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Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians looks to play starters more, cut down on penalties against San Diego

Even though the Cardinals were handed a loss Saturday against the Kansas City Chiefs, many positives came out of the team’s first preseason game.

Quarterback Carson Palmer was clean and efficient and backup Logan Thomas showed a lot of promise. Rodney Gunter impressed on defense and Justin Bethel “answered the bell“.

Bruce Arians is now looking toward preseason game No. 2 where the Cardinals will face the San Diego Chargers on Saturday. He told Bickley and Marotta on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Monday that he plans on playing the starters the entire first quarter.

“There’s a certain number of snaps that they all need together when you’re getting into the regular season,” Arians said. “I don’t think you can get those practicing. I was pleased with that first drive and I think you do risk getting hit but you have to get practice with your full 11 guys out there.”

The Cardinals’ defense surrendered 143 yards on the ground to the Chiefs Saturday and Arians noted he saw a lot of poor tackling, but he’s neither surprised nor worried about that.

“You look at all the preseason games, you’re going to see poor tackling because you can’t do it,” Arians said referring to CBA restrictions placed on tackling during training camp. “Overall I think it’s something that gets better as you go on.”

One area Arians is concerned about and wants to see improved in week two is mental mistakes.

“Definitely need to see less mental errors and a whole lot less penalties,” he said. “This team is not progressing quickly enough in the areas where we’re beating ourselves in practice. That showed up in the game with holding penalties on two long runs and a couple free first downs where we tackled a guy trying to go out on a route. Silly things that end up hurting you in the long run, so we’ve just got to eliminate those and I like our chances of being pretty good.”

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