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Cardinals have to ‘be ready for everything,’ says their coach

Cardinals coach Bruce Arians does not expect an easy go of it against the Patriots just because Tom Brady is absent.rick scuteri/AP/Associated Press

FOXBOROUGH — Even though Jimmy Garoppolo will be QB1 in Arizona Sunday night, Cardinals coach Bruce Arians thinks that it’ll be pretty much the same ol’ Patriots.

Arians barely saw Garoppolo throw to Julian Edelman and never saw him throw to Danny Amendola or Rob Gronkowski during the preseason, so he’ll rely on film from past years to give him an idea of what the Patriots will do on offense.

“You just have to go back,” Arians said. “I don’t think they’re going to change a whole lot what they do offensively. I’m sure they’ll use Jimmy’s athleticism some more than Tom’s. But they throw back to Tom on a touchdown and you’ve got to be ready for everything. It’s different, but you’ve seen those guys play and I don’t think they’ll do that much differently.”


One difference will be the addition of tight end Martellus Bennett. Arians guessed that the Patriots will play two-tight-end sets “about 70 percent of the time.”

“They do a very good job with up-tempo stuff without substitutions in the past,” said Arians. “You have to be ready for a lot of things. They’re extremely well-coached.”

Giving them Fitz

Bill Belichick touted Larry Fitzgerald’s Hall of Fame credentials during a Tuesday conference call, and his team expressed similar feelings Wednesday.

Members of the Patriots secondary have a lot to prepare for in the Cardinals’ versatile wide receiver.

“He can block, he can catch the ball, he can get on the edge like a tight end, so you know, he’s very versatile,” said Malcolm Butler. “He can do a lot.”

Devin McCourty said that, through 12 seasons in the NFL, Fitzgerald has an understanding of what his offense and opposing defenses try to do that allows him to be effective lining up inside or out, as well as in aiding the running game and helping quarterback Carson Palmer manage the game.


“What he brings to that team is way more than just catching passes and touchdowns,” said McCourty. “He does a lot I think overall for the understanding of getting everyone else going and just being able to fill multiple roles for them.”

McCourty would rather talk about Fitzgerald than Garoppolo.

“I’m not here to endorse him,” McCourty said. “Jimmy’s a hard-working football player. I fully support him. Like I said, I don’t think talking about Jimmy daily does anything. He’s like everybody else. You can ask me how Malcolm Butler’s doing, Cyrus Jones, I mean, I’m going to tell you the same thing. They’re out here working hard and ready to go.”

Memorable momentIt’s been challenging to see much of Jonathan Cooper, as the guard acquired from Arizona in March injured his foot early in training camp. Cooper made the roster, and the Patriots indicated that they’re not worried about interior line depth by releasing Josh Kline, but Cooper has not said what his condition is or whether he’ll play Sunday.

Palmer is not a bad scout to have, though. The Arizona quarterback had encouraging things to say about Cooper, whom the Cardinals drafted in the first round in 2013 but who has struggled with health.

“Hated seeing him go,” Palmer said. “Extremely talented but he, you know, he made one of the more athletic plays I’ve ever seen from a guard on a play that he got hit really awkwardly and broke his ankle his rookie year.

“But to see him move, especially in the screens and inside, he’s so athletic for how big he is. He’s not really tall but he uses it to his advantage because he gets low and he plays with great leverage.”

Palmer said that Cooper split a double-team and jumped over a defender just to get to his blocking assignment before planting and getting hit awkwardly on his ankle.


“It was so athletic, just watching him get downfield was like, ‘Wow, that’s why you draft a guy seven on the offensive line,’ ” Palmer said.Gang’s all here

The Patriots had perfect attendance for the second straight day as they held a midday workout in full pads. The only change of note was the presence of linebacker Quentin Gause, who took defensive end Rufus Johnson’s place on the practice squad. Gause was recently released by Philadelphia. He signed there in April as an undrafted free agent out of Rutgers. He becomes the fifth former Scarlet Knight on the Patriots roster, joining Jonathan Freeny, McCourty, Logan Ryan, and Duron Harmon.

Where Butler did it

The last time Butler went to University of Phoenix Stadium, things worked out pretty well, but the cornerback won’t be thinking about his game-winning interception in Super Bowl XLIX Sunday. “It’s an honor to go back, but that can’t help us win the game,” Butler said . . . Another young cornerback making a splash is rookie Brandon Williams, who moved ahead of Justin Bethel this summer to win the starting spot opposite Patrick Peterson in Arizona. Patriots rookie Cyrus Jones was Williams’s roommate at the NFL Combine. “He’s fast,” said Jones. “And he’s a big, skilled player and very athletic.”

Nora Princiotti can be reached at nora.princiotti@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @NoraPrinciotti.