This is the beginning of the story, the tale of Dennis Green’s revival of the Cardinals franchise.
This is where everyone gets to see how Green’s system translates on the field.
Talk of playoffs and 10-win seasons have buzzed through the offseason.
Maybe the rest of the NFL and other interested onlookers who see a Cardinals team lacking in good personnel are missing something. Green thinks they are wrong.
"You win with talent, and you win with attitude," Green said. "It’s great to have a (good) attitude, it really is. But before you look at a player’s attitude, you look at his ability.
"What we have to do, and I’ve said this from the start, is the number one job: Teach reality. The number two job is to take a realistic view of our talent. A realistic evaluation of talent is not based on reputation, not based on salary, it’s based on were you able to do your job? I do not think we have less talent than most people."
The truth is that no one will know for sure for another 43 days, when the Cardinals open the regular season in St. Louis. Training camp won’t show all the answers.
Green’s camp isn’t about hitting but learning. Preseason games will be less meaningful than they were under the previous regime.
Green understands that pounding players means nothing if they can’t already play the game. Talent rules.
The coach had already gone to work on the players’ attitude. Outside of practice, there will be a certain boot camp mentality at camp, with living conditions and a tighter structure. Players already got a taste of that during the offseason.
"We have more guys that like the way we do things than guys who don’t like the way we do things," Green said. "That’s a plus. I think we’ll increase the number of guys who like the way we do things. That’s football. That’s not unusual."
Cardinals training camp
When: Today (practice Monday) through Aug. 19. Daily practice schedule varies, although team generally practices twice a day.
Where: Fields east of Walkup Skydome, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff
Red/White intrasquad scrimmage: 7 p.m Friday at Walkup Skydome
Preseason opener: Aug. 14 at Minnesota