Arizona Cardinals: Kyzir White poised to become a game-changer?

Oct 9, 2022; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Kyzir White (43) against the
Oct 9, 2022; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Kyzir White (43) against the / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Most of the Arizona Cardinals free agent signings comprised role and depth players. But linebacker Kyzir White serves as the team’s one big exception.

Long story short, if Arizona Cardinals head coach Jonathan Gannon didn’t believe linebacker Kyzir White would become a leader on his defense, general manager Monti Ossenfort never would have brought him to the desert. But here we are, with White stepping in as the Cards premier free agent signing

And one of Arizona’s newest linebackers could be better than you think. As you know, the Cards are experimenting with Zaven Collins and Isaiah Simmons possibly heading to other positions on defense for at least a handful of packages. This couldn’t be done without a Kyzir White-led linebacking unit, as the former Philadelphia Eagle gives the Cardinals more than a solid player to man the middle of the defense. 

Arizona Cardinals linebacker could have game-changing ability

Alex Ballentine of Bleacher Report claimed White was the Cardinals “Best-Kept Secret,” when they listed one for each of the NFL’s 32 teams. White’s nose for finding ball-carriers wasn’t the only thing that jumped out at Ballentine, however. Instead, it was his impeccable performance last season in pass coverage. Here is a snippet of what Ballentine had to say. 

"“He allowed just 288 yards in coverage on the season and held quarterbacks to a 74.4 passer rating when targeted.” "

Alex Ballentine

Last season, the Cardinals linebackers as a unit struggled in pass coverage, so to have someone potentially take away the middle of the field would be a godsend for a team like the Cardinals. Someone in the unit needs to step up, and it looks like White can be that guy, giving the Redbirds help in stopping both the run and the pass better than they have over the past few seasons. 

If White can lock down the middle of the field in the desert like he did in 2022, it could force opponents to pick on the Arizona Cardinals corners, but that might not be so easy, with Marco Wilson coming off of a solid 2022 outing. If Garrett Williams can get healthy and is cleared to play sooner than later, then thanks to White, opponents could have a tougher time passing on the Cards than previously believed. 

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Source: Every NFL Roster's Best-Kept Secret Heading into 2023 OTAs by Alex Ballentine,