All-Access with Bruce Arians: Sense of urgency ‘extreme’ for Cardinals
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.
“Ok, the only person not traveling will be Daniel Munyer. He’ll be out for the game. Everybody else is ready to go. We got some gametime decisions, obviously. We’ll have six healthy scratches, and we’ll make those decisions on Sunday.
“I thought it was a really, really excellent week of practice and preparation. Like the road games we’ve had, from now until Sunday, we need to keep preparing and get better. We have struggled in that area on road games, and this is a big road game for us.”
Will you change anything to fix those issues before road games?
“No, those are individual things. We can’t meet anymore than the meetings we have. It’s an individual thing of preparation.”
With Brittan Golden and Chad Williams on the injury report, any concerns with wide receiver depth?
“No. They’ll both be gametime decisions. And (Ifeanyi Momah) always plays wide receiver, too.”
Any chances in the lineup on defense?
“No. Everybody is standing pat and I really like the packages that we have in.”
How much do you practice punching the ball out defensively?
“We practice it a lot but not to the extent some teams do, but we work on it. We knocked a few this week. Knocking them out, we’ve been getting some of those. We just got to get them on the ground when they’re down there and catch the balls they throw to us. We’ve dropped a couple of interceptions.”
What’s the sense of urgency going into this week’s game?
“Oh, extreme. It’s extreme. It’s a big, big game.”
Are there things that have hurt you when you’ve had 1st-and-goal? The percentage of touchdowns there aren’t great.
“Running the ball. Especially early in the season, we had some scenarios where we didn’t like our goal line versus their goal line and then so you’re putting packages in against stacked runs. We’ve missed some throws from the two, missed some throws from the one that were open. Those were plays we made last year.”
Where do you feel like Robert Nkemdiche is at right now?
“Oh, he’s getting better and better. He had a great week of practice. He was disruptive in the game—he’s been pretty solid for a month.”
Is he a big key on the defensive line to create more pressure on the quarterback?
“He can do it, yeah. Frostee (Rucker). Cory (Peters) does a good job. Xavier (Williams) has been—Olsen (Pierre) was hurt but O.P. was having a pretty good pass rush there for awhile.”
How bad was Karlos Dansby’s finger?
“It kept popping out. It was dislocated but it wouldn’t stay in. Getting a splint on it was the hardest part to play with a splint and then tackle.”
Considering all the injuries you’ve had, how important is it to get to .500 this week?
“It’s extremely important. You cannot fall any further behind in our division. Division road wins are huge so this is a big, big game. I don’t think there’s ever a must game but this is pretty close.”
How critical is it to have Andre Ellington back on the field?
“Andre brings explosiveness. Kerwynn (Williams) did a nice job when he had his opportunity the other night on a pass, but ‘Dre is more of a threat, and I think of more throwing the ball to him when he’s out there.”