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All-Access with Bruce Arians: Oakland win a step in right direction, but still issues to correct

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, we’ll highlight some of the most notable quotes.

“Alright, injury-wise coming out of this ballgame was again pretty clean. Normal bumps and bruises, but nobody, hopefully; Rashad Johnson’s the only one. We’re having a patellar tendon checked out. We think it’s just severe tendonitis and hopefully nothing will be revealed in the MRI, but he’s the only one in the tube today. Troy Niklas is doubtful still. Hopefully we’ll get something out of him later in the week. There’s a possibility we’re going to get Calais on the practice field later in the week. But other than that, nothing to report that way. It was a good ball game that way. I think the game was one that we needed to prove to ourselves that preparation is what it takes to win. We learned a lesson from Washington, took it to Oakland and started the game extremely fast. I thought we finished it extremely well, especially with that seven-minute drive at the end. It was only a three-point drive, but there were some big third down conversions. It ate up the rest of the clock and gave us a two-score advantage, so that was a huge drive for us confidence-wise and everything else. We’re just going to keep trying to improve weekly and daily with the rest of the schedule.”

Do you expect Calais Campbell to practice this week?

“I think there is a chance. There’s a chance.”

It looks like the schedule gets more difficult from here

“It gets a little stronger. Each week is going to be a challenge. Obviously, we feel there’s no one on the schedule we can’t beat, and there’s nobody on the schedule that can’t beat us. It’s going to be a daily grind getting ready for each ball game. Philly’s a big challenge. We lost a close one over there last year to them. They have an excellent attack and a solid defense, so it will be a great challenge and we’ll expect a great crowd to help us along the way.”

Your number one run defense will have a tough test next two weeks in LeSean McCoy and DeMarco Murray

“Yeah, it’ll be big. We can’t talk about Dallas; we don’t play them until next week. But this week, the Eagles are a big-time challenge. Nick (Foles) will keep the ball on the read-option and get four, five yards, eight yards, and drop down, so you’ve always got to be alert for him, also. Chip (Kelly) does a great job with the spread as far as their zone attack.”

Is the balance you displayed in Oakland what you were hoping for?

“Yes. Yes, this is more of what we’re looking for. TO be able to continue it, we still left a ton of yards on the field. Offensively, it was still not what we’re looking for, but it’s better.”

Is this what you envisioned from your backfield when you drafted Andre Ellington and Stepfan Taylor last year?

“Yeah, you would hope. Stef lost a little weight to try and get quicker. He lost a little power with that, but I think he’s got his back. His shiftiness is still good and he’s a good all-around back. Yeah, you’d like to have the carries about where they are.”

On how Larry Foote has been playing

“Oh gosh, Larry’s kind of the glue over there right now, he and Jerraud Powers. He calls the defense, he sets the defense, he’s the cheerleader; he’s everything I knew he would be. He’s been that way for a long time. But, he brings a lot of passion to the practice field, too, and the locker room. Yeah, he’s everything we needed.”

How proud of Chandler Catanzaro are you?

“You never expect somebody to come out and kick 15 in a row. This was a big one for him. He hadn’t gotten much action. That was a bad spot on the field and a very tricky wind, so I was really happy for him. It gives him, again, confidence that just seems to be natural for him. He kicked off extremely well into the wind, and knock on wood he keeps it up.”

Why did you say your team was ‘nothing special’ Sunday after the game?

“I think they know right now that if we don’t play hard for 60 minutes it’s going to be very hard for us to win. We need to play smarter for 60 minutes. We’re playing hard. If we play smarter we’re going to give ourselves a better chance to win.”

How has your team not played smart?

“Defensively, this was our best game as far as mental errors, but offensively we still continue to run a route short, line up wrong, do some things that are uncalled for. We need to sharpen ourselves up offensively. We had a sack because of miscommunication on who the ‘Mike’ linebacker was. Little things like that are hurting us offensively.”

Are some mistakes expected or do you get irritated that some are still happening?

“I get very irritated. There are no mistakes ever to be expected. No, it’s way too high on the offensive side.”

How do you explain your defense being 31st in the NFL against the pass with the stars the team has in the secondary?

“They can’t run. They’re going to throw.”

Are you surprised with how the NFC West has played out so far?

“Well, I knew within our division we’re going to beat ourselves up. I was never surprised at anybody losing at St. Louis because that’s a great crowd and the defense was obviously feeding off them. That was some big cajones, as Goody (Harold Goodwin) would say, with those fakes. That was a great win for them. Our division’s tough. We’ve all had a little struggle with Denver at Denver. That’s a handful in itself.”

Did you see the message Darnell Dockett had for Raiders fans and if so what did you think about it?

“It won’t happen again.”