Arizona Cardinals training camp: All-Access with Bruce Arians
Aug 4, 2015, 1:49 PM
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.
“Very, very pleased with yesterday’s work; thought it was outstanding, first day in pads. I’d rather say ‘whoa’ than ‘sic ‘em’ and I had to tell a few guys ‘whoa,’ which is nice. Backs on backers was fun, that’s always my favorite drill of camp. We’ll do that again with our nickels and safeties here in a day or two.
“No real news on the injury front. The same guys, hamstring-wise, are the same as today. This is Carson’s (Palmer) scheduled day to take off. Drew’s (Stanton) scheduled day is tomorrow, so there’s no big news story there.”
What’s the point of that, just to get Stanton some first-team reps?
“And to rest their legs. We don’t want to stretch those knees and get them swollen. They’ve got Thursday off so they’ll both get a day off within 48 hours, that’s the plan.”
How much of Patrick Peterson’s problems last year were health-related?
“I think the health-related was the weight issue. He was heavier than he had been and it was hard to control his weight, so yeah, I think it had a lot to do with it, early on.”
What’s the plan for J.J. Nelson to gain weight and keep the weight on?
“Stay fast. He got here at that weight. I’d like to put some weight on him, but stay fast. All Olympic sprinters get bigger up top. They don’t fool with their legs too much, but the more powerful they get — we just got to get him more peanut butter.”
How many receivers do you plan on keeping?
“That will totally depend. We won’t cut a good wide receiver to keep an average player somewhere else on offense. If you’re one of the best 53 guys and they’re six receivers, we’ll keep six.”
Are you starting to come around to liking fullbacks?
“All depends who they are. I loved Billy Jones when I had him at Kansas City, loved Shelley Poole at Temple. Haven’t found one I like or love a lot in a long time because it just changes the game offensively when you play with a fullback versus a tight end who can play fullback.”
It looked like you liked Paul Lasike yesterday…
“Yeah, he’s a running back, though. He’s just built like a fullback.”
It seems like everyone is confident in Andre Ellington to bounce back from last season…
“He’s faster than he’s ever been, and he feels faster than he’s ever been. He’s stronger than he’s ever been. As he said, it’s nice to play with two feet.”
Are you concerned with the number of hamstring injuries so far in camp?
“Not really. It’s kind of average in these days with these two-hour, 45-minute practices. I was angry at the time they happened because they were basically early, after an hour workout. You get pissed when you’re counting on a young kid to get a lot of practice and he’s out.”
Your philosophy on why you don’t stretch as a team before practice?
“You can’t stretch a cold muscle, all right. So they’re in here riding bicycles, they got rubber bands, they got trainers, they got everything. They know their body to start practice. They’re out there running, they’re backpedaling so they’ve worked out and warmed up for at least 20 to 25 minutes. We’re not going to waste 25 minutes on the practice field to stretch somebody that scientifically already figured out it isn’t worth a (expletive). Jumping jacks and touching your toes, that ain’t getting (expletive) done.”
Can you see Alex Okafor being that player who records a lot of sacks?
“I can see him getting double digits. I mean he had eight in 13 games (last season). For him, it’s always been staying healthy. He’s been around the quarterback. He had a real good day yesterday, and I would anticipate for him to grow and grow and grow. He’s a double-digit sack guy, easy.”