The Arizona Cardinals will have their work cut out for them heading into the offseason but five-time Pro Bowl safety Budda Baker will certainly be hoping to avoid the pitfalls of last year that he believes left the team ill-prepared heading into the season.
Ahead of Sunday’s Pro Bowl flag football game, Baker spoke about the Cardinals’ lack of preparation in training camp, which he said was apparent at the start of the season following their Week 1 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.
“It started with the beginning of the season in training camp when we had a lot of injuries,” Baker told NFL.com on Saturday.
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“[Kyler Murray] was sick. We didn’t really have a lot of players practicing and doing a lot during training camp, which then, of course, led to that kind of a s—show Week 1 versus the Kansas City Chiefs.”
Despite a second-place finish in the NFC West with an 11-6 record just the season before, the Cardinals started off the 2022 season with a 44-21 loss to the Chiefs.
“I definitely felt like we were on the right path,” he continued. “You know in training camp it was definitely startling to not see a lot of the starters practicing and stuff like that. Cause I knew, you know, especially with the preseason games, none of us played in the preseason, it’s kinda just going through training camp, which was not a lot of people, and then we get to Week 1, it showed who was prepared.
“I don’t think we were as prepared in the beginning of when it all started than what we could’ve been.”
The Cardinals finished the season 4-13. Head coach Kliff Kingsbury was then fired after four seasons with the organization, and Monti Ossenfort was introduced as the new general manager in place of longtime GM Steve Keim.
“No one here is happy about the results of last year,” Ossenfort said during his introductory press conference last month. “But it’s not too long ago that this team was in good position. I was witness to it firsthand two years ago when this organization came into Tennessee and Nissan Stadium and ran all over us.”
“That’s what we’re going to get back to.”
The Cardinals have yet to name a new head coach.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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