Cooper is one of the most athletic guards I have ever seen. It’s simply amazing to watch a man that is 6’2″ and 311 pounds play the offensive guard position and move around the field as fluidly as Cooper does. An interesting tidbit is that Cooper actually weighed too much to play Pop Warner football. Cooper was always bigger than the other children he grew up with, but he wanted to be athletic and he’s worked extremely hard to become the type of athletic lineman he has become today.
When Cooper is allowed to move and get into space, he makes it look easy. He possesses natural movement skills and agility. Cooper can get out and pull, then locates his man and makes a clean block. His athleticism in the open field allows him to not only block on second level, but also the third level and deep into the secondary. Cooper isn’t sloppy and always finishes out the play with maximum effort.
Excellent in run blocking, Cooper is also very good in pass protection. He gets level and maintains proper leverage, but he also has the upper body strength to hold up against defensive lineman. Speed won’t be a problem for him either because of his immense quickness and recovery speed. Possessing fluid hips, Cooper can swing from side-to-side and take on multiple defenders and delayed blitzes. Stamina is not a concern here and Cooper holds up late in games and will be a difference maker down the stretch.
While his athleticism is his highest selling point, Cooper does display a mean streak and a physicality to his game. His strength is underrated and Cooper is no slouch in that department. 35 reps on the bench press at the NFL Combine really opened up some eyes to Cooper’s strength.
The All-American and All-ACC lineman has 47 career starts and is experienced as they come. Cooper also weathered the storm at UNC and stayed out of the scandals that took place there during his college career. He’s a clean prospect with no off-the-field baggage and is a high character individual.
Much like Warmack, it’s very difficult to find bad tape on Cooper. He doesn’t possess elite size or arm length, but his athleticism allows him to overcome that. There are some minor durability concerns and Cooper did have surgery on his injured shoulder. Upper body strength isn’t a problem for Cooper, but he does need to improve his overall strength and develop more lower body strength. Time in the weight room and activity in the strength and conditioning program could help him improve in that area.
Mark new Cardinals starting quarterback Carson Palmer as a player that already is in love with new coach Bruce Arians’ playbook.
Palmer took first team snaps with the Cards Tuesday, and spoke about how user friendly Arians’ system is.
“It’s very, I guess user-friendly would be the right word,” Palmer said of Arians’ system. “There’s a lot on film to watch, plenty of texts in the playbooks and diagrams, pictures. It is easy to learn. It’s not easy, but some systems you get in, it’s difficult to learn because there’s not a lot of history, but with this, there’s a ton of history with this offense and this offense being successful, so it is an easy offense to get used to.”
“It was a lot of fun to finally get out here with a helmet on,” Arians said. “It will be a lot better when we get the shoulder pads on and we can really tell what we’ve got.”
Palmer is sold on what Arians and his staff have put together so far.
He said the Cardinals have installed about 75 percent of the offense from the playbook, but only ran about 5 percent of it during the first workout. Arizona has two more days of this voluntary minicamp and will get a better gauge during a mandatory minicamp in June, but it was a good start for the first day.
“I’m getting my feet wet, but for being three weeks into a playbook and having a playbook to take home and film to watch what coach Arians did last year, it’s a phenomenal system,” Palmer said. “It’s been very productive, won Super Bowls. He’s coached against the best and for the best, and I’m excited to keep installing and get deeper and deeper into the book.”
Josh Cribbs is scheduled to re-take a physical with the Cardinals “in a few weeks,” a source told Alex Marvez of FOXSports.com.
The Cardinals are expected to sign Cribbs if satisfied with the condition of his surgically repaired knee.
Cribbs initially met with the Cardinals in mid-March shortly after the free-agent signing period opened. He was still recovering from a torn meniscus after completing his eighth NFL season with the Cleveland Browns.
Cribbs, 29, was named to the NFL’s All-Decade team in the 2000s as a kickoff returner and is the all-time leader in Browns history in that role. Cribbs also is tied for the NFL all-time record in kickoff returns for touchdowns, with eight.
The Cardinals already upgraded their special-teams unit in the offseason with the free-agent signing of Washington Redskins linebacker Lorenzo Alexander. He was the NFC’s Pro Bowl selection on special teams last season and finished with an NFL-high 19 special teams tackles during the 2012 campaign.
The Cardinals have another QB on the roster, as today the team made a move with the Raiders for the services of Carson Palmer.
Arizona cut Kevin Kolb, who signed with the Bills over the weekend, and have Drew Stanton on the roster as well. They also cutt quarterback John Skelton, who went 8-9 in 17 starts over the past three seasons on Monday.
Seattle traded QB Matt Flynn to the Raiders, setting them up with their QB for the 2013 season, which is the reason why Palmer became available on the trade market.
The move according to Adam Schefter is for a conditional 7th-round pick in 2014 if Palmer starts 13 games this upcoming season.
Palmer has shown eroding skills the past couple of seasons, but that didn’t stop the Cards from coming to terms with the former Bengals QB on a new contract.
Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic is reporting it’s a two-year deal worth $16 million with $10 million guaranteed.
Seems like it’s got disaster written all over it, and it would be a shock if Palmer plays anywhere near up to the size of the deal. Friday Palmer turned down $13 million to $10 million to remain with the Raiders, a sign of how bad he wanted out of Oakland.
Safety Jonathon Amaya is the latest free agent to sign with the Cardinals according to Darren Urban of arizonacardinals.com.
The team announced the one-year contract with Amaya Wednesday.
Amaya spent the 2012 season with the Dolphins and made eight tackles in 12 games with the team, with most of his time coming on special teams. He played with the New Orleans Saints in 2011 but was also on the Dolphins roster in 2010 when Todd Bowles was the defensive coordinator in Miami. Bowles is now coordinating the defense in Arizona and he must have been impressed with Amaya in light of today’s signing.
The Cardinals do not have much cap room but have been one of the most active players in the free agent market this year. Amaya is the tenth player the Cardinals have signed away from another team. While none of these signings have been the kind that make headlines, the Cardinals new front office is making a visible attempt to improve the product on the field in 2013.