Last time we took a look at former all pro WR Rob Moore. An outstanding contributor to the Big Red, Moore is one of only two Cards players to be named 1st Team All Pro.
But today we turn back to the defense to a player that epitomized hard work and consitency throughout his career:
– Undrafted Rookie Free Agent (North Alabama, D-II)
– Played 9 seasons at MLB for the Cards (1996-2004)
– Played in 141 out of 144 games
– Over 900 career tackles (640 solo, 290 assisted)
– 12 sacks, 10 INTs, 12 Forced Fumbles
– Led the team in tackles 4 times
– Recorded 311 solo tackles from 99-01
– Recorded 119 solo tackles in 2000 (Led NFL)
If you wanted to find a player who was a model of consitency, effort, determination, and love for the game, you wouldn’t have to look any further than Ron McKinnon. For 9 straight years, the Cards never had to worry about the middle of the defense. McKinnon finished in the top 5 in tackles in the NFL 6 times. Quite simply he was the Rock of our defense.
He made plays all over the field, using both lateral quickness and an incredible instinct for the ball. Let me put it this way: if you were ever calling the play by play during a Cards game from 1996-2004 and you were unsure of who made a tackle on a particular play, you could probably call out McKinnon’s name and chances are you would have been right.
That is how integral he was to the defense. McKinnon was the one who did his job quietly and gave the Cardinals his absolute best every time he stepped foot on the field. Other more high profile guys came and went such as Simeon Rice and Kyle Vandenbosch, but McKinnon was the lynch pin and Captain that held the defense together. The only reason he didn’t get selected to the pro bowl during the 2000 season was because of the team he played for. It’s hard to get a lot of love from the media when you are the best player on perhaps the worst team in the league (at the time).
So three down:
1. Eric Swann, DT
2. Rob Moore, WR
3. Ron McKinnon, LB
And three more to go. Next up we go back to offense……and it’s Jake “the Snake” Plummer’s turn.