Arizona Cardinals former first-round pick Robert Nkemdiche hasn’t made a good first impression on his new coaching staff. Head coach Kliff Kingsbury wasn’t happy with what he saw from Nkemdiche on Friday, saying the defensive lineman was “not in shape.”
Nkemdiche will begin the year on the PUP list while recovering from a knee injury. Nkemdiche tore his ACL in December, so it’s not a major surprise that he needs more time to recover. But Kingsbury calling Nkemdiche out for his conditioning suggests Kingsbury isn’t happy with the work Nkemdiche put in during the offseason.
The 24-year-old Nkemdiche was drafted by the Cardinals in the first round of the 2016 NFL draft. He was in the midst of his best season before being sidelined by the ACL injury. In 10 games last year, Nkemdiche recorded 32 tackles and 4.5 sacks.
Nkemdiche hasn’t done much to win over the adoration of the new staff just yet. In June, Nkemdiche was arrested for speeding and driving with a suspended license. Later that month, Nkemdiche was pulled over twice in the same week.
Given his lofty draft status, Nkemdiche has the ability to be a standout player. But if he continues to frustrate the new coaching staff, Nkemdiche may not have an opportunity to show off his skills again for the Cardinals.
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