We continue our rundown of the positions on the Arizona Cardinals as training camp continues. We move on to the linebackers, who are key in Ray Horton's defensive schemes. They are the playmakers. This year's personnel is made up of most of the same guys. Joey Porter is retiring, but Clark Haggans is back at OLB. The team signed free agent Quentin Groves to add depth at the OLB position and to hopefully give him a jumpstart to what has been thus far a disappointing NFL career.
The key to this year's group lies with second year player Sam Acho and third year player O'Brien Schofield. Both showed in limited time last season that they can be disruptive forces. Acho was a starter last season. Schofield is expected to start this season as well. If they are able to get pressure on the quarterback from the edge, the team's defense will be even better than a season ago.
On the inside, Daryl Washington is on the verge of becoming a star. He is the playmaker of the group, the guy who can do it all. He is an effective pass rusher. He makes stops around the line of scrimmage. He can drop into coverage. He is fast and always seems to be where the ball is.
The other inside position was held by veteran Paris Lenon, who continues to prove doubters wrong in his career. He was a team captain a season ago and was productive, so much that he kept Stew Bradley, who was signed to a pretty big free agent contract last offseason, from cracking the rotation.
Antonio Coleman and Brandon Williams will try to make an impact and make the roster.
this year is important for Bradley, who also struggled with the adjustment to a 3-4 scheme. He took a paycut, but needs to make more contributions. The team values his versatility. He can play both inside and out, and if he is not starting, expect to see him playing both positions.
Quan Sturdivant, drafted by the team in 2011 and special teams stud Reggie Walker are likely vying for teh final spot in the group, while undrafted players Colin Parker, Paul Vassallo and Marcus McGraw try to catch somebody's eye.
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