Steve Wilks embraces the heat for his team

Wide receiver J.J. Nelson snares a pass during work this William Carrier Jersey offseason.
Los Angeles Kings #37 Jeff Zatkoff Adidas Black Backer Long Sleeve T-Shirt NHL Jersey
J.J. Nelson still talks often to John Brown, Jaron Brown and Brittan Golden, even though they aren’t in the Cardinals wide receivers room any longer.

We are still encouraging each other, saying how much we miss each other, Vincent Lecavalier Authentic Jersey Nelson said.

But Nelson doesn’t want to live in the past, either. He’s got new wideouts joining himself and Larry Fitzgerald and Chad Williams. Frankly, he doesn’t want to be seen as the same Nelson, either.

Last year is last year, Nelson said. That’s in the past. We have a whole new coaching staff, a whole new scheme and style. I’m focusing on myself.

Opportunity is vast. With all his cohorts leaving, Nelson’s competition for the No. 2 receiver behind Fitzgerald is wide open. Williams, Brice Butler, rookie Christian Kirk and the newly signed Greg Little all figure to be in the mix in camp, but no one has yet made themselves the front-runner.

Nelson’s speed fits in any type of offense, wide receivers coach Kevin Garver said, and that will always be used to Nelson’s advantage both by the player and the coaching staff.

I just had to get over a lower leg injury and get back healthy, Little said. They just told me that they’d re-evaluate me, so I knew I had the opportunity to come back. I stayed in town and continued to work. I’m just happy to be back.

The 29-year-old Little is a former second-round pick of the Browns who averaged 52 catches and 607 yards in his first three seasons. He hasn’t played in an NFL game since 2014 and hasn’t been on a team since being released by the Bills before the 2016 season.

Despite the layoff, Little likes his chances at latching on with the Cardinals for training camp.

I’m confident in my ability, and they just want to see that I’m healthy and able to move around, Little said. Hopefully it will go in the direction that I think and I’ll be working through the summer and through the fall to earn a job here.