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.
“It was a very good practice. Offensively, I thought we took a little while to wake up. Defensively, we were ready to roll when the practice horn sounded. Special teams were good. The only injury was Jermaine Gresham’s back tightened up a little bit from the game. It’s nothing serious, so we gave him a day off. We’ll give Larry (Fitzgerald) and Carson (Palmer) a day off tomorrow. Other than that, pleased with the progress the young players are making. I think the veteran players are right were they need to be. We’ll get another good practice in (Monday) and head to San Diego.”
Anything stick out on film after Friday night’s preseason game against Oakland?
“Nothing poor. A lot of technique work that needs to be cleaned up with some young players but the effort was really good and we need to tackle better.”
Once cleared is it still your plan to see how John Brown handles punts?
“John is going to get some looks there. J.J. (Nelson) is going to continue doing it and hopefully wrap the ball up.”
How was practicing outdoors?
“It felt more like training camp. We got great weather. There was a nice breeze all day so it wasn’t bad at all.”
What do you hope to gain from the joint practices with San Diego?
“Really good work against them. Mike (McCoy) and I have talked a bunch of times about wanting to do it together. Guys are tired of hitting on each other, and just having two good practices against somebody else, looking at different schemes, different players, watch your young players grow in a different environment, put them on a different schedule—it’s a morning, afternoon, night practices so it’s a good change of pace for us.”
Do you have to warn them about making sure things don’t get too heated?
“No, when we get there, we’re all on the same team.”
After watching the tape, how do you think Troy Niklas performed?
“I thought Troy had a heck of a game. He put together a great week of practice and it showed up in the game. He continues to press those other two guys for the starting job.”
Your perspective on Matt Barkley’s play change any after watching the film?
“Still a yo-yo. It was worse today than it was in the game. He had a baby yesterday, so I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt.”
What did you see from the two long snappers, Kameron Canaday and Daniel Dillon?
“I thought they both did really well. They’re both progressing nicely. It’s going to be a heck of a battle. It’s crazy, they’re best friends and they room together, but they’re fighting it out. I feel very comfortable one of them—Mike Leach came back this week and has been working with them a little bit to help their technique. To have him there, coaches tell you something but when a guy has done it for 16 years they listen a little bit better.”
Palmer called the preseason opener a tease to what this offense can do, are you anxious to see as well?
“Not for about three more weeks. I’m pretty sure I know what they can do. It’s just a matter of getting them all there to that first game.”
Any concern that the first-team offense wasn’t able to score a touchdown on that first drive?
“No, just threw one screen pass and the tight end got held getting out to block but other than that it was really good.”
Did Drew Stanton just have a bad day?
“A couple of bad balls, yeah. He rushed the one to Troy in the end zone and just made a bad decision trying to force one into Jaron (Brown) because he and Jaron make every play out here in practice. You get into bad habits sometimes.”
How are your injured players progressing, specifically Justin Bethel, Tyrann Mathieu and Frostee Rucker?
“We potentially could bring them back off PUP but not to practice, to be able to walk-though and start getting mental reps. That possibly could happen this week.”
How is Robert Nkemdiche doing?
“He’s getting better. He got a hard workout today. He’s pretty sore. He should be ready soon.”
What is the plan for your starters in the second preseason game?
“Stretch them a little bit longer. Maximum 15-16 plays. D.J. (Humphries) and Brandon (Williams) will play the whole first quarter. By the end of it all you’d like to have roughly 50 plays run by your starters in the preseason. People talk about cutting preseason games, they don’t even play one so it’s not like they’re playing all four. You’re getting a look at your younger players and building your roster so that fourth game is necessary.”
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