Arians says his Cardinals “have become the No.1 defense in the league against the run for a reason.”

SANTA CLARA — Cardinals’ head coach Bruce Arians spoke to Bay Area reporters on a conference call Thursday afternoon. Here is a transcript.

Q: The first time you played the 49ers this season, you gave up a long drive in the fourth quarter and it was mostly runs. How much of a challenge is it this week to not let something like that happen again?

ARIANS: It’s a challenge every week. We feel like we have gotten better from that drive. We learned a lot from that drive and have become the No.1 defense in the league against the run for a reason. But they present great challenges because of the way they run the football. The biggest thing about that drive, it was (preceded)  by a fumble where we had a chance to take the lead.

Q: So what did your defense learn from that drive?

ARIANS: Stay in your gap and don’t try to do too much. Very, very simple.

Q: Would you say that’s the primary reason you were able to win in Seattle, you were able to stop their run game?

ARIANS: Yes, I thought stopping the run was huge in that game. We wanted to win both lines of scrimmage. We felt like our defensive line stopped them pretty good, and then our third down conversion rate was outstanding on defense, getting off the field.

Q: Your team is playing very well right now. Is this what you envisioned from your team before the season started?

ARIANS: I thought we had the capabilities of getting better every week, especially defensively. I thought we could be outstanding defensively. As our offense grew and learned, we’d be a better football team in the last half of the football season than we’d be in the first half of the football season, for sure. That was our goal – whatever happened in the first eight, don’t worry about it. The second eight we should be the football team we want to be.

  1. “Stay in your gap and don’t try to do too much. Very, very simple.”

    It’s amazing how something so simple is so effective. I coached a youth football team with a guy who had about 30 years coaching experience at the college and high school levels. We had 6 hours of practice time every week and only 1 of those hours was devoted to team defense. The coaches basic strategy was for the d lineman to penetrate 1 yard and hold the position. LB’s and secondary were run support in all the gaps not covered by d-lineman. We had very good skill position players and average or even below average line players. Teams could not run on us, period. Forget about running on the inside. So many teams had great d-lineman but we could run on them because they just penetrated as far as they could creating huge running lanes. We’d shield block them out of the play and then go get the backers. It’s a simple strategy but it works.

    1. The difference between HS, college, and pro ball is much smaller than many think from a coaching perspective. The biggest differentiator is the skill level of the players and time on task.

      1. Jack that’s really true with all team sports. Both coaches I assisted in football used to say the same thing every year during the first practice. “You are not going to learn a hundred new things this year you are just going to get better at every thing you have already learned”. I said the same thing to my basketball and baseball players every year.

  2. Here’s how we’re going to win: After studying Arizona-Seattle film, the coaches will realize that a mid-range passing attack, across the middle and along the sidelines, will be effective against the Arizona defense. That defense will be difficult to rush against and difficult to sustain a pocket against. But Arizona will have to guard against our deep threat and our running game. That opens the mid-range 5-to-20 yard pass attack. On one play, we will streak Crabtree and Davis long – and connect with Boldin underneath; on another play, we’ll streak Boldin and Crabtree long – and connect with Davis underneath; and on yet another play, we’ll have Boldin and Davis go long – and have Crabs come back underneath. These tactics time-wise don’t place unreasonable demands on our offensive line and they effectively counter the blitz. They have the added advantage of flexibility: when Arizona does not blitz, Kaperdini may have time to hit one of the deep guys who now and then are bound to get enough separation to justify a long throw. Not to mention the possibility of throwing to someone out of the backfield. Go Rams!

    1. What deep threat does AZ have to protect against? Davis sure, same as the last half dozen years but Boldin and Crabtree are not deep threats, they can sometimes take shorter passes and run with them but no WR on the team has the speed your discussing.

      1. @umm – Let me put it another way: some of our receivers can run longer routes to allow other receivers a better chance of getting open underneath. The purpose of the tactic is not to throw long; it’s to create a better opportunity for receptions mid-range.

  3. He might be in the discussion for Coach of the Year, but Bruce Arians is one of the more arrogant and obnoxious coaches in the league.

    Arians acts downright buffoonish on the sidelines at times, but because nobody watches the Cards, his antics fly under the radar while JH gets pilloried for the same conduct. I’ve watched the bellicose Arians spend entire games crying to the officials, spitting and screaming and stomping his feet after every play that doesn’t go the Cards’ way. He will do it again this Sunday.

    And the above transcript makes it clear that he’s not very humble, either. He still pissed that the Niner offensive line curb-stomped his “No. 1″ rushing defense on the game-clinching drive in the first meeting–but instead of giving any credit whatsoever to the Niners, he’d rather lament the fumble that set up the drive in the first place.

    I know I’m probably in the minority because most non-Cards fans haven’t paid much attention, but Arians is fast becoming one of my least favorite NFL personalities. Can’t wait for the Niners to put the Cards back in their proper place this Sunday, and remind them of what they really are–a second-to-last place team.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>