Young and talented, Schofield needs to push hard to get old and reliable Haggans out of the way. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Clark Haggans has been in Arizona since 2008. He signed with Arizona on a one year deal, as part of the influx of Pittsburgh players that started to make the team during the transition years after Ken Whisenhunt was hired as the Head Coach and Russ Grimm as the assistant Head Coach/Offensive Line Coach. Haggans was supposed to be a stop gap, and some depth behind Chike Okeafor and Bert Berry, and Whisenhunt wanted players like Haggans to help install the mentality that was the calling card of the Steelers defense. Flash forward through two Defensive Coordinators and a second half of the 2011 season and you'll see the shapings of the Defense Whisenhunt wanted years ago, and Haggans being a reliable force playing at LOLB regardless of O'Brien Schofields draft status and potential.
Comparing Haggans and Schofield by 2011 stats alone it shows that Schofield has the potential to meet Haggans contribution, and once comfortable, can exceed it in the one place the Cardinals want to improve most ... pressuring the Quarterback and getting sacks.
Schofield played in all 16 games in 2011 and struggled early with Horton's complex defensive scheme, but drastically improved his performance in the second half of the season. His 4.5 sacks in shared snaps with Haggans is close to Haggans high as a Cardinal with 5.0 in two consecutive seasons (09, 10).
Schofields potential and physical skills are there, but Haggans was brought back for a reason.
How quickly will Whisenhunt reward Haggans with the starting job? And do you think Haggans will have an increase in sacks if used a situational pass rusher?