All-Access with Bruce Arians: ‘Anxious, ready to roll’ in Week 1
Head coach Bruce Arians, now in his fifth year with the Arizona Cardinals, meets the media several times leading up to gameday.
Here, in this space, with help from the Cardinals’ media relations staff, we’ll highlight many of the key topics and personnel conversations he has with reporters following practice.
“Alright, Deone (Bucannon) is officially out. (Mike) Iupati and (Robert) Nkemdiche will be game-time decisions. They both practiced today. We’ll see how it goes. But other than that, I thought it was a good week of work. Really, just time to get going.”
Did you see good improvement from Nkemdiche over the past two days?
“Yeah. He worked really, really hard in pads on Thursday. We’ll see how it is.”
Would Alex Boone be ready to step in for Iupati if you need him or would that be John Wetzel?
“That’ll be Wetzel.”
How much trust do you have in Wetzel?
“Oh gosh, he’s a starter in my mind. I mean, we won a lot of games with him starting at almost every position so no question for him.”
How do you like this defensive line room whether or not Nkemdiche is out there?
“They started in February. Corey Peters, Frostee (Rucker), they started those meetings in February and lifting together. It’s a great rotation. There’s not an ego out there that’s going to try to play tired and then give up a play. They’re going to stay fresh. Not afraid to play all of them because they all bring something special.”
Is that group of defensive linemen just as good as last year?
“I think it is. It’s different. O.P. (Olsen Pierre) and Robert. Xavier (Williams) has gotten better, so, yeah, it’s a quality group.”
Matthew Stafford has been much better statistically since that game you guys played against him two years ago.
“He got benched that day and he got a 100-million dollars now, so he got a hell of a lot better. Matt’s one of the better players in the league. That was just one of those games.”
Do you feel like you have a sense of what kind of team you have or does it take playing games?
“It takes until October to find out what you really—you think you know what you have, you hope you know what you have but you don’t really know until they get out there.”
How hard is it going to be make your inactive list?
“That’s the hardest part, telling guys that they practiced all this time and they’re healthy and, ‘Hey, you’re not playing this week. You’re not even dressing.’ I don’t like that rule but it is what it is.”
Might you mix that list week-to-week?
“Pretty much the same way. Hopefully, we have all those healthy scratches every week and we’re not putting down guys that are out two or three weeks.”
Switching up practice time on Thursday was that because of the early start time on Sunday?
“Yes, all week and next week.”
What’s harder to do: hitting four home runs in a baseball game or getting four interceptions?
“Oh, get four interceptions. You’re going to get to bat every time. They’re not necessarily throwing your way. That would be a feat in itself to getting four picks. I would think after the second one they wouldn’t throw your way any more.”
What word would you use to describe the season opener?
“Anxious, ready to roll. Time to get there and do it and see what we have.”
Do you feel Iupati is 100-percent?
“No, but he’s good enough.”