NOTEBOOK: Arians says Cardinals better have "big boy pads on" Sunday; Leshoure not sulking

Posted Sep 11, 2013

After watching Rams defensive end Robert Quinn tear up his offensive line last week, Cardinals coach Bruce Arians is a little concerned about Ndamukong Suh and Co.

Arizona coach Bruce Arians had a front-row seat to St. Louis defensive end Robert Quinn racking up three sacks and two forced fumbles against his team last week. Quinn was named the NFC Defensive Player of the Week from Week 1 for his effort.

It must be a little unsettling for Arians, then, to see Ndamukong Suh, Nick Fairley and the rest of the Lions talented defensive line coming to town this week.

“Extremely concerned,” Arians said in a conference call Wednesday. “These two interior guys (Suh and Fairley) are the best two in the league I think as a tandem.

“They can raise havoc. Now you got (Ziggy) Ansah, Willie Young and all the guys that they have outside. And Jim Washburn I think is one of the best defensive line coaches. You can already see his hands on these guys. They bring a force and I know Gunther (Cunningham) likes to blitz, but when you have a front four like that you don’t have to.”

The Lions defensive line was dominant against the Vikings last week and Arians knows his offensive line has to play a lot better than it did last week if they're going to have success on offense.

“I think (Suh) brings it every down and if you’re playing him you better have your big boy pads on,” Arians said. “Whoever draws that assignment, that’s your job. You can’t double team because then you have Fairley one-on-one all day. You have to be able to mix-and-match on how you block these guys.”


Mikel LeshoureRB Mikel Leshoure (Photo: G. Smith/Detroit Lions)

Mikel Leshoure learned that he would be inactive for last week’s game vs. Minnesota the morning of, but said he had a feeling it was going to go that way with his reduced reps in practice leading in.

The former second-round pick was the team’s leading rusher last year with 798 yards and nine touchdowns, but has been passed on the depth chart by Reggie Bush and Joique Bell. The contributions rookie Theo Riddick makes on special teams meant Leshoure was the odd man out last week when it came time for the Lions to pick their seven inactive players.

“Everybody wants to play,” Leshoure said. “You work hard in the offseason to get on the field and help this team win, so it’s a little frustrating not to be on the field, but at the end of the day, I’m a professional and I have to be a professional about the situation.”

Leshoure saw good friend Kevin Smith go through the same thing at the end of his career with the Lions and also saw Smith stay positive throughout his ordeal. It’s something Leshoure said he’d do as well.

“You can’t be moping around,” he said. “You can’t be crying. One thing that hasn’t changed is my confidence in myself and the things that I feel like I can do to help this team.

“For me to just be pouting about not being on the field is just stupid and it’s going to hurt the team and I don’t want to be a bug or virus in this locker room and I’m not going to be.”

The NFL season is a long one for running backs and Leshoure’s services will more than likely be needed at some point.


Elias Sports Bureau has made a change to the final statistics from Sunday’s game vs. Minnesota.

They’ve changed the Jared Allen sack of Matthew Stafford to a Stafford rushing attempt. That means the Lions didn’t give up any sacks in the game.

Their final rushing total of 117 has been amended to 111.