NFL Wire News

Cards’ Arians simmers over Pittsburgh departure


The Sports Xchange

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. — Over the past two years, Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians often referred to the Pittsburgh Steelers “re-firing” him after the 2011 season. He also mentioned several times that he gives thanks every day that the Steelers didn’t renew his contract.

Clearly, the way he was forced out as offensive coordinator in Pittsburgh bothered him. The Steelers said Arians retired, but in reality, they didn’t renew his contract. The decision was made by ownership, not head coach Mike Tomlin.

This Sunday will be the first time Arians returns to Pittsburgh as a head coach. He’s downplaying it, calling it “just another game.”

Not many people believe that, including Steelers receiver Antonio Brown, who played for Arians.

“Knowing him and how competitive he is, I’m sure he’s going to want to come in and put on a show, seeing how many people counted him out and wanted him out of here,” Brown said on a conference call Wednesday.

–Instead of returning to Arizona between road games at Detroit and Pittsburgh, the Cardinals are spending the week at The Greenbrier in West Virginia.

The Saints hold their summer training camp at the facility, so the facilities are NFL quality. There are two grass fields plus an artificial-turf field, and the team is staying across the street at a nice resort.

Not a bad way to spend a week. Quarterback Carson Palmer said it was business as usual.

“I expected it to be a little off or just a little bit weird being in such a different environment,” Palmer said. “But we got up at 5 and meetings started early at 7:30. Everybody got their workouts in and we got right to meetings, right to practice. Now, we still have a lot of work left to do in the day. Very businesslike and nothing out of the ordinary, other than the beautiful leaves and the mountains in the background and the breeze and all that.”

–The Cardinals opened last week’s game against the Lions in a no-huddle offense but failed to move the ball in the first two possessions. Players had trouble hearing code words on the road. Don’t look for the Cardinals to try it again this week in Pittsburgh, but they will use it again sometime this season.

“It’s always tough to no-huddle on the road, obviously,” Palmer said. “It’s much easier doing it at home and being able to communicate and talk and just have normal conversations. It was just one of those games that just took us a series or two to get going. Once we got going, we didn’t slow down really. I don’t know if it was necessarily no-huddle. It just took us a couple series to get going.”

NOTES: Free safety Tyrann Mathieu missed some practice time this week due to a heel injury. He is expected to play against the Steelers. … Wide receiver John Brown missed practice time with a hamstring injury but is expected to play Sunday. … Outside linebacker Alex Okafor will be out two to four weeks with a calf injury. Rookie Markus Golden replaces him in the starting lineup. … Strong safety Rashad Johnson is the only NFL player to intercept two or more passes in a game in each of the last three seasons.

About The Sports Xchange

Since 1987, the Sports Xchange has been the best source of information and analysis for the top professionals in the sports publishing & information business