Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians meets with the media the day after a game -- typically Monday. He spoke with reporters on Monday and had much of the same message he had last night after his team lost 24-22 to the St. Louis Rams. I was there for the press conference and these are some of the things that stood out.
- The team came away healthy from the game. "No injuries to report," which is a very good thing. In the previous three meetings, the team had lost Tyrann Mathieu, Carson Palmer and Drew Stanton to injuries that would keep them out the rest of the season. Rashad Johnson limped off the field during the game, but Arians said he as "fine."
- Andre Ellington was "very close" to playing on Sunday. It came down to either having him active or another healthy player available. He decided to go with the healthy player because, based on what Arians said, of how much Ellington would have been used. It appeared he would not have had a big role in the game had he been available.
- Arians noted the same things stood out on tape as they did during the game.
- Arians said he goes every single play on offense, defense and in the kicking game as part of the evaluation process, but he doesn't second guess himself. "Once you start second guessing yourself, it's time to get out of the business," he said.
- The offensive line did well in the run game, but they graded out "not very well." It was mostly pass protection issues. He said it was across the whole line and even the tight ends and the backs. "Our communication was terrible," he said. Mike Iupati "had a little bit" of rust, "but he was very physical," Arians said. "We can get by with his mistakes."
- The defense tried to do too much on plays in the second half. Instead of staying in their gap, they tried to do "too much". That's what led to Todd Gurley's four very big runs.
- Arians is happy to be in first place at this point. "Hopefully it doesn't come back to haunt us," he said, referring to the loss on Sunday.
- Arians said the non-fumble call was "obvious," but didn't place any blames on the refs. "If we had recovered the fumble the play before, it never would have happened," he said, noting "it was laying between our legs." He didn't challenge that recovery because there was no clear recovery before the scrum.
- Calais Campbell "was lights out." He called it "a shame" he played so well in a loss, but called it "as dominating a performance as you could ask for a defensive lineman."
Later there will be access to talk to players in the locker room. We will see if there is anything noteworthy then.