The Arizona Cardinals are a month and a week away from their first training camp under head coach Steve Wilks. Players have that time to rest up, spend time with their families, and to get mentally and physically prepared for the fast approaching season. Today we take a look at three Cardinals on offense to watch during training camp. The list is predictable, but each player must make significant strides during the preseason practices.
This is a no-brainer in terms of players to watch. Rosen was the team’s first round pick this year and is the perceived future at the game’s most important position. Sure, the team signed Sam Bradford and Mike Glennon during free agency, but the Cardinals made it clear that Rosen is the long-term solution. The Cardinals moved up to select Rosen in the first round. That type of investment comes with large expectations at the quarterback position. Training camp is where Rosen can make a statement and push for playing time.
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The veteran quarterback joined the team during free agency. Bradford is coming off an injury which cost him nearly the entire 2017 season. The oft-injured quarterback is a major question mark heading into the season, as the team is looking to Bradford to hold the line this season. The Cardinals ideally want Bradford to be the starting quarterback for the season and give their chosen quarterback of the future, Josh Rosen, on the sidelines to absorb and learn.
The Cardinals had high hopes heading into the 2017 season. Those hopes took a massive hit when the team lost starting running back David Johnson in the season opener. Johnson took the crown of a helmet directly on his wrist which led to his season ending injury. The young running back has been a revelation since coming on midway through his rookie 2015 season. He is perhaps the most important piece to the Arizona offense with his versatility as both a runner and receiver. Johnson held out of mandatory minicamp over his desire for a new contract in June. Skipping out on any part of training camp would be a shock, as the monetary penalties become more significant in July. The hope for Arizona is that a focused and hungry Johnson will prove his worth this season, and that starts with training camp.
Bradford, Rosen, and Johnson all have things to prove in 2018. Whether coming back from an injury or showing they are worth the investment, all three players need a successful training camp to build momentum towards the season. The Cardinals are starting over in 2018. A new coaching staff and many new faces will welcome fans and media to the start of training camp. The first open practice will be held on July 28th at University of Phoenix Stadium.