Practices start today for the Arizona Cardinals in training camp and we continue with our positional previews, moving to the defensive side of the ball. We start with the defensive line, where there is both consistency and uncertainty all at once.
Darnell Dockett is the anchor of production. He will be there doing what he does. He disrupts and occupies, but will probably not get the sack numbers he has had in years past because of the defense's scheme. On the other end is Calais Campbell with his new lucrative contract, who the team hopes will duplicate and improve upon his 2011 campaign, where he got sacks, tackles, tipped passes and blocked field goals.
The question mark is in the middle, at nose tackle. Dan Williams is coming off of a season in which he came to camp out of shape, but not overweight. His conditioning and effort was an issue at the start of the season and so he did not get as many snaps as the team had hoped. Once his production went up, the defense started to dominate, but then his season ended.
As a talent, he is perfect for the 3-4 scheme. However, the question is whether or not he can produce. A smaller, quicker David Carter showed some flashes at the position early in the season. He will likely push Williams, but in the end Williams will get the starting job.
As for depth, there is both experience and youth. Carter is a second year player. Then there are veteran returners Vonnie Holliday and Nick Eason. Ronald Talley and Ricky Lumpkin showed promise last preseason.
Get more Cardinals coverage at Revenge of the Birds.