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Offensive Touches No Concern For Cardinals

Notes: Fitzgerald likes locker room chemistry; First padded practice; Mathis retirement plan


Cardinals wide receivers John "Smokey" Brown (left) and Michael Floyd are among the many offensive weapons that will be looking for the ball.

The Cardinals have a lot of talented skill players, guys who enjoy having the ball in their hands.

David Johnson, Chris Johnson and Andre Ellington in the backfield. Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd, Smokey Brown and J.J. Nelson at receiver. Darren Fells and Jermaine Gresham at tight end. That's a lot of options – but zero concern.

"Man, everybody knows that B.A. knows how to get the ball in his playmaker's hands," Chris Johnson said. "There's nothing new. Last year

we had the same guys and everybody got their touches. It's really not a problem."

Arians agrees, because he's made it a point not to have it be a problem.

"Our first meeting, you check your ego at the door," Arians said. "It's all about 'we' not 'me.' As long as you can do that, your team is fine. Our team has bought into that system. "

Arians acknowledges that as a staff, there are still parts of the game plan designed to get guys involved early in a game. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it does not.

"It more has to do with the kind of guys you have," Fitzgerald said. "You put divas on the team, they are always going to complain about their touches, but you're not going to hear about this guy being upset about getting four catches. That's not the kind of dynamic we have."

Added Chris Johnson, "I don't think there's been anybody ever around here complaining about the ball. Everybody gets their share. It might be one game where it's Larry. Another game it might be Mike. Then it might be John. Anybody. One game it might be David and one game it might be me. There's so many different guys, and B.A. knows the right way to get those guys the ball."

There's also Arians' failsafe in case some player does waver from that thought process.

"It's real easy because if you worry about it, you aren't getting any," Arians said.


Fitzgerald sees a real simple reason why – aside from talent – the Cardinals have been and will be successful.

"We have a great group of guys in this locker room," Fitzgerald said. "We don't have one turd on the team. Everybody is approachable and close. There are no egos in here."


The Cardinals had their first padded practice of camp Sunday.

"It's time for the big guys to show what they've got," Arians said.  "This is their time."

Wide receiver John Brown and guard Evan Mathis both left practice early with undisclosed aliments.

Before practice, Arians said defensive tackle Red Bryant (Achilles) would miss Sunday, while tight end Jermaine Gresham (hamstring) is likely out through Monday. Cornerback Elie Bouka (hamstring) is a week away, while cornerback Mike Jenkins (broken hand) remains out indefinitely.


Mathis won a Super Bowl with Denver last season and considered retirement before signing a one-year deal with the Cardinals. He left no doubt if he'd retire should the Cardinals win the Super Bowl this season.

"Yeah, I will. Absolutely," Mathis said. "Not even thinking twice."

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