Arizona Cardinals can build around strong linebacking unit in 2023

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Arizona Cardinals
Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Arizona Cardinals / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

With many Arizona Cardinals veterans out in full force for minicamp, it’s tough not to notice the strong linebacking unit’s strength in numbers.

If there is one position group the Arizona Cardinals won’t address tomorrow night, or at any time this weekend, it’s their linebacking unit. Kyzir White, Zaven Collins, Isaiah Simmons (at times), and Krys Barnes have the unit locked down and ready to roll for 2023. 

The only problem, and a good problem at that, is that head coach Jonathan Gannon and defensive coordinator Nick Rallis must only figure out how to best use them. For example, Zaven Collins saw time at outside linebacker at the first minicamp, which is a position he hadn’t seen much time at in the NFL. 

We know Isaiah Simmons has played multiple positions over his first three seasons, and that trend can continue in 2023. Kyzir White and Krys Barnes could have the inside track at inside or middle linebacker once training camp and the inevitable preseason rolls around a few months from today. 

Strong linebackers will lead the Arizona Cardinals defense in 2023

Regardless of who plays where in 2023, it’s refreshing to see linebacker as a sound position of strength on a defense whose line could be a weak spot, and a defensive backfield with a lot of mystery surrounding it. But general manager Monti Ossenfort can remedy the line and secondary this weekend, especially if he pulls off a couple of draft day trades. 

Regardless of how many draft picks we see starting or playing significant roles on the Cardinals defense in 2023, look for those at linebacker to provide immense leadership for the group. This will become even more apparent if star safety Budda Baker isn’t coming back. 

It will be interesting to see who the Cardinals add this weekend, and how they factor into the defense. But if one thing is for certain, they will be building around what should be a strong unit at linebacker. 

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Source: Cardinals Working On Roles For Zaven Collins, Isaiah Simmons, Kyzir White by Darren Urban,