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Bruce Arians sees no defensive regression for Arizona Cardinals

But what else would he say?

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Over the past couple of days, there has been discussion of whether or not the Arizona Cardinals defense, which was number one against the run, number six overall and number seven in scoring, would regress in 2014. We even have an article to discuss it, where ESPN's Field Yates believes the defense is a prime candidate to do just that -- take steps back.

As you can expect, head coach Bruce Arians would disagree.

When asked about it after practice during mini-camp on Tuesday, Arians refuted the notion that one position group's loss and one position group's improvements are key to the unit itself.

"A defense is 11 guys," said Arians, responding to a question about the defensive backs. "It's not linebackers, it's not DBs, it's not defensive linemen. It's about 11 guys going out and playing cohesively and hard and fast and violent and with bad intentions. And we have all those guys. So I don't see our defense stepping back at all."

Naturally, there isn't any scenario where a head coach would say that he thinks his defense is worse than last year's unit. It just doesn't happen.

However, he is right...if that is what happens this year. The players have to be on the same page and not blow their assignments. If they do that, the talent is there, even if it is unproven.

But the question marks remain -- injuries to recover from, young players being counted on to be starters, replacing dynamic playmakers and aging veterans.