GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The conditioning test over and practice set to begin Saturday at Arizona Cardinals training camp, veteran linebacker Lorenzo Alexander couldn't hide his excitement about the upcoming season.
"It gives you the butterflies, the first thing," the ninth-year pro said of Friday's run test. "Especially the big guys. You want to see whether or not you're going to be able to make it through it. But they do a good job of taking care of us. Buddy's so smart, he's not trying to kill us before we have to go out there [Saturday] and compete."
Buddy, as in Buddy Morris, the Cardinals' strength and conditioning coach.
The culture has changed within the Cardinals, Alexander said.
"We're confident. The last two years we've done a good job of kind of changing the culture around here, making the playoffs," Alexander said. "But at the same time, we understand we can't rely on what we did in the past. We have to put in the work and right now, we're a whole bunch of 'we's.' We're not the Cardinals yet and everybody's going to be out here competing for starting jobs, figuring out their roles."
There's more reason for Alexander to look ahead to camp and beyond -- the Cardinals' linebacker coaching corps has a new look this season. Former NFL players Bob Sanders and Larry Foote are new to head coach Bruce Arians' staff this season, and newly hired coaching intern Jen Welter, whom Alexander called "Dr. Jen," is also working with the position.
"It's going to be interesting to see how everyone comes together," Alexander said. "The linebacking corps, we're going to be the heartbeat of this defense ... on some packages, we might have six linebackers out there."