The think tank: Cardinals Thursday OTA notes

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Cardinals Head Coach Bruce Arians says the team is working on mental toughness in OTAs. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Cardinals Head Coach Bruce Arians says the team is working on mental toughness in OTAs. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Arians has been impressed with former UofA standout Scooby Wright. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Arians has been impressed with former UofA standout Scooby Wright. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Arians was impressed with Carson Palmer. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Arians was impressed with Carson Palmer. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

“Concentration and mental toughness are the margins of victory,” -- NBA legend Bill Russell

TEMPE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) – Bruce Arians has seen the film. He knows exactly why the Cardinals went from NFC Championship game participants in 2015 to 7-8-1 and out of the playoffs in 2016.

The coach would likely have a laundry list of reasons for the fall but there's one that sticks in his craw and he intends to fix it. And Arians began that quest during spring OTAs which wind down this week in Tempe.

It's mental toughness.

"We had plays we made in years past that we didn’t make,” said Arians, "Whether it be kicks or finishing a game offensively or defensively. We just didn’t make the plays and had a couple of mental errors in critical situations that we had not made in the past. So yeah, that’s been a big point of emphasis.”

Of course with the expanded OTA roster in play, it also can be a work in progress.

“We finished a two-minute drill today and the young guys panicked,” said Arians. “When the clock is running we have a certain play we go to and they lined up all over the place – and those are the types of things that get you beat.”

Cardinals Notes:

---- Arians has been impressed with former UofA standout Scooby Wright.

“I think Scooby is doing fantastic,” Arians said.  “He’s one of those guys I have to say, ‘whoa’ to because he’s going full tilt all the time."

Arians also scoffed at Wright not having ideal "NFL measurables."

“He’s a football player,” said Arians. “And a lot of times that chart that says what a football player is – doesn’t compute. He’s a football player.”

---- Center AQ Shipley had core/hernia surgery and is not expected back until training camp.

---- As of June 1, Patrick Peterson will return punts in the 2017 season.

---- Arians is impressed with Carson Palmer remarking, “It's like he’s 20.”

---- Larry Fitzgerald’s NBA Finals prediction: Warriors in six.

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Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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