The Arizona Cardinals defensive secondary in 2008 was certainly a better one than in seasons past. One might argue they were the stars of the post-season, especially against the Carolina Panthers in the divisional playoff game.
Who’s gone from the 2008 unit:
Eric Green, Rod Hood.
Green and Hood both had their moments while members of the Cardinals secondary, with Hood maybe having a few more moments, however both produced inconsistent results that ultimately led the Cardinals to go in a different direction.
Who’s new to the 2009 unit:
Bryant McFadden, Greg Toler
If you can’t lose to them, join them to beat others. Not even sure if that is an actual saying, however it works for me. McFadden, after helping to defeat the Cardinals in the Super Bowl as a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers, he left to join the Cardinals in the desert to help solidify an ever improving unit.
Toler is a draft choice out of St. Paul’s College. Some viewed this as a gamble pick, but others claimed that they were taking Toler as their next pick in the third round. He must have something to offer. Whether he can compete at this level is something that will have to be seen in training camp and the preseason.
What to expect from the 2009 Arizona Cardinals secondary:
That’s the million dollar question. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie has been worth every penny and them some. He started to come into his own during the second half of 2008. Antrel Rolle’s move to safety was one of the best moves ever made by the Cardinals coaching staff in my opinion. He was on the verge of becoming a bust after being demoted to second string in 2007. All that changed with the position move in 2008. The one guy at safety that I am still expecting to see more consistency from is Aaron Francisco. He gets burned more times than not. His value as a special teams player has to be the reason he hangs around on the roster.
Let’s hope the overall effort given in the post-season by this unit, carries over to the 2009 season.