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'I take all that s*** back': Cardinals coach Bruce Arians no longer takes blame for ill-fated play

Posted at 2:40 PM, Nov 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-20 16:40:07-05

After Sunday's 31-21 loss at the Houston Texans, Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians took responsibility for an ill-fated play that played a major role in their defeat.

On Monday, Arians reversed course.

"The fourth-down call, I take all that s*** back I said yesterday. That was a damn good call, and we busted an assignment at the point of attack," Arians said during his Monday afternoon press conference.

The play in question occurred with less than seven minutes remaining in the fourth quarter and the Cardinals trailing 24-21. Arians decided to have the Cardinals go for a first down on fourth-and-1 from their own 35-yard line, rather than punting the ball back to the Texans.

On the play, quarterback Blaine Gabbert handed the ball to running back Adrian Peterson, who was stopped for a 1-yard loss. The Texans got the ball back and scored on the very next play to put the game out of reach.

"That was an easy pickup. (Offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin) had a hell of a play designed, we called it and we busted an assignment," Arians said Monday. "They did not whoop us up there; we just turned them loose."

Arians' comments are a 180-degree turn from his remarks immediately after Sunday's game.  "Very simple: I cost our team the game," he said then. "You can't gain a foot, you deserve to lose, especially when you make the decision I made and the play that I called. There's your headline. You can write it."

Running back Chris Johnson, whom the Cardinals released to make room for Peterson last month, was critical of the Cardinals' fourth-down play call on Twitter.