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All-Access with Bruce Arians: Seahawks series has been a ‘yo-yo’

(AP Photo)

TEMPE, Ariz. – 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.

Opening statement:

“Alright, no injuries to speak of. Everybody is available. Again, we got as much work as we could. We broke a sweat today. We ran a little bit in special teams and the individual period but other than that, it was making sure we got our assignments down and get ready to play.”

Did last week’s back-to-back padded practices transfer over to this week even with a game in-between?

“I think so, I would hope so. That’s one of the reasons you do it. So you got your technique down and it showed up in the game. It’s the best we’ve blocked. I’d like to have two padded practices every week but it’s not the way we can do it anymore.”

What are the real challenges going against the Seattle defense?

“Their front four is exceptional. When their backend is healthy, it’s as good as there is. And their linebackers, they have great length and speed. They don’t make mistakes. They’re not very complicated but they make no mistakes and they got really good players doing what they do.”

How would you describe this series recently?

“Yo-yo, back-and-forth. We’ve had a lot of success with Carson (Palmer) and not much success without him so it’s going to be a challenge.”

What factors have led to each team being so successful on the road in this series?

“I think a lot of it is your defensive communication. Both crowds are so loud that their defensive communication sometimes breaks down because you can’t hear each other.”

Is it beneficial to have this game here at home on a short week?

“Oh, there’s no doubt. If you’re going to play on Thursday night, home is a huge advantage.”

What did you think of last year’s tie game at University of Phoenix Stadium?

“I thought it’d been beautiful if we had made that field goal. Then it would’ve been really beautiful, but, yeah, it was old-time football. I’ve never been in a game with 97 snaps on offense but only score six points. Same thing defensively. To only give up, I think, our first down until the third quarter and then an injury to our special teams. We got a blocked kick and then they get a field goal so it was an old-timey game.”

Is this game where if you shut down Russell Wilson, you shutdown their offense?

“No. You better start with Thomas Rawls because that boy can run now. He’ll hammer it up in there and when he was healthy, before his injuries, he was extremely impressive. I think they’re going to try to ride him as hard as they can on the road.”

Can you spy Russell Wilson?

“Oh, everybody does. It’s just that spy gets picked off sometimes because he can get out both sides and whoever is spying has to be really fast.”

Do you have a player to do that?

“If we wanted to do that, yeah, we probably have a couple of guys.”

What have you seen out of C.J. Prosise?

“He’s a speed guy. He’s a guy that thrives in the passing game. They’ve got so many play-actions with backs going down the sidelines that you better make sure who’s got who because he’ll out-run you.”

Are you curious to see how this emphases on the run game works against one of the better defenses in the league?

“No, because I’ve kind of seen it work against that defense before. That’s always been our philosophy is we have to run the ball against them and stay in manageable third downs. But the big thing, up there (in Seattle) we’ve been able to score touchdowns. Here, we’ve struggled to score touchdowns.”

What have you learned about Adrian Peterson that you could only learn by coaching him?

“Genetics. He’s a freak of nature. To be able to come in and learn this offense this fast. Handing the ball to a guy that’s run it all his life, that’s not that hard but knowing where the holes are, the pass protections, now the routes, speaks of his commitment to learn and want to be apart of it. He’s a warhorse. I mean, he is a throwback football player.”

Seems like the players have really embraced the identity of running the football.

“That’s always what we’ve tried to do with David (Johnson), with everybody. That’s been our forte forever but with Adrian, having that lack of it there for a couple of weeks, yeah.”

Is Peterson the perfect back for this type of game?

“Oh yeah, because he’s going to thrive in it. It’s going to be a couple of nothing runs, nothing runs and hopefully we can pop one and he’s used to that, so he’s not going to get frustrated like a young back might.”

What does it say when you have a defensive player winning Player of the Week 10 years apart?

“I don’t know if that’s ever happened and you need to get Karlos (Dansby) to give you a speech on that one.”

How do you handle a guy like Phil Dawson who has struggled?

“Yeah, just shake it off. He’s had two snappers and two holders. Sooner or later, you got to get back to basics and just trust everybody.”

What will it mean if you win and move into a second-place tie with Seattle?

“We’ll be tied for second place, that’s about it. We can only win one game and it’s a big game, it’s a division game. When you start stacking wins the confidence starts building. We need to do that.”

Have you officially ruled out T.J. Logan being activated this season?

“No. We’re going to try and catch punts with a brace on next week and see where he’s at.”

Do preparations change at all with the roof scheduled to be open?

“No, none at all. I don’t even notice when it’s open or closed anyway. I’ll ask the kickers if there’s a wind of any kind but I doubt there’ll be anything.”

You don’t look up in desperation when things go bad?

“No. Never.”

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