Arizona Cardinals training camp: All-Access with Bruce Arians

Aug 1, 2015, 1:22 PM | Updated: 8:25 pm
Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians. His team went 11-5 last season, earning a playoff berth ...
Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians. His team went 11-5 last season, earning a playoff berth for the first time since 2010. (AP Photo/Matt York)
(AP Photo/Matt York)

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.”

Receiver Larry Fitzgerald leaps to make a catch during training camp Aug. 1, 2015 (Photo by Adam Green/Arizona Sports) Quarterback Carson Palmer and receiver Larry Fitzgerald during training camp Aug. 1, 2015 (Photo by Adam Green/Arizona Sports) Right tackle Bobby Massie blocks linebacker Lorenzo Alexander during training camp Aug. 1, 2015 (Photo by Adam Green/Arizona Sports) Receiver J.J. Nelson leaps to make a catch during training camp Aug. 1, 2015 (Photo by Adam Green/Arizona Sports) Cornerback Justin Bethel tries to keep pace with receiver John Brown during training camp Aug. 1, 2015 (Photo by Adam Green/Arizona Sports) Receiver John Brown comes down with a catch as cornerback Patrick Peterson trails during training camp Aug. 1, 2015 (Photo by Adam Green/Arizona Sports) Quarterback Carson Palmer drops back to pass during training camp Aug. 1, 2015 (Photo by Adam Green/Arizona Sports) Safety Tyrann Mathieu steps in front of receiver John Brown to intercept a pass during training camp Aug. 1, 2015 (Photo by Adam Green/Arizona Sports) Receiver Jon Brown makes a catch during training camp Aug. 1, 2015 (Photo by Adam Green/Arizona Sports) Members of the Arizona Cardinals defense wait for the play during training camp Aug. 1, 2015 (Photo by Adam Green/Arizona Sports) Receiver Larry Fitzgerald during training camp Aug. 1, 2015 (Photo by Adam Green/Arizona Sports) Receiver Michael Floyd makes a tocuhdown catch during training camp Aug. 1, 2015 (Photo by Adam Green/Arizona Sports) Left tackle Jared Veldheer blocks linebacker Alex Okafor during training camp Aug. 1, 2015 (Photo by Adam Green/Arizona Sports) Defensive lineman Frostee Rucker goes through a drill during training camp Aug. 1, 2015 (Photo by Adam Green/Arizona Sports) Running back Andre Elilngton steps up to block for QB Carson Palmer during training camp Aug. 1, 2015 (Photo by Adam Green/Arizona Sports) Quarterback Logan Thomas drops back to pass during training camp Aug. 1, 2015 (Photo by Adam Green/Arizona Sports) Quarterback Carson Palmer goes through a drill during training camp Aug. 1, 2015 (Photo by Adam Green/Arizona Sports) QB Logan Thomas leads a huddle during training camp Aug. 1, 2015 (Photo by Adam Green/Arizona Sports) Quarterback Carson Palmer throws during training camp Aug. 1, 2015 (Photo by Adam Green/Arizona Sports) Linebacker Daryl Sharpton during training camp Aug. 1, 2015 (Photo by Adam Green/Arizona Sports) Tight end Ifeanyi Momah during training camp Aug. 1, 2015 (Photo by Adam Green/Arizona Sports) Quarterback Carson Palmer during training camp Aug. 1, 2015 (Photo by Adam Green/Arizona Sports) Cornerback Patrick Peterson goes through a drill during training camp Aug. 1, 2015 (Photo by Adam Green/Arizona Sports) Rookie linebacker Shaq Riddick takes the field during training camp Aug. 1, 2015 (Photo by Adam Green/Arizona Sports) Linebacker Sean Weatherspoon stretches during training camp Aug. 1, 2015 (Photo by Adam Green/Arizona Sports) Head coach Bruce Arians gestures to fans during training camp Aug. 1, 2015 (Photo by Adam Green/Arizona Sports) Rookie D.J. Humphries walks onto the field during training camp Aug. 1, 2015 (Photo by Adam Green/Arizona Sports) Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill signs autographs during training camp Aug. 1, 2015 (Photo by Adam Green/Arizona Sports)

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