Cards Keen on Kenny

The Cardinals added defensive end Kenny Iwebema out of Iowa in the fourth round to continue loading their defensive front seven with the hopes that the competition will make everybody better. Iwebema comes to Arizona injury-prone, but the Cardinals hope he can stay healthy in a limited role with plans to switch him to outside linebacker.

The cardinals felt compelled to add Kenny Iwebema (6'4", 274) in the fourth round because of his value, but if he would have stayed healthy throughout his college career, he would have gone a lot higher in the draft. The Cardinals must see some hidden pass rushing qualities in Iwebema, which is where he struggles the most. He is more effective repressing opponent's ground attack and is apt to point out his downfalls.

"I feel I'm a lot better against the run, just being able to recognize blocks," Iwebema said. "I could do better at getting off blocks. Everybody has something to work on, and I feel that's what I need to work on."

Iwebema also needs to work on taking contact better if he wants to see action. His injury list is lengthy: a pair of concussions, a broken right collarbone, triceps tendon damage and a right shoulder sprain.

He is a natural on special teams, which is definitely on the Cardinals' mind. Iwebema found out blocking field goal comes down to mechanics.

"It's just doing what you're supposed to," Iwebema said. "I think it's a combination of (skill and luck). You don't get lucky unless you're in the right position. I had the opportunity to have four good special-teams coaches. We worked on it every day in practice. Just being in the right place at the right time gets you in the place to make plays."

With Travis LaBoy, Chike Okeafor, Bert Berry and Clark Haggans all on the roster looking for a starting outside linebacker role, Iwebema's experience on special teams will come in handy.

Character wise, Iwebema is a good person to be around. He keeps things light in the locker room, but will do whatever it takes to win.

A Scout's Perspective

Tom Marino is a former pro scout with more than 30 years in the league. Here is what he thinks of the Cardinals newest addition:

"A talented player but something appears to be missing. Way too up and down. Showed good initial quickness and used his hands well, but seldom finished anything. Can converts speed to power, but too often just hung on blocks. Would like to have seen more consistent pad level. Has ability but needs further skill refinement and consistency. Late third consideration, but is more likely a fourth round playing talent."

Amberly Richardson is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and a correspondent for Scout.com. She has contributed to the official Web sites of several NFL players for Sixthman Communications. Her analysis has been published by the NFL Network, Fox Sports and MySpace Sports.


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