Jason Getz/USA Today Sports

Arians not concerned about Las Vegas road trips

The Arizona Cardinals' head coach said there's trouble to be had in every city, and that he's not concerned about taking his team on the road to play in Las Vegas.

Though no NFL team will have to make the road trip to take on the Raiders in their new city until 2019, how franchises will handle taking players and team personnel to Las Vegas is already drawing attention around the league. 

When the Raiders skip town in Oakland and move into Las Vegas in two seasons, the Raiders will become the closest geographical team to the Arizona Cardinals, which could spark a rivalry between two franchises that are already frequent preseason opponents.

At the NFL owners' meeting last week, Cardinals' head coach Bruce Arians was asked if he had any qualms about taking his team to a city filled with distractions and potential temptations, and his answer was essentially an emphatic 'No.' 

Arians said that regardless of where you take a team nowadays, there's trouble to be had in any city, and that players know that road trips are to be treated as business trips. 

"No because we're taking them to major cities every day now, if you're looking for trouble, there's trouble to find anywhere," Arians said. "Any team that comes to Phoenix, there's a casino in every corner. Gambling, that's not going to be a problem. I think we're on business trips and if you have a team that is not on a business trip, you're probably getting fired anyway. So don't worry about it."

Arians acknowledged that there's a potential for a geographic rivalry between the two organizations, but said it was much more likely to develop intensity if the Raiders and Cardinals ended up playing in the same division.

As for now, the NFL has not indicated it plans to realign divisions, but both the Raiders and the Chargers have finalized plans to move their homes shortly after the Rams left the St. Louis for Los Angeles last offseason.

"I would definitely say if we were in the same division," Arians said. "But I think it's great for the Raiders to finally have a home, it'll be fun I think for fans. I don't know if it'll be that much fun for the Raiders to have so many opposing fans coming in there. But yeah, I think it's good for the league to have stability."

Arians admitted he's disappointed that Oakland will no longer have a professional football team, as he recalled the distinct challenge of taking his teams to play in what was widely recognized as one of the league's most daunting atmospheres.

"I think it's bad for Oakland," Arians said. "Having gone to the Black Hole so many times, I hate to figure I'm not going back there. Because it ain't going to be the same Black Hole in Vegas as it was in Oakland."

Though Arians suggested the atmosphere in Las Vegas will be one fans of opposing teams are excited to take advantage of, he did joke that he'll have to worry about his assistant coaches joining in on the scene.

While Arians said he's not worried about his players in an environment like Las Vegas', when asked about comments his former defensive coordinator Todd Bowles made about the city, Arians did joke that he'll have to keep a close watch on his assistant coaches and change their meeting time when the team travels up north. 

"You've got to watch them too, that can be a problem," Arians said of his assistants. "We'll have an eight o'clock staff meeting, make sure they're all in." 


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