Cardinals second-round pick Kevin Minter got undercard billing at his introductory press conference Thursday at the team’s practice complex.

It wasn’t because top pick Jonathan Cooper was in attendance. That event had already come and gone. It’s just that third-round pick and former LSU teammate Tyrann Mathieu’s story is a bit more compelling at this stage of his career – a point the Cardinals' deft media relations staff understood when they brought Mathieu to the podium first.

"It is what it is," Minter said. "Even though I was obviously picked before him, the guy was a playmaker. He did a lot for us that national championship year.”

Coach Bruce Arians and general manager Steve Keim believe Minter will do just as much for the Cardinals in the coming years. And it all starts with his reputation as a thumper – a reputation he said he “relishes.”

“I’m not necessarily a hoo-rah type of guy. I’m more of a speak-softly, carry-a-big-stick type of a dude, and y’all will see when the season starts,” Minter said. “I’m a pretty intense player. I probably don’t seem that way in this press conference, but I’m very passionate when I’m on the field.”

Minter is one part of an insurance policy at inside linebacker if things go sour with budding Pro Bowler Daryl Washingon, who is suspended for the first four games of next year for violating the NFL’s Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse and could also be facing additional penalties following his arrest in a domestic violence incident.

But recent moves may allow the Cardinals to bring Minter along a little more slowly. They already have veteran Reggie Walker and signed Jasper Brinkley early in free agency. On Friday, they also brought back former Cardinal Karlos Dansby on a one-year deal to help mitigate Washington’s absence and smooth the transition for the newcomers.