Quick hits from Bruce Arians

TEMPE, Ariz. – Sunday’s win over the Houston Texans didn’t just place the Arizona Cardinals one spot out of the NFC wild card. It was a Victory Monday, but that came with conditions: Only players in their third year or older had the day off.

The young guys had to come to work.

“We set a goal way back, once we hit five wins,” Arians said. “Five wins and then we start having victory Monday.

“Young guys don’t get any days off.”

Other news from Arians’ Monday news conference:

  • Arians didn’t expect to use new tight end Jake Ballard for 22 plays. “He did an outstanding job and did a real nice job on his catch of separating. He’s a guy that we’ve been looking for.”

  • Without saying he looks ahead, Arians likes where the Cards are, sitting seventh in the NFC.

  • Nine games in and Arians still isn’t pleased with the red zone and third-down output.

  • Arians thought Sunday’s second-half performance by the defense was “maybe the best” this season.

  • He compared Dave Zastudil’s punt that bounced out at the 1-yard line to getting a hole-in-one. “They don’t happen very often but you’re glad when they do.”

  • Daryl Washington showed some lingering effects from having the flu last week during the game.

  • Arians' message to running back Rashard Mendenhall after his fourth-quarter fumble was simple: “Hold on to it tighter.”