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All-Access with Bruce Arians: Coach doubts David Johnson’s 2017 return

(AP Photo)
LISTEN: Bruce Arians, Cardinals head coach

TEMPE, Ariz. – Head coach Bruce Arians, now in his fifth year with the Arizona Cardinals, meets the media several times leading up to game day.

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.

Opening statement:

“No injury report today, but everybody was there except Andre Ellington. He’ll be back tomorrow. A really good start. Had a great reloading, not relaxing. It was an excellent practice. Looking forward to winning one.”

On what he sees after self-evaluating during the bye week:

“The obvious ones – offensively, the red zone, running the football. That has gotten better since Adrian (Peterson) has gotten here, other than when we get behind like the other day, but it has gotten better. The red zone and third down. Defensively, it’s the same scenario. Third down is the culprit and lack of turnovers. We thrive on disruptive plays and turnovers, and we’re not getting the turnovers.”

On why he thinks the team hasn’t recovered a fumble this season:

“I don’t know. We’ve knocked about five out and the ball just didn’t bounce back to us. We’re creating some, but we’re not getting them.

On the third down problems being caused by execution as opposed to the plays called:

“Most of it is execution. Guys have to win one-on-one. They can double team some guys, but that guy that’s one-on-one, he didn’t win the last game. You’ve got to win those one-on-ones.”

On whether he thinks recently acquired 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo will play on Sunday:

“You get ready for the offense that’s on film. That’s probably the second time this has happened this year, and you get ready for their offense. You go back and look at Jimmy (Garoppolo) when he played against us, but whether they play him or (C.J.) Beathard, it doesn’t really matter. Just have to get ready for their offense and stopping the run first of all, and then those explosive wide receivers.”

On how he would evaluate the play of LB Haason Reddick as a pass rusher:

“A work in progress. He missed all of spring and all of training camp as far as going against guys this size. He’s getting pressure; he’s just not getting home. He needs to get home more often. Bull-rushing college guys and bull-rushing these guys are two different things.”

On what he thought about Garoppolo’s play in his start against the Cardinals in 2016:

“I was very impressed with him. He obviously played extremely well. We gave him two, but he played and managed that game really, really well.”

On the trade deadline activity:

“I couldn’t tell you who the hell got traded. I’m too worried about who we got. That’s Steve’s (Keim) job. He worries about all that stuff.”

On why the defense has struggled the last six quarters and if it’s mainly because of the big plays on third down:

“It’s just getting off the field on third down. We’re playing well. We missed some tackles, point-blank tackles, but the biggest thing is just getting off on third down.”

On whether the team placed QB Carson Palmer on injured reserve because he would take longer to heal than originally thought or because the team needed the roster spot:

“No. We did not need the roster spot. We originally thought it was going to be eight to ten (weeks). Then, he and his doctor thought he could get back in six. After surgery, it’s eight to 10, just like we thought.”

On how much the bye week helped him recharge his batteries:

“It helped some. I spent a lot of time with my grandson, which was fun. But there’s no time to relax right now; it’s all about reloading and re-self-evaluation and everything else.”

On whether he saw a lack of effort from the defense in the loss to the Rams:

“Near the end of the fourth quarter, yeah, a little bit.”

On the status of injured RBs David Johnson and T.J. Logan:

“There’s no change. David’s still got a cast on. T.J.’s out of a cast, but he still has two weeks before his hand has strength in it.”

On if he anticipates getting Johnson and Logan both back at some point:

“You’d have to ask the doctors. Right now, I doubt it.”

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