When defensive coordinator Ray Horton was hired by the Arizona Cardinals, he was expected to bring a Dick LeBeau defense to the team. However, things started rather roughly for the defense and the team. They got off to a 1-6 start and looked hopeless. But then things started clicking and the defense stiffened, becoming one of the better defensive units in the league. On the back of the defense and some timely plays by the offense, the Cardinals improved to finish the season 8-8 and in second place in the NFC West.
The Cardinals defense expects to be good again and one of the leaders on it, safety Adrian Wilson, believes that it is his unit that should be leading the team. He spoke on the radio with XTRA Sports 910 on the Bickley and MJ Show.
"I think the whole mood of the team has changed to a defensive mindset, so we feel like we're the best unit on our team, to be quite honest with you. We feel like that we should be the ones winning games for us. ... We feel like we have a bunch of leaders defensively. Right now, we don't have that offensively. Not saying that it's not gonna come around, obviously Larry (Fitzgerald) is a great player an he's a great playmaker, but you have to have more than just Larry. And defensively we feel like we have guys, we have leadership, and we have guys gonna hold people accountable for what we're doing."
The offense certainly has yet to perform at a level that can say otherwise. And Wilson is right. On offense, the only real team leader is Larry Fitzgerald. No one else has the performance on the field to back up anything.
The defense, on the other hand, does. Between Wilson, Darnell Dockett, Calais Campbell, Kerry Rhodes and Paris Lenon, there is more than enough leadership.
The way the Cardinals are made up, they should be a defensive football team. It has worked for the Steelers for many years. Maybe it will work as well for Arizona.
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