Cardinals coach Bruce Arians gets a laugh out of quarterbacks Trevor Knight (left) and Drew Stanton during Friday's run test.
Bruce Arians walked up to the podium with a smile, and didn't even bother with waiting for a question.
"Yes, I'm healthy," the coach said. "OK? Lets' get that s* out of the way right now."
As the Cardinals began training camp Friday at University of Phoenix Stadium, the status of their leader – after his book, released earlier this month, revealed surgery to remove a cancerous spot on his liver in February – was immediately addressed. Arians is confident of where he is health-wise, just as he is confident in the team he's prepping for the season.
Last year didn't go as planned. The Cardinals went 7-8-1, and along the way Arians suffered three health scares, in training camp, in
November and as was found out, December as well when the cancer was found.
Arians said he didn't want to make it public at the time because he didn't want it to be a distraction to the team. But he emphasized a couple of times how good he feels now, brushing aside the idea his body will force him to retire after this season.
He had the surgery at the same time as he had surgery to repair his torn rotator cuff, suffered when wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald jump-hugged him at the end of the win in Seattle late in the season.
"It was a (crappy) February," Arians said. "Too many operations."
But, he added, "when they tell you you're cancer-free, that's a great feeling."
Whether it could be the last time he, quarterback Carson Palmer and wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald are together, Arians admitted, "you never know."
"I know if I was going to retire because of health, I should've done it last year," Arians said. "I can't speak for Larry and Carson, but I'm looking forward to the future."
That includes the next five weeks, as the Cardinals try to build for a season they thought they were going to have last year. They have a little less than two weeks before their first preseason game – in Canton Aug. 3 in the Hall of Fame game against the Cowboys.
The emphasis will be on both small details and on physical play – both areas in which Arians feels the Cardinals were sloppy in 2016.
"Our focus level is on us," defensive tackle Frostee Rucker said. "It's not about telling everyone else to tell, everyone having these expectations and waiting to fulfill them in February. Right now we have to take care of in-house."
They'll have their coach leading the way.
Arians was in good spirits Friday, perhaps more than he had been as training camp began a season ago. As seen with his opening statement, the B.A. one-liners flowed – another sign he is as healthy as promised.
Someone asked Arians how his book – "The Quarterback Whisperer" – was doing.
"I guess it's in some damn best-seller thing. Hot something. I don't know," he said with a grin. "It's up to the book company. They don't tell me that stuff.
"They give me another check, I know I did good."
Images from the run test to start 2017 #CardsCamp