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Cardinals React to Hard Knocks: 'It Can be a Real Motivational Tool'

The Arizona Cardinals will be feature on HBO's Hard Knocks In Season starting in November.

The Arizona Cardinals will have a spotlight on them unlike any other team in the NFL over the second half of the 2022 regular season. 

HBO's Hard Knocks In Season will capture the ins-and-outs of Arizona starting in November.

The Cardinals had their first day of organized team activities (OTAs) on Monday, giving media members the chance to ask head coach Kliff Kingsbury his thoughts. 

Kingsbury said having cameras around will keep the team on its Ps and Qs.

"I think coaches and players, you're gonna want to be on your A-game and be well prepared anytime that camera's around and make sure that you're putting your best foot forward," Kingsbury said. "I think it can be a real motivational tool if we approach it the right way.

"For the brand, exposure, all those things, it's a tremendous opportunity for the Cardinals; we all understand that."

He spoke with Indianapolis Colts general manager Chris Ballard about being featured on the show, as the Colts were the stars last season. 

Ballard said the experience had its pros and cons, but said it provided a shot in the arm for the Colts, which won six of seven games after the cameras arrived.

One of those wins came against the Cardinals Christmas Day. 

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Safety Budda Baker, who has had his spotlight moments on mic'd up, sees the show as an opportunity to highlight his teammates in ways many people don't see. 

He told reporters he's watched the show before and said it is cool to see the personalities of some of the league's best players come out.

"It's definitely exciting," Baker said. "A lot of people who probably don't know the average NFL players are able to get a little bit more insight of who we are, whether it's on the field but off the field, as well. It's definitely a great experience."

Baker said he believes defensive end J.J. Watt will be the star of the show. Wide receiver Antoine Wesley had a dark-horse candidate, calling out fellow receiver Rondale Moore as a possibility, as well as himself.

Kingsbury had a unique answer.

"If they could go film Hop while he's suspended, that'd be the best," Kingsbury joked. "I don't think they can. I don't know. Like I said, I think there's a lot of really high-character men that we get to work with, whether it's staff, coaches, players every day. So to kind of tell some of their background stories and to get to know them on that level, I think it'd be great for our fans."

Tight end Zach Ertz said he hopes none of his teammates try to become a star with the cameras around. His Philadelphia Eagles were on Amazon Prime's All or Nothing show in 2020 and he has some experience. 

Ertz gave some pros and cons to the ordeal, saying it can highlight players and give the fans a new perspective of every-day NFL life. But, he has concerns with privacy and distractions, which he hopes does not affect the Cardinals.

"There's so many things pulling at you, especially during the season," Ertz said. "We can't be, as a team, having that be one of those things. Don't let it pull you in any direct direction that you don't want it to. Just keep your focus on the task at hand."