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At the start of some practices Matt Belisle Jersey , Arizona Cardinals coach Steve Wilks calls out the name of one defensive player and one offensive player to go at it one-on-one in front of everyone else.


Once it was left tackle D.J. Humphries against defensive end Chandler Jones. Another time defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche took on right guard Justin Pugh.

"I like it a lot," Humphries said. "It's like old school, Pop Warner stuff."

A week into Wilks' first training camp as an NFL head coach, an overriding theme has been tough, physical play, especially on the offensive line.

"Really it comes back to my defensive background," Wilks said before the team took the field for another practice in pads Thursday. "There's nothing more demoralizing than having an offense just run the ball. Coming off the ball up front, being physical, it just really takes the air out of you."

While most of the training camp takes place in the air-conditioned comfort of University of Phoenix Stadium 鈥?the Cardinals' regular- season home 鈥?Wilks moved the team outside into the desert heat for practice on Tuesday. They'll be outdoors again Friday.

"Hopefully it's a little hot out there so we can make sure we're locked in and focused," he said.

Wilks believes battling the heat helps build mental toughness.

"It's all about mental with me. These guys have the skill set. They're physical. They work out all the time. They train their bodies. It's about this here," he said, pointing to his head, "and being outside creates that element Eagles Dallas Goedert Jersey , particularly in the heat."

Wilks has spent his NFL coaching career on defense, with stints as secondary coach for the Chicago Bears, San Diego Chargers and Carolina Panthers. Last year, he was promoted to defensive coordinator in Carolina and, after just one season, was hired to replace the retired Bruce Arians in Arizona.

Arians was all about offense, the big-play "no risk it, no biscuit" approach. Wilks, by contrast, wants a team that runs the ball with authority and a defense that just as naturally stops the run up front.

"We get pretty physical out there," Humphries said. "Our defensive line, both of us know what we're trying to do, what we're trying to get done. It's something that's being preached to us and it's something that we're soaking up and buying into for sure. Most of us it's second nature. We don't have no softies on the O-line. Most of us Authentic Andy Dalton Jersey , it ain't hard to get us going, so it's good fun."

Defensive players appreciate a coach with roots on that side of the ball.

"It's great," said safety Antoine Bethea, a 13-year NFL veteran. "He gets it. Not saying other coaches don't, but him being on the defensive side of the ball the majority of his career, he just gets what it means to be a defensive player, coming downhill, attacking."

But it's the offensive line that's been singled out for praise by Wilks for its physical approach early in camp.

And the line loves the idea of blowing open holes for David Johnson, one of the NFL's best running backs who returns after missing virtually all of last season with a fractured wrist.

Offensive linemen, in general, love to run block.

"It's different when you're locking a guy up in pass (blocking). You get them frustrated," Humphries said. "But when you block a dude, you pound on him during the run game Johnny Townsend Jersey Raiders , you demoralize them. You take their heart. "

In her bid for governor of Tennessee, Republican Rep. Diane Black will run an ad during the Super Bowl pregame show saying ”it’s too bad that the league doesn’t respect the patriotism of our national anthem.”


Black’s campaign spokesman, Chris Hartline, said Thursday that the ad urging fans to stand will run on one network in several Tennessee markets at a cost of more than $50,000. Some will see it right before kickoff, he said.

It’s a response to the NFL’s refusal to run an ad from the group American Veterans saying ”Please Stand” in the printed Super Bowl program.

The league has been roiled by debate over players kneeling during the anthem to protest social injustice, but NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said the game program is not the place for messages that could be seen as political. McCarthy noted that the NFL approved a Veterans of Foreign Wars ad saying ”We Stand for Veterans.”

In her spot, Black says that though the NFL refused the AMVETS ad urging everyone to stand, ”they can’t stop you and me.”

”So tonight, wherever you are watching this game, please stand for `The Star-Spangled Banner’ and join me in standing up for veterans,” Black, a Gallatin lawmaker Giants Will Hernandez Jersey , said in the ad.

She’s not the only Republican candidate in Tennessee to use ad time to voice support for standing for the anthem, a call that has particularly rallied the Republican base. President Donald Trump mentioned it in his State of the Union speech.

Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn, who is running to replace retiring Republican Sen. Bob Corker, bought radio time for an ad that says she stands ”for veterans, the president and `The Star-Spangled Banner.”’

Blackburn faces former Republican Rep. Stephen Fincher in the GOP primary, and that winner likely will face former Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen in the general election.

Black is the third Republican candidate to secure TV ad time in the open Tennessee race to replace Republican Gov. Bill Haslam, who is hitting term limits.

In a $300,000 buy this week, Knoxville businessman Randy Boyd’s ad says he’s against abortion, thinks Tennesseans should work and not remain on welfare and says immigrant-protecting ”sanctuary cities” are illegal.

An ad released by Franklin businessman Bill Lee last week discusses the death of his first wife and his leadership role in his construction company.

State House Speaker Beth Harwell, R-Nashville, rounds out the governor’s race field of major Republicans.

Former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean and state House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh of Ripley are running on the Democratic side.

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