Calais Campbell: Cardinals still have top defense

AP

The Cardinals defense was the biggest reason why the team won 10 games last season, but there’s been some discussion about a drop in production this year.

Karlos Dansby left as a free agent and Daryl Washington is suspended for the year, leaving the team without a pair of key linebackers from last year’s unit, and safety Tyrann Mathieu’s 2014 debut may be delayed as he rehabs from a torn ACL. Despite the absences, defensive end Calais Campbell believes that the unit will be just fine when the bell rings.

“We have Kevin Minter stepping up, who did great for us, but we’re still talented all the way around,” Campbell said on ESPN, via NFL.com. “The defensive line, DBs, keep the job easier. John Abraham, he had a good year last year. We’ll still be a top defense. And offense got way better this year.”

That last point is the key one for the Cardinals. Even with the defense performing at a high level last year, the Cardinals fell short of the playoffs and things don’t look any easier in the NFC West this time around. If the Cardinals can’t put up points on a consistent basis, the defense won’t be enough to get them to the postseason all by itself.

16 responses to “Calais Campbell: Cardinals still have top defense

  1. Yes they have 3 guys that will step up but they are not the same caliber player as the 3 they lost. At least they will get Honey Bear back but Dansby and Washington are a huge blow.

  2. The heart of that defense was torn out with the loss of Washington, Matthew and Dansby. They only have one good player left in the secondary (Petersen) and Dockett and Abraham are well into their 30s. They got a little better on the OL with the return of Cooper, but they still have no running game, one receiver (Floyd) and no TE worth mentioning. Oh, and their QB is Carson Palmer. 7-9.

  3. Don’t kid yourself, this is still a top notch defense. All 4 teams in the NFC West have a good shot to finish in the Top 10 in defense IMO.

  4. Remember when the Eagles drafted Tevor Laws before Calais Campbell.

    brilliant job Andy.
    Good luck Kansas City.

  5. The difference between this Cardinals team and last year’s is the offense should be clicking at the beginning of the season. Last year, they admittedly struggled until the second half learning Bruce Arians’ offense.

    To osiris33; I’d not make it sound so bleak. Andre Ellington should be ready to breakout this year at RB (and maybe you’ve heard of this Fitzgerald guy at WR).

  6. Funny, I thought the Cardinals were just 10-6 last year …. I didn’t realize they were an NFL powerhouse.

    My bad.

  7. Dansby and Washington are great talents and their loss will be felt.

    BUT!

    One reason they were both able to do their jobs so well is the excellent play from the line and secondary (both of which were improved in the offseason). I have no idea what’s going to happen, but I would have a hard time believing they are now a dweller in the basement.

    Tidbit: no other team had free rushers to the QB as much as AZ. that’s because of Todd Bowles, not the players.

  8. 10-6, 11-5…the Cards wouldn’t have made the playoffs last season with either record, but a crappy team like the Packers (8-8) made it. The NFL is whacked!

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