All-Access with Bruce Arians: Day after NFC Championship loss

Jan 25, 2016, 3:52 PM
Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians speaks to the media Monday, Jan. 25, 2016, in Tempe, Ariz...
Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians speaks to the media Monday, Jan. 25, 2016, in Tempe, Ariz. The Cardinals lost to the Carolina Panthers in the NFC Championship football game to end their season. (AP Photo/Matt York)
(AP Photo/Matt York)
LISTEN: Bruce Arians, Cardinals head coach

TEMPE, Ariz. — Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians meets the media the day after every game, often times explaining injury situations as well as anything else he may have seen the day before.

Here in this space, we’ll highlight some of the most notable quotes.

He started with an opening statement:

“Like I said last night, unless the confetti is coming down on you and you’re putting rings on, the season’s not successful. That being said, there were a lot of good things that happened this year – goals that were met, big, big plays, big games. I thought our team grew, dramatically, from last year to this year. Hopefully, we can make that next step next year by learning from this. When I look back at last night’s game, it was like a snowball starts, and you get one chance to stop it, and if it doesn’t happen then and it goes back the other way, it gets bigger. That’s about the way that game got. But my hat’s off to them. They played well. We did not play well. Why? That’s for you all to decide and write about. I’ve got my ideas and that’s about it.”

On his message to the team after last night’s game:

“How proud I was of them for setting out to win our division, get to the Super Bowl. To get that close, I’m very, very proud, because they’re not all coming back. It will be a different team next year. I wish those that aren’t back well on the teams they’re on, and continued success. The young guys who played in the game played extremely well, so a bright future for them. Enjoy this very short offseason and we’ll be back at it soon.”

On the one chance Arizona had to stop the snowball of last night’s game:

“The turnover. The punt fumble and then we get the interception and then throw an interception. That segment of the game, we had our chance to really turn that thing back.”

On Carolina’s drive to start the third quarter that took over seven minutes:

“Just couldn’t get off the field on third down, and they did a good job. We did a good job of getting them in 2nd-and-7s, but then we lost those downs in this game, and that was a big, big part of the game.”

On whether it’s encouraging to have a lot of Arizona’s core players come back next season:

“Oh God. Looking at the team that’s coming back versus where we were this time last year, very few holes to fill. Steve’s (Keim) already off starting to do it and this offseason already has begun.”

On whether it’s difficult to explain last night’s performance by some of Arizona’s veteran players:

“Yeah, because it hasn’t happened before. That’s the unusual part. That’s the part that I’ll drive myself crazy, trying to figure out why.”

On whether he still feels that the window to be successful is now:

“There’s no doubt. When you have guys that are above 10 years in the league at critical positions, your window is very short.”

On what last night’s game did to Carson Palmer as the team moves forward:

“I’m sure he’s as pissed as anybody, and disappointed, and will probably come back as determined as he did from the surgery.”

On what last night’s game did for David Johnson and J.J. Nelson:

“It should give them a ton of confidence. They played extremely well.”

On Palmer’s decision to not play in the Pro Bowl and whether his injured finger impacted him last night:

“No, I don’t think it did. I watched him throw for the last two-and-a-half weeks. It really didn’t. Had we had to play the first round, I think it was affecting him a little bit. It affected him a ton. I should probably not have played him against Seattle and let it heal a bit more. But, that’s the right thing to do; you don’t need to take a chance with it in the Pro Bowl.”

On how quickly he’ll turn the page to the 2016 season:

“It’ll probably take me 48 hours.”

On Steve Keim’s statement that it’s important for Arizona to find a pass rusher this offseason and whether he agrees with him:

“Yeah, we’ll sit down. We talked a little bit on the plane last night coming back about where we think we’ll go. We obviously need some more pressure people. As a football team, there are a number of areas that we want to shore up.”

On the other positions that Arizona needs to shore up:

“Another corner and safety with some length and speed. They’re not easy to find, but that’s something I’d like to look for. I like our offensive line, where it’s at. The young guys on the practice squad, I think, have really good futures. Then, both number one picks, I think, are going to be good players, so I think we’re fine there. Hopefully, we’ll find another David Johnson.”

On how D.J. Humphries progressed this season:

“Oh, he got drastically better. The last half of the season, I’d have had no problems playing him. I wouldn’t tell him that, but I had a ton of confidence in him.”

On the overarching lesson that this team can take away from yesterday:

“Well, win more games so you play at home. That’s the big one. It’s hard to top 15-1, but 14-2, 13-3 – you’ve got a shot to play the game at home. But even if you go on the road, where we played pretty solid all year, unlike last night.”

On whether the team emotionally was ready to play last night:

“Oh God, more than so. We had a great week of practice. I was a little disappointed because we were ready to come out of the locker room and take the field, when we were told there’s a five-minute delay. That didn’t sit very well with me, I’ll tell you that. We were told we would be told plenty of time before the game that there’d be a five-minute delay, not coming out of the door. That didn’t have any effect, but it does emotionally some, when you go back and sit back down, after you’re ready to go out. But I don’t think it had anything to do with the start of the game, other than my blood pressure.”

On whether he agrees with Tyrann Mathieu who said that the team didn’t play with accountability last night:

“I’d agree with him. When you make mistakes, you can use that word. There were some guys that didn’t play their normal games.”

On the five-minute delay being due to the AFC Championship Game:

“Yes.”

On Super Bowl 50:

“I really haven’t given it any thought. Should be a heck of a game.”

On whether he really can move on after a couple of days:

“Yeah. It’s funny because during the season, you’ve got the 24-hour rule. Now, you’ve got a nine-month rule, but you better get over it soon. It will linger, but there were so many good things, so many positive things, that they far outweigh that.”

On whether he feels like the team’s culture has changed:

“I feel great about the culture in our locker room. The guys really care about each other and they are accountable to each other. It shows all the time. That will only get better, because we’ll keep those core guys. That’s not going to change.”

On the key behind changing a team’s culture:

“Accountability, you know? Trust, loyalty, and respect: those three words, they do it all.”

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