LIONS INSIDER

Week 1 opponent: What the Cardinals are saying

Posted Sep 6, 2017

Find out what the Arizona Cardinals are saying as they prepare for their Week 1 matchup vs. the Lions.

Every week during the regular season, the opposing head coach and sometimes a player speak to the Detroit media via conference call. This week it was only Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians.

So, what did he have to say about this week’s matchup?

1. When asked about the game plan for blocking Lions defensive end Ziggy Ansah, Arians remarked that his guys upfront better have their “chin strap on real tight.” Arians doesn't expect that Ansah will be hampered at all by his extended time on the PUP list over the last month.

2. With versatile linebacker Deone Bucannon’s status for Sunday’s game in doubt because of injury, expect to see a lot of rookie linebacker Haason Reddick, the Cardinals’ first-round draft pick. Arians said the rookie is in two or three defensive packages.

3. What makes Cardinals running back David Johnson so good? How about the fact that he played receiver before he switched to running back. It's similar to Detroit's Theo Riddick, who is one of the best receivers out of the backfield in the game. Johnson had 15 consecutive games last season with at least 100 scrimmage yards. He totaled 1,239 rushing yards and 879 receiving. Arians thinks Johnson could be an NFL starter at receiver if he wanted to.

4. The Cardinals completely changed quarterback Carson Palmer’s offseason work regimen this year. He didn’t start taking part in OTAs until OTAs seven and nine. He was given a day off after every scheduled players' day off, so he would have two days off in a row. In season, he doesn’t practice on Wednesdays. According to Arians, all of it has the 37-year-old Palmer looking like he’s 25 again, “maybe 30.”

5. Arians is a Matthew Stafford fan.

“I’m a big, huge fan of Matthew,” he said. “I think he’s got one of the best arms in the business. He can make every single throw. He’s tough as nails.”

6. The word “explosive" was used to describe Detroit’s offense with Ameer Abdullah in the lineup. Arians said both Abdullah and Riddick are home-run threats, and his defense will have to know where they are at all times.