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Gabbert Gabs: QB ‘focusing on the little things’ with Titans on deck

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Blaine Gabbert (7) warms up prior to an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams, Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

TEMPE, Ariz. — Cardinals quarterback Blaine Gabbert is coming off his third and most challenging start for Arizona against the Los Angeles Rams. Now, it’s on to the Tennessee Titans.

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.

On what he sees from the Titans defense:

“I know they’re a good, quality team. I think their front seven gets that defense going. Jurrell Casey upfront, he’s a big-time player, and he’s been really talented for a long time. They’ve got some good edge rushers in Derrick Morgan and Brian Orakpo – just a quality, well-coached team. We’ve seen quite a few of those the last couple weeks, but just watching their film, we’re going to go after them and attack them but just focus on the things we can control, picking up on some of Coach (Dick) LeBeau’s pressures and getting some good running lanes for our backs.”

On the impact that Titans head coach Mike Mularkey had on his career in Jacksonville during the 2012 season:

“What kind of impact Coach Mularkey had? I think I was on IR that year. So, I think I only played eight games for him. So, I don’t know.”

On if it’s hard to keep track of all the head coaches he has played for:

“No. I can remember them all.”

On if he was trying to get the ball to WR Larry Fitzgerald at the end of the Rams game last Sunday:

“We were just running our two-minute drill, and he’s got just a good knack of finding zones, knowing when to get his head around, catch the ball, get in north and south. It was just one of those situations I was just going to feed him until he didn’t want it anymore. I think he got a record for most catches against a certain team, which is cool, but at that point, it was just a little too late. But, just having a guy like him to rely on, and in those situations where they know we’re throwing it, the D-line knows we’re throwing it, and just having him be able to get open, find zones and get yards.”

On the season Fitzgerald is putting together at his age:

“It’s unbelievable to watch, just the way he takes care of himself, the way he prepares, the way he asks questions in meetings like he’s a young guy still. Just the way he approaches work each and every day is really a great thing for the younger guys to see. If they can see a first ballot Hall of Famer, a guy who’s been doing it at the highest level for that extended period of time, he’s just such a great example each and every day.”

On if his previous games against the Titans help him prepare or if it has been too long to rely on familiarity:

“We’re so far removed. I haven’t played them in five years, four years, and a new coaching staff, new personnel. You really can’t rely on past experiences. Maybe if they were in our division, you play them twice a year, you can go back to previous games, but this league is such a year-to-year thing. Personnel change. Schemes change. There’s so much turnover in a coaching staff, you really just have to take it each and every week, look at their breakdowns and see their tendencies that way.”

On what it’s like to throw to Fitzgerald:

“He’s great. Like I was alluding to, in that two-minute drill, he just has a knack for finding zones and getting open. But, just to see him still be able to beat man coverage on a consistent basis, he’s one of those guys, when the ball’s in the air, he’s going to come down with it. So, just that comfort level, being able to throw him one-on-one matchups, really just a nice, trustworthy guy to have in the middle of the field.”

On what he’s been working on this week to improve:

“Just focusing on the little things. I think early on in the week, just mastering the game plan. The faster you can learn it, the faster you can pick things up, the more it’ll carry over to Sunday. So, just really getting out here on Wednesday, getting the soreness out for everybody, getting our feet back underneath ourselves and just really mastering the film work pre-practice and post-practice, so it carries over throughout the week.”

On if it’s different to have RB Kerwynn Williams in the backfield as opposed to RB Adrian Peterson:

“All those guys are doing a tremendous job. Kerwynn came in last week, dinged up, and he ran his tail off. To be able to do that with what he had going on – rushing for darn near a hundred yards, taking some big shots, getting into the secondary, making some moves on guys – it was great to see. The great thing about our backs is that everybody brings kind of a different flavor to the game. Having (Elijhaa) Penny, D.J. Foster, Kerwynn, A.D. (Peterson), all those guys are all great running backs in their own right.”

On what it might be like to work with RB David Johnson:

“Yeah, I hear he’s pretty good. Just seeing Dave really throughout the summer and training camp, doing what he’s capable of, he’s a special back. It was unfortunate the way things happened Week 1, but that’s just the nature of the game we play.”

On how much his command of the offense has improved with more playing time:

“The more reps, the better. That’s just doing our base stuff. You’re just speaking the verbiage. You’re the guy calling a play. You’re getting 60 reps at practice. Just the more reps you can get, like anything, the better and more comfortable you’re going to be. Really, just getting the reps in the game, I’m just trying to see consistent improvement week-in and week-out. There are going to be some bumps in the road and mistakes along the way, but just each and every week try and to do your best to eliminate making the same mistake twice.”

On when he will start thinking about the future and what he’d like to do next season:

“I’m just worried about what time my next meeting is. I think it’s at 2:15. So, the future will be when the future is, but I’m just taking it day by day right now.”

On the degree of difficulty to play with injured ribs, as Williams did on Sunday:

“It’s just like anything. Everybody’s banged up this time of year. It’s just kind of mind over matter. When the adrenaline’s flowing, you’re in the rhythm of the game, I wouldn’t necessarily say you’re thinking about it, but you can feel them, no question. I would definitely say Mondays and Tuesdays for him are going to be a little sore, but Kerwynn’s a guy that stays on top of his rehab. I’m not going to talk about injuries, but he practices each and every day. Just the way he does that, regardless of what’s going on, he’ll be out there.”

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