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Bruce Arians says Arizona Cardinals defense 'better' than 2013 unit 'even without Darnell'

More hyperbole or no?

Christian Petersen

Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians can certainly be accused of using hyperbole. He once used the word "elite" to describe what he saw from Levi Brown. He also does not always tell the truth to reporters (Daryn Colledge's leg fracture in training camp last year and drafting Logan Thomas).

So maybe his latest comments aren't completely true, but he does show a ton of belief in his team.

He was asked about his defense during his Thursday media session. Most expect the unit to take a step back in production, but Arians doesn't see it that way.

"This defense is better than that one, even without Darnell," he said.

This is an interesting comment because this year they will be without Dockett, Daryl Washington and Karlos Dansby. Alameda Ta'amu and Tyrann Mathieu are coming back from major knee surgery. John Abraham missed half of training camp.

Context is needed. This time last year, the unit was still learning Todd Bowles' schemes. Washington was out for the first four games. This year, they already know what they are doing, they have a deeper defensive line than last year and a defensive secondary that is both more talented and deeper.

Now, does that mean they will be statistically better?

That's the question.

They were number one against the run. They were sixth in overall yardage allowed. They were seventh in points allowed.

Do you think it is possible that a team that has lost three very important players can be better than last year's unit?