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.
First though, Arians updated the injury list: Michael Floyd and Mike Iupati remain out. Earl Watford (ankle) needs another day, while Chris Johnson, Sean Weatherspoon and Jerraud Powers could all return “by the end of the week” from their hamstring issues. Troy Niklas “re-injured his hamstring where he had an injury before so we don’t know how long that’s going to be,” Arians added.
“Getting into a normal work-week, anxious to see how we respond after the day off. That was a problem earlier for us. Wednesdays, we can’t waste. Seeing how we respect the process, that’s one of the best things we’ve done for the last two years is respect our work-process and show up every day and get that work done, so anxious to get into a true game-week and go from there.”
How do you envision Deone Bucannon’s role changing, if at all, from what he did last year?
“Play more, coming up with more packages where he stays in the game all the time and never be standing over there by me. He’s big, strong, fast; and he can cover backs, he can cover tight ends. He’s got good length, and he’s a tremendous hitter. He’s got linebacker skills, he’s got safety skills, so it’s good for us to get him in there the most we can get him in there.”
What do you like out of Josh Mauro?
“Well, first of all, he’s extremely bright. He can play five positions. We threw him out there at linebacker and he played linebacker really well on one day. When you have that kind of position flexibility, you’re more valuable and he plays extremely hard. He’s really strong, and he’s a good football player.”
Would you like to get Jermaine Gresham some playing time this week?
“I’d love to get him some playing time if he can get out there when we play the games and not be hurt. It hurt him a lot and Chris and ‘Spoon all to miss that game.”
Is there a clearer timetable on Michael Floyd now that he’s doing some conditioning?
“He’s doing extremely well, so no. I don’t think there’s an exact timetable. I wouldn’t be shocked if he’s ready (for Week 1) knowing Michael.”
Has sort of the novelty worn off regarding Jen Welter, is she now just another coach?
“That wore off really fast, maybe two days, it was like, ‘she’s a coach’ and doing a great job. All our interns have done such a fabulous job. I’d like to keep them all on a permanent basis, but it’s not possible.”
What has impressed you most about her?
“Her teaching skills and her insight to the game. The way she approaches it is a little bit different than a lot of people because she is female and she thinks differently, but it’s really good to have that on your staff. The way she wrote notes to the players — they’d never even gotten notes before. She’s always done that with her players. I had a coach do that for me a long time ago and they’re special little things that you’d never forget. It’s a really good teaching tool.”
How long do you expect the starters to play this week?
“It’s totally going to depend on the game and the conditions. We’ll see how it goes. They’re planning to play a half, no longer, and maybe not that much.”
Xavier Williams seems to be making a push, what have you seen from him?
“Another guy that it’s not too big for him. We’d be very, very happy if he was our third or fourth-round draft choice right now.”
Is there a noticeable difference in Jared Veldheer’s physicality or body type this year?
“No, he works out like a wild man. He’s got his own gym and all that stuff. He’s a fitness nut and he makes his own beer, that’s a pretty damn good combination.”
Have you tried it?
“No, he won’t bring me any. Damn, I’ve got to get some. I think he wants me to buy it or something, I don’t know.”
As far as position battles, what positions are you going to look at in the Raiders game?
“Mostly the second half. All the inside backers. Some of the young tight ends. Young corners, there’s still a lot of battles going on. And special teams still will be very, very key for a lot of guys.”
Along with the versatile Deone Bucannon, what’s the quality of your safety position?
“Oh God, our safety position is probably as strong as anybody in the league with the four guys that we have and the capabilities of all of them. Ty being able to be a hybrid guy in a corner and a safety, and Tony being a linebacker/safety type guy, and Rashad can do kind of everything.”
How do you see the battle for third QB going?
“It will go to the wire. I think that next week, when they play the entire game, will probably tell the tape. This one, they’ll both play the second half, we may flip it this time and let Phillip go first and Logan, in case Logan needs to get a two-minute drill like Phillip’s gotten twice.”
Has Justin Bethel done anything to push Jerraud for the cornerback job opposite Patrick Peterson?
“That’s Jerraud’s job but Bethel has proven he’s solid. Have no questions now about — we’re probably going to come up with two more packages with him involved.”
When you were hired and traded for Carson Palmer you talked about the two of you riding off into the sunset, do you think his knee injury kind of emphasized that point to him?
“Neither one of us want to ride out there too soon. It’s a big desert; there’s a lot of good things to do. Hang out in Scottsdale on the way to the desert that we’d like to do a little bit more of. But yeah, I think we both see it.”