All-Access with Bruce Arians: Cardinals name 2017 captains

Sep 4, 2017, 1:27 PM | Updated: Sep 5, 2017, 11:34 am
(AP Photo)...
(AP Photo)
(AP Photo)

TEMPE, Ariz. – Head coach Bruce Arians, now in his fifth year with the Arizona Cardinals, meets the media several times leading up to gameday.

Here, in this space, with help from the Cardinals’ media relations staff, we’ll highlight many of the key topics and personnel conversations he has with reporters following practice.

“Obviously we made a couple transactions today and I really like the look of our squad. All the painful days are over and it’s good times. We got a very good practice start with the bonus day and I look forward to getting back here Wednesday.”

On the Cardinals’ captains for the 2017 season:

“Yes. Carson (Palmer) and Larry (Fitzgerald). Patrick (Peterson) and Frostee (Rucker). And (Phil) Dawson.”

On signing P Andy Lee:

“Andy, obviously, has a very good relationship with Phil. He’s been an All-Pro punter for years. He’s healthy and we’re real glad to have him. He’s been his holder for two years so that shouldn’t be any problem.”

On how much improvement he sees special teams making this season with Lee and Dawson together:

“Yeah, I would hope they would be a whole lot more consistent, you know? Two veteran guys that have been through a lot of big games, and I’m excited they’re both on our team.”

On how good of a punter Lee was at his peak:

“He wasn’t Ray Guy, but he was close. For his era, he’s one of the tops and he can still put it out there.”

On RB David Johnson’s versatility and how much can he be used in different ways:

“Like I’ve always said, he’s the closest thing I’ve been around since Marshall Faulk. Marshall could start at wide receiver, probably on defense as a safety or corner, play running back. Very smart guys. You have to watch, if a guy’s not real smart, you overload him to where he can’t play fast if you put a bunch of things on his plate. Obviously, David’s very bright and it’s good to see Andre (Ellington) back healthy, because he can do a lot of things like that also.”

On the importance of starting the 2017 season well:

“It’s going to be paramount with all those road games in September and October. Yeah, we’ve got to get off to a good start and there are no excuses about 10 a.m. and all that crap. We all know the schedule. So yeah, we’ve got to get off to a good start and we’ve got to get off to a good start in those games. You don’t want to get behind on the road in a domed stadium for sure.”

On what he saw out of Ellington in training camp and preseason:

“I saw Andre. The guy that was there two or three years ago. That run he made in the Hall of Fame game for the touchdown, that was the Andre Ellington of a couple years ago, fighting, spinning, getting it in. And, the dynamic pass receiver that he’s been.”

On whether he ever figured out why the Cardinals had issues playing on the East Coast last season:

“Going east last year, we snapped the ball over a guy’s head. We just didn’t play very well and the year before, we had no problems. Each team is so different. We went up to New York a couple years ago and played great, so it’s an excuse really. That’s all it is.”

On what he saw from C/G Daniel Munyer in training camp and the preseason:

“Very consistent. He’s got a good anchor. He’s very quick. Those blitz pickup drills, he could fly out of there and get those safeties and he’s just been really consistent the whole time.”

On what’s the biggest difference personnel-wise from this year and last:

“I think we’re smarter. That’s the biggest thing, especially in the back end of the secondary. We’re, I think, longer and faster again. Each year, we’ve tried to get longer and faster. I think our biggest improvement would be special teams.”

On whether he feels like LB Haason Reddick will start and how he feels about Reddick’s progress:

“He’ll start in certain packages and I love where he’s at. He’s growing every single day.”

On whether there are any concerns with initially keeping only three outside linebackers:

“No, because Philip (Wheeler) trained last week and played outside backer in that game and he is a versatile guy so he gives us a versatile inside and outside guy.”

On Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin and his defensive scheme:

“He’s an excellent coach. A first-class guy. Always got his team in a standing position to win games. They’re sound with everything they do.”

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All-Access with Bruce Arians: Cardinals name 2017 captains