All-Access with Bruce Arians: Humphries, Nkemdiche not practicing

Oct 4, 2017, 4:55 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 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:

“Not practicing – D.J. Humphries and Robert Nkemdiche. Everybody else was limited. It was just a walkthrough-type practice with as many plays as last week. It’s always fun to get back after a win and start for the next one. I thought the attention to detail in such a down-paced practice was really good.”

On if he has gotten everything that he has wanted out of DL Corey Peters:

“Oh yeah, and more. He is a great leader. He is not just a nose tackle; he can penetrate. Guys are getting sacks and the pocket collapses because he is usually creating havoc and having two guys blocking him.”

On what he likes from what he has seen out of his young defensive tackles:

“Their productivity. I think Rodney (Gunter) had five tackles in 15 plays, and Xavier (Williams) had a half a sack. Olsen (Pierre) had a sack. The production and the amount of snaps they are getting. They are not just going out and giving a guy a breather. They’re making things happen.”

On if they are good depth players:

“Really good. Each one of those kids can start.”

On if he has ever given three game balls to backups:

“Never. Never.”

On what he has seen from Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz’s defense:

“The same thing that I have been seeing for about 25 years – Gregg Williams and Jeff (Fisher) and all of those guys. But Schwartzy has his own package to it. Extremely well coached. Tilted those ends down, getting off every play and rushing the passer. It is a huge challenge for the edge for your defense.”

On what makes him think that LB Haason Reddick can have success coming off the edge:

“Haason? Speed, and he has unbelievable power for his size.”

On how common an ACL injury was career-ending during his playing days:

“When I was playing? You were done. They put a cast on you from your foot to your hip, and you were done.”

On if he is amazed by advancements in sports medicine:

“It’s crazy. Sports science amazes me.”

On WR Jaron Brown coming back from his injury and playing significant snaps this year:

“It is unbelievable. When he came back in, really, mini-camp and the spring, he was running full speed with no limp.”

On if it’s too early to tell if WRs J.J. Nelson and John Brown feel any better physically:

“They feel better this week, at this time in the week. We’ll still monitor their reps, but they look like they are progressing each day and not going down.”

On the frustration of an offensive coach with a quarterback who throws a great deep ball and receivers who can catch it, but the protection isn’t allowing enough time to get off big plays:

“Yeah, it is frustrating because we were behind them three times wide open the other day, and we dumped two to the backs and made ten yards, but those were 40-yard downfield chunks with a little more time.”

On WR Larry Fitzgerald running deeper routes:

“Larry always has. San Francisco last year, I think, just off the top of my head, there are two or three times a game that we have him behind 20 yards and open.”

On WR Jaron Brown developing from an undrafted rookie into a starting receiver:

“He kind of got looked over with Sammy Watkins and (DeAndre) Hopkins and all those kids they had at Clemson at the time. A 6-foot-2 guy that runs a 4.35-(second 40-yard dash) and plays his tail off on special teams. That gets your attention when you’re on the free agent board after the draft. I said ‘Hell, give him some more money.’ He came here, and he proved that he could do that job. He has just gotten better and better as a receiver.”

On if he can hold up when playing 99 snaps in a game:

“I hope we don’t do it again. But yeah, that’s without the penalties and stuff. It was more like 104 (snaps).”

On the run defense:

“We’re better. We’re getting better. We are getting back to where we were. That one quarterback getting out or that one reverse – those things that get aggressive defenses – we still have to work on those.”

On what he can do to get the run game going besides the return of injured offensive lineman:

“For me, run it more, probably. We’re running it pretty well in the first quarter of games. Once we start having negative runs, I have a tendency to get away from it, and I have to fight that as a play-caller.”

On how tough it is to continue calling running plays when it isn’t working:

“It is hard to fight when you have all those guys out there that can catch, but yeah, you’ve got to maintain balance.”

On if anyone on the coaching staff is in his ear encouraging him to call more running plays:

“No, Goody (Harold Goodwin) every once in a while, will say can we pound it, and I say, ‘We will try.’”

On who will play left guard on Sunday:

“Don’t want to jinx it, but hopefully it’s Alex (Boone). He practiced today, and he is going to practice tomorrow. Hopefully, we don’t have a Thursday like we had last week, where we had two guys practicing at the end of practice, and they both got re-injured.”

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All-Access with Bruce Arians: Humphries, Nkemdiche not practicing