Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury has said he doesn’t mind the lack of preseason games, as it gives him more time to install without interruptions.
At some point though, his team will have to tackle and be tackled, but Kingsbury doesn’t seem to be in a rush.
“It’s uncharted territory for all these guys,” Kingsbury said, via Bob McManaman of the Arizona Republic. I think we’re all trying to figure out where is that fine line where you want to get some physicality, you want to tackle to the ground and get some live work, but you want to be smart, be careful and make sure you get them all to the game as well.
“We’re all looking for that and we’ll pick our spots to do that, but we won’t have our quarterbacks hit prior to Week One. And I know Kyler [Murray] is happy about that.”
Without any live contact, or at least full contact, there’s some concern about the tackling come the regular season, but defensive line coach Brentson Buckner said he’s not concerned about that leading to bad form.
“Tackling is a want-to,” Buckner said. “I tell my guys, ‘Coaches don’t want you to tackle, but you can be physically punching your guy in the chest, separating, get in my gap, hold in double teams and when you find the ball you tear off and you run.’ We just don’t want to put the guy on the ground, but we can get all our work done.
“We can do things, physically. Hands in the chest. Getting on the edge. Making sure we’re staying square. Attacking the line of scrimmage. And then when it comes to real football, we’re going to have a walk through to get you on the ground. And when we first hunt, we’ve got to learn to hunt in packs. We’ve got to run to the ball like everybody is going to miss the tackle and somebody’s got to get it. We can’t just count on one guy doing it.”
It’s reasonable to think there will be some sloppy play when the actual games start, considering the lack of preparation this offseason. But that’s balanced by having players healthy and available, and that seems to be a chance Kingsbury’s comfortable taking.