Will we have a good defense next year? Lets face it; our defense the last few years has never been consistent, sometimes they play great, often they are abysmal. Now we must ask the question, will our defense be any good in 2011 and what factors should we look at to determine our conclusion?
Influence of the Offense
One reason our defense was so terrible last year was because of the terrible offense. Nothing makes a defense’s life more difficult than an offense that in unable to string together more than 1 or 2 first downs on most of their drives. In order to give next years defense a chance lets assume we pick up a decent QB and are actually able to occasionally sustain drives. If this is true our defense will show some improvement next year as they will be better rested and opposing teams have worse field position for their offense.
Ray Horton! I am scared that Whiz was narrow minded in his obsession about hiring from the Steelers. Ray was not even his first choice of their assistants; they wouldn’t let us interview the guy Whiz really wanted. I can’t help feeling like we settled for the 2nd or 3rd best assistant the Steelers had while paying little attention to the rest of the league. What do you think?
DRC, PP7, Toler, Rhodes, Wilson. On paper this looks like a stacked secondary. Wilson as injured all of last year so we can assume he will be great again and Horton will allow him freedom to operate. I also think we can also be confident DRC will be better this year and play closer to his potential as he gets pushed by PP7 and Toler. Rhodes, though not very flashy, seemed very solid last year and I see no reason for that to remain true. All in all I think our secondary will be a force to be reckoned with and the strength of our defense.
By the end of last year I was very impressed with Dan Williams. He has a great motor and is getting better and batter at tracking the ball and demanding a double team. Docket will be fantastic as always so our line will at last be decent. If Calais Campbell can play like he did two years ago it can be great. This is another strength that I think should only get better from last year.
And here is the weak link. We may have the worst linebacker corps in the league. No edge pressure on the QB last year which allowed our d-line to be double teamed and put the secondary on the frying pan. Our defense will suck without a drastic improvement from the linebackers. I think our defense rests on two names, Daryl Washington and O’Brien Schofield. Both of these players have natural ability and showed flashed last year. We need Washington to be a dynamic presence in the middle and Schofield to give us the threat of a pass rush. If these two players improve next year and are great, the Cardinals defense can be good. I doubt they would be in the top 10 due to a lack of depth but the top 15 is not out of the question.
So lets keep a close eye on Washington and Schofield and hope they play as well as we all hope they can.
What do you think?