Cardinals fans are debating what scheme the team will use on defense next season.
Steve Wilks ran a 4-3 last season in Carolina, with the Panthers finishing seventh in total defense. The Cardinals have used a 3-4 for more than a decade and have finished in the top six in total defense the past three seasons and four of the past five seasons. They ranked sixth in 2017.
Wilks said he doesn’t have a scheme but a “system.”
“We’re not going to change too much,” Wilks said, via Kyle Odegard of the team website. “If it’s not broke, don’t worry about trying to fix it.”
Chandler Jones led the NFL with 17 sacks last season, making him a candidate for defensive player of the year. He would move from outside linebacker to defensive end in the 4-3.
“I don’t prefer either/or,” said Jones, who began his NFL career as a defensive end with the Patriots. “As long as I can get after the quarterback, that’s what I’m excited about.”
General Manager Steve Keim echoed Jones, saying the front doesn’t matter. The Cardinals used their nickel package more than their base defense last season and have used four down linemen at times.
“[Wilks] knows defensive football,” Keim said. “. . . When you talk about a 4-3, a 3-4, he’s going to put guys in position to succeed.”