reach.

From Garth Short via azcardinals.com:

"Darren, I recently saw a statement from the NFL that said that teams can only hold training camps at their home facilities. Does that include Glendale or would the team be restricted to their Tempe base? Thanks."

The NFL does allow teams to use their stadium as a "home facility." Right now the Cardinals have yet to announce exactly where their camp will be, although for sheer numbers, it would be difficult to hold a training camp at the Dignity Health Arizona Cardinals Training Center in Tempe.

From Andy Kwong via Twitter:

"Any pictures of Cardinals coaches returning to the facility? Excited for the 2020 football season!"

As Kliff Kingsbury said Monday, while he made a brief stop into the office, he and the other coaches will continue to work remotely and not return to the facility. I don't know if they will be going back until right before camp -- if then. As for pictures, it'd be tough to get any, since the picture-taking portion of the organization (which I suppose includes me) are still working from home as well.

From Gary Hilton via azcardinals.com:

"Darren, I've been a Cardinal fan since 1959, lots of heartache. My concern is along with lots of fans and players seems to be our endless problem with the tight end position. Our inability to develop a quality player for that position for many years has hurt. One player can catch, not block, next one block, can't catch, then seems like two or three others are always in and out of the lineup with variety of endless injuries. In the meantime, whatever team we play, their tight end becomes a Hall of Fame player for one game, with our defense unable to cover him. Your thoughts. Thanks."

Gary, you certainly are not the first over my 20 years covering this team to bring up the tight end position. I've heard about Jay Novacek since I walked into the facility for the first time. I don't know why it hasn't been a bigger topic -- at least on the offensive side -- over the years, but when it stretches over coaches and GMs, it's not just one regime (and I don't see that as an organizational problem because ownership isn't making those draft picks.) You have to be able to cover a tight end and a good one helps, but I'll be honest, I've never sat back and thought that was the thing holding this team back. (Although they do need to defend opposing tight ends better.)

From Ruben Greth via azcardinals.com:

"Hi Darren. With the recent acquisition of Devon Kennard, who was a team captain with Detroit, I am curious to know how many team members on our roster right now have at one point in time in their career been a captain for their team. College captains would be a bonus stat too. I think I heard that every draft pick this year was a team captain in college."

You are correct -- all the Cardinals' draft picks served as a captain in college. That's been something Steve Keim has considered the last few years. As for captains on the NFL level, that gets more tricky -- there really isn't any clearing house place to see a historical list. A few teams still name captains on a weekly basis. For instance, safety Chris Banjo was named a captain (on special teams) for the Packers in the playoffs one year; the Packers under Mike McCarthy rotated captains in the regular season and name permanent ones in the playoffs. Off the top of my head, on the current roster -- besides Kennard and Banjo -- are Larry Fitzgerald, Andy Lee, Corey Peters, Patrick Peterson, Jordan Hicks, DeAndre Hopkins and Chandler Jones.

From Norm Lewis via azcardinals.com:

"Hey Darren. This is a question better asked of Larry directly, but perhaps over the years you've gotten some insight. Larry Fitzgerald is a Jr. Why doesn't he have 'Fitzgerald Jr.' on his jersey? And usually when people refer to him, its just 'Larry Fitzgerald.' The Jr. is always dropped. You see guys like Steve Smith Sr. and the 'Sr.' is always included, as well as on the jersey. Wondering if you knew why. Does his dad go by a nickname? I know sometimes a junior is negated if the father or son don't actually go by the name."

So I haven't asked Fitz specifically about this, but if you think about it, the guys off the top of my head who have the addition on their jerseys are all "seniors" -- as in, they have a kid, named him after themselves, and wanted to make it known they were the senior compared to their kid. I don't know any 'juniors' off the top of my head. The most famous one of all -- Ken Griffey Junior -- still only had "Griffey" on the back of his jersey. I think Fitz just was always going to be his own man. Will all due respect to Big Fitz (so yes, I guess he does kind of have a nickname), when someone says Larry Fitzgerald, people are thinking the son, not the father.

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