Tempe, AZ - Deone Bucannon broke on the ball, and for a moment, thought he had his first interception as a Cardinal. Instead, it glanced off his hand, and he let out a yelp of disgust.
"Almost," the safety said afterward. "I should've gone with two hands instead of one. I'm not there yet."
The Cardinals' No. 1 draft pick was the centerpiece of Friday's opening of rookie minicamp, held inside the team's practice bubble at its Tempe facility. Not everything went right, but then again, not everything was supposed to go right.
"(Deone has) only got one problem -- He is so much a perfectionist," coach Bruce Arians said. "It is paralysis by analysis right now because he wants to do everything just perfect.
"Even Tyrann (Mathieu) told him, ‘Just play.' You can't play perfect all the time. But you do love that about him."
Already, Bucannon had spent the week running with the second unit during organized team activities, sometimes rotating in with the first team. He had shadowed strong safety Tony Jefferson during Phase 2 work the week before that.
It seems obvious Bucannon will be the starter at strong safety sooner rather than later. He is, after all, the team's top pick. But Bucannon brushes that notion away, especially in May.
"With anything, the best player is going to play," Bucannon said. "I want to be the best player. That's my goal. However the coaches decide it, first round, second round, third round, fourth round, whatever, wherever I was picked I was going to come with the same mindset.
"My goal is to be a big part of this team. For that to happen, I can't just jump into it. I have to earn respect from the players that have been here, the coaches. I have to show I can do the coverages, I can execute different schemes. I want to learn it all."
Bucannon has gotten peer help. Each time he comes off the field, Mathieu – unable to practice while recovering from a knee injury -- is there to give him pointers and advice. Off the field, Bucannon's locker is flanked by Mathieu and Jefferson, both of whom have provided insight.
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