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Arizona Cardinals training camp 2013: Previewing the defensive line

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Next is the position group that will be expected to make a lot of plays in 2013


Today we round out the defensive unit by looking at the defensive line, which has a lot of the same and a lot different going in to 2013. The starting unit is the same, but the depth has changed quite a bit.

Here is the training camp roster:

Calais Campbell (DE) -- signed long-term (through 2016)

Frostee Rucker (DE/DT) -- signed one-year contract in 2013

Matt Shaughnessy (DE-OLB) -- signed one-year contract in 2013

Ronald Talley (DE) -- signed to ER free agent deal through 2013

Everrette Thompson (DE) -- undrafted rookie in 2012

David Carter (DT/DE) -- 2011 sixth round draft pick

Darnell Dockett (DT/DE) -- signed through 2015

Ricky Lumpkin (DT) -- undrafted free agent 2011

Padric Scott (DT) -- undrafted rookie 2013

Dan Williams (DT) -- first round pick in 2010

The starters -- more of the same, but with a different role

Defensive coordinator Todd Bowles has said that 3-4 is the base formation for the defense. Nothing I have seen in practices tells me otherwise. The starting line will look just as it did in 2012 and 2011 -- Darnell Dockett, Dan Williams and Calais Campbell.

That is where things end in similarities. While the look will be the same, the line's role is changing, mainly being that Campbell and Dockett will be "unleashed" to do some major disrupting and playmaking. In fact, that is what the team is counting on.

A different look in nickel packages

Last season, the Cards would pull Dan Williams in passing downs, going with a two-man line. There is a slight change so far. Matt Shaughnessy comes into the picture, who was brought in this offseason. He has gotten looks at outside linebacker, so in a way, the nickel package is the same in personnel. However, Shaughnessy lines up (from what I have seen in practices) with his hand in the dirt at RDE. Campbell is LDE and Darnell Dockett slides over to tackle lined up over center.

The new veteran depth

Last season it was Vonnie Holliday and Nick Eason -- fine players, but not big playmakers. This year they brought in Shaughnessy and Frostee Rucker. Rucker has 11 career sacks, but four just last season. Shaughnessy had 3.5 last season and has 15.5 in his career. Eason and Holliday combined for two last season. The strange part of the additions is the fact that both come from 4-3 teams, thus causing speculation that the cards will be moving to a 4-3.

Williams, Carter and the young guys

Williams is penciled in as a starter and has lost weight. Head coach Bruce Arians has said that he needs to keep it off if he wants to rush the passer. Then there is David Carter, who has not made much noise since his rookie season. Undrafted rookie Padric Scott has turned heads in offseason workouts.

After that, there is the group of Lumpkin and Talley, both of whom got playing time under the previous staff and then Thompson, who spent time on the practice squad last season.

Who will make the roster?

This looks to be full of veterans. Williams, Dockett, Campbell, Shuaghnessy and Rucker are probably locks. That leaves one, maybe two spots for Carter and the other young guys to battle for.

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