It was an odd sight Sunday, when a huge man wandered across the practice fields at the Cardinals’ Tempe complex during the team’s final minicamp practice, carrying a pair of cleats.
He walked over to where the defensive linemen were working and started to change his shoes, apparently looking for a tryout. The problem is that he was uninvited. While he was greeted by defensive linemen Bertrand Berry and Marcus Bell, Cardinals coaches had never heard of the guy. He said his name is Jerome Evans and claimed he played at Kansas State. There was a 6-foot-6, 303-pound defensive lineman by the same name who played at KSU from 1996-97.
Coach Dennis Green made sure Evans was escorted out. Director of player programs Anthony Edwards did the deed, explaining to Evans (accompanied by another man Green said was Evans’ brother-in-law) the proper protocol to get a tryout, no matter how desperate the Cards might be in looking for players.
The scene reminded Green of a similar incident in 1979, when he was an assistant with Bill Walsh in San Francisco.
“A guy climbed a fence, a manager stopped him about halfway and the guy called Walsh out,” Green recalled. “ ‘Hey, what’s going on, Walsh? You gonna let me try out, or what?’
“This guy was big. I’m glad he didn’t call me out.”
PLAY NOT PAY
Green wants production from his players, and he insists that’s the only thing he is looking at when it comes to his players — not where a guy was drafted, and not his contract.
“I have never looked at what a guy is being paid. It is irrelevant,” Green said. “We are about, ‘can you do your job better than anyone on our team?’ which means you’re going to play, and, ‘can you do it better against who you are competing against?’ ”
Receiver Bryant Johnson had to shut himself down after one reception Sunday because of a sore heel.. . .
Defensive end Calvin Pace said his sore abdominal muscle, which kept him out most of the workouts, is a lingering injury from last season and needs rest, which will likely limit him in the second minicamp this weekend.. . .
Defensive tackle Kenny King was limited Sunday with a sore wrist, allowing Wendell Bryant to work with the first team.