What makes the Arizona Cardinals losses on defense bearable heading into the 2017 season?
One thing that has been discussed quite a bit is that the Arizona Cardinals know how to put defensive players in a position to be successful.
One of the reasons? The Cardinals are easily the most aggressive team in the NFL when it comes to blitzing according to Pro Football Focus.
With every defensive coordinator preaching aggressive defenses, no one still quite does it like ARZ. They blitzed 41% on 1st down last year! pic.twitter.com/y9ClTvRqIN— Mike Renner (@PFF_Mike) July 12, 2017
Even on first down, when teams are typically conservative, the Cardinals play the game the other way.
Sometimes it kicks them in the butt, see the Green Bay Packers playoff Hail Mary’s, but most of the time it creates an opportunity for players to make plays.
They blitz quite a bit, but they get home even more:
Only the Falcons and Broncos stunted more than the Cardinals did last year, but no one got pressure with them more. They ran stunts on 209 dropbacks last season and generated pressure a ridiculous 110 times.
The Cardinals get athletes and then let them make plays.
It is what allows them to continually churn players on the defense and to still be competitive.
More than that, it is a philosophy that Bruce Arians wants not only on offense, but in his defense:
This is all a calculated plan from Arians himself. He simply will not let opposing quarterbacks feel comfortable. On any given down, he’ll bring as many defenders as he feels like, and refuse to be predictable.
Arians wants to be aggressive in every facet of the game, and having a defense that presses the issue at every opportunity is one way to do it.
The fact that they are so successful, well, that just is a great combination of scouting and coaching.