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Arizona Cardinals likely to continue high rate of blitzing in 2015

Tyrann Mathieu says its part of the team's identity.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Cardinals have loved to blitz on defense for the last several years. Two years of Ray Horton and another two of Todd Bowles made the Cardinals defense very aggressive in terms of sending players after opposing quarterbacks.

With new defensive coordinator James Bettcher, no one is exactly sure what to expect yet. However, defensive back Tyrann Mathieu considers the blitz as part of the team's defensive identity.

As a guest on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM, Mathieu was asked about the need to blitz or whether the Cardinals would try and get more pressure with just four rushers in 2015.

"I think we want to generate pressure with just four down rushers, but our identity is bringing everybody from all parts of the field and just manning up on the outside," Mathieu explained. "As defensive backs we look forward to man to man, but who knows."

Head coach Bruce Arians did not want too much to change from what Bowles did, so we should expect more of the same.

Mathieu also agreed with the notion that sending pressure from all over the field was also a way to "throw a bone" to defensive players, allowing them chances at the opposing quarterback.

That sort of philosophy led to 16 different players getting at least one sack in 2014.

Obviously, getting pressure with four is ideal, but blitzing also creates different looks to confuse opposing teams. Blitzing can be used to keep a running back from running a route, it can be done to stop a running play. It is done for a lot of reasons.

Will the Cardinals blitz as much as they did under Bowles? Maybe not, but we should expect it to be a big part of the defensive scheme if it is in fact the team's identity as Mathieu suggests.