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All-Access with Bruce Arians: Time to get ready for the Seahawks

Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians yells at side judge Scott Novak (1) during the second half of an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints, Sunday, Dec. 18, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
LISTEN: Bruce Arians, Cardinals head coach

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, which this time comes after Arizona closed out the home portion of its 2016 schedule with a 48-41 loss to the New Orleans Saints.

He began with an opening statement

“Really nothing to report injury-wise from the ball game. Marcus Cooper’s back, and obviously, it’s a player day off, so hopefully there are no surprises tomorrow. We came out pretty clean. D.J. (Humphries) is still in the protocol. Other than that, get ready for the Seahawks.”

On how he keeps the team up for this next game

“No problem. They stayed up last week, and it’s the Seahawks, so we should be ready to play.”

On if coaching or strategy changes now that they are officially eliminated from playoff contention

“No, it never changes; only to win.”

On if they will play more of the young players

“Most of them are playing. I don’t know of any young guys left that we could look at.”

On if the two rookie offensive lineman Cole Toner and Evan Boehm are ready yet

“No.”

On what he saw with the lack of pressure on Drew Brees

“The fact they ran the ball. They ran the ball on us and they ran it well, which slowed the pass rush down. They picked up the blitz pressures pretty well, and we did just a poor job in coverage.”

On Brandon Williams

“I thought Brandon played really well, competed well. He has Miami and them now. He’s been practicing really well.”

On where Brandon Williams has grown the most

“Maturity, and learning the system; just being around for 12 weeks, practicing real hard and improving every day.”

On Robert Nkemdiche

“Robert did well. The stat sheet didn’t look it, but he was explosive. He’s been practicing real hard too. He should keep his numbers up.”

On if Nkemdiche is working as hard as he wants him to

“For the last six weeks, he has. The opportunity presented itself this time. He had a really good week of practice, probably one of his best weeks.”

On what the turning point was for Nkemdiche

“Not being on the sheet for mental errors, biggest thing. He hasn’t been on the sheet for a couple of weeks now, so he’s proving he’s ready to play.”

On the secondary’s play

“Very, very below par for us.”

On in what ways it was below par

“Just executing leverage, being on top of players where they’re supposed to be — whether you’re supposed to be inside out or outside in — not looking at the quarterback in man-to-man. All technical things that we know better.”

On Tyrann Mathieu and if he’s just not completely back yet

“He gave it everything he had. It ain’t Ty.”

On if the secondary not playing up to par has anything to do with Mathieu not being fully healthy

“It doesn’t affect the rest of them. It affects him. He got caught in a matchup against bunch coverage and he got outran by Brandin Cooks, which that was going to happen.”

On if he likes the guys opposite of Patrick Peterson going into next year

“I didn’t even think about next year. I like Brandon (Williams), I like Coop (Marcus Cooper) this year. I like them now, so I should like them next year I hope.”

On if the plan was to drop Chandler Jones into coverage as much as they did Sunday

“It wasn’t that many times. He made a play every time. They didn’t gain many yards when he was. He did a heck of a job.”

On if it took Robert Nkemdiche longer to start practicing harder like he wanted him to

“It wasn’t practicing hard. It was practicing smart. He’d have days where he was in the wrong gap, got scooped, whatever; mostly mental stuff. It wasn’t lack of effort. He did pick it up in the last month. They have to learn how to be pros. It’s not the days anymore where you pick a guy in the first round and he comes in and plays. Very seldom is that going to happen in the future, especially on a good team. It might happen on a bad team, but not on a good team.”

On if Kerwynn Williams is showing his worth

“Every time Kerwynn has gotten an opportunity, he’s done the best with it. What he’s done most is proven he can play on special teams. He can be a two, three or four back because he’s playing on all special teams.”

On why the wildcat has been so effective with Williams

“Because he’s really good at it. We couldn’t stop him in practice, so we put it in. I think it’s been an element of surprise a little bit, but it worked for him and it’s worked for us really well.”

On what he thought about Carson Palmer laying a block

“Put him on the side we’re going to keep the option or do you put him out there wide? We didn’t want him blocking, but Carson is a competitor so he threw a block.”

On if they have plays for Kerwynn Williams to throw out of the wildcat

“I wouldn’t divulge that information.”

On how Williams looks when he throws the ball in practice

“Average. He was a running quarterback.”

On what he thought about the way they covered David Johnson with double teams

“That’s expected. Didn’t really expect him to get doubled as a wideout since he hasn’t been in that package before, but David’s going to see that for the rest of his career.”

On if it is three different holders or if it is psychological with Chandler Catanzaro

“It’s mostly three different holders. That enters the psyche part. I’ve said it before, having a son who had been a kicker in the NFL, the holder is more important than the snapper, especially if you’re looking at the spot. You have to trust the guy. Doing it in practice is one thing, but in the speed of the game, everything speeds up a little bit. Give him the benefit of the doubt, because in Miami we were working two holders to see who was going to punt. Now we switched the holders on him again. That’s not easy for a kicker.”

On how much having his son go through this help him to deal with Catanzaro

“It’s helped a bunch. Just dealing with kickers my entire career, but having a son that was one who knows the psyche of a kicker has helped me a bunch – how to handle them, how to speak to them, and what’s important and what’s not important.”

On if he believes in Catanzaro going forward

“Yeah I do. He’s a talented guy.”

On if Catanzaro gets down on himself too easily

“His body language could improve. That’s one thing we’ve got to work on.”

On if this game is kind of like a bowl game

“Yeah, we’ve got two of them. We’ve got the Rams too. We don’t have the same team we played them here with, but I like the way we played this past week offensively. Special teams, other than the extra point, were good. We had a couple of good kickoff returns. Defensively, we’ve got to show up.”

On how the game will feel for some of the young guys who are playing now

“It will be new. None of them have been to CenturyLink (Field). But, it was really loud in Minnesota, which they probably got the closest thing. It might be louder than CenturyLink.”

On potential first-round draft picks skipping their bowl games

“That would concern me. Depending on what their situation is as a team, because this is a team sport. But you’ve had a couple of guys get injured in the last couple years. Agents have a lot to say about it. Parents have a lot to say about it. But, it would concern me.”

On if it’s a case-by-case basis

“Totally.”

On if he would like to see college guys play until their last game:

“I would love to see that. I would also like them come out of the game healthy.”

On how Evan Boehm has developed this year

“He’s got light years better. He’s another guy that came out of a system – slid right, slid left, zone right, zone left. You’ve got 12, 13 protections and you have to identify the Mike on all of them. It’s a lot to learn.”

On Boehm working at guard the last couple of weeks

“Yeah, he’s been working a bunch at guard and he’s looked pretty good.”

On if Boehm were to play would he be more comfortable at guard or center

“At center.”

On if it is different things at different times that have prevented them from closing out in the fourth quarter

“Every one of them has been different. Different person, different situations, whether or not it’s a third down play, a first down play, a penalty, a kick – just not as a team closing people out. We haven’t done it this year.”

On how much yesterday’s defensive problems were Drew Brees and how much was the defense

“Probably 80 percent Drew and 20 percent defense, but the 20 percent were big plays.”

On David Johnson getting 12 carries yesterday and if it is a number he would like to see going forward

“No. When you’re playing from behind the whole second half, you aren’t running it a whole lot. When we ran it, he was successful, but there wasn’t enough clock left.”

On how he would evaluate Kevin Minter’s season

“I think Kevin has been really solid. He’s had a good year.”

On if it is doable to get David Johnson 200 more receiving yards this season

“I don’t know if the other teams will allow it, but it’s doable because every time he touches it he can take it to the house. It doesn’t have to go down the field very far.”

On if he would be surprised if David Johnson does get to 1,000 receiving yards

“I’ll be surprised if he gets it; 100 yards as a back receiving is very hard to do, two weeks in a row against two really quality defenses; two best in the league”

On if you feed him if he’s close in the last game

“If they let you. You don’t throw it into double coverage, because I’m sure there are going to be two of them around him”

On how he sees the offensive line holding up the next two games

“They’ll have their hands full both times. Being on the road with arguably the two best, most disruptive players in (Michael) Bennett and Aaron Donald; we have our hands full when we have a healthy offensive line.”

On Taylor Boggs

“He had one pressure that he gave up a sack, but other than that pretty solid.”

On playing Seattle on a short week first and now playing them when they have extra rest

“It is what it is. We’ve got Sunday to Saturday. It’s better than Sunday to Thursday.”

On if bringing the fight to Seattle first is always going to be key in beating them

“Every time you play them, you better have your big boy pads on.”

On if the win in Seattle last year was one of the biggest he has had

“Yeah, the way it went to get way ahead, to lose it and then come back, it was very special.”

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