New Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians has only been in his new role with the team since Jan. 17, but he’s already shown that he’s a man that knows what he wants when developing his roster.
So far during this year’s free agency period the team has signed eight new players, and they’re gearing up for the draft in April.
“It’s just adding good players to the mix with high motors. Everybody that we sign has a very high motor,” said Arians on Monday at the annual NFC Coaches Breakfast. “It’s just going to create good competition and with competition you usually have success.”
Five of the seven new Cardinals are on the defensive side of the ball, including cornerbacks Jerraud Powers and Antoine Cason, linebackers Lorenzo Alexander and Jasper Brinkley, and defensive end Matt Shaughnessy.
But if the defense is the one thing that worked for the Cards last season, so why work so hard to revamp it?
“All those guys create a nice nickel package or a dime package for you because you really don’t know who’s coming and who’s not. They can all cover, they can all drop, and they can all rush,” reiterated the 60-year-old coach. “We can go into the draft and see what falls to us. We don’t have a need.”
The other players that have been added to the Cardinals roster thus far are quarterback Drew Stanton and running back Rashard Mendenhall, both of whom are players Arians is familiar with.
Mendenhall played his first four seasons in Pittsburgh with Arians has his offensive coordinator, whereas Stanton was the backup for Andrew Luck last year in Indianapolis. Arians served as the interim head coach in Indy while Chuck Pagano was receiving treatment for leukemia.
“High motor” was a term Arians used more than once throughout his media availability, but that style will not be enough to warrant playing time.
“To me it’s the best 11 for first and ten, the best 11 for nickel, the best 11 for dime, I don’t care how long they’re signed up for or how they got here,” said Arians. “Whether it be a first round draft choice or an All-Pro, they gotta show it out there on the grass.”