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: Rob Crisp (knee), Travis Harvey (hamstring), Ed Stinson (toe), Troy Niklas (hamstring) and Ross Weaver (unknown) will not practice. Earl Watford will practice, while Chris Johnson, Jerraud Powers and Sean Weatherspoon will test their injured hamstrings with a running test. They hope that they can practice on Friday. Michael Floyd and Mike Iupati remain out.
“Looking forward to seeing us play a little more extended time and hopefully get some continuity against a very quality opponent on the road; anxious to get up there and get playing.”
If those three players pass the run test, could they play against the Raiders?
“Oh definitely, definitely.”
Were you pleased with yesterday’s practice following the off day?
“Yeah, I thought the no-huddle part, the administration of getting the communication and the calls was really, really good. We got about roughly 30 plays in that period, so it went real fast. The quality of the football wasn’t as good as I like to have it after we snapped it, but getting what we wanted done as far as communication purposes was very good. I thought it was a good Wednesday, not a great one, but a solid one.”
Do you like where you are in terms of being able to speed it up on offense and dictate pace?
“Yeah, I just like to see us play better after we snap that ball yesterday. Some things weren’t as good as they should’ve been, assignment-wise, but yeah, I think right now, the little bit we’ve done it in the opener was good. Whether or not we try it on the road is another thing because of the crowd noise.”
How do you see the competition between the two punters?
“The two punters is again kind of like the third quarterback situation. They go back-and-forth. (I) wouldn’t say either one has an edge right now.”
How big a factor in that is Dave Zastudil’s age and injury history?
“You have to consider it. Drew (Butler) did a really good job last year when he had his opportunity until the playoff game. That was about the only game he struggled. All of those things will be factored in, but it’s still the best guy for the job.”
What did you see from Shaq Riddick in his first practice?
“He got better. Staying out after practice, getting some good work against the tight ends. Those young tight ends and outside backers are starting to get better with a lot of 1-on-1s after practice. He shows what we drafted, big tall guy that can really run, come off the edge and he’s got some good strength at the point of attack, which it should be his forte because he was a down lineman, but it looks like he can handle the sight-lines of an outside linebacker. Pretty bright guy.
Have you considered only keeping two quarterbacks on the active roster?
“I think it’s always a possibility. It’s kind of the norm now in the National Football League to have two and a guy on the practice squad. It wouldn’t be out of the question.”
Do you believe dynasties can still exist in this day in age?
“I think it’s very, very hard because of the turnover in personnel every year. You got 20-25 new faces pretty much on every team with the salary cap. Guys want to get paid. You can’t pay them all. You got to go get young guys. You’re going to have to have that young part of your roster so you can pay those stars.”
How much do you notice your veterans pacing their way through training camp?
“The smart ones know how to pace themselves to get in shape, so they know when to go hard and when to slack off a little bit, but it’s hard to slack off anymore because with just one practice in pads you’re only going to get 30 reps. That would be a heavy workload for a guy, if he got 30 reps in one day. If you can’t go hard for all of them you’re kind of cheating yourself to get in shape.”
Would you like to schedule a joint practice against another team next year?
“I would love to. We just don’t have the space here. We’d have to travel somewhere. We talked to two or three teams this year and it just didn’t work out.”