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‘Zen master’ Chandler Jones presents tough obstacle for Arizona Cardinals

TEMPE — Quarterback Kyler Murray and outside linebacker Chandler Jones loved to chirp at one another on social media or during press conferences last season.Whether it was Murray calling out Jones’ physique once his shirt came off or the pass rusher likening the signal caller to Baby Yoda, the two former Arizona Cardinals teammates were usually going back and forth throughout any given week.Week 2 presents yet another chance for the two to get some digs in. But this time, they’ll be lining up as opponents afte...

TEMPE — Quarterback Kyler Murray and outside linebacker Chandler Jones loved to chirp at one another on social media or during press conferences last season.

Whether it was Murray calling out Jones’ physique once his shirt came off or the pass rusher likening the signal caller to Baby Yoda, the two former Arizona Cardinals teammates were usually going back and forth throughout any given week.

Week 2 presents yet another chance for the two to get some digs in. But this time, they’ll be lining up as opponents after Jones departed for the Las Vegas Raiders in free agency this past offseason.

“It’s going to be weird — different — seeing him in a new uniform but at the end of the day, he’s got one job, I got one job,” Murray said Wednesday. “We’ll be able to chop it up after the game but when we’re on the field it is what it is.”

“He’s a great dude,” the QB added. “One of the best teammates I had the pleasure to play with.”

Given the pair played together for three seasons, Murray has a good idea of what to expect from the Cardinals’ all-time sacks leader.

Practice only tells so much in a controlled environment, though. It won’t be until game day when Murray gets a grasp of what it’s really like to face Jones in live action.

But even though there’s no way to simulate game speed in practice, that doesn’t mean Murray doesn’t have an inkling as to what he’s up against when the team travels to Sin City.

“He’s a student of the game,” Murray said. “He loves it. He’s like a Zen master when it comes to the art of pass rushing and all the different ways to get to the quarterback.

“He loves to educate other up and coming pass rushers. … He just loves it. It’s hard not to respect that.”

All jokes aside, Jones has proven he can be an absolute game wrecker for opposing offenses. And you don’t have to go far to understand why.

Jones had little trouble making his mark in Arizona, posting five seasons of at least 10.5 sacks.

Only once in his Cardinals tenure did he not record double-digit sacks, but that was due to a season-ending biceps injury and just five games played in 2020.

He was named as an All-Pro twice and saw three Pro Bowl nods over his six-year stint in Arizona.

“He’s obviously a freak when you talk physicality. A special, special talent in that regard,” head coach Kliff Kingsbury said Wednesday. “He’s always thinking about the next move and the next play and how he’s going to beat a guy and how his hand placement is. … He names his pass rushes.

“He’s eaten up by getting home to the passer and I think that’s what gets lost because he’s such a talented player. He’s very cerebral. He puts a lot into the mindset and how he attacks it mentally each and every day.”

Jones won’t be the only dominant pass rusher the Cardinals have to contend with on Sunday, either.

Opposite Jones sits Maxx Crosby, a world beater in his own right, who put up eight sacks, 30 QB hits and seven passes defensed last season.

“They’ve got two Hall-of-Fame rushers and we understand that, so we got to have a good plan,” Kingsbury said.

4 Metro Phoenix cities among 20 best places for Hispanics in the U.S.

Hispanics and Latinos have played a major role in the country’s population growth over the last decade. In fact, Hispanics and Latinos made up almost one-fifth of the country’s population in 2020 at roughly 62 million, according to the Census Bureau. That’s an increase of nearly 12 million people since 2010, or an increase of 23%. And a study shows that show Gilbert, Chandler, Scottsdale and Peoria all ranked among the 20 best cities for Hispanics and Latinos economically.Data from the nonprofit Latino Donor Collabor...

Hispanics and Latinos have played a major role in the country’s population growth over the last decade. In fact, Hispanics and Latinos made up almost one-fifth of the country’s population in 2020 at roughly 62 million, according to the Census Bureau. That’s an increase of nearly 12 million people since 2010, or an increase of 23%. And a study shows that show Gilbert, Chandler, Scottsdale and Peoria all ranked among the 20 best cities for Hispanics and Latinos economically.

Data from the nonprofit Latino Donor Collaborative shows how this Hispanic population boom has impacted the economy. Total Hispanic and Latino economic output in 2019 added up to a gross domestic product of $2.75 trillion, which is up from $1.7 trillion in 2010.

READ ALSO: Arizona Hispanics’ economic impact will hit an all-time high by 2022

However, the economic situation for Hispanic and Latino communities varies by city. To uncover where Hispanics and Latinos fare best economically, SmartAsset analyzed data for 147 cities across six metrics, spanning topics including income, homeownership and education. For details on our data sources and how we put all the information together to create our final rankings, read the Data and Methodology section below.

This is SmartAsset’s second study on where Hispanics and Latinos fare best economically. You can read the 2021 edition here.

Key Findings

Homeownership rates vary widely. Across the 147 cities in our study, Port St. Lucie, Florida has the highest Hispanic and Latino homeownership rate (72.95%). New York City, by contrast, has the lowest (16.94%).

At least a fifth of Hispanics and Latinos in the top 10 cities have bachelor’s degrees. Hispanics and Latinos in Frisco, Texas and Naperville, Illinois have the highest percentage of Hispanics and Latinos holding bachelor’s degrees in the top 10 – at 41.6% and 41.0%, respectively.

Six out of the top 10 cities are in states with large Hispanic and Latino populations. Arizona has two cities (Gilbert and Chandler), Texas has one (Frisco) and California has three (Rancho Cucamonga, Elk Grove and Torrance). Census data shows that Hispanics and Latinos make up over 30% of the population in all three of those states.

Pembroke Pines, FL$67,17123.22%32.30%28.06%
Miramar, FL$72,60525.19%25.90%28.06%
Gilbert, AZ$94,33320.62%29.60%7.12%
Frisco, TX$105,69626.83%41.60%7.28%
Rancho Cucamonga, CA$84,02929.73%24.50%15.65%
Elk Grove, CA$93,89125.31%19.20%7.24%
Naperville, IL$108,00024.80%41.00%6.58%
Chandler, AZ$74,09823.82%26.30%7.12%
Torrance, CA$83,22730.65%31.80%10.16%
Fort Lauderdale, FL$60,24430.08%35.10%28.06%

1. Pembroke Pines, FL

Located roughly 22 miles north of Miami, Florida's Pembroke Pines takes the top spot. Hispanics and Latinos here have a median household income that is just over $67,000 (ranking 36th for this metric). Housing costs for this group make up 23.22% of their income (13th-best in the study) and almost 70% own their homes (the second-highest rate out of all 147 cities). More than 32% of Hispanics and Latinos here hold a bachelor's degree and just over 28% own a business.

2. Miramar, FL

Miramar, Florida claims second place in our study. Roughly 68% of Hispanics and Latinos own a home here, which is the fourth-highest rate in the study. The median household income for this group is just over $72,600 (ranking 25th-highest). And Hispanics and Latinos pay about 25% of their income in housing costs (30th-lowest).

3. Gilbert, AZ

Gilbert, Arizona is home to Hispanics and Latinos with the fifth-highest median household income ($94,333) in our study. This group pays roughly one-fifth of their income in housing costs (20.52%), but 67.85% own their homes (the fifth-highest rate). Additionally, Gilbert has the fourth-lowest Hispanic and Latino poverty rate in our study, at 7.0%.

4. Frisco, TX

Frisco is part of the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metro area. Hispanics and Latinos here have a median household income of $105,696, which is the second-highest in this study. They spend almost 27% of that income (ranked 42nd) on housing costs and just over 56% own their homes (ranking 29th). Hispanics and Latinos here have the second-lowest poverty rate (5.2%) and almost 42% hold a bachelor's degree (ranking 10th).

5. Rancho Cucamonga, CA

In Rancho Cucamonga, Los Angeles, almost 58% of Hispanics and Latinos own their homes (ranking 26th) and they pay almost 30% of their income on housing costs (73rd-lowest). This group has a median household income just over $84,000 (11th-highest). Almost 16% own businesses (ranking 13th) and roughly 25% have bachelor's degrees (46th-highest).

6. Elk Grove, CA

Elk Grove is located just over 15 miles south from the California state capital Sacramento. Hispanics and Latinos here have a median household income of $93,891, the sixth-highest in the study. The homeownership for this group is almost 69% (the third-highest) and about a quarter of their income goes to paying housing costs (25.31%). Less than a fifth of Hispanics and Latinos in this city have a bachelor's degree and only 7.24% own a business.

7. Naperville, IL

Naperville is a western suburb of Chicago. Hispanic and Latinos here have the highest median household income in our study, at $108,000. Just under 49% own a home (ranking 53rd-best) and almost a quarter of their income goes to paying housing costs (27th-best). Naperville also has the third-lowest poverty rate for Hispanics and Latinos (6.8%).

8. Chandler, AZ

In Chandler, Arizona, the median household income for Hispanics and Latinos is almost $74,100. And about a quarter of that income (23.82%) is spent on housing costs - the 19th-lowest rate in our study. Though just under 55% own a home (ranking 33rd), roughly 26% of Hispanics and Latinos hold a bachelor's degree and just over 7% own a business.

9. Torrance, CA

Torrance is the third California city in our top 10. Hispanics and Latinos here have a median household income above $83,200, the 12th-highest in the study. Almost 42% own their homes and they spend nearly a third of their income on housing costs. About 32% of Hispanics and Latinos in the city hold bachelor's degrees (ranking 24th) and roughly 10% own a business (tying for 26th).

10. Fort Lauderdale, FL

Best known for its beaches and boat canals, Florida's Fort Lauderdale is just 30 miles north from Miami. This city ties for the fourth-highest percentage of Hispanic and Latino business owners (28.06%). The median household income for this group is just over $60,200 (60th-highest) and 35.1% of Hispanics and Latinos hold a bachelor's degree (17th-best).

Data and Methodology

To identify the cities where Hispanics and Latinos fare best economically, SmartAsset looked at the 200 largest cities in the U.S. Of those, 147 cities had complete data available, and we compared them across six metrics:

Median Hispanic household income. Data comes from the Census Bureau’s 2020 5-year American Community Survey.

Housing costs as a percentage of income. This is median monthly housing costs divided by the median Hispanic household income. Data comes from the Census Bureau’s 2020 5-year American Community Survey.

Hispanic homeownership rate. This is the number of Hispanic owner-occupied housing units divided by the number of Hispanic occupied housing units. Data comes from the Census Bureau’s 2020 5-year American Community Survey.

Poverty rate for Hispanic adults. Data comes from the Census Bureau’s 2020 5-year American Community Survey.

Percentage of Hispanic adults with a bachelor’s degree. This is for the Hispanic population 25 years and older. Data comes from the Census Bureau’s 2020 5-year American Community Survey.

Percentage of business owners who are Hispanic. This is the number of Hispanic-owned businesses with paid employees divided by the number of businesses with paid employees. Data comes from the Census Bureau’s 2019 Annual Business Survey and is at the metro area level.

To determine our final list, we ranked each city in every metric, giving a full weighting to all metrics. We then found each city’s average ranking and used the average to determine a final score. The city with the highest average ranking received a score of 100. The city with the lowest average ranking received a score of 0.

Editors' Note: SmartAsset published this study in celebration and recognition of Hispanic and Latino Heritage Month. We are aiming to raise awareness surrounding economic inequities and provide personal finance resources and information to all individuals.

Students in Chandler have a flexible, free way to get to school

The trial ride share app is available to schedule in select areas of Chandler. To catch a ride, download the Flex app, create an account and go.CHANDLER, Ariz. — The City of Chandler is testing out a new ride share program that helps shuttle students to and from their school and extra-curricular activities. It's free for all until the end of September.The trial ride share app is available to schedule in select areas of Chandler. To catch a ride, download the ...

The trial ride share app is available to schedule in select areas of Chandler. To catch a ride, download the Flex app, create an account and go.

CHANDLER, Ariz. — The City of Chandler is testing out a new ride share program that helps shuttle students to and from their school and extra-curricular activities. It's free for all until the end of September.

The trial ride share app is available to schedule in select areas of Chandler. To catch a ride, download the Flex app on a mobile phone, create an account and get on the road.

Reginald Price uses Chandler Flex regularly. “My thoughts were hey, that sounds great, I wish I had that in high school because I went to Chandler High School," Price said.

He's hooked on this newest way to get around Chandler. “It almost like saves me a few hours every day of waiting on the bus or whether it be just like getting to the bus," Price said.

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The micro-transit, public transportation operates like a taxi.

It runs from parts of McQueen Road and the 101, east to west, and then a portion of Ray Road to Chandler Heights, north and south. Some users might have to walk a little way to catch the Flex. Directions are clearly given when a user signs up for a ride on the app.

This way to hit the road fits this part of town, the City's transportation planner, Jason Crampton, said.

“This type of service will be better suited toward that low-density," Crampton said. "Busses are great to carry larger numbers of people, but where you don’t have that density, you need to be a little more nimble. And so now we can utilize technology to serve a broader area instead of just a fixed corridor."

The City of Chandler created this program after it was given a $2 million grant through the A for Arizona Transportation Modernization Grant Program. The city’s goal is to improve reliable and safe transportation for students, Mayor Kevin Hartke said.

“So this really fills a gap for parents who are wanting to get their kids to and from schools and other residents," Hartke said. "It really serves a big swath of our community.”

All drivers are background checked, the city added.

“They do drug and alcohol testing," Crampton said. "They go through a training before we bring them on to make sure they’re well equipped to handle difficult situations and handle working with students.”

During the two-year pilot program, the city will also test its efficiency.

“We hope to learn how this is working within the service area and also monitor requests for service outside this service area," Crampton said.

The promotional period ends on Sept. 30.

On Oct. 1, single rides are $2, additional riders, seniors and wheelchair-accessible riders are also $1. Middle school and high school students ages 13 to 18 will remain free to and from school with a valid student ID. The schools on the list for service are Basis Chandler, Hamilton, Chandler High, Bogle Junior High and Arizona College Prep School.

The service runs Monday through Friday, from 6 a.m. until 9 p.m. Anyone without a smartphone can call, 602.932.0291 to schedule a ride.

Did you miss something from Today in AZ? Find some of our favorite moments from the morning show crew in this playlist.

Behind Enemy Lines: Raiders to meet Cardinals with pass rush, secondary in spotlight

Statistically, the Arizona Cardinals and their Week 2 opponents are the Spiderman meme when it comes to season-opening pass rush statistics.Arizona recorded zero sacks in a defeat to the Kansas City Chiefs, though they did knock down quarterback Patrick Mahomes six times. The Las Vegas Raiders didn’t record a sack in a loss to the Los Angeles Chargers, with only three QB hits on Justin Herbert.From a personnel perspective, though, Las Vegas has the stars that the Cardinals do not on the edge.Former Arizona pass rus...

Statistically, the Arizona Cardinals and their Week 2 opponents are the Spiderman meme when it comes to season-opening pass rush statistics.

Arizona recorded zero sacks in a defeat to the Kansas City Chiefs, though they did knock down quarterback Patrick Mahomes six times. The Las Vegas Raiders didn’t record a sack in a loss to the Los Angeles Chargers, with only three QB hits on Justin Herbert.

From a personnel perspective, though, Las Vegas has the stars that the Cardinals do not on the edge.

Former Arizona pass rusher Chandler Jones teamed with Maxx Crosby to make for one of the presumed best edge duos in the NFL. Jones recorded a quarterback hit and a tackle for loss Sunday, while Crosby led the Raiders with 10 tackles and added the other two hits on Herbert.

It was still short of expectations for a star-studded team that got eaten up on the backend, similarly to the Cardinals. Herbert hung in the pocket for 3.04 seconds, third-longest in Week 1, per NextGenStats.

Las Vegas enters its Sunday home game against the Cardinals with secondary depth worries, writes ESPN’s Bill Barnwell.

The front four was able to pressure L.A. passer Herbert more often as the game went along, but the third-year star wasn’t sacked once on his 34 dropbacks. The only quarterback who was contacted less frequently than Herbert in Week 1 was Tom Brady on Sunday night.

Whether pressured or unpressured, Herbert picked apart the Raiders in the passing game, going 26-of-34 for 279 yards with three touchdowns. His 87.6 QBR was the second-best mark for any passer on Sunday, trailing only Patrick Mahomes. He was able to do that despite losing Keenan Allen to a second-quarter hamstring injury.

Unfortunately for Vegas, it also is now dealing with a stream of injuries. While nobody quite as prominent as Allen went down, McDaniels’ team lost cornerback Anthony Averett, running back Brandon Bolden, safety Tre’von Moehrig and linebacker Denzel Perryman to injuries throughout the game. This team already has questions about its depth on defense, so losing starters to injuries in Week 1 makes a difficult situation worse.

Arizona is in the same boat, at least at cornerback after Mahomes carved the Cardinals up for 360 yards, five touchdowns and nine incompletions over 39 attempts.

It would help if the Cardinals got a little more from the pass-rush, which without J.J. Watt (calf) inside got a little juice from defensive end Zach Allen (two QB hits), plus outside linebackers Markus Golden (two), Dennis Gardeck (one) and Victor Dimukeje (one).

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Cardinals Seek Urgency After Opening Day Loss

Kliff Kingsbury doesn't believe Sunday was a blessing in disguise.The Cardinals suffered a Week 1 disappointing 44-21 loss to the Chiefs, a performance nobody in the locker room was happy about. But Sunday did allow Kingsbury to see where the Cardinals stand compared to another playoff-caliber team and where they need to improve."We needed to play well to beat them, and we didn't," Kingsbury said Monday. "But I expect the sense of urgency to pick up after we watch the film (Tuesday) with the players, and see how ...

Kliff Kingsbury doesn't believe Sunday was a blessing in disguise.

The Cardinals suffered a Week 1 disappointing 44-21 loss to the Chiefs, a performance nobody in the locker room was happy about. But Sunday did allow Kingsbury to see where the Cardinals stand compared to another playoff-caliber team and where they need to improve.

"We needed to play well to beat them, and we didn't," Kingsbury said Monday. "But I expect the sense of urgency to pick up after we watch the film (Tuesday) with the players, and see how far we have to go."

Kingsbury said that includes the defense increasing their focus by fixing communication issues and reducing the number of missed coverages in the secondary.

The Cardinals surrendered 488 total yards and the Patrick Mahomes-led offense was 6-for-6 in the red zone. The Cards also struggled to generate pressure on the quarterback throughout the game, finishing with zero sacks.

"We made a lot of mistakes together as a team," linebacker Markus Golden said. "Especially just simple little mistakes, stuff we worked on during the week.

"They are a great team, they prove it every year. But that doesn't mean we've got to let them beat us like that. You don't want to lose like that anymore."

Things were not a lot better on the offensive side of the ball. Yes, the Cardinals were without wideouts DeAndre Hopkins (suspension) and Rondale Moore (hamstring), essential players to their passing success. Justin Pugh, one their starting offensive linemen, did not play.

But quarterback Kyler Murray said injuries come with playing the world's most dangerous game, so Murray refused to use them as an excuse.

Like Murray, Kingsbury emphasized the importance of learning from their mishaps. It's the only way the team will reach its ultimate goal.

"There's nowhere to go but up after that performance," the head coach said.

"We want to reach our full potential and when you're doing stuff like that, making the self-inflicted wounds like we did (Sunday), we're not. It's nothing we can't correct, we just have to get it done. That's on all of us, coaches and players. But we'll get better."

Kingsbury said defensive end J.J. Watt (calf) and Pugh (neck) are day-to-day this week. Wide receiver Rondale Moore (hamstring) will test himself this week, but Kingsbury noted that with how much running Moore must do in games, they will be careful with his recovery. The coach also said that cornerback Marco WIlson, who hurt his right leg near the end of Sunday's game, was "doing better."

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