Arians: Starters’ playing time to be limited

Posted by Darren Urban on August 11, 2014 – 12:35 pm

When your head coach, offensive and defensive coordinators and many of the main players are the same as last season, and after the team has a whole looked pretty good in the preseason opener, the thought process for the preseason sometimes with be adjusted. That sounds like it might be true for coach Bruce Arians, who said today that he might “buck the trend” and not play starters as much as he might normally in the preseason. It’s obviously on his mind. He mentioned running back Andre Ellington in particular, who should play a little more Saturday in Minnesota but “Andre is not going to see a whole lot of action this preseason.” Arians wants to keep Ellington healthy. (I know. Stunner.)

— Speaking of healthy, the Cardinals didn’t suffer any major injuries in the preseason opener. A handful of guys will miss practice today and Arians said they are all day-to-day: G Jonathan Cooper (toe), T Max Starks (ankle), G Anthony Steen (neck), T Nate Potter (back) and LB Kevin Minter (pectoral). Arians said C Lyle Sendlein (calf) will miss the Vikings game and it’s possible WRs Ted Ginn (knee) and Michael Floyd (groin) will too, but all three are expected back next week at the latest.

— Arians on his running game, which had Ellington with only two carries and a total of three kneeldown plays: “I am not concerned. We ran the ball effectively even with some mental errors from some young guys.” The Cardinals had a total of 81 yards rushing on 37 official attempts.

— The fight for positions in the backfield, tight end, wide receiver, defensive line and secondary are all intense, Arians said. “You better not have a bad day,” he said. “One bad day could cost you your job.”

— As for the idea the Cardinals could keep six receivers, Arians said the roster makeup isn’t locked into certain numbers. “We won’t cut a player at one position to keep someone just for depth,” he said. “If he is a better player, we want the best players on the team. There are some great battles from 45 to 53. Knock on wood, hopefully injuries won’t deplete us.”

— No sign yet of linebacker John Abraham. Asked if he still expected Abraham to arrive this week, Arians said “we’re hoping.” As for what the Cardinals can expect from Abraham when he does get here, Arians said he isn’t worried. “He was in great shape when he showed up (last year) and I’d think he’d come back in just as good of shape,” Arians said. “Knocking that rust off and getting up to playing speed in a lot of the new stuff on defense (that) he hasn’t been exposed to. There will be a learning curve but he will hopefully have more than 20 days to be ready.”

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24 Responses to “Arians: Starters’ playing time to be limited”

  1. By Marlin on Aug 11, 2014 | Reply

    No one seems to be talking about Abraham possibly getting cut. We seem to be “stacked” at outside linebacker, and probably will pressure the QB more than people think (as a unit). Cutting Abraham as old as he is, with the outside issues, and his being late to get the new defensive schemes….saves about $2.5M under the cap and opens a spot for a younger player. Am I way off-base? Do you think there is a reasonable possibility that he doesn’t make this team?

  2. By Darren Urban on Aug 11, 2014 | Reply

    Marlin —

    RE: Abraham

    As of now, I don’t expect him to be released. If we get closer to the regular season, I wouldn’t rule it out. But right now, they expect him to return.

  3. By Marty on Aug 11, 2014 | Reply

    Hi Darren, I saw your post “Breaking down Cooper’s opener” and I know that Keim said Coop “rebounded nicely”, but have You heard anything from B.A. on how he feels Coop did?

  4. By Darren Urban on Aug 11, 2014 | Reply

    Marty —

    RE: Arians

    Arians said today he though Cooper did fine after the Watt sack.

  5. By Bob A Christianson on Aug 11, 2014 | Reply

    I am so excited about the Cards this year. A word of caution, we shut out someone last preseason and came out and laid an egg in St Louis. I hope we point in a good preseason, but I would rather put in a good season.

  6. By Scott H on Aug 11, 2014 | Reply

    OK….so….now we’re HOPING that Abraham will show up at some point??? Why don’t I like the sound of THAT??? Clearly, there is an issue with Abraham that we are not being clued in to. It could be personal, it could be legal, it could be both, who knows? It is obviously something that he and the team are keeping under wraps.

    But as we head into the 2nd pre-season game and this guy hasn’t been here at all to this point….well, that is officially cause for concern. Veteran or not, players cannot just walk in at the last minute, grab a helmet, and pick right up where they left off. And we have no idea what kind of shape he is in, or if he is even keeping in shape at all. Anyone considering the possibility that Abraham – because of whatever problems he is having – may be considering not even playing at all this year???

    If BA is still saying he is counting on this guy being here at some point, then fine. But if ya think about it, that really doesn’t tell us anything definitive. Possibility is a very ambiguous concept. Probability is something different entirely.

  7. By br in nc on Aug 12, 2014 | Reply

    Possibly he is getting “help” for his problem/issue, maybe some sort of rehab? Of course this is pure speculation, wild azz guess on my part!

  8. By T. Stone on Aug 11, 2014 | Reply

    We saw the starters. Put in the backups and Camp tackling dummies. Let the big dogs eat for a the first half against the Bungles and then get ready to unleash them again on the Chargers week 1.

  9. By georgiebird on Aug 11, 2014 | Reply

    Hate to say this but on Jonathan Cooper:
    Do the name Ruby Begonia or Ryan Williams ring a familiar note?

  10. By Melinda on Aug 11, 2014 | Reply

    Think it is really unfair to bring back Abraham, not here due to illegal behavior apparently, and put him back in as a starter. But if Coach is willing to make Dockett & Sowell run laps for their behavior, I’m sure he has something unique in mind for Abraham. Right? But we have so many young men doing so well, fighting hard, keeping their noses clean, who want a spot on the roster. Why should someone, no matter how good they WERE, be allowed to just waltz back in and take over their position? Maybe Abraham ultimately will get suspended by the NFL, too.

  11. By Darren Urban on Aug 12, 2014 | Reply

    Melinda —

    RE: Abraham

    “not here due to illegal behavior apparently”

    Whoa there. That’s a huge jump. What makes you say that? I find it hard to believe the Cardinals would be so open about bringing him back — soon — if he was absent because of “illegal behavior.”

  12. By John on Aug 12, 2014 | Reply

    I don’t think you hate saying anything negative georgiebird. Its all you ever have to offer.

  13. By kenny on Aug 12, 2014 | Reply

    hey guys just thought I would applaud hands down the best overall coaching staff ant talented football team this organization has ever had card fan since 1970 hands down superior to any other staff and ball player personal watch out you just might be seeing the super bowl with our boys at our home field just have to stay healthy and watch in closing we will have to let a lot of talent go as per the limit of ball players we can keep p.s. rookie running back BAUMAN will be playing for some one . as far as LOGAN THOMAS must be related to cam newton

  14. By John The Draft Guy on Aug 12, 2014 | Reply

    Melinda and Darren,

    I refer back to an oldie but goodie from Jimmy Johnson.

    If a third string guy falls a sleep in a meeting, cut him right there. If Troy Aikman falls a sleep, wake him up and tell him what he missed.

    Who said life was fair? Abraham can blow off an edge and get to the opposing QB. As the cards have found out since Bertrand Berry’s time here, that is not easy to find. They know the vet will be ready to go come opening bell and his absence has allowed some other guys get looks on the first team.

    Leave him alone and let him take care of business.

  15. By kenny on Aug 12, 2014 | Reply

    I think you are 100 percent right I think Abraham is a tremendous ball player and what he did for the team last year was a blessing however as men we have to be held accountable for are actions as unfortunate as it is I believe 2 dwi,s is mandatory jail sentence I don’t believe the NFL or any or anybody or state will make exceptions just because of the obvious I prey Abraham is ok and can find what ever help he needs he is some talent however we have found some real talent at that position and with ACHO and DEMENS and the 3 other I wont mention names because I don’t want to be a know it all we will likely have to release 1 or 2 LB,S that will be playing in a different uniform as we have found some real talent there at this time trust me this is hands down the best cardinal team ever what happens from here is to be seen we stay healthy we go to the super bowl if LOGAN plays like he has proved he is capable of we have a quarterback to build around remember DOVANAN MCNAB this guy could be all that and more and yeah I am the one that said he could not hit the side of a house that’s why I don’t do the drafting the pros in the organization do again we stay healthy look out and I hope R.B . bauman makes the team he runs real hard ok enough is enough this could be the year of the bird guess we will have to ask the oriental how exciting cant wait for kick off

  16. By Scott H on Aug 12, 2014 | Reply

    OK, it’s on today that the team expects Abraham back soon. But…isn’t that what we have been hearing all along??? Still don’t really like the way this is shaping up. Especially since the league has yet to weigh in with whatever punishment THEY feel obligated to give.

    I have to wonder where his head is at and what kind of shape he is actually in.

    And some others have made some interesting points about where he should be on the depth chart when he DOES come back. I agree that he probably shouldn’t be able to come in – after missing most of camp and at least half the pre-season – and just walk back into the starting line-up. For better or worse, I think there’s probably no way that happens, anyway, because he won’t be in shape to do that. He’s gonna have to catch up, physically and with the playbook.

    But seeing the way Arians is doing things – and he has my absolute 100% support with his holding guys accountable – I think there is no way he comes in NOW or any point from this point and goes right to the front of the line. NO WAY. He will have to earn that, and that is as it should be. Hey, if any of these younger guys looks ready to take the spot that Abraham filled last year, then why shouldn’t they be rewarded for the work they’ve done????

    Hate to sound like I have it in for Abraham ( I don’t ) but for me, this is just like Washington’s situation – he brought this on himself and he gets what he gets.

  17. By Scott H on Aug 13, 2014 | Reply

    Kenny –

    Ya know, we were all doin’ just fine around here with no one saying the D-word for about the past year or so….and we’d like to keep it that way, thank you.

    The D-word is Donavan. Bad word. No more.

  18. By kenny on Aug 14, 2014 | Reply

    there is always 1 J…..K A….S in the bunch do not ever e mail me again you are just a board angry man with not an ounce of intelligence such a ………..

  19. By kenny on Aug 14, 2014 | Reply

    by the way SCOTT does H stand for to be hated or ha ha ha ha ha ha or both

  20. By kenny on Aug 14, 2014 | Reply

    this is my last e mail for the season I guess SCOTT was not available when approx. 4 years ago DONOVAN MCNAB THREW 4 touchdown passes against the CARDINALS at our home field on a fractured ankle you see he was to busy trying to come up with some hhhhhhh atefull words to belittle a man who knows more about the game then his whole gang oh excuse me I am sure he does not have one he is to busy being a tool hey SCOTT please find some body else to send dopey blogs to again send no more to me or I will notify the organization of your immature and belittling conduct

  21. By Darren Urban on Aug 14, 2014 | Reply

    Kenny —

    RE: McNabb/busted ankle

    That game was in 2002. In Philadelphia.

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