ARIZONA CARDINALS

Pugh: Cardinals must remain ‘hungry’ following 4-0 start to 2021

Oct 7, 2021, 3:27 PM | Updated: Oct 8, 2021, 12:03 pm
Justin Pugh #67 of the Arizona Cardinals at SoFi Stadium on October 03, 2021 in Inglewood, Californ...
Justin Pugh #67 of the Arizona Cardinals at SoFi Stadium on October 03, 2021 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

TEMPE — If the NFL season miraculously ended after four weeks, the Arizona Cardinals would be sitting pretty with a first-round bye in the postseason.

But this is reality, where the NFL season is even longer now. An undefeated start to the season is nice, but with 13 games left on the docket, starting with divisional foe San Francisco, there’s still a whole lot of meat left on the bone.

“Obviously, starting out 5-0 would be amazing but … it isn’t how you start at all,” offensive lineman Justin Pugh said Thursday. “We gotta keep going into these games hungry. It’s a mentality, it’s how we practice, it’s how we train, it’s how we meet in the meeting rooms. That is what makes a team 5-0.

“We’ve had close calls, we could easy be sitting here at 3-1 and not be looking at that so it’s the mentality of how we’re gonna go into every practice, every meeting, everything we do with the mentality that we’re gonna win that day and it’s gonna carry over.”

Similarly to this year, the Cardinals had a hot start to 2020, beginning 5-2 and shaping up to be contenders in the NFC West. The next nine games weren’t all that fruitful, though, with the team going 3-6 and missing out on the playoffs by a game.

So until the Cardinals right the wrong of the second half of last season, all the hype and national attention means little to Arizona’s locker room.

“I could hit you with a cliche that this year feels different, the players are closer, all those things that you wanna hear but we gotta prove it,” Pugh said. “We can say all we want, we gotta go out there and still prove it. I’ve been on teams that started out hot and don’t make the playoffs, like we did last year. We had the No. 1 offense in the NFL and then all of a sudden we don’t finish the year the right way.

“We’ve learned from that, hopefully we’ve learned from that, and we gotta go out there and continue to prove it,” Pugh said. “Until we prove everyone wrong, we’re still that same team. We gotta go out there and prove it to ourselves and I think last week was a step in the right direction.”

Comments

Comment guidelines: No name-calling, personal attacks, profanity, or insults. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate comments by reporting abuse.
comments powered by Disqus

Arizona Cardinals

Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Charvarius Ward (35) intercepts a pass intended for Pittsburgh Steele...
Arizona Sports

PFF: Arizona Cardinals should target CB Charvarius Ward in free agency

Kansas City Chiefs CB Charvarius Ward is a name the Cardinals should consider looking at in free agency, according to one PFF analyst.
15 hours ago
Los Angeles Rams defensive end Aaron Donald (99) celebrates during the first half of an NFL wild-ca...
Wills Rice

Report: Rams’ Aaron Donald fined for run-in with Cardinals’ D.J. Humphries

Report: Rams DT Aaron Donald has been fined $10,815 for his incident with Cardinals OT D.J. Humphries in Monday's Wild Card loss.
15 hours ago
Iowa offensive lineman Tyler Linderbaum (65) looks to make a block during the first half of an NCAA...
Alex Weiner

Cardinals select Iowa C Tyler Linderbaum in latest PFF mock draft

Pro Football Focus had the Arizona Cardinals selecting Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum in its first mock draft since Arizona's season ended.
15 hours ago
Kelvin Beachum #68 of the Arizona Cardinals leads teammates onto the field before the NFL game agai...
Alex Weiner

Arizona Cardinals positions of need: Offensive line breakdown

Right guard Max Garcia is the only Arizona Cardinals starting offensive linemen who is an upcoming free agent.
3 days ago
Linebacker Karlos Dansby #58 of the Arizona Cardinals claps in the second half against the St. Loui...
Arizona Sports

Former Cardinals LB Karlos Dansby: Moment was too big for them

Former Cardinals linebacker Karlos Dansby said Arizona was not able to slow the game down when it started to slip in Monday's playoff loss. 
3 days ago
Arizona Cardinals outside linebacker Chandler Jones (55) and Arizona Cardinals outside linebacker J...
Wills Rice

Arizona Cardinals positions of need: A look at linebacker

The Cardinals have used their last two first round draft selections on linebackers, yet the position still seems to be one of need.
3 days ago
Pugh: Cardinals must remain ‘hungry’ following 4-0 start to 2021