Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said that the limits on training-camp practices has had an impact on the skill of linemen in the NFL.
“Those guys aren’t getting any better practicing soccer,” Arians said Wednesday at the NFC coaches’ breakfast, according to Pro Football Talk.
Arians was referring to non-contact practice “in shorts.” It’s not completely clear why he likened that to “soccer” practice.
Under the collective bargaining agreement, teams are only allowed one practice per day in training camp. Arians again used the term “soccer” when saying that non-contact drills can be beneficial to running backs, receivers, linebackers and cornerbacks.
Part of the problem could be that the Cardinals haven’t made great decisions drafting linemen. Guard D.J. Humphries, their first-round pick last year, didn’t suit up for a game in 2015. Guard Jonathan Cooper, the Cards’ first-round pick two years ago, has had a hard time staying healthy and started just 11 games in two seasons before being traded to the Patriots.
Thirty-one other teams are in the same boat as the Cardinals. Perhaps their scouts just need to figure out which college linemen can benefit from “soccer” practice.