“You ain’t (bleep)!”
Those were the pointed and honest words of Bruce Arians back in September shortly after the Arizona Cardinals improved to 2-0. Two months and six more wins later Arians message has remained.
Sure, the 8-2 Cards are considered by many one of the frontrunners in the NFC after back-to-back Sunday Night Football wins on the national stage and have consecutive games against below .500 NFC West foes San Francisco and St Louis but the NFL has been known to feast on complacency.
Consider the Bird Gang warned.
“I think the one key thing right now with this team, you can’t slip up against San Francisco,” SI.com Senior NFL Writer Peter King told Sports360AZ.com’s Brad Cesmat during his weekly interview Tuesday. “You can’t go into a place like St. Louis where they’re so weak at the quarterback position and beat you in a game like that.”
Arians verbally challenged his team after a lackluster first half in Cleveland against the Browns. Arizona erased their mistakes and sloppy play and cruised to a double-digit win which could have been much worse had the Cards not turned the ball over four times.
The Cardinals have won four-straight after a dropping a game against Arians’ former team the Steelers in Pittsburgh. Quarterback Carson Palmer continues to play at an elite level and despite battling injuries Arizona has a strong three-game lead in the division with six games to play.
“If I’m Arians the one thing I’m saying to my team is,” King explained to Cesmat. “‘Look, the only way that any of this is going to matter…is that there are no mistakes along the way.”
On this holiday week the Cards have plenty to thankful for but need to remember the NFL can quickly humble teams which think, but don’t know, they have it all figured out.
Rest assured Arians is providing a constant reminder.