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All-Access with Bruce Arians: ‘Really pleased with defense’

Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians, left, greets San Francisco 49ers head coach Chip Kelly after an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Thursday, Oct. 6, 2016. The Cardinals won 33-21. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

TEMPE, Ariz. – Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians meets the media the day after every game, often times explaining injury situations as well as anything else he may have seen the day before.

Here in this space, with help from the Cardinals’ media relations staff, we’ll highlight some of the most notable quotes from his session.

Opening statement on injuries:

“Injury-wise, we’re still in the evaluation process on Evan (Mathis) and Mike (Iupati). Mike’s looking a little more promising than Evan at this moment. Whether or not there will be roster moves, we’ll talk about it over the weekend, Steve (Keim) and I. But, everybody else – Carson’s (Palmer) in there working out and hopefully in the last stages of the protocol; Kevin Minter’s in the beginning stages, but it’s very mild. He should be fine. When we come back Wednesday, hopefully we’ll have Josh (Mauro) back, and probably Ed Stinson is the only other guy that won’t be back. We came out fairly healthy, other than the two guards, and we’ll just see how much time that is; probably will know more Monday.

On the defense:

About the game, really, really pleased with defense, especially the defense up front. Buc (Deone Bucannon) had a hell of a game. The defensive line did such a great job of keeping him clean, he can make all his plays, he and Kevin. I thought the defensive line played their best ballgame. Calais (Campbell), obviously, had the big numbers. Chandler (Jones) gets the bat, and he gets the pick, which I thought really was a big, big turning point for us on the sidelines; Drew (Stanton) hits Larry (Fitzgerald).

On whether giving David Johnson 30 touches is something they want to keep doing:

“We’ll see how each game is different. Andre (Ellington) played well when he was in there, and I would like to play him more. I don’t necessarily need to see David get it 30 times a game, but when you do that much with it. He’s got to tap out. But, it’s a long season and you don’t want to wear him out early.”

On whether Johnson had any deficiencies last night:

“Oh, he had some deficiencies in this game. He left another hundred yards out there. That same damn pass route that he screwed up in the red zone, he did it again. I’m changing the name of that play so he can’t screw it up anymore. Then I can cheer for him. He ran extremely well, but he did put the ball on the ground and he cannot have that.”

On how he would assess Michael Floyd:

“Very, very pressing. Mike needs to just relax and let the game come back to him. He’s trying to make too many things. They’re natural, ordinary catches that he makes in his sleep, and he’s pressing too much right now.”

On whether the fact that it’s a contract year is leading to Floyd pressing too much:

“I’m sure it has a lot to do with it.”

On how he coaches receivers who are going through a stretch like Floyd:

“Just keep throwing it at him. Keep working in practice. Let him know that you do have confidence in him. Smokey (John Brown) went through it last year there at the end, trying to get his 1,000 yards. He was pressing so hard and everything that night in Philly. But, they come right back, hopefully, through it. Mike has always had big games against the Niners and I was really anticipating him to have a big one. I was disappointed that we did drop those easy third down balls.”

On whether Floyd’s snaps decreased because he is pressing and dropping passes:

“Yeah. Jaron (Brown) has played very well and deserves to be out there. Smoke’s played good, so he’s back out there. If Mike was having the type of year I was hoping he would have, he’d be out there a bunch more.”

On how he would assess Calais Campbell’s first five games of the 2016 season:

“He had a real nice game last night. Hopefully, he’s going to have a real good one next Monday. His stats speak for themselves.”

On the performance of Arizona’s outside linebackers:

“I thought they played really well. Junk (Markus Golden), he’s always going around; he’s going to be around the ball all the time because his motor never stops. I thought Chandler – and Joe Staley’s one of the best tackles in the game – I thought he had a good game against him. (Alex) Okafor coming in, he did a heck of a job. I like that package Bettch (James Bettcher) has got with those four guys in there. They put relentless pressure and we didn’t have to blitz much.”

On Tyrann Mathieu’s performance last night:

“Rusty. He picked himself on the touchdown. Didn’t get over there fast enough and got picked, and he knew it was coming. I don’t agree with the call at the end of the game, but it was good to see him back there because he can be a more vocal leader when he’s in the fray than he can back there by himself.”

On how big it was for Arizona to win last night’s game:

“It was huge. I wouldn’t say it was a must-win. I don’t think there are such things, but it was a big win for us. A road win in the division is always big.”

On how special it will be for him to face Todd Bowles in next week’s game:

“I never look at it that way. It’s the Jets. He and I don’t get to play. He’d kick my ass if we did. It’s gratifying to see him on the other side and the guys that are with him – Brant Boyer, Mike Caldwell, and David Diaz-Infante. All the guys that were interns here – Daylon McCutcheon; the guys that we started in the program here, on his staff; Marcel Shipp, all those guys. It’s good and I’m happy for all of them.”

On whether he’s still seeing miscommunications in the secondary:

“Very, very little. We had Tony (Jefferson) blitz one time, he had the quarterback, and he thought he could take both of them. But that wasn’t miscommunication. I don’t recall any last night.”

On whether Bucannon made any corrections in the last few weeks:

“He just finally relaxed. Relax and play. The biggest thing for Buc, he’s very, very hard on himself. He has to go to the next play. He has a hard time going to the next play. He’s done a really good job of doing that the last two weeks.”

On whether Bucannon, like the rest of the team, was pressing:

“Oh yeah. Everybody pressed the month of September, and now it’s just come to work every day and play on Sunday.”

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