Training camp doesn’t begin for another two months.
The first game — at least ones that count — won’t be played for another 100 days.
In other words, it’s early.
Try telling that to a head coach, and a first-year head coach at that.
“Right now, our defense is way outplaying our offense,” Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians said Tuesday. “Our offense needs to pick it up. We’re behind where I would like to be right now.”
Arians is pleased with his team’s effort.
“These guys will give you everything they’ve got,” he said. But he is less than pleased with how quickly his players are learning the offense.
“We’re just not picking it up fast enough, still not picking it up the way I would like to, at all positions.”
What specifically is bothering Arians?
“I don’t like mistakes,” he said, “and I really don’t like mental mistakes, especially if you made the same one last week. That should be corrected and in the books by now. Our receivers are not getting that done.”
With players still only in helmets and shorts here in the second week of organized team activities for veterans and rookies, it can be tough to judge certain positions, like the offensive line.
“You really can’t tell until they put on pads. I don’t get too upset about that part,” Arians said. “We’re trying to keep the physicality part of it down as much as possible, but it’s still competition out there. You don’t like to see guys whiff, even in shorts. That part of it, I’ll leave that judgment up until August.”
Arians did acknowledge it is normal at this time during offseason workouts for a defense to be ahead of an offense.
“It’s a little bit easier to put in a defense than it is an offense and have some continuity.”
At the same time, however, knowing where to line up, where to go and simply catching a pass are all things players should be able to grasp.
“The skill position players are getting a ton of reps,” Arians said. “Like I said, I like where we are at defensively. I’m not real pleased with where we are offensively.”