All-Access with Bruce Arians: Cardinals need to coach themselves

Oct 9, 2017, 2:33 PM | Updated: 3:54 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.

Here was his opening statement after Arizona’s 34-7 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles:

“Alright, after watching the film, it’s not one you want to watch twice. But, there are a lot of things we can learn from, and I think one of the biggest is preparation from Friday to game time, when we go to the East Coast early. We did not go early to Indy and we won. We went to Detroit early, so that extra free time on the road has to be looked as preparation time, not family time and everything else.

“We made errors in the (Eagles) game that we have not made all season. Defensively, we have three penalties, all on third down, all continue to make drives. We have two mental errors that lead to long touchdown passes on third down.

“The first one, we didn’t have a safety in the middle of the field. We’re supposed to have a safety in the middle of the field. Justin (Bethel) gets beat on the post. He’s expecting a safety in the middle. He’s sending him to the middle. The other one, we had an all-out blitz, and two guys run into each other, and one of them should be free. They had no blocker for that guy. So, we don’t execute that blitz, and Budda (Baker) gets picked on for a touchdown.

“Things that are easily correctable, but my concern is why were they made in the first place? That’s the focus today for us. Coach yourself on the tape. Don’t allow a coach to coach you, because he already coached you last week. Coach yourself on the tape, and figure out why you made your mistakes so they don’t happen this week.

“Injury-wise, obviously, ‘Brew’ (Aaron Brewer) will have surgery tomorrow. Olsen Pierre is not as serious as we thought. His is just an ankle sprain. He’ll miss a little time, but at first, we thought it fractured. Everybody else, we’ve got a bunch of bumps and bruises. A couple guys still in the MRI tubes, so we’ll have more to report on injuries on Wednesday.”

On if LS Aaron Brewer will be placed on injured reserve:


On if the team will change how it travels or if he’ll address the topic of free time with the team:

“It just has to be a personal thing, what you’re doing, because physically, we can’t travel on Saturday and wake up at 4 o’clock in the morning our time to play a game.”

On the lack of big plays and the number of big plays the team needs to have every week:

“No, there was only one game where we met our explosives. We had some to make, we just didn’t make them. We either can’t protect long enough or don’t make the throw. Right before half, Jaron (Brown) is five yards behind the guy. Carson (Palmer) slides and doesn’t get enough on it. It’s 21-14. Those are plays we’ve made in the past. They’re on tape to make; we’re just not making them right now.”

On if there are common issues with the team’s punt coverage:

“Four missed tackles. You’ve got four guys over there that miss tackles. You don’t have that many guys, so if four of you miss him, he’s going to go pretty far. ‘Brit’ (Brittan Golden) made a great job of running him down and saved the touchdown.”

On if T D.J. Humphries and G Alex Boone will return this week:

“Hopefully. We’ll see, but it looks that they’re going to have a chance.”

On if the Cardinals have an offensive lineman who is playing well right now:

“A.Q. (Shipley) has been pretty solid, and that’s a pretty easy game for him. He didn’t have anybody on him most of the game, but he’s been grading pretty solid. Earl (Watford) didn’t play that bad. He had the one pressure, or one sack, but for just coming off the street, he didn’t play that bad. (John) Wetzel’s been Wetzel – just plugs along and does a pretty decent job. The right side’s been struggling.”

On if T/G John Wetzel is a better guard than tackle:

“No, he’s a better tackle.”

On if the team is still evaluating T Jared Veldheer’s and DL Corey Peters’ injuries:

“Yeah, they feel like they can do something this week. Neither one are as sore as we thought they’d be.”

On if the team can still generate big plays when QB Carson Palmer doesn’t have much time to throw:

“No. No. Larry (Fitzgerald) almost popped a screen. Andre (Ellington) almost popped a screen. We have guys, if we can get them in space, can get us 15 or 20. But, to get over the top of a defense, you have to protect for at least three (seconds).”

On if that changes the Cardinals’ offense drastically:

“Oh yeah.”

On if he has any regrets about the defensive call on the 3rd-and-19 completion by Eagles QB Carson Wentz:

“No, because I made it. I don’t regret any calls I make. I don’t regret any calls I make, and I made that one. It should have been an easy sack.”

On if the score during a particular situation affects the play-calling and what the team is trying to do:

“Trying to create a little more field position. We had a 3rd-and-long. They broke a draw for about 16, and it flopped the field position. So, I wanted us in an attack mode.”

On if he knows who the team’s long snapper will be this week:

“No. We’re working out about five guys today.”

On how difficult it is to bring a guy off the street to play that position:

“It’s different for both the punter and the kicker. Josh (Mauro) jumped in there. Andy Lee did a remarkable job with just getting balls out of there and putting them in positions where they fair caught them. Hats off to Andy. Then, Phil (Dawson) just took a little too long. It was actually a decent snap by Evan (Boehm) for the field goal. He just took too long.”

On how he would diagnose what’s holding the running game back:

“A combination of missed blocks and poor running. The few that we’ve made, everybody was on the same page. We practiced a play last week five times, only one direction, and we busted it twice. That baffles me.”

On the positive impact of a restored running treat:

“It’s not that we were trying to do too much last week. It was just that they have a very good defense, and if you’re on the edge at all, you’re going to lose.”

On if he would be less concerned about flopping field position and being as aggressive on defense if the offense was clicking as it normally does:

“A little bit of both. A little bit of both. I did not want us to get into a preventive situation.”

On if he needs the defense to carry the team until the offense comes around:

“I think they both need to do a better job of carrying each other – all three phases. They’re capable of it, both sides.”

On the Vice President leaving the Colts-49ers game after the national anthem and if the Cardinals have a policy regarding protests or demonstrations:

“We don’t have any policy.”

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