The signing of John Abraham was a need for the Cardinals defense when it came to an elite pass rusher. He is, without a doubt, is an upgrade over O’Brien Schofield, for the time bring, but he is 35 years old and is entering his 14 season in the league.
Abraham is a four time Pro Bowler (should be five), a three time All-Pro with 508 tackles, 122 sacks, 44 forced fumbles, and one interception. He only played one year of high school football but ended up getting recruited by the University of South Carolina and also still holds the South Carolina high school record in the 200-meter dash.
With his age, Abraham is most likely only going to play on first and third rushing down, maybe only third down,allowing the other linebackers to get some playing time, and allowing them to all stay fresh. In a 4-3 scheme, he can be slid in at end, allowing Dockett to slide over at tackle, where he’s the most affective, and this could definitely happen if ever the defense is getting exposed in their 3-4 scheme.
Last season, Abraham had ten sacks last, so even if his play slides a bit, I think he can still be very effective. With him being 35, I believe he can pick up playing at linebacker fairly quick and start causing interceptions from the start.
Abraham is also an upgrade from Schofield when it comes to mentoring the rookies on the team along with Sam Acho. With him helping out Alex Okafor and even Kevin Minter, it will help out the team down the road.
I like the fact that Bruce Arians is trying to win now, even I wish they would of given Schofield this one season to show what he’s worth. I hear different things on why he was let go, so oh well, that’s football.
The Cardinals’ defense didn’t have anyone that you could call elite, but they were a solid group of guys who were in need of the right scheme. With Abraham being thrown into the mix, with a coordinator that’s going to use everyone to their strengths, that strengthens and already solid front seven.
This defense is only going to get better from here on out and I can’t wait to see them take the field after their bye week.