New look Arizona Cardinals share shades of 90’s Green Bay Packers
History (almost) repeats itself. The new look Arizona Cardinals are almost looking like the mid-90’s Green Bay Packers.
Reggie White was the league’s first ever high-prized free agent, and when he shocked the league by signing with Green Bay when he was 31 years old. Of course White would go on to have a Hall of Fame career, reaching two Super Bowls and winning one. J.J. Watt can have a Reggie White-like impact for the new look Arizona Cardinals.
Both are coming to teams who at the time haven’t won a championship in forever. Watt is easily the best defensive player the Cardinals have ever had, while White joined the legends such as Ray Nitschke and Dave Robinson. There are so many similarities between these two players. In fact a crazier parallel is that the ’96 Packers also had a center by the name of Frank Winters. With the Cardinals signing Brian Winters who plays guard, that’s two names that matched.
Am I guaranteeing a Cardinals Super Bowl title? No. But the impact can be legendary from Watt. With how loaded the division is with great quarterbacking talent and weapons, getting home to the quarterback has never been more urgent and important. Watt’s ability to chase down QB’s even at his age cannot be overlooked. Remember all those scrambles by Russell Wilson that would seemingly break the Cardinals season?
White wound up having 68.5 sacks in 6 years with the green and gold. While White was always healthy, Watt has obviously had an injury history. That may be the only thing holding Watt back. Now before the “football was a different game back then” or “the NFC Central wasn’t competitive”, claims start coming in, let’s not forget that during White’s tenure in the 920 (Green Bay’s area code) he played in a division that had at least two playoff teams each year, including the 1994 season where 4 out of 5 teams made the playoffs.
With a rising star at the quarterback position in Kyler Murray and his old friend DeAndre Hopkins on the offensive side of the ball, Watt should have plenty of chances to attack opposing QBs. This is without a doubt the most excitement around the team outside of the end of the 2008 and 2015 seasons.
Maybe someday we’ll hear about Kliff Kingsbury calling Watt and saying ” J.J. this is god. God wants you to come to Arizona”, just like Mike Holmgren did. The new look Arizona Cardinals hope to end the championship drought in the desert.