Can the Cardinals Defense Apply Pressure?
By Matthew Gay
December 30, 2012; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) tries to elude Arizona Cardinals outside linebacker Sam Acho (94) in the second quarter at Candlestick Park. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
Defensive coordinator Todd Bowles left a hazardous atmosphere in Philadelphia last year as the interim defensive coordinator. Years prior he was an influence for the Miami Dolphins, which in 2011 were worth watching and mentioning primarily for the explosive defense keeping them in games.
I’m going to remove the 2012 Eagles situation for this analysis because he was asked to stop a flood that was handed to him. Bowles is primarily a secondary coach who has aided coordinators and served as interim head coach. He seems to have a quality scheme and be a coach you want to play for as Karlos Dansby and Yeremiah Bell came to play for him this year and rightfully so as they had above average seasons with him in Miami in 2011.
In the last 3 seasons he provided a defense that is at or above average in sacks (36.5) and interceptions (14.6). Its worth noting that minus the Eagles he hasn’t a talent pool like he has in Arizona. Adding Dansby and Bell to tutor his ways and anchor the defense will speed up the learning process.
This roster must be a breath of fresh air due to the talent on paper and that he starts as the coordinator from day 1. He will apply pressure with Sam Acho and Alex Okafor having blitz packages. Darnell Dockett has a new assignment that appeals to him. This assignment is the same one that made Cameron Wake a popular name in the sack game. I believe he will ask that Calais Campbell maintain his gap and continue to maul people like he is used to.
The pressure applied by the above men will cause some pressured and errant throws to ball hawks like Patrick Peterson, Tyrann Mathieu, Yeremiah Bell and Antoine Cason.
Considering the talent provided, a reputable scheme and that they face two mobile quarterbacks, the Cardinals are primed to finish above average in sacks and interceptions. Not to mention Sam Bradford who may be stuck standing in the pocket for longer than desired with little weapons to utilize. There’s a reason they tried to build one of the best offensive lines in the NFL.