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Week 14 opponent: What the Cardinals are saying

Every week during the regular season we get an opportunity to talk with the opposing head coach via conference call. This week it was Arizona Cardinals head coach Steve Wilks. I also scanned the Arizona area media websites and the Cardinals website, to see what else the Cardinals players and coaches are saying about this week’s matchup with the Lions.

Here’s what they had to say:

1. The Cardinals are decimated along their offensive line after placing two more starters on IR this week. Arizona will start three rookies upfront against Detroit Sunday. Wilks told Detroit reporters he’s never seen anything like the attrition the Cardinals have endured upfront. Not a single starter remains upfront from the start of training camp.

2. Quarterback Josh Rosen doesn’t seem too concerned about having all the new guys up front. He said he hasn’t noticed a difference in the time he’s had in the pocket over the last couple weeks, and told azcardinals.com those young guys will be ready to go Sunday vs. Detroit.

3. Speaking to the Arizona media Wednesday, Wilks was asked about Matt Patricia’s defense in Detroit. The first point he made was the adjustments week-to-week from a three-down look, four-down look, over or under.

“They are very creative in who they’re playing,” he said. 

He later told Detroit reporters on the conference call that Detroit’s aggressiveness and ability to penetrate with their defensive front stands out as well.

4. Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald made an amazing diving catch on a 3rd and 23 play in the fourth quarter last week on the game-winning drive vs. Green Bay. Asked about that play and the catch, Wilks explained it to be just routine for Fitzgerald, which after 15 years, is pretty remarkable. 

5. Both Wilks and Patricia are first-year head coaches coming from winning franchises — Wilks from Carolina and Patricia from New England. Wilks said one of the things he’s learned about being a head coach, and figures Patricia is learning as well, is that it takes time to implement a philosophy and then get the right personnel to fit it. 

The Cardinals are currently 3-9. Detroit is 4-8.

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