GLENDALE, Ariz. — Head coach Bruce Arians, now in his fourth 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.
“On the injury front — scheduled veteran’s day off today are Chris Johnson and Drew Stanton. We’ll take Evan Mathis and give him one also. He really didn’t get injured yesterday. He just, the got fatigued from where he had surgery.
“John Brown is in the (concussion) protocol, when he hit his head on the ground yesterday, so we’re being careful with him, putting him in the protocol. Other than that, the same guys and the same time frame as far as return. But, that’s the injury report from yesterday.
“Really pleased with the way the practice went. I thought it was good ebb-and-flow. Different sides of the ball winning different drills. Like always, we have to get our pad-level down. This is the time of year you have all those bad habits from playing in shorts, and you got to break them and get back to playing football, especially on both lines of scrimmage. Nothing to report, good, bad or ugly. I thought was a hell of a practice; see if we can stack two together and start practicing like a championship team.”
What is the update on Mike Jenkins?
“His operation is this afternoon. It should mesh within two-to-three weeks and then he can play with a cast on.”
What do you look for when the pads come on?
“Who’s physical and who’s not. It shows up real fast. Guys who look like All-Americans in shorts fade away. The guys who look like (expletive) in shorts, they’re football players. They show up.”
How much of that physicality did you see in the first padded practice?
“Very, very good; very good. Chandler (Jones) made a great play on Evan when he pulling and that was when his ankle was obviously not firing for him. I don’t think he’s been knocked like that before very often. He didn’t like it all. Like I said, I don’t think that’s happened to him very many times in his career. That’s how we practice. It’s full speed. If he does pull up, we’re going to gash him for a run and everyone is going to be pissed at him.”
Chris Johnson said he feels a lot faster because he’s had a full offseason to work, do you see that?
“Oh yeah, he hit that sideline and just bolted down the sideline. Last year, he had no offseason work with the wound (gunshot to the shoulder) and then got here and had a little bit of a hamstring (injury) right away. So, yeah, he’s had a full offseason of training, and he knows our system inside-and-out now so he’s playing a lot faster.”
How is the competition along the defensive line?
“That’s where the big competition is. Whether we keep eight, nine or ten linemen will depend on how the perform versus a fourth tight end, a fifth running back or sixth wide receiver. This is by far the deepest defensive line group I’ve ever had. Our second is a solid starting unit and our thirds ain’t bad. It’s hellacious competition in that room.”
Everyone has been impressed with Brandon Williams, anything you’d like to see him improve on?
“Just consistency and turning and playing the ball a little bit better. He’s getting his hands on a lot of balls. I’d like to see him start intercepting some balls.”
What would it mean if the offense scored 500 points this season?
“We’d be pretty damn good. Hopefully, we hold them to like 200 and score 500. I don’t set goals like that. If we score 300 and we go 15-1, I’ll be happy as hell.”
How important is the character in the locker room?
“To me, that’s the most important thing. It’s as much about your ability as it is fitting in our culture and wanting to practice; doing all the things it takes to be a team player and not an individual. I think that’s the biggest thing that came out of ‘All Or Nothing’.”
Catch any of your players playing PokemonGo?
“I don’t even know what the hell that is.”
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