Head Coach Jeff Fisher
(On slowing down Arizona’s offense this weekend)
"I don’t know if you slow them down. I think anytime you go up against an offense like this, that’s that explosive, from the defensive standpoint, field goals are wins. Hold them to three. We did that here last year. We didn’t score enough points, but they’re very, very talented. Really impressed, like I said with (Cardinals QB) Carson’s (Palmer) mobility, his ability to extend the plays and then the people that he has around him are pretty impressive."
(On what he thinks makes Cardinals Head Coach Bruce Arians special, especially his passing game)
"He’s like a lot of the other teams in the league that are explosive. You rely heavily on your quarterback to make decisions and he’s got an outstanding quarterback. He has, wherever’s he’s been, he worked with (Steelers QB) Ben (Roethlisberger) in Pittsburgh and then he had (Colts QB) Andrew (Luck) there in his year there, so he’s got a good quarterback. He relies on the quarterback and then he’s surrounded by good people and you keep it simple."
(On what his offense can do this weekend to sustain some drives)
"It’s a big challenge for our offense just because the - if this is a word - the ‘stoutness’ of their defense. They’re very heavy up front. It’s hard to run, especially in condensed formations, so we’re going to have to hit some runs and have to go to the quick passing game to continue drives and keep them alive."
(On if he feels confident the team will be able to get a quicker start on the road)
"Well, we have a completely different challenge. Every trip, I mean, weekend is a different challenge. But I think we’ve done some really good things this week and we have a good sense for what they’re doing, as they do us. We’re going to have to make plays, catch balls and don’t hurt ourselves."
(On if he has any thoughts about the comments Coach Arians made last season after the last game)
"No. None whatsoever. He’s an outstanding coach. They’ve got one of the top teams in the NFC and that’s a great challenge for us."
(On making roster moves today)
"We did as a matter of fact. We promoted (S) Christian Bryant off the practice squad. I think he’s got a chance to be active and help us on special teams. We’ve designated (S) Maurice Alexander as ‘out’, so ‘CB’ (S Christian Bryant) can fill in for him till he comes back. To get that spot, we released (CB) Brandon McGee. Then we signed Eric Patterson, a corner, who’s just recently been released by Indy, to the practice squad. So, feel good about where it is right now."
(On what he thought of WR Brian Quick’s performance this week in practice)
"(He) had a great week. I hope it carries over into the game."
(On Quick’s playing status on Sunday)
"I hope it carries over into the game."
(On his decision to move CB Brandon McGee to the active roster and then release him)
"Well it’s our needs on special teams, (S) Christian (Bryant) filled those needs better than Brandon did. So, we told Brandon we’d talk to him on Monday."
(On S Christian Bryant’s progression since last year)
"Christian was their Defensive MVP before he got hurt there at Ohio State. I actually…on the trip we made there to look at the offensive lineman, I got a chance to visit with (Ohio State Head Coach) Urban (Myer) and talk to him a little bit about him. So, we brought him in. It was a long rehab, but he had a great offseason here. He’s one of those classic examples of what a difference a year makes. So, had a really good preseason. I’ve got all the confidence in the world that he’ll go out there and do the right things."
(On Quick getting more reps this week because WR Kenny Britt is recovering)
"It did. He stepped right in there and literally was flawless with his reps. He knows exactly what to do."
(On how he will list Britt on Sunday)
Defensive Coordinator Gregg Williams
(On Sunday being another big challenge)
"Yeah, it seems like that every week and it’s probably not going to slow down for quite a while, but that’s what’s good about the National Football League. There’s a lot of evenness in the league. Obviously, offensively, we’re going to go against some teams here and have been going against some teams that are teams that are really high octane offenses. So, that’s fun to compete and our guys are preparing in a very good way. I like the way they’ve been preparing."
(On Cardinals Head Coach Bruce Arians)
"Bruce and I go way back and have been on different staffs – me and him on different staffs. He really has a very, very structured approach to how he believes things. I think he’s done a great job with how he gets players to believe in their system of how we play offense. I think he’s done a great job out there. Really, he’s done a very good job with a lot of different young quarterbacks throughout the years. I’m not saying (Cardinals QB) Carson (Palmer) is young. Carson’s got good experience. But, it’s been fun to see how he’s managed different styles of quarterbacks and gotten them ready to go and gotten them to improve. Sometimes, people don’t think there’s anything left to improve on, but yet they can."
(On if Palmer has played some of the best football of his career this year)
"Right now, he’s probably playing as well as I’ve seen him play in a long time, yes."
(On how difficult the beginning of the game is for defenses)
"There’s special situations of everything. When you say that it didn’t go very well early in the game is that, how explosive were they? How much did they have to earn? Did they have to earn every single thing? Were there a couple of plays you’d like to have back? Yeah. But the fact that for some reason is you guys came out here last week, you were worried about fireworks going over the top of everybody’s heads. So, we made them earn that thing. We challenge the first 15 play calls in the first half, the first 15 play calls of the second half and really, are those first 15 play calls, are they just 15 in a row or does it go into situational play, too? So, all of that is analyzed and all of that is kept track of throughout years of different play callers. And then is the play caller the quarterback or is the play caller the coordinator? So, the answer to your question, the short question, the long answer, is that we prepare for all of that. You have to be able to do the right things and to keep going and don’t get your head down. Also, be able to make sure that they earn everything. There’s still debate on whether they got in the end zone last week or not. My mind is they didn’t."
(On how they slow the Cardinals down)
"They’re tough. We’re going to have to do a great job, always in our coverage aspects of it. But, rush and coverage work hand-in-hand. Giving them time to hold the ball long enough and Bruce (Arians) does a really good job in how they go about protecting in those situations. Our DBs have played very well. Again, last year there was a little bit of an acclimation of understanding how we were to go about doing things, especially when I came in and kind of changed a couple of things in that thought process. But, our guys have been doing a good job with that. It’s never fool proof, but I like the way our guys are preparing right now."
(On how moving around WR Larry Fitzgerald makes him tough to contain)
"He’s playing very well. But, we play against a lot of different people and it’s not just him that is the move-around guy. Every single week there is some guy that’s move around. He poses in the slot receiver position, poses a little bit different body type in respect that he’s so much bigger than a lot of slot receivers. He can still do some of those same things. So, schematically, we’re aware of where he’s at and we’re going to have to do some things technique wise, leverage wise, to make sure we do a good job on minimizing the catches that he does get."
(On if he’s ever seen a player in his years of coaching who would have been ready for the NFL before spending three years in college)
"I really have not ever really thought that much about that to tell you the truth, no."
(On this defense moving into the Top 10 this week and if they have a chance to be special this year)
"I think so. I didn’t even know where we were ranked because early in the year I don’t even look at that kind of stuff. It’s really about the opponent week in and week out. This group of guys, when they take ownership – and I’ve said that back through the spring, through the training camp on – and they are taking ownership and it’s really good. I love the way (Head Coach) Jeff (Fisher) has the schedule now. Yesterday for instance, on Thursdays, they come in here and they do all kinds of checks to make sure they’re comfortable in the call process and they’re comfortable in what we’re doing. None of them are afraid to come and talk to me about those kinds of things. I think the best coaches have good relationships and good understandings is how we are going to go about doing this together. This group of young guys has a chance to be really good. But, we’re playing against some really good offenses right now too, so we’ll see. I like the way they prepare. I like the way they study. It is very serious. It’s very important to them to be good."