John Brown An Early Hit
For Arizona Cardinals
Now That He Has Been Out On The Field, Early Analysis Has The Rookie From Pittsburgh State As The Steal Of The Draft; Also, PJ Tucker Gets A DUI And The Arizona Rattlers Are Looking Better
By Wayne Schutsky
Modern Times Magazine
July 30, 2014 — With Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd at the top of the depth chart for the Arizona Cardinals, wide receiver wasn’t a huge question mark going into this offseason. So, when the team snagged Pittsburgh State product John Brown in the 3rd round of the draft, everyone shrugged.
But now that camp has started, the shrugs have turned into guffaws and a position of stability might have just become a position of strength.
Brown has been unstoppable during training camp so far. While excitement has to be tempered because pads only began cracking on Monday, it is still nice to see an unheralded rookie making his mark.
Brown’s speed and athleticism have made him an obvious deep threat already this training camp and he could push Ted Ginn for the third wideout spot. Competition at this spot is key because it is a big part of the offense. Coach Bruce Arians likes a speedster in the slot who can take the top off the defense.
Brown is already getting compared to T.Y. Hilton. Both players are shorter speedsters, though Brown (5’11”) has some size on Hilton (5’9”). Hilton caught 50 passes for 861 yards and seven touchdowns his rookie year with Arians as his offensive coordinator in Indianapolis. If the Cardinals get production even close to that, Brown will be considered a draft steal.
The Suns are still trying to come to terms on a contract with Eric Bledsoe and nothing has changed, at least publicly. The sides are still one year and about $32 million apart.
While I still think the Suns are likely going to resign Bledsoe, the team now has another unneeded distraction to worry about while it tries to finalize the roster.
Actually, it is ‘super extreme’ news.
News has come out that resigned veteran forward P.J. Tucker was arrested for an Extreme DUI in May, with a blood alcohol level of .222, according to Paul Coro of azcentral.com. That’s almost three times the legal limit.
The Suns were aware of the charges when they resigned Tucker to a three-year, $16.5 million contract. While he is only likely to get a suspension in the neighborhood of two games from the NBA, this is a troubling sign for the team.
Tucker was a veteran leader and defensive presence on a team last year that needed both. If his head isn’t on straight, the team is going to pay dearly. Even more important, the team needs to help Tucker get the help he needs before he or someone else ends up injured.
PJ Tucker Career Stats
Hopefully the Rattlers have gotten all of the losing out of their system. The once seemingly unbeatable team has dropped three of its last four games, capped by a heartbreaking 56-50 loss to Orlando on Saturday. Arizona was out ahead late in the game, but Orlando scored with less than a minute left to take the win.
On the bright side, Arizona quarterback Nick Davila has looked more like his old self as of late, he threw for six touchdowns and 314 yards.
The Rattlers open up the playoffs next week, hosting the Portland Thunder. Arizona is 2-0 against Portland this season.
Wayne Schutsky is a senior contributor to Modern Times Magazine.
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