A training camp with no preseason games, in an odd way, may be something Kliff Kingsbury can embrace.
The Cardinals originally would have been traveling Friday to Green Bay for a Saturday game against the Packers. Instead, they were at State Farm Stadium going through a Phase 3 version of practice – think OTA – as they geared up for Monday’s initial padded practice of camp.
Saturday will now be a day off, with the team resuming practice Sunday for a six-day stretch. The pattern will then repeat. There won’t be games, but Kingsbury likes the continuity to teach.
“You have to be smart,” Kingsbury said. “You have six days where you can go full speed when you never had that in training camp, split up with a preseason game, a travel day and a recovery day. So I like how installs flow. I think you can get a lot of great walkthrough work and a lot of carry over.
“But you have to find a way to fit in those moments of live competition where guys are tackling and being tackled so you are comfortable with doing that before you get into Week One.”
The work Friday was the first time the Cardinals got a chance to work offense versus defense since the season finale against the Rams on Dec. 29. The emotion on the field was apparent with a big catch or an interception – (or near-interception, in one case).
But tight end Maxx Williams said it won’t be until the pads go on when things truly change.
“I think (physicality) be a bigger emphasis this year because we didn’t have a spring, and there are no preseason games,” Williams said. “At some point we’re going to have to put the pads on, and you’re going to have to feel the contact and get ready to play a game in September.”