Arians: About jobs right now, not chemistry

Posted by Darren Urban on July 29, 2013 – 5:46 pm

Here’s one way to look at it, and a good one, from coach Bruce Arians when talking about gaining team chemistry in training camp: “This is not a time for chemistry. My philosophy is, we’re not the Cardinals yet. Now we are 90 guys trying to get a job. We’ll become the Cardinals when 53 of them are picked. Then we will be a team.”

Along those lines, since we are talking about guys winning jobs, here are some observations a few days into camp that could play into that:

— One cornerback who has made a lot of plays is Javier Arenas. It could turn into a nice pickup given the price to get Arenas — FB Anthony Sherman — was going to be released anyway. Arenas broke up a bomb to Patrick Peterson yesterday and fought Larry Fitzgerald into one incompletion today. He’s not perfect, of course, but given all the other cornerbacks, he’s just going to make cutdown harder. The fact he could be the kickoff return man also plays into his favor.

— I think CB Jerraud Powers has made some plays too.

— Michael Floyd has looked good. Not that it’s a surprise. It’s a continuation of what he did this summer.

— Bruce Arians noted that Paul Fanaika, the Arizona State product who signed as a tackle, has done well in transition to guard. Lo and behold, he’s second-string right guard, which means he’s starting while Daryn Colledge is sidelined with his leg injury.

— That also means fourth-round pick Earl Watford is pretty far down the depth chart right now. Watford looks the part but he’s raw. He’s got work to do and it will be interesting to see how he does in preseason games.

— Didn’t see tight end Jeff King, who sat out Sunday’s practice, at Monday’s afternoon practice. Not sure what it is. Maybe it is related to the knee issue he was rehabbing from this offseason. Alex Gottlieb is already nursing a sore hamstring. And then Kory Sperry left the field early in Monday’s work. Newly acquired Mickey Shuler was there but he had arrived so close to practice he wasn’t even wearing Cardinals gear yet, much less practicing. The Cards are thin at the spot right now. Rookie D.C. Jefferson got a ton of reps (along with Rob Housler and Jim Dray.)

— The defensive coaches continue to mix-n-match a lot of the lineups. One nickel package had four linemen, although John Abraham was on the right side standing up, with Calais Campbell at RDE/RDT (depending on if you’re counting Abraham as a linebacker or end), Frostee Rucker as DT/NT and Matt Shaughnessy as LDE. Reggie Walker and Karlos Dansby were the linebackers (although Walker was in for Jasper Brinkley, sidelined with a sore knee).

— The first-string base defense continues to include Campbell, Dan Williams, Dockett up front; Alexander, Dansby, Brinkley, Acho at linebacker; Powers and Peterson at cornerback and Johnson and Bell at safety. Tyrann Mathieu continues to get lots of reps, not only at safety but nickel cover corner too.

— Running back talk is always going to start with Mendenhall and Ryan Williams while Stepfan Taylor and Andre Ellington have impressed Arians too. But to me, Alfonso Smith is going to make it very hard to cut him loose. The guy competes and he’s looked good when he’s gotten chances. He may again run into a numbers game, but Smith has made an impression.

— Speaking of making an impression, the defensive linemen tend to do that when they hit the sled:

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Posted in Blog | 13 Comments »

13 Responses to “Arians: About jobs right now, not chemistry”

  1. By Patrick Hoog aka Don't Take Losses on Jul 29, 2013 | Reply

    Hard edge, solid reporting. We need TEs.

  2. By ericishanson on Jul 29, 2013 | Reply

    I’m curious to know more about the reps Jefferson is getting. What’s your perception on him thus far?

  3. By Darren Urban on Jul 29, 2013 | Reply

    Eric —

    RE: Jefferson

    Making some mistakes. Certainly looks the part. Is he ready now? Not sure about that.

  4. By iammattyoung on Jul 29, 2013 | Reply

    Early predictions: Javier Arenas becomes a big time contributor. He was a heck of player for a team that seemed to be just horribly coached the last couple of years. Ryan Williams is a non-factor again this year. Some guys are just injury-prone, and Williams can’t stay on the field. Tough for the young guy, but it’s part of this game.

  5. By Dynosoar on Jul 29, 2013 | Reply

    I may be off my rocker, but I’m in good company.

    “I think it sends a message we are trying to win right now,” veteran defensive end Calais Campbell said. “We’re not waiting to rebuild. This is a year we feel we can really be successful. I know a lot of people don’t believe that, but we do.”

    53 men sailed her, from the San Francisco Bay, and on to Victory. (73 Men with coaching staff)

    We’ll leave San Francisco and head to a first round bye, then on to another and another then a week off and New York. Victory. Can we do it? We can. Will we do it. I’m going to watch every week until I see. I’, going to really enjoy this season.

  6. By T. Stone on Jul 30, 2013 | Reply

    Re: TE position

    People keep talking about Housler and King. Give us a Tight End that will Practice, Play and Block or learn to block because he is not sitting on the sidelines nursing a bruised right or left something and he is our TE. Tired of the Potential talk and he has got great speed talk. Our new coach will see through that garbage quick I hope. Bring in some UDFA now and put them on notice.
    Play or Kick rocks.

  7. By Eazy E on Jul 30, 2013 | Reply

    I think I’m going to like how our CBs are shaping up early we’ll see. I’m happy for Arenas and Powers etc. Fanaika I’m going to have to definitely watch more especially during the games, hearing a lot of good things lately. TE position I’m a little shaky about not only injury-wise, but overall wise. I like Housler but he hasn’t consistently contributed, now a lot of that is on our poor QB play but man even Carson is better than them. Shiancoe just got nabbed by the Ravens so we’re out of luck there. King is hurt again… The mixing and matching of the 4-man d-line is intriguing. We have a number of guys I like that can get after the QB which is so darn important. I like the 1st combination on twitter and this one in this entry is pretty nice too. Defense looking pretty good right now even though I expect Abraham to grab one of the OLB positions as a starter. Daryl after the first 4 will grab an ILB spot. Cason, Powers, Arenas, McCann, Fleming, and whoever else has a good chance at getting that #2 CB spot opposite Patrick. Honey Badger will get 1 of those safety spots too. At RB, Mendenhall is the starter and should be, even though, IF Ryan can stay healthy, would give him a BIG run for his money and both are really talented backs. Taylor and Ellington I like a lot. Ellington has speed and explosiveness and versatility, Taylor is a plodder, smart, can break it, etc. Also, Alfonso deserves some love too because he is a good player, he just always seems to be caught up between a bunch of good backs, but he’s had a couple opportunities and hasn’t done a bad job at all.

  8. By Daniel on Jul 30, 2013 | Reply

    Allot of knee injury talk. Maybe its the turf?

  9. By cardsalltheway on Jul 30, 2013 | Reply


    Aren’t “sleds” supposed to move? The sled I hit in high school actually moved backwards. Heave-ho!

  10. By evalen10 on Jul 30, 2013 | Reply

    I’ve seen Peterson and Cason on the outside more than Peterson and Powers. Powers usually lines up against Larry Fitzgerald when Larry is in the slot. I see Cason winning the job.

  11. By jason on Jul 30, 2013 | Reply

    I’m so interested in our o line battle! Wolfley said that he thinks only Sendline can be penciled in as a starter (probably due to the fact that he is our only true center) but that every other position is up for grabs. I would say that if Cooper and Massie aren’t starters it would be a huge disappointment. I know that Arians has been adamant that Brown is an elite tackle and I know he did have a stretch at the end of 2011 but it will be interesting if Potter can win that job. If he does do we move Brown to guard and cut Colledge? Fanika has looked good in his transition to guard…does he beat out Colledge? I’m also really interested in the CB battle because Arenas seems to have put everyone on notice.

  12. By Hammy on Jul 30, 2013 | Reply

    Darren I just want to thank you and your staff for the continued coverage of training camp. Compared to past years, you guys have really did a good job giving us fans an up close look at our team. How has Bell looked at safety? Is the job his to loose or can we expect that to be one of the spots that are up for grabs?

  13. By Darren Urban on Jul 30, 2013 | Reply

    Hammy —

    RE: Bell

    I think it’s his job to lose right now.

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