GLENDALE, Ariz. — Head coach Bruce Arians, now in his third 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.
Monday, following the team’s first preseason game — a 34-19 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs — Arians got things started by going over the health of his team.
The coach said Darren Woodard, Zach Wagenmann, Shaq Riddick, Daryl Sharpton, Sean Weatherspoon, Josh Mauro, Jonte Green, Michael Floyd, Travis Harvey and Rob Crisp will not be practicing. Brandon Person, who tore his ACL in Saturday’s game, is also out.
Arians added that he is looking forward to Monday’s practice because he has challenged his team to start eliminating penalties and mental errors, which he says are killing themselves.
“The only thing that I see right now that is holding us back is us beating ourselves, and that speaks to the character of the team,” he said.
He then went on to talk about what he thought of the game.
“The ballgame was pretty much, after watching the film, about what I saw on the sideline. I thought our starters came out extremely focused, ready to play. The lights caught up with some young guys, very poor tackling — again, way, way too many mental errors on basic plays.”
David Johnson is practicing, right? What would you like to see from him?
“I’d like to see him in pads for the first time. He’ll be limited today and hopefully we’ll gradually work him in full-time by the game.”
Will you be signing RB Chris Johnson?
“It will be up to Steve (Keim) and his agent.”
What do you think about how the running backs behind Andre Ellington did Saturday?
“I thought they all ran hard. I thought Kerwynn (Williams) made a couple people miss, like he normally does. Stepfan (Taylor) ran hard. Robert Hughes ran hard for the times he got to carry the ball.”
You could have two Johnsons in the backfield if Chris gets signed
“Yeah, if it works out we might have the best hair backfield going.”
What did you think of Sarah Thomas, the first female referee?
“She was solid. She got chewed out pretty good a few times, but I thought she was solid in her calls. Obviously she didn’t see that ball come loose like I saw because it was in front of her — she didn’t have that angle. But I thought she did a quality job.”
Did you hold back on her?
“Did I hold back? Ask her, no.”
Looks like you treated her as a normal ref
“She had a striped shirt on. There’s no male/female, it’s just striped shirts.”
Did Xavier Williams and Jaxon Shipley show promise in Saturday’s game?
“Jaxon showed up big time. You always like when a guy shows up when the lights turn on, and Ship turned out pretty good. Xavier, he played very well. We moved him out to end where he hasn’t even practiced, and he had no mental errors. ”
It’s your third year with Carson Palmer, is his play still ascending?
“Every day. Every day the arrow’s going up. There’s no sideways in it at all. He gets better and better the more we are used to each other and the more things that we look at and try new, he likes some and he doesn’t like others — we throw them out. But yeah, he’s extremely efficient right now.”
What was your perception of Carson before he became your QB?
“I knew he was tough because we tried to kill him in Pittsburgh every time we played him and he always answered the bell. Fourth quarter he’d still be standing there. But I didn’t know as big a gym rat as he was until you start working with a guy.”
Do you mind a young, quiet receiver like John Brown professing confidence in his game or would you rather he let his play talk for him?
“I think his play’s already done that. I don’t mind, just back it up.”
After watching film, how would you assess the play of Logan Thomas and Phillip Sims?
“I thought Logan had a very good outing. There were two plays where I wish he would have had his protections straightened out where he threw hot when he shouldn’t have, should have fixed a protection one time. But other than that he stood in the pocket, was accurate, got through some reads. It was one of his better days. I thought Phillip had very little chance because the guys were loose on him every time. He showed great poise when he was scrambling, getting out, getting his eyes down field, making throws and did a nice job in that two-minute drive for the touchdown.”
How unusual was it to see Kevin Minter play through the pectoral injury he dealt with last season?
“Some guys opt for surgery and other guys play through it. I applauded him for playing through it and he didn’t bitch about it and didn’t look for any help. He took his criticism like a man.”
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