GLENDALE, Ariz. — Head coach Bruce Arians, now in his second year with the Arizona Cardinals, met with the media every day during training camp.
Here, in this space, we’ve highlighted many of the key topics and personnel conversations he has had with reporters following the morning walk-through. Friday was the last time for this, as it is the last day of training camp:
“There’s really no change. Max Starks will be limited [Friday] and hopefully be available for the ball game. Kevin (Minter) and Coop (Jonathan Cooper) will be game-time decisions.
“Other than that, I thought [Thursday] was a really solid bounce-back practice in a lot of ways. I was really pleased with it.”
How did Tyrann Mathieu look in practice Thursday?
“I thought he moved around better yesterday than he did the day before. Mostly on the scout team where he could stay out of the fray but just play football and run. He broke on a couple deep balls really, really well. I thought he made good improvement.”
With players like Mathieu and Alameda Ta’amu returning for injury, do you check on their knees every day after practice or are they good to go?
“They’re in the training room every single day getting treatment or getting them checked. The big thing you’re looking for with those guys is swelling, and they haven’t had any since the workouts began.”
Is preseason really important for players like Kevin Minter and Jonathan Cooper given their lack of experience?
“It is extremely important, these next seven days, for those guys, as would be the practices, the extra practices that we would have going into a Monday Night game getting those reps. So yeah, it’s a critical week for both those guys for the opener.”
Do you know who you will be cutting soon or can somebody save their job in Sunday’s game?
“A couple guys can definitely do it, especially on special teams. My message in the meeting this morning was somebody’s going to make a statement on special teams in this game, and you’re going to say, ‘Ooh, we need to keep him and we can’t lose this guy.’ It’s not going to be a roster so much as it is a special teams spot.”
How would you characterize how your camp went?
“I’m very pleased. Obviously you’re never happy with injuries, and getting two guys back was shocking — I didn’t think either one of those guys would be back yet. Losing Darnell was just as shocking, but you know they’re going to happen. It’s just a matter of overcoming them, staying positive and marching on.”
Is there anything tougher than having to make cuts?
“No, no, because you get so attached to these guys coaching them so hard as our staff does to make them the best they can be. Then when you have to end the dream here — hopefully not end the dream — but end the dream here, it’s a very, very tough time.”
Do you tell the players they’ve been cut yourself or how do you handle that?
“If I have a relationship with a guy, and especially a veteran player, then I’ll do it personally. But overall, it’s a difficult time for the entire team because friendships are made, relationships are built, and then boom, they’re over. It’s harder when you go from 75 to 53. It’s a little bit easier right now, but it’s never easy.”