Arians so pleased with Cardinals he ends minicamp early
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said he is so pleased with the team's offseason work that he has ended minicamp a day early.
The Cardinals camp was to run for three days, but Arians called off the Thursday workout.
''It was an outstanding day of minicamp,'' Arians said after Wednesday's practice. ''The competition's been so good the last two days we decided not to practice tomorrow and make sure that we're coming into training camp healthy with that attitude. It was a fantastic two days. ... I'm extremely pleased with here this football team is right now.''
The team won't be together again until players report to training camp on July 28.
One reason things have gone so smoothly is the number of players who return from last season, especially on offense. Every player on offense who scored a touchdown in Arizona's 13-3 season is back.
''If you look at all teams - football, basketball, any sport, the championship teams have got great depth,'' running back Chris Johnson said.
''At running back, we've got three guys; at receiver, they've got five or six guys over there. For us to have great depth like that, always be able to have somebody in the game that's not tired, full of energy, it can't do anything but help us.''
The returning players aren't faced with learning a lot of new plays, but are honing their skills in Arians' offense.
''They understand because they're watching themselves from all of last year - what we did really, really well and what we did not so well,'' he said.
''So it's more of a tweaking that part than adding stuff. You can't overload them. I don't want them learning new stuff. That's why I thought we practiced so fast this spring.''
While the skill players all return, the offensive line is rebuilt. D.J. Humphries, Arizona's No. 1 draft pick a year ago who didn't play at all last season, has taken over at right tackle. Free agent signee Evan Mathis is the new right guard and A.Q. Shipley is trying to hold off rookie Evan Boehm at center.
''Up front we've got to really get comfortable with each other,'' quarterback Carson Palmer said. ''That needs to continue to develop and grow, but having the explosiveness guys, the skill position guys back is huge.''
Many of the players and staff will be heading to Los Angeles for the Thursday night premiere of ''All or Nothing,'' the Amazon.com series that follows the Cardinals through last season.
Arians praised the professionalism of those involved in not intruding on things through what became a 13-3 season. He said he got used to wearing the microphone daily and said that didn't change his often colorful language.
''I'll get a few Bibles in the mail, and rightfully so,'' he said.
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