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Transcript: Mike Smith post-practice interview


On how Wednesday's practice went:

"It's good to get back out on the field and have an opportunity to start preparing for Arizona. The coaching staff spent the day yesterday game-planning and we installed part of it today. I thought the guys came out and had a spirited practice."

On whether he believes the mood of the team is upbeat:

"Yeah, I think it's very upbeat. It's like any other Wednesday. We come to work and we're excited about the new challenge in front of us, and this week it's the Arizona team that won on the road last week, they're 1-0. It's going to be a big challenge for us. They're a good football team. Two years ago they were in the Super Bowl, last year they were in the playoffs, a 10-6 team, and they're off to a 1-0 start."

On why he thinks the team plays so well at home:

"I think statistically, if you're a good football team, you're going to win at home. I think we've been able to do that. I think a lot of it has to do with the fans. It's a very loud place for our opponents coming in. Our fans know when to cheer and when not to cheer. It's a friendly surrounding, even though it's the same 100-yard field every team in the League has, it's nice to be at home. We want to defend our home turf and we've done a good job of doing it. I think Arizona last year kind of bucked the trend. I think they were better on the road than they were at home believe it or not."

On whether the team would benefit from the fans being in the stadium earlier:

"Oh, I think so. We would love to come out of the locker room and see that place packed to the gills. Our fans do a super job during the game; it'd be nice to get the juices flowing even before the kickoff."

On whether there is any concern about the offense:

"I think it's one of many concerns. When you finally play your first game you get an opportunity to really evaluate a full game where the players that are going to be playing, for the most part, all season long are playing. We have got to get better. I've spoken about the evaluation and we have a 24-hour rule and we really put it behind us. We know that we have to improve, not only offensively, we've got to improve at all three phases and also on the coaching. We've got to do a better job and I said it on Monday, it starts with me. I've got to do a better job as well."

On whether it is a point of emphasis to try to get more guys involved in the passing game:

"Well we want to throw the ball to who's open and we have to go through our progressions. Different teams are going to strategize differently on how they're going to take receivers away. We're going to run through our progressions as an offense when we throw the ball and when we throw it we're going to try to throw it to the guy that's open."

On Cardinals QB Derek Anderson:

"He's been a very productive player. At Cleveland he went to a Pro Bowl. He's got an arm that can go deep. In my mind they've got one of the top receivers in the League in Larry Fitzgerald. They can go vertical. He's a strong receiver. He's probably the number one guy when the ball is in the air. When I say when the ball is in the air, when he's having to fight one or two defenders he usually comes down with the football. WR Steve Breaston was their number three receiver, he's moved up to their number two. He was the guy that Derek went to in the first game. I think he had seven catches, 123 yards. They've got a very formidable passing game with Derek. RB (Tim) Hightower had 63 catches, so they spread the ball around in terms of, not only to their wide receivers, but the backs get involved as well."

On the Cardinals' 3-4 defense:

"Billy Davis is the defensive coordinator there. Billy's background: He coached at Pittsburgh for a number of years, so he's got a background with the Pittsburgh Steelers. In all of the 3-4 defensive schemes, they are very similar. I think they've got a very impressive defensive end in Darnell Dockett. He's a penetrating defensive end. He's a guy that tries to be disruptive getting in the backfield. Then Calais Campbell the other defensive end is six foot eight and has improved immensely. He had seven sacks last year. He plays with a lot of length. So those two guys are really good players. Then they are very experienced at the outside linebackers. When I say experienced, you've got Joey Porter and Clark Haggans. We played against Joey last year when he was at Miami. Clark is a guy that spent a lot of time in Pittsburgh; he's a very experienced player. Then their safety Adrian Wilson has been to the Pro Bowl. He's a 10-year player that I think is very good, very active. I think he hit the trifecta this past week, had an interception, had a sack and had a blocked field goal. It was quite a game for him, last week against St. Louis. CB (Dominique) Rodgers-Cromartie is very athletic, may be the fastest corner on the clock in the NFL. He can recover, he's a guy that led their team in interceptions last year. It's a very solid team that two years ago was in the Super Bowl, last year was the NFC West Champion and made it to the playoffs. They're going to come in here and we've got to have our best foot forward."

On whether Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie will shadow a receiver:

"Most of the time he stays on one side. It wouldn't surprise me, at the beginning of the season everybody's trying different things. Right now they play right and left, but we've got to be prepared that he may shadow one of our receivers. They may shadow the tight end with one of their safeties."

On Wednesday's injury report:

"We had full participation by everybody except for two players. WR Michael Jenkins did not participate today nor did S Erik Coleman. Erik Coleman will be listed on the report with a knee and he'll be day-to-day. We're going to see how he is tomorrow. He finished the ball game up there in Pittsburgh. He was a little bit sore today and we'll just have to see where he's at as the week progresses."

On whether Michael Jenkins has suffered a setback from his original four to six week window:

"He's right at it. He's in the window right now, between four and six. There hasn't been a setback, but we are in that four to six week window. Four weeks would have been the Friday night before the Pittsburgh game so we're looking at five weeks this Friday night. He's progressing working with our training staff and our Athletic Performance [staff]. You guys have seen him out here moving around and getting involved when he can. He just hasn't been able to participate in practice."

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