All-Access with Bruce Arians: Losing Mathieu, moving forward

Dec 21, 2015, 3:08 PM
Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly, left, and Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians meet...
Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly, left, and Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians meet after an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 20, 2015, in Philadelphia. Arizona won 40-17. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
LISTEN: Bruce Arians, Cardinals head coach

TEMPE, Ariz. — Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians, now in his third year with the team, meets with the media the day after every game.

In this space, we will highlight some of what Arians had to say, and Friday he talked about his team after it routed the Philadelphia Eagles 40-17 Sunday night, giving them their 12th win along with the NFC West title. The celebration was muted, however, as safety Tyrann Mathieu left the field with minutes remaining after suffering an apparent knee injury, the severity of which had not been disclosed before Arians met with reporters.

He started with an opening statement:

“Injury-wise, Tyrann (Mathieu) has a torn ACL. He’ll miss the season. Josh Mauro has a calf. He’ll probably be a week, hopefully. Josh played a heck of a ball game. Very happy for obvious reasons; it’s very bittersweet when you lose a guy like Ty.”

On how Mathieu is reacting to the news:

“He just found out.”

On what type of adjustments Arizona will now make due to Mathieu’s injury:

“Just like we always have. Jerraud (Powers) will move into nickel. We’ll see what roster moves we make, if we make any. Tony (Jefferson) played well. D.J. (Swearinger) played well. Hopefully, we’ll get Rashad (Johnson) back and just keep on moving.”

On what his personal feelings are on Mathieu’s injury:

“He’ll be fine. He’ll bounce back and be ready for next year.”

On why Mathieu is his “favorite”:

“Yeah. We have a little different bond just because of where he came from and where I came from. I’ve just gotten really attached to him. I love the player, but I love the person more.”

On the season that Mathieu has had:

“He’s set goals and he was attaining them. I thought he should be right there with Pat (Peterson) for Defensive Player of the Year. I don’t think there was any doubt that he was having that type of season. It’s a shame with two games left. It’s always a non-contact injury when these things happen.”

On how to recover from the emotional toll of Mathieu’s loss:

“We go to work Wednesday. Nothing’s changed. They’re not going to cancel the game. We’ve been through this many, many times.”

On whether he was with Mathieu when he found out he would be missing the rest of the season:


On whether he’s surprised that it’s a torn ACL because of Mathieu’s reaction after the injury initially occurred:

“He felt very relieved because he was walking fine. He’s still walking fine and it’s just that the MRI says differently.”

On when Mathieu will undergo surgery:

“It will take a couple weeks because it’s going to swell. Then you get the swelling down. As soon as possible, so that we can get him back as fast as possible.”

On whether the good news is that recovery time for ACL injuries is a lot shorter than in years past:

“Oh yeah. Just look at what Carson (Palmer) did, and what other guys have done. I’m sure he’ll attack it with the same passion he did the last time and he’ll be ready to roll.”

On whether this injury is the same knee as in 2013:

“No. Other knee.”

On how disappointing it would be to see a lot of Green Bay fans in the stands this upcoming Sunday:

“There’s going to be. So, get used to it. Hopefully, as our young fan base grows – again, we had a bunch of good fans in Philadelphia. Hundreds of them and it was great to see. But, so many of those tickets belong to brokers, but I know our young fan base isn’t going to sell their tickets.”

On what he saw out of D.J. Swearinger yesterday:

“Nothing different. Just more opportunities. The more opportunities he gets, the better he’s going to be.”

On how strong David Johnson ran yesterday:

“Like I said, nothing he does any more surprises me. It’s expected. He set a nice bar for himself. He still did a good job in pass protection and he’s a heck of a receiver, and we look for those types of plays every week.”

On whether there are challenges or whether it’s a good thing for a player to go from a lesser workload to a greater workload as the season progresses:

“He is fresher at this time of year, having not carried the ball that many times during the season. It’d be great to get Andre (Ellington) back and have all three of those guys. And Steph (Stepfan Taylor) jumped in there and played good, so that’s one room I don’t worry about.”

On whether there’s any concern that Mathieu’s loss as a team leader will affect the team:

“No, because we have so many good leaders. Just in his room alone, you’ve got Pat, Rashad, Jerraud; they’re all more than capable leaders. They’ll take care of him too.”

On how Rashad Johnson is progressing from his injury:

“He should practice this week.”

On whether he expects Andre Ellington to return this week:

“We’re hoping we can get a different shoe on him that’s comfortable.”

On whether there will be increased playing time for D.J. Swearinger:

“Yeah, his role will increase each week. He played extremely well and that’s another bright spot.”

On the offensive line’s performance last night in the run game:

“They blocked pretty well. We had a pretty clean pocket all night, except for a couple plays. But yeah, that was one of our better efforts.”

On Arizona’s defensive adjustments against Philadelphia’s offense in the second half:

“It’s the same story with that offense. They come out hot and you’ve got to match the tempo. Then you see it all and it kind of slows down real fast for you. But, they still hit a big pass where we busted a coverage and gave them an 80-yarder.”

On whether Palmer dislocated a finger on his hand:

“It popped out, but it’s fine.”

On whether he popped the finger back in or did he just tape it up:

“They popped it back in. Taped it up.”

On whether the finger injury could be a problem moving forward:

“No, I don’t think so.”

On whether Palmer performed better than what his stats show:

“That was about a 400-yard game. All we had to do is catch them. Just catch them. I think John (Brown) was pressing. The 1,000-yard thing was in his head. He’ll get it. Just don’t press. Just catch the damn ball.”

On whether he made a concerted effort to get the ball to other players after John Brown’s initial drops:

“No. I ain’t throwing it. That’s Carson’s job. He grabbed him by the neck a couple times, ‘I’m going to keep throwing to you. You can drop them. I’m going to keep throwing them, so start catching them.’”

On what he looks for in the maturity of a running back:

“Just his preparation. We drafted the talent. We knew what the talent was. You never know the maturity of the guy. He’s a very mature guy. Comes to work every day and his preparation is flawless. What he does on the field, athletically, doesn’t surprise me at all.”

On what’s at stake this weekend against Green Bay:

“A bye. That would be huge, to get everybody healthy and not have to play the first week. Probably will see them again, one way or the other, here or there. Or Seattle, here or there; not at their place, but here. So, it’s another big game.”

On whether it impacts him at all, knowing that they might face Green Bay again in a short amount of time:

“No. We’ve had scheduling things in the past where we played the same team two out of three weeks, three or four times.”

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