Why Arizona Cardinals Linebacker Jasper Brinkley Will Have Impact Season

Sep 23, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings linebacker Jasper Brinkley (54) against the San Francisco 49ers at the Metrodome. The Vikings defeated the 49ers 24-13. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

When the Arizona Cardinals signed free-agent inside linebacker Jasper Brinkley to a three-year contract, it was a move in the right direction. A young player that would immediately provide depth in the middle, Brinkley brings a nasty mean streak to an up and coming Cardinals defense. And although the Cardinals recently brought back linebacker Karlos Dansby, Brinkley is younger, faster, and stronger. The former South Carolina Gamecock will be a nice compliment to Daryl Washington and add a physical presence that is unmatched, as Brinkley can lay the wood on just about anyone.

However, Brinkley will need to show the coaching staff he is starter worthy, considering the Cardinals just drafted second-round linebacker Kevin Minter. The LSU product is also tough, physical, and aggressive, so it will be interesting to see which of these two linebackers wins out, as training camp and OTA’s are set to begin.

Oct 7, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings linebacker Jasper Brinkley (54) picks up a dead ball after a play against the Tennessee Titans at the Metrodome. The Vikings win 30-7. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Aside from entering a camp battle with Minter and Dansby, Brinkley will have to adopt to a new look Cardinals defense led by Todd Bowles. The former Philadelphia Eagles secondary coach and interim defensive coordinator, Bowles will intall a 3-4 defense.  This bodes well for Brinkley as he has a rare combination of speed and power. A player that plays downhill, Brinkley will rack up tackles like no one’s business. In 2012, the former fifth-round pick had a career season with the Minnesota Vikings as he registered 63 solo tackles and three forced fumbles. A drastic improvement over his previous two seasons as he had a combined 45 tackles, the Cardinals catch a break as they sign a player in the prime of his career.

Whether Brinkley starts or not remains to be seen, but if I had to take a guess, I would say that not only will Brinkley start but he will also turn some heads doing it.

Topics: Arizona Cardinals, Jasper Brinkley

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  • Bill Doerr

    Karlos Dansby was the biggest addition at the ILB position in free agency. He Recorded over 120+ Tackles last season and Paired with D-Wash when he returns from his 4 game suspension they will be Lethal, Especially with Dockett, Campell and William’s up front the Cardinal’s will be getting after the Passer in a big way all season long. Second Draft Pick Kevin Minter is a awesome ILB, something like 130 Tackles last year, He owned the Gators when LSU played them last year. He is a dangerous player and I really think he will start over Brinkley. Brinkley is excellent in stuffing the run , a 3rd down LB , which is Mainly why he was brought in , he became even more important with the Absence of D-Wash for 4 games. Either way it will be exciting to watch the Cardinal’s Defense, they improved on the NFL’S 12TH best overall D that was rated 5th in Pass Defense in a big way in FA and the Draft. The Cardinal’s have the offense to match this defense which is the scary thing, they will be giving a lot of team’s a hard time this season. I really see this team winning anywhere 9-12 games this year.