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All-Access with Bruce Arians: ‘When I’m not hollering, it’s not a good thing’

(AP Photo)
LISTEN: Bruce Arians, Cardinals head coach

GLENDALE, Ariz. – Head coach Bruce Arians, now in his fifth year with the Arizona Cardinals, meets the media each day during training camp.

Here, in this space, we’ll highlight many of the key topics and personnel conversations he has with reporters following the morning walk-through.

“Not really any news from yesterday last time I saw you guys since there hasn’t been a practice since then, but we have gotten three receivers who are going to try to practice: Chad Williams (shin splints), Aaron Dobson (hamstring), John Brown (quad). D.J. Humphries (hamstring) will be back limited. So, we’ll get a few more hands back out there.”

What kind of growth has Jaron Brown made as a receiver?

“Well, he started out as a great special teams player, and he was a good one at Clemson but he became a great one here; and it’s very hard for receivers in their nature to love covering kickoffs especially a guy going down the middle (of the field). He’s done a great job of that — punt team coverage, teams, all those things — and gotten better and better as a receiver. He’s always had the size and the speed; it’s just a matter of learning how to run routes and developing out of a spread offense and from a special teams player.”

In that wide receivers room where would he rank in the pecking order?

“Right now he’d be No. 2.”

What impresses you the most about his recovering from last season’s knee injury?

“The fact that it was, what, November when he got hurt and had surgery. That’s usually a year (injury). It’s getting shorter and shorter now with sports science and recovery and the rehabs. Watching him run in the spring that soon with a brace on was amazing and to have the brace off already is kind of remarkable.”

Both John Brown and Chad Williams dressed for the game against the Raiders. Were they both gametime decisions?

“No, they were just warming up, trying to get some exercise.”

Commissioner Roger Goodell said yesterday he spoke to you about the possibility of reducing preseason games from four to three. Where do you stand on that?

“Yeah, I think three is plenty, especially if you’re going to work with another team. If you had a rookie quarterback who you’re going to play, the fourth game would be invaluable but he’s not going to play that much. He would play more in a practice, two- or three-day practice against another team, seeing other coverages than he would in that game anyway — having just recently gone through that with Andrew (Luck). So, yeah, I think three is plenty.”

Your comments about the wide receivers, how important is it for them to hear it from you rather than just the media?

“I don’t really give a (expletive) what they think. They were told real quietly. That scared them.”

That’s what J.J. Nelson said, that you were nice about it.

“I was very nice about it. I said Steve (Keim) is upstairs right now looking at tape for more new ones.”

So if you speak quietly, they know?

“Oh, that’s bad. If I’m hollering, I’m coaching them. When I’m not hollering, it’s not a good thing.”

Where did you learn that from?

“Many, many, many coaches. Way back.”

How important is it to have Humphries back on the field?

“He should be able to get through individual (drills) today and hopefully practice and play in this game.”

How long does it take you to tell how a rookie reacts to your coaching?

“About the second or third time. You pretty much know the background of how they’ve been coached, too.”

Do you change much depending on the player?

“Not really. It’s part of getting thick skin. It’s a matter of putting pressure on guys and see how they react.”

Have there been players who have completely folded?

“Oh, yeah. Then you got to pick them up later.”

Kareem Martin has made a play in each of the preseason games. How has he looked throughout training camp?

“Yeah, it’s been outstanding. He’s another guy that kind of became our best special teams player. His pass-rush skills as his strength has gotten better. For him, standing up, that took some time having always played with his hand down. But, he’s got that length and he’s got a couple of good pass-rush moves now so, yeah, he’s earning his stripes.”

Is Martin a candidate to be that third outside linebacker?

“He is right now. Jarvis (Jones) isn’t practicing, so he’s winning that job.”

When Deone Bucannon is back, would Haason Reddick be in that role as outside linebacker?

“That would be a lot to put on his plate, to play two positions right now.”

Might we see Larry Fitzgerald lining up outside more than in previous years this season?

“I doubt it because he’s probably 50-percent of the time out there now. When we go three-wides, it’s more when he’s in the slot.”

How has Brandon Williams been progressing?

“Very consistent in the last five or six practices and games. That interception (against the Cowboys) helped his confidence.”

Is confidence the biggest thing with him?

“He’s still new to the position so all the confidence he can gain through success is going to really help him.”

What have you seen from Tyvon Branch so far?

“Consistency. He’s very, very smart. He’s starting to get his hands on some balls. He ran down David (Johnson) on that long run yesterday.”

Did that surprise you that he caught Johnson?

“Yeah. I think it surprised David, too.”

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