With Paris Lenon now an unrestricted free agent and Stewart Bradley being released, the Cardinals suddenly find themselves very thin at the inside linebacker position. Lenon is a candidate to be re-signed, but he is 36 years old and it may be time to move on. So what will the team do to fill his void?
Well, they could draft someone. Alec Ogletree, Manti Te'o and Kevin Minter are some of the top inside 'backers in this draft. Or they could sign a free agent to take over at the position. Remember, that is how they acquired Lenon originally. Or they could even shift someone currently on the team to take over the position. How about Sam Acho?
Acho did not have nearly the impact rushing the passer last year as he did during his rookie season. He collected just 4 sacks in 16 games and the Cardinals could use a more premiere pass rusher. But when you have a player as smart and athletic as Acho, a role can be found for him. How about as the starting SILB next to Daryl Washington?
Cardinals radio analyst Ron Wolfley sees it as a possible fit.
The only issue Wolfley sees is that Acho might struggle playing in space and guarding opposing tight ends and running backs that leak out of the backfield. But with Kerry Rhodes being more than adept at doing that and Washington having the speed to defend just about anyone, Acho might not have to that much. Besides, can he be any slower or worse at defending in space than Lenon was?
I had personally never thought of this as an option, but it does make quite a bit of sense. The Cards could get a more premium pass rusher to go across from O'Brien Schofield (Quentin Groves?) and allow Acho to move to a different position. Remember, Acho came out of Texas as a defensive end, so he would have to learn yet another position all over.
I think Acho can do it and do it well. He is perhaps the smartest player on the defense and would be able to call out the plays and diagnose the offense very well. Again, the only problem is getting him to learn the new position.
What do you think? Acho to the Mike? Tell us in the comments section below.