Bruce Arians: “Darnell [Dockett] knows how I feel about him”
GLENDALE, Ariz. – Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians joined NFL AM on Wednesday and covered quite a few topics while on set.
The big news of the day was the Eagles trading running back LeSean McCoy to the Buffalo Bills in exchange for linebacker Kiko Alonso. That ruffled a lot of feathers in Eagles Land, including McCoy. Arians thought it was a “great move” for the Bills landing McCoy.
“Not that [Kiko] Alonso’s not a great player, I think he’s going to be coming off surgery,” Arians said. “LeSean’s [McCoy] resume, it kind of speaks for itself.”
Arians said he had some “inklings” that something was brewing between the Eagles and Bills before the trade went down. Arians says the Cardinals didn’t think about getting involved in a trade for McCoy. Why?
“It wasn’t a good fit for us,” Arians said.
Eagles’ head coach Chip Kelly is being questioned in many different directions for the decision he made to move McCoy along to Buffalo. He didn’t hesitate to let DeSean Jackson go last season either.
All Arians knows is that he doesn’t have to face McCoy when the Cardinals go to Philadelphia, Pa., next season to face the Eagles.
“He’s [McCoy] tough to get down on the ground man,” Arians said. “He’s so explosive. Every time he touches it you hold your breath. I’m glad that we’re not going to face him this year.”
“I do believe that culture beats talent,” Arians said. “Chip [Kelly] is building his culture there and I think he’s doing one hell of a job.”
Back to the Cardinals: all eyes are on Darnell Dockett and what he’s going to decide to do now that he’s an unrestricted free agent. Will he sign with the 49ers or the Cardinals or another team? Arians wants Dockett to come back to the Cardinals.
“I hope. Darnell [Dockett] knows how I feel about him personally and as a player. It’s the hard part of the business,” Arians said. “I get very attached to guys, so I [leave] that part up to [general manager] Steve Keim and his people. Darnell knows how we stand, and where we stand and how we feel about him.”
The conversation moved onto wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald and quarterback Carson Palmer. Arians was asked about the restructuring of Fitzgerald’s deal and how it came about.
“Fitz [Larry Fitzgerald] has done a great job here, and he’s still a formidable player. We got to do a better job of keeping him healthy,” Arians said. “He’s still a dynamic player and he’s becoming a heck of a player in the slot.”
Arians said that Palmer’s about “a month ahead of schedule.” Palmer told Arians that he’d be ready for minicamp, something Arians wasn’t too keen on.
“He’s [Palmer] doing great and I’m really excited about his progress, as well as Drew Stanton’s,” Arians said.
Not many teams would’ve been able to do what the Cardinals did last season: win 11 games and make it to the playoffs after running through four quarterbacks while fighting the injury bug in other departments. Arians reverted back to that word “culture,” when describing how the team was able to make it as far as they did.
“The first day that our guys show up, we start talking about building a football team,” Arians said. “The most valuable players on the team are the backups. It’s not Carson Palmer. It’s when he goes down, who’s gonna play, who’s gonna have the level of play? The expectation of level of play’s not gonna change, so have yourself ready to go.”
Finally, Arians talked about his upcoming golf tournament – The Arians Family Foundation 2015 Arizona Celebrity Golf Classic – which will be held at Talking Stick Resort and Golf Club March 7th and 8th. Arians and his wife Christine – who’s a court appointed advocate – are fighting hard for kids in Maricopa County who are being abused or neglected and don’t have a voice to speak on their behalf. The golf tournament and Arians’ signature Kangol are two ways he and Christine can do their part to shed light on what’s going on with the youth in the area.
“Everything we do, we raise for them,” Arians said. “It’s a first class event. If you don’t to have fun, don’t come to this one.”
Arians and his family have been blessed to be in the position they’re in. He just got a new contract extension with the Cardinals, which most likely will assure him of a retirement with the team, depending on how long he wants to continue to coach.
For Arians, giving back to others is what life is all about.
“Oh my gosh, to have this platform, finally to be able to raise awareness, that’s really what the hat’s all about,” Arians said. “Every one we sell at the stadium [University of Phoenix Stadium], proceeds go to the Foundation.”
“That’s why I wear it all the time, it’s to raise awareness of neglect and child abuse,” Arians said.
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