ARIZONA CARDINALS

All-Access with Bruce Arians: Cards have ‘spirited’ Thursday practice

Sep 21, 2017, 5:35 PM | Updated: 7:32 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:

“The only people that did not practice were John Brown and D.J. Humphries. Everybody else was limited. A very, very spirited practice, an excellent practice. Our show teams did a hell of a job of giving a great picture and a great effort. I almost had to say, ‘Whoa,’ a few times, but it was a really good practice.”

On why practice was so spirited:

“I think they know the importance of the game. If you’re show teams show up every Wednesday or Thursday in pads, when you put pads on, you have no answer but to go full speed, or you get your ass kicked. So, it was great. It was great to see those young guys go after each other.”

On whether the team is as fun-loving as he said it was back in camp:

“I think so, yeah. Yeah. Our practice was really, really good and spirited and a lot of enthusiasm.”

On if there were any changes to the first unit:

“Not today. Offensively, Chris Johnson’s carries right now will be up. We could do something later in the week, but right now, nothing. He’d be the only one.”

On his evaluation of Cowboys QB Dak Prescott out of college:

“A great leader. A great leader. Any time you take Mississippi State to number one, you’re a hell of a player, you’re a hell of a leader. He went from a running quarterback to a passing quarterback. The improvement he made from his junior year to his senior year when they were spread and empty and throwing the ball a lot, (Mississippi State head coach) Danny Mullen did a great job with him. You could see the growth. Accuracy was up. You saw somebody that had a chance, but the one thing you knew you had was a natural born leader.”

On if the extra day of rest paid off for the team yet:

“Oh yeah. Yeah, we’re fresh as daisies right now.”

On what he appreciates about the CB Patrick Peterson-WR Dez Bryant matchup:

“Two great players, Pro Bowl players, All-Pro players going at each other all day long. So, neither one of them is going to back off. That’s for sure. That’s for sure.”

On if he sees similarities between WR Larry Fitzgerald and TE Jason Witten in how they go about their business:

“Yeah. If you look at the two guys who were the Walter Payton Man of the Year, they’re those types of guys for a reason. I believe in karma, and when you treat people like those two do, good things happen to you. Health has been blessed on both of them. Long careers, and they just maintain it.”

On the play in which Witten ran down the field without a helmet and what that says about him:

“He’s a winner. He’s another guy that kind of came out of college as a receiving tight end and became one of the best all-around tight ends there is.”

On how TE Jermaine Gresham looked as he recovers from his rib injury:

“He was slamming it up in there pretty good today. I pulled him out. I just didn’t want to have a setback because he was going after it. He knows he can do it, and I didn’t want to see him get hurt.”

On how G/T Will Holden performed at tight end:

“I think he did a great job for never having done it in his life. (He’s) a good athlete. The assignments, he had no mental errors. It’s a package that if we need, we can look forward to.”

On the keys to stopping a motivated Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott:

“He’s tough to stop anyways, but if and what he’s motivated by, I have no idea. But, he’s a handful.”

On how S Budda Baker has improved during the first couple weeks of the season:

“Oh gosh, night and day. He’s learning assignments, two positions and three different – four – packages. With the opportunities he’s been given, he’s made the best of. So hopefully, that earns more opportunities.”

On what Baker does best:

“Tackle. Play fast. Very instinctive, a very physical player.”

On whether the key to getting the offense rolling is improved offensive line play:

“Yeah, both offense and defense. Everything starts up front. That will never change.”

On if $LB Deone Bucannon is fully cleared to play:

“He’s getting real close. He looked good today. He was flying around.”

On if Bucannon could be on a snap count:

“Yes.”

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All-Access with Bruce Arians: Cards have ‘spirited’ Thursday practice