ARIZONA CARDINALS

All-Access with Bruce Arians: Palmer can take the criticism

Sep 18, 2017, 2:54 PM | Updated: Sep 21, 2017, 7:29 pm
(AP Photo)...
(AP Photo)
(AP Photo)
LISTEN: Bruce Arians, Cardinals head coach

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.

Opening statement:

“I’m a little happier. The film looked a little bit better than I thought. I saw some things on the sidelines. I always love it that way, especially in a win. Like I always say, ‘You can learn just as much or more from almost losing than losing.’ I knew they’d be ready. I think that’s the first time (Colts head coach) Chuck (Pagano) has lost two games in a row as a head coach. So, I knew his team would be ready, and they were more than ready. Our guys, game balls were Karlos (Dansby), Chandler (Jones), Tyrann (Mathieu) and J.J. (Nelson). But, I was really pleased. I think looking at the first quarter offense, we take a quick five-step (drop), we can’t get sacked. Those things have to stop. The first drop back of the game was a quick throw and Carson (Palmer) gets hit. That leads to him not playing as well as he can. We’ve got guys wide open, and he gets frustrated. So, he did have another great finish to the game. He won the game. That 3rd-and-20 was one for the ages and obviously the play right after.”

On if QB Carson Palmer was frustrated with the protection:

“I’d get frustrated if I took a quick five-(step drop) and got sacked right off the second play of the game. Yeah, I’d get real frustrated. Just beat our guys one-on-one.”

On if the things he liked were on offense:

“Yeah. Defensively, after the first drive, we played really well, and then offensively, it took a while. We got going in the two-minute drive. The 4th-and-1, we make that throw and catch every day. We had the exact defense we wanted. We just didn’t make the throw and catch. Defensively, we did a good job of holding them. The two-minute drive was just a poor decision. Trying to get it all in one play, and the safety was leaning that way. That was really the only poor play Carson had.”

On if he saw more burst from RB Chris Johnson yesterday than he did in training camp:

“About the same as he was in Atlanta. He hit some good holes in Atlanta, but yeah, I liked what I saw in Chris. He’s more than ready to go.”

On if Johnson will be the number one running back on the depth chart:

“We’ll make that determination later.”

On if the offensive line is experiencing communication issues or losing one-on-one matchups:

“It’s one-on-one. ‘I’ve got you. You’ve got me.’ There’s no communicating going on.”

On whether the problem was across the offensive line:

“It was pretty much spread out. (John) Wetzel had a good game. A.Q. (Shipley) had a real good game. (Alex) Boone had a solid game. He had his mess up just in starting, but for him, having only been here two weeks, he was solid.”

On if T Jared Veldheer’s struggles stem from him moving from the left side of the line to the right:

“Oh yeah. It’s not easy, but he’s had enough work at it now to use the proper technique. He’s got to trust his technique.”

On what goes through his mind as a play caller when he sees Palmer getting hit:

“The first thing was to run the ball more. But, we knew going in, that was a stout run defense. Try to stay out of 2nd-and-longs, 3rd-and-longs, but there’s only so much help you can give guys without getting everybody double-covered. So, they’ve just got to win.”

On how he expects opposing defenses to attack the Cardinals as they play without RB David Johnson and if opponents will drop back more often and challenge the Cardinals’ run game to beat them:

“I hope. I hope. We’ve won games without David for sure, for a couple of years. And Chris was leading the league when he got hurt, and David got his opportunity. So, we had two long runs called back from just bad technique of reaching out with a hand. Not necessarily grabbing a guy, just reaching out to where a referee can see a hand on a guy’s shoulder when it was an easy block. Two big runs.”

On if the issues with the offensive line is physicality or technique:

“It’s more technical. It’s just more technical. When we ran it up the middle, we got some good movement at times, especially Boone. But, the edges were just not as solid as they could have been. Will (Holden) played pretty solid for tight end for the first time in his life, and he could have finished better. He could have finished knowing how to finish – which hand to finish a guy off with. It could have gotten us about 15 more yards in rushing.”

On T D.J. Humphries’ status for next week:

“It’s still too close. He’s better, but not anywhere near playing yet. With that injury, you could make great strides in two or three days. Jermaine (Gresham) looks positive. (Mike) Iupati looks more positive.”

On how much Palmer responds to his criticism:

“He doesn’t. He’s ready for practice Wednesday, and that’s why it’s easy for me to say it, because he don’t give a sh*t.”

On if his evaluation of Palmer improved after watching the film:

“Oh, he played a whole lot better than I thought he did. A whole lot better.”

On if Palmer minds criticism:

“Everybody does, but he’s got enough self-confidence, he can handle it.”

On why the offense started clicking after the 3rd-and-20:

“We had a touchdown on the next play. That kind of made it easy. And the defense, everybody cranked it up a little bit. There weren’t those big, negative plays after that.”

On WR J.J. Nelson’s development:

“As long as J.J. stays healthy, he’s been pretty consistent now for a year-and-a-half. For him, it’s been hand injuries – hitting the ground and breaking a thumb or that shoulder. But, we’ve just got to keep him upright, and he’ll make big plays every week.”

On what he liked about LB Karlos Dansby’s performance:

“The leadership. They came out with some different things. He set the defense right, and when they changed up some things that we hadn’t practiced against, he and Antoine Bethea and Tyvon Branch did a great job. We only had four mental errors on the entire defense. That was the lowest we’ve ever had. Those guys, their leadership really showed up.”

On what it says to him when G Alex Boone takes C A.Q. Shipley out to dinner to learn and prepare:

“That’s the type of guy he is. He’s a baller. He’s all about it, wants to do the best he can and doesn’t want to have a bad showing. There’s pride.”

On what he saw from S Budda Baker:

“He had really good special teams plays. He had one nice tackle. He only played six plays on defense, and he had a real nice tackle for a loss. He’s earning more. He’s earning more and more time.”

On the leverage penalty on DL Rodney Gunter:

“It was a good call. You don’t have to jump anymore. All you have to do is put your hand on their back and lean up. So, I guess you’re not even supposed to try and block it. But, it was a legitimate call.”

On tying Don Coryell’s mark for the second-most wins for one of the NFL’s oldest franchises:

“It was a bad team for a long time. To be even mentioned with Coach Coryell, that’s mind-boggling to me. He was one of my great idols and watching that team play.”

On being a lot like Coach Coryell:

“I hope so. He’d be great to be compared to.”

On the strategy of icing the kicker:

“It’s been around forever. When it works, it’s great. When it doesn’t, all you did was waste a timeout. It worked for Chuck.”

On how DL Robert Nkemdiche looked:

“Good, for the first time, other than that offside penalty, trying to jump it. But he was solid. He had 19, I think, or 20 plays and is earning a little more playing time.”

On how disruptive LB Chandler Jones was:

“He was outstanding. That tackle did an OK job. I thought there could be a few more holding penalties, but he was relentless in his pass rush.”

On whether Jones is as good as there is in the NFL:

“He’s one of them. He’s one of the top five, and Markus (Golden), all he’s got to do is pull them to the ground. Two weeks in a row, he’s had them by the jersey and didn’t get them down. Like four times now.”

On what he’ll do with the extra practice day:

“We will not do a very physical practice. We will do a big walkthrough, two walkthroughs – again, sports science and practicing four days in a row. I like the mental part of it. Buddy (Morris) and Anthony (Piroli) have convinced me that the physical part of it is not good for them. So, we’ll do a walkthrough. That allows all the injured guys to practice and get their reps, that might not have gotten that practice.”

On WR John Brown’s chances of playing:

“It doesn’t look hopeful. Again, it would have to be miraculous, but we’ll get all the way to Monday night, it’s different.”

On if Boone played well enough to cause a difficult decision regarding who will start when Iupati returns:

“I wouldn’t say that yet. It’s close.”

On the play of the wing guys on the PAT and field goal attempts:

“They did a good job. They did a good job. They weren’t even close to blocking it.”

On if he’s expecting to learn a lot from the team when they play on Monday night:

“It’s nice to be at home, finally. It has been a long four road games. I can’t remember the last time we did four road games, three on the east coast, counting preseason and those two. It’s tired us out. One of the reasons we’ll also do the walkthrough. But, it’s going to be great to be in front of our fans, and I know the stadium will be rocking. I’m sure there’ll be Cowboys fans there, so it’ll be nice to shut them up.”

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