Dec. 23, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; Buffalo Bills running back C.J. Spiller (28) is tackled by Miami Dolphins middle linebacker Karlos Dansby (58) during the second half at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Top 10 Player Countdown: #7 Karlos Dansby

Karlos Dansby has done a lot for the Cardinals, and he’s poised to do even more this season.

Dansby, who was a fan favorite during his first stint with the Cardinals, was signed this April. Daryl Washington will be out for at least four games, and the Cardinals needed to add someone to seize the reins at middle linebacker. So, they signed the experienced Dansby.

The linebacker registered 134 combined tackles in 2012, which was a career-high. He played for the Miami Dolphins and made a monumental impact, but he remained unsigned for almost two months. Luckily for the Cardinals, they were able to swoop in and lure Dansby back to the desert, which will pay dividends this season.

Dansby loves playing in Arizona, and contending will make the experience even better for him. The Cardinals added an abundance of new players, but Dansby managed to rank second out of the 46 new players on our countdown. His previous experience and his career production was instrumental in Dansby’s high ranking, which is well-deserved.

Why? Because he has registered 31.5 sacks, 15 forced fumbles and 11 interceptions over his career, in addition to almost seven tackles per game. Dansby’s veteran presence and familiarity with older Cardinals like Larry Fitzgerald should help from a leadership and chemistry standpoint as well, and his leadership will help bind the revamped squad together.

Expect Dansby to assume one of the two middle linebacker positions from the get-go in defensive coordinator Todd Bowles’ 3-4 scheme, and don’t expect him to lose it. Dansby isn’t aging, as you can tell from his 8.4 tackles per game in 2012. Dansby will likely end up playing in Arizona for longer than the duration of his one-year journey, as he loves playing with the team.

Dansby has produced more than almost all of Arizona’s other players, and he completely deserves this ranking. Dansby has come up with some big plays in his career (he returned a fumble back for a touchdown to end a playoff game in 2010), and he knows how to handle the grind of a season.

His production to stay strong, and he will make huge impacts in multiple aspects of the game. With Dansby and Washington anchoring the middle of the field, defenses will have to fight for every yard. Dansby will dominate in Arizona, and he’s going to make himself into a household name with his play.

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