The Cardinals defense took much of the blame for faltering down the stretch in 2007 and while it was deserved, they had a decent excuse. Injuries ravaged the entire defense including Adrian Wilson (final 7 games), Bertrand Berry (final 7 games), Eric Green (final 5 games), and Chike Okeafor (entire season). The injuries were finally to much to overcome and even the guys that were healthy started to wear down. Guys like Pro Bowler, Darnell Dockett, who started the season with 35 tackles and 8 sacks in the first eight games but just 23 tackles and 1 sack in the final eight. The defense as a whole suffered as well allowing 29.1 points per game over the final seven games. That's a far cry from the respectable 21.7 that they averaged over the first nine games. That's a fairly important difference considering that two of their three losses during that stretch were by 7 points or less. Needless to say, the Cardinals entered the off season with a need to add depth, if nothing else, to a defense that finished 27th in points allowed and 28th in passing yards allowed.
The first day of the draft saw the Cardinals take a big corner exuding athleticism and a huge defensive end and the second day brought some much needed depth to the defensive line and line backing corps. The first mini-camp practice already had Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie practicing with the first string, thanks to the strained groin of Rod Hood. Mini-camps also brought the questions about where exactly Calais Campbell would line up. Coach Whisenhunt said it's too early to tell at this point but he'll likely get work at both defensive end (in 3-4 alignments) and defensive tackle (in 4-3 and pass rush situations). At this point Campbell is just going with the flow and working hard to improve his technique. Either way it works out the defense seems to be in a better position heading into 2008. Thoughts?
Campbell during his first mini-camp.