Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians spoke with the Miami Dolphins media on Wednesday. Here is some of what he said:
• Miami Dolphins offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen “is one of the best quarterback coaches in the NFL. I don’t think anybody can prepare guys and is as calm and intellectual as he gets with those guys.” They worked together at Temple and with the Indianapolis Colts.
• Running back David Johnson’s ability to stay healthy is a key. The Cardinals try to limit the number of carries he has. But they aren’t concerned with the receptions because they are out in space and he knows how to limit the effect of hits.
• The Cardinals are worried about Jay Ajayi, what Ryan Tannehill can do in the read-option (interesting) and, of course, Miami’s front four defensively. Every coach notes this, though last Sunday they were not impactful.
• You hope that December football means something. This is a game that means something for both teams. You can feel it in your locker room. Players turn it up even more. It’s excitement more than pressure. Pressure is when you’re not prepared.
• Yes, the Cardinals will look at what Baltimore did to Miami last week offensively. But what they saw last week was an abberation. They hadn’t seem the big plays allowed on defense in prior weeks.
• The Cardinals rank second in the NFL in defense in ninth in the NFL in offense but are only 5-6-1 because of turnover margin. “We’re not taking it away as much as we have in the past and are giving it away more.”
• One reason for lack of turnovers is that defensive back Tyrann Mathieu has been injured (his status is uncertain for this week). “It’s been frustrating. The knee brace. The shoulder.” Mathieu tried to play against Atlanta and it was not good.