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Tyler Drake | Arizona Cardinals Reporter, AZ Sports

Amy Lawrence Show / Amy Lawrence
The Truth Network Radio
May 29, 2023 6:05 am

Tyler Drake | Arizona Cardinals Reporter, AZ Sports

Amy Lawrence Show / Amy Lawrence

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May 29, 2023 6:05 am

Arizona Cardinals reporter for AZ Sports Tyler Drake joins the show to talk the release of DeAndre Hopkins, Kyler Murray's health, and a new coaching regime in the desert.


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That's slash positive. We're pleased to welcome Tyler Drake, Cardinals insider from 98.7 AZ Sports in the desert. So much for the holiday weekend.

Tyler, you are the best. What is your reaction to the Cardinals releasing Hopkins, not treating him but actually cutting him? Yeah, yeah, you know, first reaction was, wow, they actually really couldn't get a deal done. And then second reaction right after that was more so about, hey, there's actually an answer to the question that has been the entire offseason. I think a lot of us on the media side for Arizona, I think, are going to be happy that we don't have to ask the question every single day now.

So that's one positive. And, you know, honestly, it just gives a little bit of clarity on what exactly this team wants to do moving forward. Maybe not so much this year, but going into 2024 and beyond. What was the reason they did not or could not trade him Tyler? For me, I think it just comes down to his contract from the reports that I saw from the stuff that I've heard from the stuff that I've gotten is really it came down to the contract. And there were some, you know, discussions I've heard Kansas City, Buffalo, I believe, but it really came down the, you know, the wrench in the plan was the contract. And I heard that he didn't want to go down from his his contract, which is at nineteen point five this year. I think it's fifteen point six or something next year for his base salary.

But, yeah, I think that was really the biggest the biggest issue there. And at the end of the day, you've got to make the decision if you want to have the, you know, before June 1st cap hit all on this season, or if you want to spread it out after June 1st. And really, I think you can see the plan now is, hey, we're going to take that hit now and look to the future. How much does the dead cap hit set them back, Tyler?

It's going to be tough. I mean, it's going to it's a twenty two point six million dollar dead money, I think hit. If I'm correct, it might be a little off there just from maybe there's some signing bonuses or something thrown in.

But, yeah, for the most part, it's like a 20 million dollar hit. So I think you have to really look at the season for, you know, both Monty and Jonathan Gannon, general manager and head coaches, kind of a red shirt here. It's I think you just show improvement, show growth and then really attack 2024 because now you have that contract off your books. You've got that money you can actually go spend on positions of need going into 2024 with really, really high draft picks that you're probably going to have from not only your team, but from the Houston Texans, too, after making that deal in the draft. Ultimately, why don't you think it worked between Te'Andre Hopkins and the Arizona Cardinals?

You know, I think it just ran its course of they feel the need right away. And he came in and really did an amazing job in that first year. But then, you know, availability issues, I think, really, really hurt, you know, the trajectory that this team had with him on the side or with him on the field. So I think that's a big one. I think them having to kind of flip the script and, you know, reset the rebuild organization, the hard, hard, hard reset button.

I think that's he's getting up there in age. I don't think he wanted to be a part of that. And I don't think you can really blame him at this point. I think it was best for both sides to really move on.

When you see, you know, Kyler Murray still coming back from that torn ACL and who knows what he's going to play. And you just have a new regime that, you know, really wants to build this culture. And I think that was one move that kind of shows and signals, hey, this is a new team. This is a new regime. This is a new culture we're trying to build here.

And that's the type of, I guess, noise we don't want to have around. Just to clarify, you believe it was mutual or that this was D Hopkins who wanted out? You know, I think it was mutual at the end of the day, just because if you look at what Monty Austin Court's doing and just trying to kind of rebuild what the old regime kind of left behind, it seems like he's trying to get off these big contracts and really, you know, get the one to two to three year deals this year and, you know, pay off that dead money this year and then have a kind of a clean plate in 2024 where you can really restock on those rookie draft picks or those rookie deals.

And then you can also spend more on free agency. So I think both sides felt that there was going to be a parting of ways at some point. I just don't know if they knew it was going to be without a trade involved. We're pleased to welcome our friend Tyler Drake back to the show from 98.7 AZ Sports. He's the Cardinals reporter and he's willing to talk about the cards on holiday weekend, which is amazing.

It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence here on CBS Sports Radio. What is your response to these reactions that the Cardinals are tanking by making this move and some of the others that they've made? I mean, you have to look at where they're at. Just given the rebuild that they're in the middle of, Tyler Murray's injury, you know, it's not going to hurt if they're going into next year with a really high draft pick that they have and probably another really high draft pick that the Texans are giving them. I can see where that conversation can come in, but I also think it's really about resetting what, you know, Steve Keim left behind because there was a lot of contracts and a lot of just a lot of stuff yet that Monty and the rest of this new regime have to weave through. So I really think it comes down to them looking at, you hate to say it, but you've got to look to 2024 and beyond because that's really, I think, when you can start to see progress. I think really this year is going to be about individual growth. Let's see if these, you know, second year guys can really take that step. Let's see if these rookies who are really showing football character already can really be the next up and comers that can make an impact. Let's see if these guys we signed on minimal deals can really make an impact and go from there. So I think this is kind of just to prove it for improvement and growth for everybody on the team and try to turn the page on that really, really, really, really nasty last season that we all witnessed. The Buddha Baker news that he will likely be at training camp or he plans to be at training camp. How big a surprise for you, Tyler?

That was the thing I was waiting for. You know, with voluntary OTAs, I know everybody's going to make a deal out of it because you pretty much have to, but he wasn't there. But at the same time, you know, if he missed mandatory stuff, that's when you, I think you really need to be concerned as a fan and as somebody that, you know, follows a team of, hey, he might actually not, they might not actually come to agreement here.

So it was good. And, you know, you also have to think about it. They're getting off of Hawkins money.

Who knows? Maybe they can try to facilitate something down the line that goes back to him. There's going to be more money to work with. And that's just something you have to think about. And they've talked so highly about Buddha Baker as the definition of an Arizona Cardinal.

So if that's really the case, I mean, you try to, you got to keep them around. I think we've all seen the heart and soul he's put into the game. Hard knocks really opened that up too. So I think it really just comes down to if they can come to agreement and really move forward, but it seems like he's going to show up when he needs to show up and have a smile on his face, like he usually does. What are your first impressions of the new head coach, Jonathan Gannon, who comes from the Eagles, of course, as their former coordinator? Yeah.

Yeah. A lot of energy. I think that's the number one thing is the dude comes in and he makes his presence known, which is a complete 180 from what we saw last year. And really with the whole cliff regime, I think there's just a really different energy in there. And you can tell that there's a different culture being built. I think he's a complete opposite of Cliff Kingsbury outside of being close in age.

They really couldn't be any different. So it's refreshing, I think, just to kind of see the difference in personality and just engagement and everything like that. But until we see what happens on the field, it's just really just, it's off-season talk until we see the X's and O's really play out. Do you understand why they went this direction instead of a different direction, maybe a veteran coach? One, I think they wanted to find the complete opposite of Cliff. And I think they found that in this guy. You got to look at a defensive, offensive, all that. But two, I think they still wanted somebody that can relate to the players and really be there in the room and not have the degrees of separation that maybe a Bill Belichick has, or somebody that's really established.

I think maybe a guy that can grow with the team could really pay off in the end, but we just have to see how that's going to shape out. All right. You knew I was going to follow up on that. Why the opposite of Cliff?

What happened there? How much of that has to do with the quarterback? Yeah. I think you just have to have that degree of separation, if I could talk with that, just because Cliff was really the offensive coordinator. So it was him and Kyler.

And I think if you can have a guy in between like, hey, I'm the head coach, here's your OC, you guys figure it out and I'll give you the final say. I think that's going to go a long way in really reshaping this team. And I think we've already seen that with just Kyler, his involvement with everything. He was there for the Jersey reveal.

He's out there at OTAs and he's rehabbing, but he's taking time to come and see different position groups and talk with Drew Pessing, the offensive coordinator. And for me, he's showing a lot more maturity, a little more leadership. And I think that's everything this franchise has wanted him to show, everything fans have wanted him to show.

So it's a step in the right direction. Obviously, we've got to see how he bounces back off that injury, but I definitely think having that kind of separation and head coach, OC quarterback coach, Kyler, I think that's going to go a long way in the end of it. Tyler Drake is with us to talk Cardinals for a few minutes here with the latest developments being DeAndre Hopkins, but still a lot of questions around the team heading into 2023. It's after hours on CBS Sports Radio. What was the last thing we knew about Kyler's health?

I love that you laugh before you answer. You know, it's going to be a daily question we ask and Jonathan Gannon has given us no timeline. He won't give us a timeline.

He doesn't like using timelines. So what I can tell you is that when they feel he's mentally and physically ready is when he'll come back. For me, I think that's week eight and beyond. That's just my gut feeling.

I don't have any inside info. That's just a complete. That's how I'm feeling just because if you look at the back half of the schedule, they've got a couple of games where, you know, they could pull out some W's and they can really kind of get him back into the mix without throwing them out there against the Niners or somebody like that early on. So I really think you save them for like week eight.

I mean, the Lamar versus Kyler, that'd be a great duo too to battle to start. So that's just kind of my gut feeling there. What will they do at quarterback between now and then? Because that's a long stretch, Tyler. Even if you're off by a few weeks, that's still a long time for a brand new head coach as they try to retool the roster.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. So, I mean, I think it's going to be Cole McCoy's job to lose, but, you know, I would not be surprised if we see Clayton Two and the rookie come in there and start, or at least play in a game early on. I think they want to kind of see what they can do with a mobile quarterback like Tune, whereas Colt, Jeff Driscoll, David Blough, they're more of a stationary guy, stay in the pocket where I think if Drew Pessin can, you know, mold Tune a little bit and then they maybe could drop Kyler in, see what they like, see what they don't like and go from there, could really help when they have to get Kyler back in the mix and, you know, maybe run some of those same plays because obviously Tune's not Kyler Murray, but if you can get a guy that could run outside, get a couple more bootleg and really do something with the football with his feet, then you can really see what this offense might be with Kyler. It is impressive that Colt McCoy has managed to stick and has been needed a bunch over the last couple seasons.

Yeah, it really is. Consummate professional, great dude to talk to in the inter, like, just interviewing. I mean, he could be a really great coach right now and I think, well, I think what, he was just an analyst for an XFL game or USFL game, if I'm not mistaken, so the dude has a future way beyond football and he's basically like another coach out there and, you know, that's what Cliff said last year and the year before, so having a guy like that that Kyler can, you know, bounce things off of and having a veteran like that in the room for Tune to learn from is just going to be solid for their growth moving forward. Tyler, as I looked at the Cardinal schedule, what jumped out at me is the bye week, not until week 14, which is late in the season.

That's pretty incredible. What jumps out at you about the schedule when it was released? Yeah, yeah, I don't know what's up with those late byes. It feels like the Cardinals always get something like that, so NFL schedule makers just, I guess, like to do that. You know, for me, I think the, uh, the Gannon New Year's Day game against Philly is going to be the one I think a lot of people have circled and they probably should because just from all of the talk that's come out of Philly and just, you know, everything out of there with the tampering and I just, that's got to be the one that's going to be, you know, a really big storyline and I think the Houston game just because I don't really see how a way the Cardinals can lose that game just because all the draft implications that are in with it. How do you think the NFC West stacks up considering some of the changes that have taken place in the division? I think the Niners, you know, really went out there and getting, uh, Javon Hargrave is going to be huge for that defense and, you know, Sam Darnell might be a sneaky addition too. Who knows how that quarterback situation is going to come out?

Who knows? With that team, you really have to drop a quarterback in and see what happens. So I think it's going to be Niners. I think it's going to be Seattle. I think it might be the Cardinals and then I think it's going to be the Rams. It might be a pretty tough one for the, for the Cardinals and Rams.

Tyler Drake is with us here for a couple more minutes on After Hours, CBS Sports Radio. With all of that in mind, what are the potential strengths and what are the potential weaknesses of the team in 23? Yeah, so I think his strength is going to be the offensive line. You know, I know they've got a couple rookies that might slide in with, you know, Paris Johnson. He probably, he should be starting day one.

Dude already seems like he's a veteran just from how he handles himself. Uh, John Gaines is another guy who could be the potential starter rookie at UCLA. Outside of those guys though, they've got a lot of veterans that know how to play with one another and, you know, I think they're all gelling pretty well really early on. So they've got some depth there too with Josh Jones being kind of the swing tackle. So definitely offensive line would say is a strong point. The weak point's got to be the, uh, the other side of the line of scrimmage, the defensive line, just because there's a lot of improvement. Uh, you know, Cam Thomas, I think poised to have a strong year, but outside of him, I, you know, lot, a lot of question marks.

There's a lot of new additions and, and I just think until we see what they do on the field, that's got to be the weak point for me right now on that team. And you thought Friday would be the start of a nice holiday weekend, quiet post practice instead. Boom!

Right in your face, Tyler. Yeah, yeah. Hey, you know, NFL never sleeps. The off season is not the off season. Let me tell you that.

That is true. What were your first impressions of practice? The vibe of it. You could tell that there was a lot of, uh, a lot of just go hard, get it done. It's OTAs, but you know, it wasn't as many people I feel, but I felt like there was a lot of work that got done. You know, it was really interesting with just with the rookie minicamp. I mean, there was really not that many guys out there at all.

And that was kind of on purpose. They wanted guys that are going to, they feel can contribute right away instead of filling up the field with a bunch of tryouts. So, uh, you know, there's a concerted effort to really, really, I think, get a lot of individual work. And, you know, it's going to be interesting. I mean, from what we saw, what we can report, one thing that stood out to me was Avon Collins working with the outside linebackers. So I thought he crushed it on the inside last year. And I think he could be a captain this year, but it seems like they really want to see what he can be as a pass rusher. Man, a lot of intrigue, a lot of questions, but it's been that way for a few years now.

So maybe we're used to it with the Arizona Cardinals. You can find Tyler on Twitter at TDrake4, the number four sports, and he is not only the Cardinals insider for Arizona Sports 98.7, but also the co-host of Cardinals Corner. Thank you for joining us on a holiday weekend. We really appreciate your time. No problem.

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Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-29 08:12:33 / 2023-05-29 08:21:50 / 9

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