Arizona Cardinals special teams represented in Pro Bowls
The Pro Bowl has been the destination of quite a few Arizona Cardinals’ special teamers throughout the franchise’s history
Amos Jones of the Arizona Cardinals must’ve smiled when he heard the news. The beleaguered special teams coordinator hasn’t had much to be happy about in recent years. He does now however, thanks to a Cardinals rookie.
Budda Baker, the club’s 2017 second-round draft pick, will be the NFC’s special teams representative in next month’s Pro Bowl. The Cards’ safety has been a sensational gunner, making plays on a consistent basis. The selection of Baker is a ray of sunshine in what has been another poor year for Jones’ group.
The first-year player out of the University of Washington is only the latest Cardinals’ special teamer to be voted to the Pro Bowl roster. The last one to represent Arizona, Justin Bethel, is still a member of the organization. The backup cornerback has been voted to the all-star game three times (2013-15) because of his special teams prowess.
Another Cards’ rookie made his mark as a special teamer back in 2011. Their great cornerback, Patrick Peterson, got into the Pro Bowl for the first time not as a cover guy, but as a kick returner. The seven-time Pro Bowler had incredible return numbers that season, tallying 699 yards and an impressive four touchdowns on 44 punt returns.
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In 2008, Sean Morey was another Cardinals’ gunner to be voted in. The 5’11”, 193 pounder also played wide receiver, but his biggest impact was on special teams.
The best wedge-breaker in franchise history may have been Arizona’s current radio analyst, Ron Wolfley. The fullback appeared in four consecutive Pro Bowls (1986-89), the first two having occurred while the team resided in St. Louis.
Neil Rackers represented the Cards in the contest following the 2005 campaign. The bulked-up placekicker was almost perfect, converting 40 out of 42 field goal attempts and all 20 of his PAT tries that year.
A couple of former Cardinals’ punters also made the Pro Bowl. Scott Player got voted onto the team in 2000. The superb Rich Camarillo made it four times while with Big Red, first in 1989, and then from 1991-93.
The exciting Vai Sikahema was a Pro Bowl kick returner for the “St. Louis” Cardinals in both 1986 and 1987. J.T. Smith also made the squad as a kick returner, doing so in 1988 as a member of the “Phoenix” Cardinals.
It’s plain to see that the Cards have had many excellent special teams players throughout their existence. Baker’s election is certainly well-deserved. You can be sure that Jones would gladly agree with that assessment.