Exclusive Q&A with Rookie Safety Dennis Keyes

AZRedReport.com's Dusty Wittig reels in an exclusive interview with rookie safety Dennis Keyes. The hard-hitting UCLA product will compete with Aaron Francisco and Oliver Celestin for a backup spot in the safety rotation. Before the competition begins, he talks with Wittig about achieving his goals, learning from a former teammate and more.

Click here for the "Insiders Only" portion of this interview, where Keyes talks about the weaknesses in his game, the All Pros in his sights and more.

Dusty Wittig: Who was your favorite pro team and player growing up?

Dennis Keyes: The Steelers were my favorite team because my dad was a big Steelers fan. As far as player goes I have to say Barry Sanders.

DW: Who was your biggest football and non-football influence growing up and why?

DK: My dad was a football player and he had a lot to do with me playing and getting involved in the game. He helped me out on and off the field.

DW: What are some of your goals for the upcoming season?

DK: First off, I want to make the active roster. Being an undrafted free agent, it is obviously harder. I just want to contribute to the team any way I can, special teams and defensively, just any way possible.

FS Dennis Keyes
Jeff Gross/Getty

DW: Is there a veteran on the team who has eased your transition from college ball?

DK: So far at the mini camp the vets have been good, helping all of the rookies along. Matt Ware, who also went to UCLA, has helped me with the transition.

DW: What are the strengths in your game you can bring to the Cardinals?

DK: I have versatility and athleticism. I will contribute on special teams and the defensive side of ball. I am smart and assertive, and can make big plays on the field.

DW: As a college player expecting to go pro, did you have any friends or contacts in the NFL you looked to for advice?

DK: Former Bruins Jarrad Page and Maurice Jones-Drew have been through the process and have helped me.

DW: Having played safety in the Pac-10, who was the toughest quarter back/wide receiver tandem you have ever faced?

DK: I have got to say Alex Brink (Washington State). We have always had trouble with him and it didn't matter which receiver he threw to. It seemed like every game all of his receivers would show up.

DW: You're known as a big hitter. What is the favorite hit you ever delivered?

DK: Everybody seems to remember the hit I had on Rhett Bomar from OU. But I think my favorite tackle I made was at the goal line Yvenson Bernard from Oregon State.

DW: What is your personal highlight of your collegiate career?

DK: I would have to say returning an interception for a touchdown against Washington last season.

DW: What do you look forward to the most in playing for the Cardinals?

DK: Helping the team improve and battle for the NFC West Division title.

Click here for the "Insiders Only" portion of this interview, where Keyes talks about the weaknesses in his game, the All Pros in his sights and more.

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