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Petry, a redshirt sophomore defensive back from Missouri City, Texas, played in eight games last season, mostly at the beginning of the year, but was passed on the depth chart as the season progressed. At the start of spring practice he was second at cornerback behind DeMarkus Acy, a senior and one of the Tigers’ best and most experienced defensive players.

Missouri had a four-man depth rotation at cornerback spots, and in-game reps were going to be hard to come by unless Acy or Christian Holmes were injured, especially as Adam Sparks works his way back from a leg injury that kept him out the second half last season.

Tahane, a sophomore forward from Bondy, France, was a role player off the bench and a defensive spark for coach Robin Pingeton’s team. She played in all 35 games, starting just the season opener at Western Illinois, and averaged 13.4 minutes, 3.3 points and 2.7 rebounds per game.

Tahane was a key factor in Missouri’s 77-76 overtime win against Drake in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, playing 30 minutes off the bench. She took just one shot and scored two points, but had seven rebounds and three steals, and was able to effectively guard former Eldon Lady Mustang Sara Rhine and Monica Burich while Cierra Porter was in foul trouble and eventually fouled out before the end of regulation.

Tahane or Hannah Scuchts likely would have been the front-court starters for Missouri next season, unless some combination of Brittany Garner, who redshirted with a shoulder injury, and incoming freshman Hayley Frank made themselves the favorites during the summer.

If Tahane were to leave, she would join Kelsey Winfrey, who has already decided to transfer to Drury, as well as Sophie Cunningham, Porter and Lauren Aldridge, who graduated, in leaving the program this spring.

If it takes Akira Levy until the winter to fully recover from her ACL tear, the Tigers would start the season with eight returning players, and just one — Schuchts — with experience at forward.

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The Arizona Cardinals went out in free agency and signed a pair of guards and re-signed another. Guard has been a major issue over the last couple of seasons, mostly because of injuries.

However, with the moves they have made, Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury is at least temporarily satisfied with the state of the offensive line.
“Coach Kugler and I have had discussions and we feel like now we really have some depth, particularly inside and so there’ll be some good competition for those guards and center spots,” Kingsbury said when he spoke to reporters at the annual league meeting in Phoenix in March.

They already had Justin Pugh, who signed a five-year deal last year. They added J.R. Sweezy and Max Garcia in free agency. They re-signed Jeremy Vujnovich. Mason Cole returns at center and A.Q. Shipley is coming off a torn ACL. Colby Gossett, who was the starter at the end of the year at left guard, and Will House, who spent part of last season on the practice squad, also returns.
Cole and Shipley presumably will battle for the job at center. Pugh and Sweezy are expected to start at both guard positions. Garcia and Vujnovich have multiple years of experience as starters. Gossett showed some promise late last season.

They might still add to the mix in the draft as well.

Obviously, health and durability must be considered, but the offensive line definitely looks better than it has in years past.

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It wasn’t the kind of year Pharoh Cooper hoped for last season.

Coming off a Pro Bowl selection with the Los Angeles Rams in 2017, Cooper battled injuries and was eventually released by the NFC champions in December. But he didn’t wait long as he was picked up by the Arizona Cardinals where he finished the season and hopes for bounce back season in 2019.

“I’m healthy and ready to roll this year,” Cooper said recently at DJ Swearinger Celebrity Basketball game. “Sat out too long last year. Ankle feels good, shoulder feels good.”

Cooper had no bad feelings toward the Rams and understands it’s part of the business. He injured his ankle in the season opener last season against Oakland and didn’t return until November.

The 2016 fourth-round pick averaged 21 yards on 12 returns for the Rams. In two games with the Cardinals, he returned six punts.

“Every year, you got to prove yourself, it is a cut throat league,” Cooper said. “You got to stay healthy, put your head down and grind. I’m looking forward to a bounce back year. I missed most of the season last year. But I’m fully healthy and ready to show new coaching staff what I’m about.

Cooper has met with new coach Kliff Kingsbury and is looking forward to playing for him. The Cardinals have the No. 1 pick in the draft and many mock drafts have them taking Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray and Cooper didn’t want to speculate of if he wanted the team to draft the former two-sport standout.

With Arizona is reunited with former South Carolina players D.J. Swearinger and Damiere Byrd, who both signed with the club in the offseason.

“Get old college teammates back and have that connection. Have fun with the guys and grind like we did in the old days,” Cooper said.

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D.J. Swearinger wasn’t going to forget the Gamecocks and his home-state ties after he stopped playing for the South Carolina football program.

Swearinger still follows the program closely and is bringing his celebrity charity basketball game back to Columbia this week. The game is 6 p.m. Saturday at the Carolina Volleyball Center at the University of South Carolina.

The game will help raise money for The Boys & Girls Club of the Midlands.

“When we were playing at USC, we wondered why NFL guys and some others wouldn’t come around and we always said we would change that,” Swearinger said. “We want to help change the culture, give back and come interact with the players. I think it is very important to continue to be part of the program.”

This will be the first time the game will be played in conjunction with the Gamecocks’ spring game, which is set for noon Saturday at Williams-Brice Stadium. Last year’s game was held at Benedict College in the summer. Swearinger and USC coach Will Muschamp talked about moving the basketball game up to be on same weekend of the spring football game.

Some of the players in the celebrity event will be introduced during halftime of the spring game.

The basketball game will match former Gamecocks against current NFL or former players. Among the former USC players in the game will be Los Angeles Chargers’ Melvin Ingram, Baltimore Ravens’ Hayden Hurst, New England Patriots’ Stephen Gilmore, Chicago Bears’ Mike Davis, Indianapolis Colts’ Skai Moore and Arizona Cardinals’ Pharoh Cooper.

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The Arizona Cardinals have made a number of moves in the 2019 offseason to try and avoid a repeat of their 2018 season.

They have hired a new coaching staff, have reinvented their offensive line, changed the defensive scheme and made a play on a number of free agents at critical positions.

Maybe the highlight of the offseason though, is the trade for Marcus Gilbert.

Gilbert has consistently been one of the best pass blocking right tackles in the NFL, something the Arizona Cardinals desperately need.

In their review of every NFL teams offseason moves, Pro Football Focus thought the trade of a lone sixth round pick for Gilbert stood out the most:
Gilbert’s acquisition is not a long term answer to a problem that has been an every offseason question mark… Yet, that is okay.

The Cardinals didn’t have a lot of money to work with this offseason, much because of their own doing, but did have an astronomical amount of holes to fill.

So now, the Cardinals sent a low pick in the 2019 NFL Draft for a guaranteed starter in 2019. Something they should have been doing with more consistency over the years.

It is one of the best moves of the offseason, even if it does not work out for more than a season.

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OWINGS MILLS, Md. — It was 16 years ago when Terrell Suggs ran the 40 at his pro day in a hugely disappointing 4.9 seconds, causing his draft stock to drop and the Baltimore Ravens hopes to increase.

Phil Savage, then the director of scouting for the Ravens, quickly phoned Ozzie Newsome to tell him that Baltimore had a shot at the draft’s top pass-rusher. He was right as the Ravens selected Suggs with the No. 10 overall pick, landing the steal of that draft.

Asked if the Ravens should be alarmed by Suggs’ slow times, coach Brian Billick said, “If quarterbacks started taking 40-yard drops, then I’d be a little concerned.”

With Suggs departing this offseason as the franchise’s all-time sacks leader, the Ravens could fill his spot with someone who has followed a similar path.

Florida’s Jachai Polite established himself as one of college’s top pass-rushers, recording 11 sacks in 13 games. But Polite has experienced this year’s biggest free-fall after he ran his pro day 40-yard dash in just 4.96 seconds — even worse than his 4.84-second effort at the combine (the second slowest among edge players).

The Ravens need an impact pass-rusher after Suggs and Za’Darius Smith left in free agency. Their 15.5 sacks last season represented over one-third of Baltimores’s production.

With the growing expectation that the Ravens will trade out of the first round, could Polite be on Baltimore’s radar if the team falls back into the second round? Ravens officials didn’t sound too scared off by Polite’s troubling workouts.

“I think ultimately it comes down to the film, and then, the testing results are just that,” Ravens director of college scouting Joe Hortiz said when asked about Polite. “They’re testing results on that day.”

This is more than lip service by Baltimore. In last year’s draft, the Ravens benefited from Orlando Brown Jr.’s nightmarish NFL combine.

Brown went from being a first-round pick to slipping to the third round, where Baltimore selected him. In 10 starts, Brown helped the Ravens become the league’s second-best rushing attack and didn’t allow a sack.

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Adam Wainwright’s power sinker: I don’t know, man. It’s a sinker that… slides? I mean, it’s opposite break to a slider, but at that point it’s kind of a changeup. I think this might have just been a way to shoehorn Wainwright into the article. Next!

Daniel Ponce de Leon’s curveball: As Ponce de Leon mentioned, this is more of a rediscovered pitch than a new one, but it fits his fastball/changeup strengths well. He’s down in AAA to start the seaon, so seems like as good of a time as any to work on it. Two thumbs up.

Alex Reyes’ slider: This one is intriguing. He hasn’t really thrown any sliders in the majors, so our video of it is limited to this spring training, and it looks filthy. That said, I can totally believe Reyes having a great slider, as he has tremendous command of his curve. Early results look good, and it seems like it fits what he’s already doing quite well.

Chasen Shreve’s slider: Anything to get him to throw less fastballs is cool with me. Also, he was already throwing 15% sliders on the Cardinals last year. This one is a reach.

Mike Mayers’ curveball: This pitch probably merits a deeper dive when we get a little more pitch-level data on it this year. Mayers does seem like he’d benefit from a curve, because the four-seam/curve/slider combination plays really well as a trio. Mayers has always had a good fastball and a middling-to-bad slider, so keep an eye on this early in the season as a potential player-changing pitch.

Austin Gomber’s slider: I almost wanted to write an article about this. Gomber’s curveball is so extreme in its vertical plane that it demonstrates basically no platoon split. On one hand, that’s pretty awesome. A pitch like that can turn a pitcher from a reliever to a starter very easily. On the other hand, there’s an obvious downside- it’s not as good for getting same-handed batters out. Gomber has always had basically no platoon split, even bordering on a reverse one, and in his case it’s easy to see why. The way that other lefties will add a changeup to get right-handers out and totally remake their platoon splits, Gomber adding a pitch that lefties can’t hit could totally change his outlook. If his curveball is his second-best pitch against lefties, that’s a real game changer. Now, as far as I know, talking to Andrew Miller doesn’t spontaneously make you throw a wipeout slider — but stranger things have happened.

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Money talks this time of year, and in most cases, free agents tend to land with the highest bidder.

However, there are instances when players set other parameters, and when that happens, organizations must be enticing enough to reel in their targets.

The Cardinals went 3-13 last season and are employing their third coach in three years, so it was fair to wonder if players would be reticent to join the fold. Less than two weeks into free agency, it’s obvious that isn’t the case.

Inside linebacker Jordan Hicks, cornerback Robert Alford and outside linebacker Terrell Suggs are among the top names that have signed on the dotted line with the Cardinals. The team has inked 11 free agents in all, which is among the most in the NFL.

Hicks emanated energy during his introductory press conference last week and feels like the organization is on an upward trajectory.

“I was pretty impressed with everything that was going on here,” Hicks said. “And excited. There’s a buzz around this team, and for me it was a no-brainer. This place is great for my family, and then you speak about football, and it’s going to be a fun team.”

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The jury remains out on Arizona Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen. Both on and off the field, he’s repeatedly called into question, which is something the New York Giants may want to investigate should they decide to swing a trade for him.
Luckily for the Giants, they have several of Rosen’s former teammates on their 90-man roster who would be willing to provide some inside information, including linebacker Markus Golden.

On Monday, Rosen arrived for the Cardinals’ offseason workout program despite swirling trade winds and was actually the first in the building. Ho-hum says Golden, who saw that every day during Rosen’s rookie campaign.
Veteran safety Antoine Bethea, who also played for the Cardinals last season, believes Rosen is destined for “great things” in 2019 regardless of where it is he plays.

“He’s going to be able to do some great things in 2019,” Bethea said prior to Super Bowl LIII. “For a young quarterback, his ball placement is great. . . The more play time he gets, the better he’s going to get.”

Bethea also praised Rosen’s locker-room leadership and the relationships he forged with his teammates, which the young quarterback has previously been scrutinized for.

Whatever the case may be, the comments from Rosen’s teammates and former teammates don’t match those of the reports. What that really means behind-the-scenes, only those who experience it truly know. But if the Giants want to take a flier out on Rosen, both Golden and Bethea seem as if they’d approve.

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Kliff Kingsbury feels like time has moved in slow motion since he became coach of the Cardinals.

He’s officially been on the job for less than three months, but “it seems like I’ve been here a year and haven’t met the team yet.”

That will change soon.

The Cardinals will convene for voluntary offseason work on April 8, where an antsy Kingsbury will finally get a chance to speak with the players and begin implementing his style. The team could have started a week earlier but Kingsbury preferred to delay it for scheduling reasons.

“We wanted to keep it more compact,” Kingsbury said Tuesday morning from the annual owners meetings at the Arizona Biltmore. “If we would have started on (April 1), we would have taken a break, and now we’re just going to roll straight through.”

It’s a slow burn, as the players are limited to strength and conditioning work during the first phase of the offseason. Still, it’s better than nothing. Kingsbury’s tenure has been marked by speculation, as pundits wonder how his offense will translate to the NFL and what the Cardinals will do with the No. 1 overall pick.

 “It’s been a lot of other things other than coaching so excited to get that going,” Kingsbury said.