Arizona Cardinals training camp: All-Access with Bruce Arians, July 27
GLENDALE, Ariz. – Head coach Bruce Arians, now in his fifth year with the Arizona Cardinals, meets the media each day during training camp.
Here, in this space, we’ll highlight many of the key topics and personnel conversations he has with reporters following the morning walk-through.
“Alright, good news is after a very physical, what looked like football practice for the first time, nobody got injured. Everybody is going to practice today that practiced the other day. It was a very, very good day. The humidity in the building helped us a bunch. It was basically like being outside. It fatigued us pretty good and like most teams, once fatigue hits, mental errors follow so the last 40 minutes of that practice we had quite a few mental errors, especially our younger players. It was a really good day from start to finish; backs on backers, with the centers, outside linebackers, tight ends, the double team work. Everything in that practice — it was a very good practice. Hopefully we can bring that energy back and repeat it today.”
Had you planned for the humidity?
“I never felt that humidity in this building before. All that rain on that field, I guess, brought it in.”
You said no new injuries, but you were waiting on a few MRIs on a couple of players.
“Ironhead Gallon got a really good report. He could be back. (Alani) Fua, those guys (Ed Stinson) will probably be, both of them, two-to-four weeks.”
Is Jarvis Jones getting close?
“He’s real close, real close. Hopefully like tomorrow close.”
Is your accountability board about what you expect this far into camp?
“Oh, it’s much better. Much better than it’s ever been, especially with our veteran players. If our veteran players start showing up, then we’re probably coaching too much; trying to do too much.”
What are the things that you’d really like to see David Johnson improve on?
“Number-one would be pass-blocking, which he has. He did a good job in the drill. He has done a good job. On his assignments, he turned a few guys loose last year. He’s done a much better job of recognizing blitzes and seeing where they’re going to blitz and just becoming a better pass protector. Ball security has been good, knock on wood. The route running, he’s as good as there is for a running back as a rookie because of all those years playing wide receiver. He’ll get better at running routes that have two or three options in them the more he sees defenders.”
He said he lost some weight and is more flexible, can you see that?
“He can probably tell right now because he’s not as sore and he’s not as stiff starting back up, but as far as bending or flexing, he looks as good as he ever has, or maybe better.”
Your depth charts are very unofficial but right now Chad Williams is listed as the ninth or tenth receiver.
“That doesn’t mean anything to me. He’s getting a ton of reps. If you’re only getting 10 reps, you might be 12. But if you’re getting 35 or 40 a practice it doesn’t really matter where that depth chart says you are.”
Has T.J. Logan showed you anything that you maybe didn’t expect?
“Yeah, pass protection. That was the one thing you really didn’t know. He didn’t do a lot of in college, but, boy, he’s as tough as nails. Stuck his face up in there; did a great job on backs on backers. Picked up a defensive end the other day on a stunt, so that part you never know until you get them. For a smaller guy, he’s got really good pop.”
What’s the next step you’d like to see from your two outside pass rushers?
“About five more sacks apiece, but that probably won’t happen. Just continue chasing the quarterback around. Eleven and a half, 12.5 (sacks) is a pretty good year. I would like to see one of them step it up, but you’re going to start getting—the nice thing about having two, which one are you going to double?”
How has Markus Golden improved thus far?
“Getting much better technique, much better assignment wise. He still plays with that relentless energy. That’s his forte. He’s getting a couple of more moves in his toolbox as far as a pass rusher.”
Where does Tyvon Branch fit in the safety room?
“Another steady guy that knows everything. He doesn’t make mistakes. He’s always in the right spot, so you can’t have enough of those guys.”
What did you see out of Brandon Flowers yesterday?
“He looked good. He passed his physical.”
Before the Cardinals made the Super Bowl in 2008, what was your perception of the Cardinals?
“A very up-and-coming team. You knew they had great wide receivers. That was the given, and then when Kurt (Warner) started playing it gave everybody, the defense a big lift. But I thought they were really moving in the right direction.”
What’s been your take-away from Haason Reddick?
“Too studious. He does not want to make mistakes, which is very nice, but he’s not cutting it loose because he’s not comfortable yet with the big load he has because we have a lot of defense in. He can run, he can hit, he can really cover which is a big thing for him; but we’re not even doing what he does best and that’s rush the passer with him much right now.”
With Troy Niklas, are there things you can’t do yet because you’re not certain if he’s going to be on the field?
“No, because Jermaine (Gresham) can do them and ‘Mo (Ifeanyi Momah) and Hakeem (Valles) have stepped up when they’ve had to, but they’re not 6-7, 270 and he has special talent. He just had some freaking injuries.”
Is Tyrann Mathieu looking like his old self again?
“He’s getting there. It’s coming. I’d like to see a couple of more interceptions in practice and him slamming the ball on the ground and talking crap. I’d like to see a little more of that.”
How has Jared Veldheer looked at right tackle?
“Solid. Getting better everyday. That’s the beauty of having Chandler (Jones) and Markus, too. It’s not like he’s going up against any slouches. Very, very powerful in the running game and the technique in the passing game is getting better and better.”