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All-Access with Bruce Arians: Seattle game was defined by just a few plays

(AP Photo)

TEMPE, Ariz. – Head coach Bruce Arians, now in his fifth year with the Arizona Cardinals, meets the media several times each week.

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:

“After watching the film, it was one of those games. We had our opportunities, and we didn’t make them. Between offensively, the dropped pass before the half was a game-changer, for the touchdown, and we can make that play.

“Defensively, you’re talking about a great ballgame except for two plays – the play before the half and the scramble play. Five sacks, they dominated the line of scrimmage. I thought we played extremely physical and hard, but those two plays – and in those type of games – that’s the kind of plays that win or lose it.”

RELATED:  Arians: Cardinals’ Humphries, Branch, Momah all done for season

On if S Tyvon Branch, T D.J. Humphries and TE Ifeanyi Momah are done for the year:

“Yes.”

On how Humphries’ injury impacts the offensive line and if T/G John Wetzel fill in:

“Yeah, John played pretty solid. He had one bad-looking play, lost his balance, and he’s played good for us. We’re going to probably move Jared (Veldheer) back to left (tackle) and let John play right (tackle).”

On what went into the decision to move T Jared Veldheer back to left tackle:

“D.J. being gone.”

On how nice of a season Branch was having:

“You lose your top tackler. He was having a great year. I don’t know if he had the reputation to play in the Pro Bowl, but he had the game. He was playing at that level. He bailed us out twice last night when guys were beat. He came over the top and broke up balls. It’s just a shame.”

On if moving Veldheer to left tackle has anything to do with upcoming opponents:

“Well, he’ll be our best left tackle now.”

On Veldheer remaining at right tackle while Humphries missed games due to injury earlier this season:

“That’s because we thought it was short term.”

On if S Budda Baker will step in for Branch:

“Yeah, Budda played pretty solid. He had a couple alignment errors, dropped a ball right in his hands that we’d anticipate an interception. That was probably his biggest negative play. He made a great play saving a touchdown on the scramble play, and we gave it up the next play, but he’ll be fine. With ten days of work, he’ll be ready to go.”

On the decision to defer after winning the coin toss:

“Our defense has been bugging the sh*t out of me, to put them out there first. I really had everything planned just the way it happened. The way they came out, get the ball inside the fifty, and the last thing you think would be (an) Adrian (Peterson) fumble. That was a huge, huge momentum shift, but the field position battle flopped drastically right off the bat. And then we had to play from the five, or the two, and give them a short field. They get a touchdown. So, that was a big, big play in the game, also.”

On the field position battle all season:

“Yeah, and to finally get it and start a game and the way our defense is playing, I’ll probably lean on that. And then it also gives you a chance for a double score – score before half and then come back out and score, which raises you.”

On if he had ever deferred after winning the coin toss:

“Oh yeah, many times.”

On where the team stands now at 4-5:

“The way the league is going right now, you’ve just got to win next week. There are going to be about 20 teams that are .500. You just hope to be one of them and then see how it plays out.”

On if the short week contributed to the significant injuries for both teams:

“I’ve always felt that, but it’s not going away. You have to deal with it, but there were some major injuries in that game, both sides.”

On how he will handle the weekend in terms of giving players time off after the Thursday night game:

“Yeah, we’ll have off until Monday. After today, we’ll clean it all up, and then we’ll have our normal bonus day, Tuesday all the way through.”

On if the significant injuries have anything to do with playing on Thursday:

“The statistics say ‘no.’ I’d look at some of the guys, like D.J. was freaky. Tyvon was freaky. Momah was freaky. So, I don’t know if it had anything to do with it.”

On the deflected point after attempt:

“It was a slow operation time.”

On if the snap was slow:

“A little bit of the whole thing – all three.”

On if the team will explore changes in that area:

“We always do. Yeah, we look at it.”

On if the defender should be able to come around the edge that quickly:

“No. No.”

On if Veldheer did what he was supposed to do:

“Yeah.”

On calling a screen pass that led to a touchdown:

“Well, I knew that Dwight (Freeney) isn’t going to do anything but rush the passer. So, as soon as I saw him in there, I said, ‘We’re going to throw the screen on him.’ John Wetzel did a great job. They were in man coverage, and John Wetzel did a great job of picking off Kam Chancellor.”

On what he had seen from Humphries in the last month after returning from an MCL injury:

“He has turned into a true pro – the film study, the extra work out on the practice field. He used to be a jokester. Now, he’s serious as heck. He’s about his craft. It’s just a shame for these young guys to put so much in after an injury and get injured again.”

On if the team will have Humphries back by the start of the 2018 season:

“Oh, yeah. I would imagine he’ll be back for OTAs (organized team activities). It’s not like an ACL.”

On when Humphries will have surgery:

“I do not know.”

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