Arians reminisces on stressful Philly years

TEMPE, Ariz. — Arizona coach Bruce Arians was the head coach at Temple University in Philadelphia from 1983-88 and grew up in York, Pa., about 100 miles west of the city.
Arians turned on the humor when asked what it would be like to return to Philadelphia this weekend for the Cardinals’ game against the Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. 
“They finished all the roads. It’s been 30 years,” said Arians, 61. “They were all being built when I was there. I might not know my way around.”
When asked what he took from his Temple experience, where the Cardinals will hold their walk-through on Saturday, Arians continued to crack jokes. 
“Hopefully I will see some of the pictures where I had hair,” he said. “Temple kids are extremely dear to me. Those six years were fabulous. Probably stayed in touch with them more than any college players I’ve ever coached.”
Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Bowles played for Arians from 1982-85 and was a team captain. Arians had two winning seasons (six wins in 1986 were later forfeited because the Owls’ roster included an ineligible player), but he mostly remembers the stress.
“It almost killed me,” he said. “I was in the hospital about seven times my last season. I was only 36 and I felt like I was about 86. Stress will do funny things to you. I had a bunch of migraines every week. Got fired, never had another one in my life.
“The one thing I learned was if I ever got a job again — and it took a little while — I would learn to delegate. I tried to do everything and felt that was my job. I’ve learned how to let other people do their jobs — they’re more than qualified — and relax.”
Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week for his performance in Sunday’s 40-11 victory over the Indianapolis Colts. This is Palmer’s third career player of the week selection and first since the 2009 season when he was with the Cincinnati Bengals.
Palmer completed 26 of 37 passes (70.3%) for 314 yards, two touchdowns, a passer rating of 114.0 and no interceptions for the second straight week. During the Cardinals current four-game winning streak, Palmer has completed 89 of 129 passes (68.9 percent) for 1,146 yards, eight TDs, two interceptions and a passer rating of 110.8. He also has multiple touchdown passes in four consecutive games, the second-longest current streak in the NFL (Russell Wilson has five) and the longest streak for a Cardinals QB since Kurt Warner in 2009.
“It’s been a process, and it’s going to continue to be a process, but I think we made a lot of strides the last month or so,” Palmer said. “In no way have we figured this offense out completely or mastered this offense. We have a lot of work to do.”
Palmer had been undecided on whether to keep his Movember mustache into December, but with a perfect 3-0 mark in November, he said Wednesday that he has no plan to shave for this week’s game in Philadelphia on Dec. 1. He did not commit beyond that.
Eagles QB Nick Foles has earned a lot of deserved praise for his play since taking over as the starter, but Arians said when he dissects the Philadelphia offense, the attention will start elsewhere.
“You don’t worry about him at the moment. You’d better take (running back) LeSean McCoy out the game first and then worry about Nick,” Arians said. “It always starts with stopping the run for us and then getting to the quarterback. If we’re fortunate enough to stop the run in this game, I like our chances.”
McCoy leads the NFL in rushing yards with 1,009 on 213 carries (4.7 average) with just one fumble.
Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald has a history of eye-popping numbers against the Eagles. In five career games against Philadelphia, Fitzgerald has 35 receptions for 570 yards and nine TDs.
The most memorable of those was the 2009 NFC Championship in Philadelphia in which he caught nine balls for 152 yards and three TDs.
Arians said everyone was due to practice on Wednesday, and that was the case.
Safety Yeremiah Bell (knee), receiver Michael Floyd (shoulder) and safety Rashad Johnson (ribs) were limited. QB Carson Palmer (hand) and running back Alfonso Smith (ankle) practiced in full.
Arians noted that Floyd landed on the shoulder in which he has been nursing an AC sprain against the Colts on Sunday. Arians said Floyd will likely be sore the rest of the season, but it won’t keep him out of the lineup at the moment.