As training camp continues to progress, and teams start to get into their preseason schedules, the fight to make the 53-man roster intensifies with every single practice, as those players on the bubble have to raise their game up, or risk being a roster casualty.
The names Colin Parker and Eddie Elder should be familiar to fans of Sun Devil football.
Parker and Elder are onto the next stage of their careers. Both are fighting an up-hill battle in order to make the Cardinals roster.
Fortunately for both players, they’ve caught the attention of head coach Ken Whisenhunt.
“I’m excited to see them play and see if they can do it,” Whisenhunt said. “I’m glad that we’ve got them in our program.”
Parker is currently sitting third on the depth chart at inside linebacker behind Daryl Washington and Stewart Bradley.
Parker admitted that, initially, he had “a lot of trouble” adjusting to defensive coordinator Ray Horton and his system, but, over time, he says it’s gotten much “easier”.
“We pretty much installed the whole defense in OTAs, so coming up here to camp, it was kind of a review,” Parker said.
The speed of the NFL game hasn’t affected Parker at all. Parker says he dealt with a high level of speed at Arizona State, so the way the game moves hasn’t fazed Parker at all.
“Learning the plays and tying that into the speed that’s on the field, that’s where it’s hard for me,” Parker said.
Parker has been getting some reps with the third team, as well as some snaps on special teams. He feels like his spot is going to be earned during the preseason, which starts on Sunday evening, as the Cardinals take on the Saints in the Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio.
“It’s a big week for me,” Parker said.
Elder is in an even tougher battle at the free safety position. He’s currently fourth on the depth chart behind Kerry Rhodes, James Sanders and Justin Bethel.
“I still have a long ways to go, even though I’m making plays here and there,” Elder said. “I’m just trying to make the best of my efforts.”
Elder – an undrafted free-agent – is a long shot to make the team, especially being behind two veterans and a sixth-round draft pick.
Elder knows he can only do what he can do, and let everything else play itself out.
“If I leave it all out on the field, then that’s all that I can do,” Elder said. “I’m going to do what I can.”