Arizona Cardinals training camp: All-Access with Bruce Arians
GLENDALE, Ariz. — Head coach Bruce Arians, now in his third year with the Arizona Cardinals, meets the media each day during training camp.
Here, in this space, we’ll highlight many of the key topics and personnel conversations he has with reporters following the morning walk-through.
“It was a good walk-through, good start. There’s no change (regarding injuries). We had a very nice beginning to the day. Anxious to get out there—I’ll be more anxious Monday (when the team will be in pads). I’m anxious to get through this one healthy because of the excitement and everything that’s going on. The fans will be here and we’ll still be in shorts. We’ll get through the next two days and then start playing football.”
The window of opportunity that is before the team…
“You can’t press it like that. You know that the window is there and you know you’re on a damn good football team. That’s the anxiousness, the ‘let’s get going’. This locker room feels like we have a chance, let’s get the job done.”
When does a young guy have the right to challenge or push a veteran?
“The first time he puts pads on. I don’t care where you came from, how you got here, we’re going to play the best ones. Your draft status, the amount of money you make doesn’t mean (expletive) to me.”
How has Calais Campbell established himself as a leader on the defense?
“It was good for him to get to the Pro Bowl last year and be recognized as one of the premier guys in the league. I think it’s helped his confidence. We’ve talked a lot about him not disappearing in some games, whether he’s being double-teamed or not; and also becoming more of a bell-cow leader, a guy that’s out there making all the plays, not doing all the talking. But he’s not a big talker any way. We’ve got such good veteran leadership in that room sometimes he doesn’t have to.”
What do you need to see from fifth-round draft pick Shaq Riddick?
“Just see him out there. He looks good in drills. He’s up to 260 (pounds). He looks very good, so now can he play the position and learn it because it is a big step for him. He did miss quite a bit (of the offseason with a hamstring injury).”
How valuable can a guy like Sean Weatherspoon be?
“He’s been an established leader of a defense. He’s a vocal guy, he’s a fun guy. Larry Foote came in and did that last year for us. Between Larry coaching and Sean playing there’s not a lot of words for anybody else to get in because neither one of them is going to shut the hell up. That part of it, we have a lot of enthusiasm in that room.”
What about the other inside linebacker spot?
“Well, it’s Kevin’s (Minter) job to lose when we’re in base. Now it could be Deone (Bucannon), it could be a bunch of folks and that’s the beauty of finding roles. (Undrafted rookie free agent) Gabe Martin is a young kid I really want to watch. He has shown up a bunch. He had a nice interception the other day. So, kids like that might be able to find a nickel linebacker spot that we don’t have to use a safety. Finding those roles—and for those guys mostly it’s still special teams.”
What’s been your last contact with Damond Powell, who suffered a gunshot wound?
“I texted him right after it happened. Steve (Keim), Michael (Bidwill) texted his mother. He’s lucky to be alive. He’s got a shattered jaw, he’s got a neck brace on where the bullet went through his neck and didn’t hit anything. When he’s cleared then we can possibly talk about bringing him back off that injury list.”
It’s been a couple of days since the hiring of Dr. Jen Welter…
“Everything is great because no one acts like she’s out there right now, so that’s really cool.”