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Minicamp Provides Good Start

Posted Apr 25, 2013

Arians pleased at lack of mistakes as Cardinals go through first real on-field practices

Wide receiver Michael Floyd makes a diving catch during a minicamp practice.

Bruce Arians’ first minicamp is in the books and it turned out better than he expected.

The Cardinals accomplished more than they set out to do during the three days of practice that allowed for coaches and players donning helmets to take the field together. The offense lined up against the defense, although no contact was permitted, giving the team its first glimpse of new quarterback Carson Palmer taking snaps against a live defense.

“I was really pleased with the retention from day to day,” Arians said. “I was extremely pleased with the attention to the detail that the guys have used in the meetings and taken to the practice field so I know they’re into it. That’s always a sign, that’s the barometer. So it was very good.”

Arians began what he called an accountability sheet, which recorded the mental errors from that day in practice. Throughout his career, Arians has seen as many as two pages full of mistakes. This week he said there was a half-page for each the defense and offense.

The quick progress pleased coaches and players alike, and it produced a good amount of film for the coaching staff to dissect, Arians added.

With the defense installed during team meetings last week, the Cardinals were able to review the entire playbook for the second time this offseason. Their goal, cornerback Jerraud Powers said, is to run through every scheme five times before training camp.

“We got a lot of things done and guys definitely jelled,” Powers said. “Whenever you can go out and compete against each other it’s a little different than just walking through. It was a good job for guys competing and getting to know each other a little bit. It was a good start to what we have to accomplish.”

Everyone has been learning the playbook at the same rate since meetings started in early April. With a new staff, nobody has had an advantage this this month and that continued this week.

“That made it a lot easier for me and some of the other free agents,” linebacker Lorenzo Alexander. “It’s like a culture that’s already being set, this is how we do it, we all learn together.

“Nobody feels like they’re behind or they’re left out. I don’t think that’s going to happen with these guys anyway.”

Last year around this time, Powers watched Arians work with an Indianapolis Colts team that was on the verge of drafting a franchise quarterback. For the rest of the season, Arians ribbed the defense as the Colts’ offensive coordinator, playing the role of an assistant coach all too well.

Times have changed. As a first-time head coach, Arians oversees the entire operation on the field, and he toned it down a bit this week, Powers said.

“It’s funny, when you’re working with assistants, they can be more opinionated and friendly with how they act toward the players,” Powers said. “B.A., last year, he’s talking all the time, he’s that kinda guy, a fun guy, a (fun) coach to be around. Now that he’s in a higher position he has to conduct himself a little bit different. He’s still the same B.A. He still gets out there and talks and does all that. You can tell he’s taking the approach different as he should.

“As our leader, everyone is looking up to him for everything.”

Even Arians can see a difference.

“It’s been something I’ve been looking forward to for a while,” he said. “Being able to address an entire group, I did it for 14 weeks last year, but it’s different building it from scratch.”


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