GLENDALE, Ariz. -- As he does every day during training camp, Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians addresses the media after the morning walk-through. Here is a recap of what Arians discussed:
Arians was more than impressed with how defensive lineman Isaac Sopoaga showed up, took a physical, signed a contract, got dressed and then practiced with the first team -- and then showed the starters how to do certain things. “It was a real good start for him. He brings a lot of energy and a professionalism. He was calling out who was going in motion. We haven’t had any of that. It was obviously contagious because other guys started doing it.”
Last season, the Cardinals struggled in Wednesday practices after having Tuesdays off. Arians saw that Wednesday and wasn't pleased with the tempo at which practice started. He’s trying to end that trend this year.
Arians said the starters will still not play more than a half against the Bengals on Sunday and could play less depending on how their first few drives go.
While talking about Carson Palmer playing his old team on Sunday, Arians said it was "different" to play Pittsburgh in the 2012 preseason, less than a year after being forced out, while he was coaching the Colts.
Linebacker John Abraham looked good in practice Wednesday, Arians thought, and said the Cardinals will continue to increase his workload.
Rookie tight end Troy Niklas is playing without a soft cast on his right hand.
The Cardinals have two roster spots open after the team released defensive lineman Amp McCloud Thursday morning. Arians said those spots will likely stay open as first cuts approach in five days.
Arians said rookie WR Walt Powell will most likely have to make the final roster on special teams. “He’s starting to learn how to play gunner and vice and some of those things,” Arians said. “We’ll try to shoot him out there as a return man and see what he’s got. He’s got an uphill battle with all those guys ahead of him.”
Despite not a whole lot of production out of the running game through two preseason games, Arians isn’t concerned. “When you go for fourth down four times and you make it, that’s a pretty good running game.”