Arizona Cardinals training camp: All-Access with Bruce Arians

Aug 20, 2015, 3:03 PM
Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians instructs his players during an NFL football training cam...
Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians instructs his players during an NFL football training camp practice Monday, Aug. 3, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

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.

First though, Arians updated the injury list and announced defensive tackle Corey Peters tore his Achilles at practice on Wednesday and will be lost for the season.  Left guard Mike Iupati needs knee surgery and will be sidelined anywhere from three-to-eight weeks.

Players who will not practice today, the final one before the preseason game against San Diego, include Frostee Rucker (calf), Jonte Green (hamstring), Shaq Riddick (hamstring), Sean Weatherspoon (hamstring), Rob Crisp (knee) and Michael Floyd (hand).

“Other than those two new guys everybody is getting healthy and ready for the ballgame.  Look forward to it.  San Diego will be a heck of a good challenge for us.  Unlike previous years, we would normally have a training-camp practice today, but we’ve gone pretty hard.  I really like where we’re at, so we’ll go in shells and work on San Diego a little bit.”

How is the battle for the starting right tackle position looking

“Bradley (Sowell) is a pro, he shows up every day.  D.J. (Humphries) is a rookie, he shows up once every week.”

Do you still have to get on Humphries

“He needs to start getting on himself.”

Where does Earl Watford fit in the offensive line

“He’s battling for a number of different spots.  He’ll fight for that left guard spot with Ted (Larsen) because he’s had such a good camp and he’s also still in the fight for the right guard/right tackle.”

What do you like from Justin Bethel this camp

“I see a nice move forward in confidence.  He’s obviously got great confidence in special teams, playing every year in the Pro Bowl, but as a corner, (his) recognition of routes, press coverage, he’s got a lot more confidence and been very, very steady.”

Do you expect it to take awhile for Bethel to learn the position

“Oh yeah.  You’re going to get burned, all right.  Can you bounce back the next play, that’s the whole thing about playing corner is having an eraser.  You just got to forget the last one and go to the next one because you’re going to get beat sometimes and there’s going to be perfect throws.  Justin gets hammered by some perfect throws with great coverage.  You got to shake that (expletive) off and keep on going and that’s very hard for a young guy.”

How do you feel about your running backs in terms of pass protecting

“Oh, really good.  They’ve handled the blitz pickups really well in one-on-one drills.  Some of them still, when we have multiple blitzes get their eyes in the wrong places and it gets them slow to reacting.”

What do you tell the ‘Birdgang’ when it comes to Daryl Washington and updating his situation

“Ask Daryl.  I’m not allowed to talk to Daryl and the league hasn’t notified me of anything, so I would ask the ‘Birdgang’ to please call Daryl.”

How much has Markus Golden improved in training camp

“Markus’ motor is fantastic, that’s one thing you love about him.  It’s getting in the right gap, staying in the right gap and containing the quarterback when you have to contain and not try to beat the guy back underneath just because you want to go get a sack.  All those little things, when you do have to drop in the flat, you better be in the flat and not down the seam, like he turned the back loose the other day.”

Is J.J. Nelson ahead of where John Brown was at this time

“Yeah, I think mainly because ‘Smoke’ has taught him a lot and took him under his wing.  He’s a totally different player from what he was in OTAs.  (In) OTAs he was very unconfident, unsure, now he’s very confident.  Going against (Patrick Peterson), and if you beat (Peterson) a couple of times, you should get a little confidence because it ain’t going to get much tougher than that and (Peterson) doesn’t slack off.  He takes that very, very seriously.  That’s great competition for him.”

What kind of strides has Darren Fells taken compared to last season

“It’s like running a 4.8 to a 4.5.  He’s really progressing.  Confidence-wise, he played well, he had success, so he was a totally different guy just walking on the field in OTAs.  You could see it in his stride and he’s playing very confidently now.”

What’s it like to be with one of only two original franchises in the NFL

“It’s huge.  I love the history of the game and I love when Michael (Bidwill)—we have this great video out now of the Cardinals and hearing the history, talking about his grandfather loaning the money to George Halas and all that stuff.  I dig that stuff, so I’m very, very proud to be a part of the Cardinals.”

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Arizona Cardinals training camp: All-Access with Bruce Arians