The Arizona Cardinals will have their work cut out for them as the offseason approaches, but safety Budda Baker, a five-time Pro Bowl selection, will undoubtedly be hoping to avoid the mistakes of the previous season that he says left the team underprepared for the season.
The Cardinals’ lack of preparedness in training camp, which he claimed was evident at the start of the season following their defeat to the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 1, was discussed by Baker in his remarks prior to Sunday’s Pro Bowl flag football game.
On September 11, 2022, in Glendale, Arizona, Kansas City Chiefs safety Justin Reid kicks an extra point against the Cardinals.
On September 11, 2022, in Glendale, Arizona, Kansas City Chiefs safety Justin Reid kicks an extra point against the Cardinals. Ross D. Franklin/AP Photo
We had a lot of injuries at the start of the season in training camp, Baker said on Saturday to NFL.com.
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Kyler Murray was unwell. Since we didn’t really have many guys working out and accomplishing anything during training camp, Week 1’s loss to the Kansas City Chiefs was obviously the result.
Budda Baker of the Cardinals during the New England Patriots game on December 12, 2022, in Glendale, Arizona’s State Farm Stadium.
Budda Baker of the Cardinals during the New England Patriots game on December 12, 2022, in Glendale, Arizona’s State Farm Stadium. Getty Images/Cooper Neill
The Cardinals opened the 2022 season with a 44-21 loss to the Chiefs, despite finishing second in the NFC West with an 11-6 record the previous year.
I knew we were headed in the correct direction, he said. “You know, it was strange to not see many of the starters working out and stuff like that at training camp. Since none of us participated in preseason games, it was obvious who was prepared in Week 1 when we arrived after training camp, which was attended by a relatively small number of people.
“I don’t think we were as ready when it all started as we could’ve been,” the speaker said.
The Cardinals finished 4-13 overall. After four seasons as the team’s head coach, Kliff Kingsbury was let go, and Monti Ossenfort replaced the departing Steve Keim as general manager.
Kliff Kingsbury, the head coach of the Arizona Cardinals, scans the scoreboard during the Broncos game on December 18, 2022, in Denver.
Kliff Kingsbury, the head coach of the Arizona Cardinals, scans the scoreboard during the Broncos game on December 18, 2022, in Denver. David Zalubowski/AP Photo
During his opening news conference last month, Ossenfort stated that “no one here is thrilled about the results of last year.” But this team was in a strong position not too long ago. Two years ago, when this organization entered Tennessee and Nissan Stadium and trampled on us, I saw it firsthand.
“That is what we will return to.”
A new head coach for the Cardinals has not yet been chosen.
This report was made possible by the Associated Press.
Fox News Digital’s Paulina Dedaj is a sports reporter.