ARIZONA CARDINALS

All-Access with Bruce Arians: Updates on John Brown and Bucannon

Sep 20, 2017, 3:11 PM | Updated: 5:47 pm
(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 game day.

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:

“Nothing injury-wise to report. Everything was a walkthrough today. It was a very, very good learning day. I think it was a good start to the week as far as getting used to a little bit different offense and, obviously, a very different defense that they play that we’ve been seeing. So, we’ll put the pads on tomorrow and, hopefully, the breeze keeps up and we’ll get outside. Looking forward to building as this week goes on.”

On whether it benefits the team to have an extra practice:

“Oh yes, indeed. In the past, we probably would have gone a lot harder, but having judged those things in the last two years, working four days in a row probably wasn’t the best thing physically. It is mentally, rather than practicing a day, being off a day and practicing a day.”

On if Strength and Conditioning Coach Buddy Morris had to convince him to alter the practice schedule:

“Yeah, it really did, because we’ve had success the other way. They had good numbers of our guys. Once you see the data, it’s probably easier.”

On the Broncos’ success against the Cowboys and using that as a blueprint for this Monday’s game:

“Well, if I could have (Broncos LB) Von Miller, I’d be happy. He’s special. We’ve got a pretty good one, so yeah. It’s a copycat league, but you can’t change what you do. They have some unique stuff that they run that you have to be very aware for. Hopefully our matchups are pretty solid.”

On how he prepares for the game with the possibility that Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott may not play:

“It doesn’t matter. They’re not changing what they do. Just like the (Colts) quarterback last week. Whoever that running back is, they’re not putting in a different offense.”

On what part of the Cardinals’ defense has impressed him most:

“Just the effort and the communication has been so good. The mental errors are way, way down. Maybe they’re 70 percent down from last year.”

On how many defensive mental errors there were against the Colts:

“Four.”

On whether he saw a different Elliott in the Cowboys-Broncos game:

“No. I saw a team that got behind. Then obviously, you’ve got to start throwing it. That changes everything when you’re down.”

On if he was in Arizona very long before he recognized the Cowboys’ local popularity:

“Oh yeah. I was here about a week. I heard all the stories, and rightfully so. They had no team they could root for, so obviously, they’re not going to change their allegiance.”

On the wild finishes in prior Cardinals-Cowboys games:

“Yeah. Yeah. That history is fantastic and having been a part of only one, it was nice.”

On whether he’s ever pounded on the podium at the press conference at the end of a game:

“No. I don’t think so.”

On whether he’s more encouraged today about the possibility that WR John Brown will play:

“No, not really. I have to see him run before I can get encouraged.”

On having the home-opener on a national stage:

“Oh yeah, it’s fantastic. To have been gone so long — two preseason and regular season games — and finally get home, and it is Monday night. There should be an unbelievable atmosphere in the stadium. So yeah, you couldn’t ask for anything more as a player and a coach.”

On what made him think that WR J.J. Nelson could play in the NFL when he scouted him in college:

“Because he was a very, very fast guy that could change direction easily and stop easily. A lot of very fast guys, you go way back to (Olympic medalist) John Carlos and all those guys that tried to play football, they couldn’t stop, and they couldn’t turn. He did it fluidly. He had a great high speed. (Ravens WR) Mike Wallace was the same, just a little bit bigger. So, those traits usually show up as a pretty good wide receiver, and he’s doing a good job of catching balls over the middle now. Just don’t try to put him in too much harm’s way.”

On if Nelson has shown improvement off the press and getting away from defenders:

“Oh yeah. He’s always had it, and he’s gotten better and better. The bigger ones, Pat (Peterson) gives him a little problem, but there aren’t many Pats around.”

On the possibility that $LB Deone Bucannon will play:

“Yes. There is a chance, yes.”

On what Bucannon’s return does for the rotation:

“Just adds him to the mix. Finding a role for him right now. He’s basically learned everything while he’s been out. He can play just about any position – mike, dollar, whatever it took.”

On when and where specifically he saw the road trips wear the team out:

“In practice last Friday, mostly. It hit me, and I knew it hit them.”

On churning the bottom of the roster with LB Philip Wheeler’s return, and what he says to a player when the team keeps moving him:

“He’s a pro. He gets a paycheck. It was a matter of possibly being inactive or getting a player that was going to be active because of injury. He understands this. He knows his situation.”

On why players like WR Larry Fitzgerald and Cowboys TE Jason Witten can play at a high level for so long:

“They take great care of themselves. They’re not guys that are abusing their bodies. Larry gets plenty of rest, and so does Jason. Jason’s a great guy. When you look at what they do in the community, you know why they have longevity as a player.”

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All-Access with Bruce Arians: Updates on John Brown and Bucannon