Q: The Cardinals look
like they can score points?
Mike: "If you just looked at the score then that's what it seems like. It was a 21-to-21 game deep into the ball game and then Detroit took advantage of a couple things. They showed to be a potent offensive football team in that game. Their young receiver had a pretty impressive debut with all the yards he had. I thought Blake played well and I thought offensively they were impressive. Defensively I thought they ran into a team that was hot and a little fortunate. Anytime you score 45 points in a game some stuff happens, and usually it has to happen for you: punt returns,a fumble, a short field, something has to happen; and then Detroit made some wonderful plays. I've always felt that in the first game anything can happen and you don't always see the way that team is going to be during the year. We just have to study the film and prepare that way and we have to get better and improve on the things I think we didn't do well in the first game. So that's going to be our approach."
Q: Will the hot
weather be a factor this Sunday?
Mike: "I think it is a factor. We talked to the team about it on Monday and I'm not going to talk about it anymore, because both teams have to play in it. It's going to be hot, we know that, and there are some things that (head trainer) Paul Federici has talked to our guys about; hydration, of course, and important things like that. There is also a packet of stuff that is supposed to help you in that area, so we're doing that this week. Other than that, it's going to be warm and we're going to play all the guys. I equate the hot weather with teams coming into my old team (Green Bay) when it was late and it was cold. If you let it be a disadvantage to you it will be, and so we're going to downplay that a little bit. But it's going to be hot."
Q: What is the make of the Arizona Cardinal
Mike: "On offense it appears that they would like to run at you. That sounds odd because they threw for so many yards, but they have a big offensive line and Emmitt (Smith) is there and they have a guy named (Marcel) Shipp that is also a running back for them. It appeared as though they would like to slam it at you to set up the passing game that way. On defense you have a big, physical front four and you have athletic linebackers, and they do some blitzing and some things to get you off balance. That's the way I thought they were last year defensively. The changes you might see are on offense for them, they threw the ball a lot last year and I think that's what they wanted to do first. I don't know if that is exactly the way they felt but it appears that way. So I think they're really trying to establish the run now."
Q: What do you take
out of last year's games with Arizon?
Mike: "They were two different games last year. We played them much better in the desert. Last year, I didn't think it was so much that deal (Cards dominate w/offensive line). I thought we didn't have good integrity in our gap control, and just team defense. Somebody would freelance a little bit and it would create a bigger hole and they took advantage of it. We got better in certain areas as the season went along, but in that game, that's what happened. And then offensively, in the first game last year, in the red zone we dropped passes. We ran the wrong routes. It just was an ugly game. I thought last year was a little different, I didn't think it was just that they mauled us, I just thought we didn't play very well."
Q: Are you expecting a
challenge from their offensive line?
Mike: "Yeah, if you're not technically sound and if you get up as a defensive lineman on these guys it can get ugly quick, because they are a big, strong, huge offensive line. They moved Pete Kendall to center, he played guard last year for them. They moved Leonard Davis to right guard, but they're just big and we're not the biggest defensive group up front. I think we have good quickness, but we've got to maintain our leverage and we've got to get underneath their pads and do things right, or their mass is going to block things out."