The past couple of years, the Cardinals have followed up their final Thursday preseason game with some time off as the team transitioned from the bigger training camp roster to the regular season. After a Friday morning meeting, players would be off through Labor Day, returning on Tuesday — the normal off day during the regular season.
The thought process for coach Bruce Arians was simply that it was better to learn four days in a row heading into the first regular-season weekend. And it gave the holiday weekend for family. But the Cardinals had a handful of veterans come to Arians and ask to have the “bonus” practice day Monday this year, make Tuesday the day off, and treat the first week of the regular season like other weeks.
Arians agreed, especially after a “bunch of sports science stuff” showed that, from a physical standpoint, it’s less than ideal to practice four days in a row. Part of Friday’s team meeting, however, was a important reminder from Arians.
“(This) Monday is game plan day,” Arians said he told the group. “You can’t forget it on Tuesday and come back start over on Wednesday.”
Thanks to the 90-man rosters, the Cardinals had already gotten a jump on getting ready for Detroit anyway. Arians estimated that 60 percent of the game plan was already in, and all the players who didn’t play in Denver — all the starters and the vast majority of backups — didn’t practice in the bubble for the Broncos game and instead were outside at the same time, practicing in the heat for the Lions. (Practice next week is expected to be in the bubble.)
“It was more for me checking their conditioning on 40 plays in a row, because if you weren’t in, you were running on the side,” Arians said, lauding he intensity of the work. “Everybody got 40 reps in a row, with little breaks, like getting off the field offensively and defensively. It was hot. We were in really good shape. Some guys stayed out and did a little extra.”
Tags: Bruce Arians, Lions, practice
Posted in Blog | 13 Comments »