Nov. 25, 2012; Glendale, AZ, USA: Arizona Cardinals defensive tackle Darnell Dockett against the St. Louis Rams at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona Cardinals: Breaking Down the Defensive Line

The Arizona Cardinals’ defensive line did not do a good job at all stopping the opponent’s running game last season under Ray Horton. In comes Todd Bowles, who is most likely going to run a 3-4 defense that is probably going to play like a 4-3 defense.

Starters Darnell Dockett and Calais Campbell need no interdiction, and the football community knows who they are and what they bring bring to the field. The other starter, Dan Williams, isn’t known by many besides Cardinal fans.

Williams, who was referred to as a vending machine with legs by Ron Wolfly is entering his fourth season in the league and has only 102 tackles, five pass deflections, and one fumble recovery. Under Bowles, look for Williams to finally make his mark as the third best defensive tackle behind Ndamukong Suh and Gerald McCoy as predicted in the 2010 NFL draft.

Behind Williams on the depth chart are David Carter, Ricky Lumpkin, and rookie Padric Scott.

David Carter has played in all 32 games of his career and has started four, with a total of 28 tackles, one sack, two pass deflections, and one forced fumble. He might need another year to learn but then another with Bowles’ philosophy, it could be about that time for this sixth round draft pick to improve on those numbers and start making his presence know.

Ricky Lumpkin was signs off the practice squad after offensive lineman Mike Gibson was waived for much needed depth against the Detroit Lions last season. He’s only played in that one game and has one tackle.

In high school, Scott played on the offensive line where he has a great number achievements and also was a letter winner in football, track, and also in weightlifting where he was an ESPN share-qualifier. He originally was a Stanford Cardinal but transferred to Florida A and M where he showed he can be a dominate force with his explosiveness and strength.

Backing up Dockett and Campbell are Frostee Rucker, Matt Shaughnessy, Ronald Talley, and Everrette Thompson.

Rucker, drafted in 2006 in the third round by the Cincinnati Bengals, was on the team until 2011 and spent last year with the Cleveland Browns. He’s played in 69 games with 153 tackles, 11 sacks one interception, four forced fumbles, and seven pass deflections, his experience should provide solid depth.

Shaughnessy, drafted in the third round in 2009 by the Oakland Raiders has 123 tackles, 15.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, and one pass deflection. He’s a lunch pail type of guy coming full tilt on every play and was the defensive MVP at Wisconsin in 2007.

Talley, a practice squad player who made the team in 2011, he has 10 tackles and one sack. With the new scheme I’m looking forward to see how he’s used and what kind of production the new staff gets out of him.

Thompson, who is 6’6 and 272 pounds is entering his second season in the league and is looking to keep his spot on the roster. He’s got great size along with good foot speed, he’s an excellent athlete with a nose for the football.

With Bowles’ philosophy and the unit the Cardinals have on paper, I believe they have a solid group of guys on the line. Also, with the possibility of throwing Alex Okafor into the mix along the line, I’m getting so excited thinking about what could be, it makes me want to stand up and start yelling like Tom Green in Road Trip.


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Tags: Arizona Cardinals Darnell Dockett Todd Bowles

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