The Arizona Cardinals are off to a nice start to the season. They are 2-0 and have put up quite a bit of points so far. They even are getting a little bit of national love in power polls and rankings. But head coach Bruce Arians doesn't want it getting to the players' heads.
Quarterback Carson Palmer revealed how Arians opened up team meetings on Wednesday. "I think coach put it best when he said, 'you ain't *blank*' to start the meeting off," Palmer told reporters on Wednesday.
Arians also made reporters laugh when he talked about all the pats on the back the team is getting from writers and analysts. "They're just looking for a soft spot where to stick a knife in," he said. He joked about how one guy who is praising the team also picked the team to win the first two games and then lose their next 10.
The point is Arians doesn't want the Cardinals to think they have achieved anything yet. They haven't. They have taken care of business and have put themselves in a great position to start the year, but that isn't enough.
And based on what players are saying, they buy in.
Safety Tyrann Mathieu said the players are staying grounded for the most part. "I don't think anyone in our locker room is reading their press clippings," he said. He did joke about rookie David Johnson, who has scored three touchdowns in two games and has a jersey in the Hall of Fame. "David's probably reading his," Mathieu said. "But I've been reading them, too."
It is the delicate balance of confidence and humility the team needs. If they are not confident, they won't know how to win tough games. If they are too confident, they will lose games they shouldn't.
From the fan perspective, the Cards haven't accomplished anything yet, but it sure is nice to be on this side of success to start the year. We have been on the other side too many times. Maybe they aren't (expletive), but at least we know they aren't playing like (expletive).