As the draft nears there continues to be speculat

first_imgAs the draft nears, there continues to be speculation about what the Cardinals will do with the 20th overall pick in the first round. While many experts see Arizona drafting a defensive player, some, including ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper Jr., have the Cards drafting a quarterback. In Kiper’s latest mock draft, he’s got Fresno State signal caller Derek Carr as Keim’s pick.“Because of supply and demand at that position — and it is the most important position on the field — I would like to draft one every year, but that comes with an asterisk,” Keim said. “The asterisk is we’re not going to sacrifice a better football player for a positional need or trying to force a pick.“If a quarterback is in fact the 20th-best player on our board and we’re sitting there on the clock, we’ll take a quarterback. But if a quarterback is graded with a 79 and we have a linebacker or an offensive tackle with an 84, we’re not going to force the pick.”In Keim’s experience, drafting quarterbacks in the first round comes down to one very important ingredient: belief.“You have conviction on whether a guy is a franchise player or not,” he said. “And if you don’t have that conviction, a lot of times you’ll get guys who are good kids, they have all the physical tools, but they may not have that ‘it factor.’ Because they look the part, and supply and demand is such an issue at that position, you try to manufacture the player. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Normally, the NFL Draft would take place in about a week. But 2014 isn’t normal.Commissioner Roger Goodell made the decision to move the NFL’s annual event back because the venue where it’s held — Radio City Music Hall in New York — is hosting an Easter show this month.The push back gives teams an extra three weeks to pore over players and construct draft boards, a process general manager Steve Keim and the Arizona Cardinals are knee-deep in. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires “When you make that pick and it’s a mistake, it sets you back three to four years and I don’t think we can afford to do that.” Comments   Share   center_img Top Stories Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact “What we’ve done right now is we’ve ranked every position by grade and then what we’ll do is we’ll transition in about a week to our top 120 board, which is what we’ll draft off of,” Keim told Doug and Wolf Friday on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. “Our philosophy has always been ‘best player available’ and it will stay that way, and that’s how we’ll draft.“We’ll rank players 1 to 120 according to how we would take them for the Arizona Cardinals.”But, according to the second-year GM, it’s not just about a player’s football skill set. Character is heavily weighed by the Cardinals’ brass when determining if a player fits with the organization.“There’s a number of players that not only don’t fit what we do schematically, but aren’t the type of people we want in our locker room,” Keim said. “As you saw last year, we took a chance on Tyrann Mathieu, who had well-documented issues off the field, but at the same time, we spent a significant amount of time with the young man and felt comfortable with him as a person. “It came down to his passion, his football character and we thought if a guy has that type of passion for the game, you have a chance to steer him down the right road.”last_img read more

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Henrythenavigator takes his place among the greats

first_imgShare via Email Greg Wood at Ascot Support The Guardian Horse racing First published on Tue 17 Jun 2008 19.01 EDT Horse racing “All those sort of races are open to him, but he could go on a different route too,” O’Brien said. “You could drop him back, you could leave him at a mile, or you could step him up. “We had his dam [Sequoyah] too, she was by Sadler’s Wells and she was a Moyglare winner at two, and was good enough to run in an Oaks, so all the possibilities are open. Every horse isn’t the same every day, but in the vein of form that he’s in at present, he’s an unbelievable racehorse.” The one caveat with Henrythenavigator is his strong preference for fast ground, which might tempt O’Brien to keep him going before the easier surfaces of the autumn arrive. There must also be a chance, though, that this will steer Henrythenavigator towards the Breeders’ Cup Mile at Santa Anita, California, in late October, when fast ground would be all but guaranteed. Rock Of Gibraltar was an unlucky loser in the Mile back in 1992, when the race was run at Arlington. Jockey Mick Kinane gave one of his less polished performances that day and the temptation to extract a measure of compensation may be difficult to resist. “It was like winter National Hunt ground in Ireland last year, we’d never seen anything like it, and though he got beaten on it, he wasn’t beaten too far,” O’Brien said. “But we will be keeping him to good ground now, because we know that he’s so special on it.” Yesterday’s race appeared to expose Falco, more than six lengths back in fifth, as a relatively ordinary winner of the French 2,000 Guineas, while Twice Over looks like a horse for whom no trip is entirely right, as the beaten favourite in the Dante Stakes did not have the speed to threaten the principals after travelling well through the first six furlongs. “They broke the track record, so you would have to be pleased with him,” Henry Cecil, his trainer, said, “but he would prefer a bit more give and I think he’s more of a mile-and-a-quarter horse than a miler.” Raven’s Pass, meanwhile, proved that he stays a mile well and should have no problem finding a Group Two somewhere, but will struggle to get a Group One victory on to his record for as long as Henrythenavigator is a likely opponent. “That was a proper run and we nearly frightened the winner,” John Gosden, his trainer, said. “The owners want to run in the Breeders’ Cup Mile, so we will have that at the end of our programme.”O’Brien’s best milersGiant’s Causeway ‘The Iron Horse’ outfought his rivals to win five consecutive Group Ones in the summer of 2000, each of them by less than a length. Despite two top-class wins at a mile, he was probably better over 10 furlongsRock Of Gibraltar After he won a record seven Group Ones in a row, Rock Of Gibraltar’s run was ended by a poor ride from Mick Kinane in the Breeders’ Cup Hawk Wing Looked brilliant in winning the 2003 Lockinge by 11 lengths but that form was questionable and it was his only success from his final five starts George Washington Hugely impressive when landing the Guineas but it all went wrong – he won just once more, proved infertile and was killed at the Breeders’ Cup Henrythenavigator Emulated Rock Of Gibraltar by adding yesterday’s race to his two Guineas triumphs. Unbeaten this year and showing no signs of vulnerability Topics Share on Facebook Share on WhatsApp Since you’re here… The Recap: sign up for the best of the Guardian’s sport coverage Henrythenavigator takes his place among the greats Share on Facebook Share on Messenger … we have a small favour to ask. The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Shares00 Tue 17 Jun 2008 19.01 EDT @Greg_Wood_ “The best we’ve had” will always be a dangerous currency for Aidan O’Brien, since it could be taken as a slight on former champions who continue to make millions for the Coolmore operation at stud. So he found a more inclusive turn of phrase after Henrythenavigator had skipped away with the St James’s Palace Stakes here yesterday. “He’s a great horse,” O’Brien said, “and I think it’s very hard to say that we’ll get a better miler than this lad.” This, then, is as good as a miler ever gets, in O’Brien’s wide experience at any rate, though Henrythenavigator is by no means finished yet. His trainer was typically opaque afterwards when asked where the colt might go next, but he has such a beguiling mixture of speed, stamina and no-nonsense attitude that, wherever it is, his price will not be far removed from yesterday’s 4-7. Held up in the early stages as Cat Junior and then Minneapolis made the running, Henrythenavigator travelled like an odds-on shot until the top of the straight and the only hint of a problem came around a furlong out, when Johnny Murtagh briefly lost control of his right rein. His partner did not miss a stride, though, and kept running straight for the line with a finishing kick that quickly took him clear of Twice Over. Raven’s Pass made some ground in the closing stages, to get within three-quarters of a length at the line, but Henrythenavigator had already done more than enough. “When I changed my reins I dropped the rein on the right side, but he’s such a professional, it didn’t bother him. It opened up nicely for him as the lesser horses weakened and he had the class to take the gaps. He knows he’s the best horse now and he trains like the best horse, too. He’s exceptionally good.” The last horse to complete the treble of the English and Irish 2,000 Guineas and the St James’s Palace was Rock Of Gibraltar, also trained by O’Brien, in the middle of a run that ended at seven consecutive Group One wins. If O’Brien follows a similar path, the winner will now head for the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood in August, followed by the Prix du Moulin. But there are other options, including the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes back at this course in September. Share on LinkedIn Share on Twitter Share via Email Share on Pinterest Read more Share on Twitter Reuse this contentlast_img read more

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