Cardinals quickly got used to cameras in behind-the-scenes series

TEMPE, Ariz. – Bruce Arians knows the Bibles will come.

They’ll be mailed to Arizona from near and far. It’s happened before, when he coached at Virginia Tech. But the 63-year-old Arizona Cardinals head coach wasn’t going to change who he is -- which would’ve meant eliminating the profanity -- for the cameras, especially when they were everywhere during the 2015 season.

Arians and his colorful language will be just a part of Amazon Video’s eight-part series, “All or Nothing,” that collaborated with NFL Films to go inside the Cardinals’ locker room last season.

It premieres Thursday night in Los Angeles and debuts July 1.

NFL Films was embedded with the Cardinals during the 13-3 season that took them to the NFC Championship Game, putting cameras in meeting rooms, in the locker room and inside players’ homes.

“They did a very, very professional job of not intruding our space,” Arians said. “They had very small cameras and everybody got used to them after a while. I got used to having a microphone on me every day. After a while, you’ll be able to tell I didn’t change any.

“I’ll get a few Bibles in the mail, I’m sure. And rightfully so.”

Added Arians: “It was one of those things that once we decided we were going to do it, it was like I’m going to coach the way I coach. I’m not changing who I am and our staff is not changing who they are. If everybody’s cool with that, then we’ll do that.”

Arians was himself throughout filming, according to his quarterback.

“B.A. was B.A. all last year,” Carson Palmer said.

Arians agreed to do the project under two primary conditions: The camera and crew wouldn’t be a distraction to the players and coaches, and the series wouldn’t be like “Hard Knocks,” the annual HBO series that goes inside a team’s training camp. Arians didn’t want the focus of the show to be about personnel decisions and conversations about players. From what he’s seen thus far, personnel discussions play a minimal part in “All or Nothing."

From a 1-minute, 47-second trailer, which defensive tackle Calais Campbell described as “awesome,” the show is a mixture of behind-the-scenes footage from games and the locker room, game footage, as well as scenes from players’ personal lives, such as when cornerback Patrick Peterson's daughter arrived or an interview with left guard Mike Iupati's wife after he suffered a neck injury in Seattle in Week 10.

There was an adjustment period when the NFL Films crew first descended upon the Cardinals’ practice facility, Campbell said. Some players immediately took to the cameras while others shied away from the multiple lenses following their every move.

As the season began and the Cardinals got used to the cameras, Campbell noticed two changes. His teammates opened up more and the players often forgot or ignored that they were being filmed and recorded while they prepared every week for games.

While the series will give fans a look inside an entire season, it’ll also allow the Cardinals to see more intimate sides of their teammates.

“You’re around guys all day long but when guys leave, who knows what goes on?” Palmer said. “You don’t really know how many kids some guys have, or how many people are living with them from back home. It’d just be cool to get a different perspective of your own teammates.”

Palmer, who liked the idea of having a video “yearbook” that he could show his kids or grandkids in 20 years, or simply use to reminisce himself, wondered to Cardinals president Michael Bidwill why every team won’t start doing a project like “All or Nothing.”

And that’s coming from a player who’s been on “Hard Knocks," too.

Palmer, who appeared on the HBO series in 2009 when he played for the Cincinnati Bengals, said there’s a significant difference between the shows.

“When you do ‘Hard Knocks,’ after a while the cameras are just part of the environment and they just kind of blend in -- and that’s only when they’re with you for three weeks. When they’re with you from now to the end of the season, they really become just a piece of furniture in the room. You really don’t think anything of them.

“I think that’s what ‘Hard Knocks’ is trying to get and what we achieved, is you just don’t realize when you’re on, who’s mic’d up. You’re being yourself. You’re just going about your business the way you go.”