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All-Access with Bruce Arians: Cards’ blocked FGs by Rams were illegal

(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:

“Not practicing: John Brown, Rudy Ford, Corey Peters, Adrian Peterson, Jared Veldheer. Then non-injuries are (Karlos) Dansby, (Larry) Fitzgerald and (Frostee) Rucker. Again, a good start to the week. Really big, physical challenge, especially defensively, against one of the best power-running games in the league and a very mobile quarterback. Put those two together, and it’s a pretty good combination.

Really see the growth in Marcus (Mariota), especially in the passing game, especially in the red zone. (Reporter: “I was going to ask about that, about his development from that system he came out of in college.”) Yeah, he’s in a great system for him, and he’s developing extremely well. His running ability is a huge threat down there, also. Defensively, Coach (Dick) LeBeau is one of the best coaches there is, and they’re playing a lot more man-to-man, but they’re going to pressure you for sure. It should be a heck of a ballgame.”

On T Jared Veldheer’s injury:

“Jared has an elbow (injury).”

On Veldheer’s status:

“Day-to-day.”

On who will replace Veldheer if he can’t play:

“Will Holden.”

On if G/T Will Holden will sub for Veldheer at left tackle or move to right tackle:

“No, he’ll stay left.”

On if he is encouraged by RB Adrian Peterson’s progress health-wise:

“It’s really just time, the doctors and time.”

On the diagnosis of Peterson’s neck injury:

“It’s a neck injury. That’s all I can … I don’t know.”

On how RB Kerwynn Williams is feeling after his workload on Sunday:

“Kerwynn’s fine. He practiced full today. Kerwynn’s like the Energizer Bunny; he never slows down.”

On if LS Aaron Brewer was able to start practicing:

“Aaron’s clock started today, yeah.”

On if Brewer could conceivably play against Washington:

“He could play this week.”

On Brewer’s wrist and how his snaps looked:

“They look good. They looked fine today. The big thing is just taking contact, starting out again.”

On his comments to Sirius Radio regarding the legality of certain plays from the Rams game:

“No, after I talked to the league, no, they’re not. They should have all been penalized, and even ones that weren’t blocked should have been penalized. It was very disappointing, and when I talked to the league officials, especially when I saw the Kansas City-Jets game, the exact same play was penalized. And it’s just the consistency throughout the league.”

On if penalties should have been called for contact after LS Justin Drescher was on the ground:

“He was still defenseless when he was hit in all three instances.”

On the example that Mariota provides to other quarterbacks who played the spread offense in college:

“I think he gives a lot of those guys a chance. Again, you have to be put in the right system. He was an excellent passer coming out. He wasn’t just an athlete; he was an excellent passer. Getting a running game around a guy –when you talk about Carson Wentz and you talk about Jared Goff and Marcus – when you have that running game, it’s a whole lot easier to bring those guys along.”

On if WR Larry Fitzgerald’s numbers would be down because other receivers would have more receptions if the offense had performed the way he envision at the start of the season:

“I don’t know. When David (Johnson) was full-go, Larry still caught 90 to 100 balls. The big chunk out of the offense is David’s receptions. Obviously, his running, but his receptions are huge.”

On if a healthy WR John Brown could impact Fitzgerald’s receiving yards:

“Yeah, take John Brown’s thousand (yards) out from two years ago, but it’s been two years.”

On if LB Josh Bynes has embodied the team’s next-man-up mentality:

“Yes, he has. I can’t say enough about him right now. He’s one of our best leaders out there running the defense. Good communication, he’s gotten better and better at it. Really, really pleased with him.”

On $LB Deone Bucannon’s progress:

“Deone practiced full today. He looked fine.”

On what he’d like to see from the rest of the receiving corps over the last month of the season:

“Some consistency. Some big plays and some consistency.”

On some receivers flashing:

“Yeah, we’ll make a great catch, and we’ll drop an easy one – getting open consistently, especially on third down.”

On his overall impression of special teams at this point in the season:

“Other than last week, I thought we’ve been solid most of the season. Our punt returns were up. Kickoff returns were hit or miss, but no, I think we’ve been fine, other than the blocked extra points and field goal, which were illegal.”

On which wide receiver has been most consistent other than Fitzgerald:

“Jaron Brown has been really consistent all season. Other than that, J.J.’s (Nelson) up and down. I haven’t seen Smoke (John Brown) in so long. Chad Williams is making a nice push. He’s really starting to move. He’s practicing well, and it should show up in games.”

On Nelson finding consistency the first month of the season:

“Yeah, J.J. was having a really good year, and the knee started bothering him a little bit. But then, just dropped some easy … He made some great catches. The catch on the pass interference, that’s what we ask of him. He’s capable of that. And then, drop a hitch. You just can’t do that.”

On if he will find a way to keep Bynes on the field if Bucannon can play:

“Josh will be on the field. Yeah, he’ll be out there, and we’ll see how it goes. He’s played well enough to make sure he’s getting snaps.”

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