The 2012 NFL coach of the year may be in for the coaching challenge of his life.
Cardinals coach Bruce Arians, who has inherited a Cardinals team that would be wise to petition for relocation back to the NFC East, isn’t happy with the performance of his offense during offseason workouts.
‘We’re just not picking it up fast enough,” Arians said Tuesday, via the Associated Press. ”We’re still not picking it up the way I’d like to — at all positions.”
Arians had specific criticism for the men charged with running routes and catching passes.
”I don’t like mistakes,” Arians said. “I really don’t like mental mistakes, especially if you made the same mistake last week. That should be corrected and in the books by now, and our receivers are not getting that done.”
Running back Ryan Williams applauds Arians’ tell-it-like-it-is style.
“Everybody’s accountable, that’s the No. 1 thing,” Williams said. ”It’s a respect thing. We used to have egotistical guys who felt like they couldn’t be touched and be able to do whatever they wanted to. So having guys like coach Bruce is able to nip that ASAP and we’re able to have a good, quality practice and sometimes that wasn’t able to happen because some guys were just doing whatever they wanted to do.”
Unfortunately, Williams didn’t name any of the “egotistical guys” who used to be on the team. It’s possible that he was talking about one or more former quarterbacks on the roster.
”I see [Carson Palmer] sometimes on the sideline, coaching the receivers and talking to the offensive line,” defensive lineman Darnell Dockett said. ”What a big difference from that position last year. Right now I think he’s more respected and a lot of guys are willing to go that extra yard for him. He’s a tough quarterback and he’s going to hang in there for us.”
Even without mistakes and with better quarterback play, the Cardinals have their work cut out for them in the NFC West. Not long ago the weakest NFL division by a wide margin, it’s now clearly the best.