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Monday, July 28, 2014
Who to watch as Cardinals don pads

By Josh Weinfuss

GLENDALE, Ariz. – Early Monday morning, while the working folks of Arizona were making their daily commute, Arizona general manager Steve Keim took to the airwaves. He discussed who he was looking forward to watching when the Cardinals strapped on shoulder pads – when the men are separated from the boys, Keim joked – for the first time this training camp.

He’ll be focused on the rookies and free agents added during the offseason. Keim mentioned guard Jonathan Cooper and linebacker Kevin Minter as two younger players he’ll keep eyes on. But one player Keim wants to watch play with pads is rookie wide receiver John Brown.

“He has been borderline dominating at times to the point where you really have to temper your enthusiasm, because I talk about how the pads have not come on yet, so now, how does [Brown] respond when he’s got two 6-foot plus corners in his face pressing him and rerouting him at the line of scrimmage?” Keim said on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. “How’s he going to hold up for a smaller reliever going across the middle when [rookie safety] Deone Bucannon comes and wants to take his head off?”

Head coach Bruce Arians said Monday morning he’s anxious to see all the young players with pads on as well as a few veterans.

“When that noise level goes up, people change,” Arians said. “There’s a lot of guys that look really good in shorts and all of a sudden the noise level goes up and they disappear. Guys that don’t look very good in shorts all of a sudden they appear because they’re football players. That’s what you want to see. You want to see those guys rise up.”

There are a few guys I’ll be keeping tabs on when they’re in pads for the first time. Some overlap with Arians and Keim, some don’t.

Here are five Cardinals to watch for with pads on: