NFC Notes: Cardinals, Rams, Saints

     

Cardinals

Future Hall of Fame WR Larry Fitzgerald spoke about QB Kyler Murray‘s connection with the Cardinals’ current group of players.

“Talking to him, he loves being around us,” Fitzgerald said, via Kyle Odegard of AZCardinals.com. “He wants to take this to the next level and build on what he was able to accomplish last year, NFL Rookie of the Year. He’s got a lot of guys who want to play well for him, and he wants to do the same for us. Hopefully we will be able to do it here pretty soon.”

Fitzgerald knows that the team must have in-person contact in order to flourish as a unit and develop bonds but also believes that the virtual meetings have helped the team come together in other ways.

“We have some great, talented players individually, but you’re only as good as your collective team,” Fitzgerald added. “We have to get on the practice field. We have to work through some kinks. We have to get new guys acclimated to what we’re doing. I think everybody is anxious to get back to work and get on the field, kind of see exactly what we have… “Our group has come together and bonded in a way that I don’t think would have been possible if we were together, as far as on the field, because when you’re on the field, the actual work becomes the most important. Once you get out of practice, you’re not talking about social issues. When you’re in more of a virtual forum, those things can be accessed and talked about in a much more readily available fashion. We’ve grown so much in the last few weeks, and hopefully, we can continue to do that.”

As for new Cardinals WR DeAndre Hopkins, Fitzgerald has known him since he was in college and is excited to play with him, as well as watch him mentor the team’s young receivers including Hakeem Butler, Andy Isabella, KeeSean Johnson, and Christian Kirk.

“I’ve known DeAndre since he was in college,” Fitzgerald said. “We’ve had a great relationship for the last eight, nine years. Somebody that I highly respect and admire the way he goes about his business. I couldn’t be more happy to have him on the team. He’s a wonderful person for Christian, Trent, Hakeem (Butler), Andy (Isabella), Kee (Johnson) and the other young guys to be able to learn from.”

Rams

Rams third-round rookie Terrell Burgess plans to learn all the defensive back positions for the Rams, including the “money” position, which is essentially a dime linebacker role for a defensive back.

Burgess played several different positions at Utah last season, including safety, cornerback, and linebacker but is unsure where he fits on the Rams defense at this time.

“Honestly, I don’t know for sure. I plan to be able to contribute any way I can,” Burgess said, via RamsWire.com. “I’m trying to learn all of the defensive back positions. And once I get that down, then I’ll probably start trying to learn the ‘money’ position, as well, just in case they need to throw me in there in a different package. I’m going to try to learn everything, but learn the safety position then work down – from the top down.”

Saints

The Saints signed TE Jared Cook last offseason with the goal of adding another weapon to their offense to take advantage of the attention paid to WR Michael Thomas and RB Alvin Kamara. The actual execution was a lot messier, though, as an injury complicated Cook’s transition. He still finished the year with over 700 yards and nine touchdowns, though, and Saints TE coach Dan Campbell thinks Cook can be even better in 2020. 

“Jared Cook, the sky’s the limit,” Campbell said via the Times-Picayune’s Luke Johnson. “That talent level has been in there. (Raiders HC Jon) Gruden was able to pull it out of him, he knew exactly what to do with the guy, and we’re trying to do the same thing. We just know he is a one-on-one nightmare, he is a matchup nightmare for a defense. I don’t know how to cover the guy. I wouldn’t know what to tell them.”

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