Defense Fueling Hopes at Camp

Coach Ken Whisenhunt will not be satisfied with a lackluster defense. As the Cardinals attempt to develop a strong D' to compliment the electric offense, a few players are making great strides. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Karlos Dansby and Darnell Dockett have excelled right out of the gate while the rest of the crew is on the verge of demolishing the Cardinals reputation as a "one trick pony".

Darnell Dockett has been sharp in practice and is looking to justify his demand for a new contract. Powering through drills with determination, he out hustled all of his competition with ease. His footwork has improved tremendously from last season. If Dockett can continue building on his progress, he may just get that paycheck he's looking for.

Ralph Brown has also had a strong showing at training camp. He received the praises of coaches after repeatedly defending passes and showing good instincts. The Cardinals will need the corners to step up this season if they are going to ease the transition of Antrel Rolle into his new position.

Karlos Dansby is another Cardinal who has advanced his skill set even further. If Dansby can finally live up to his potential, he will have a monster contract in store him at the end of the season. Danby's finest moment of the day was intercepting a pass during a one on one drill. Covering a receiver in the open field is hard enough, but with no help from teammates it can be nearly impossible. Having a linebacker who can capably cover receivers is a huge asset.

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie has been the highlight of the defense thus far in training camp. His blazing speed and natural athletic ability are going to be vital to shutting down opponents. Ro Cro enjoyed two pick-sixes on Monday, both coming against starter Matt Leinart. Rodgers-Cromartie has fueled hopes of the Cardinals finally have that elite corner and so far he has lived up to expectations.

The light scrimmage at the end of practice gave a chance for players to show the skills that they learned throughout the day. During this portion the defense shined. The defensive line showed great penetration, as they became a considerable nuisance for both Leinart and Warner. Their valiant effort also virtually eliminated the run game during the last few minutes of practice.

With the exception of no one being able to cover Larry Fitzgerald, the defense has shown serious improvement and will be a force to be reckoned with. This season the defense must focus on consistency. Last year was maddening for all fans as they witnessed a unit that could be dazzling on one play and then the Miami Dolphins' practice squad the next.

Up in Flagstaff times are changing. The Cardinals have talented rookies that are meshing well with the experienced veterans. Coach Whisenhunt is accustomed to a ball hawking, gritty style of defense and if he can use his knowledge for the benefit of the Cardinals the results will be unbelievable. Opponents in the upcoming months, consider this your warning. At last the Cardinals finally have more than one trick up their sleeve.


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