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Posts tagged with "James Bettcher"

While the loss of Markus Golden hurts, the Arizona Cardinals have a rookie linebacker who could quite possibly fill in nicely

Arizona Cardinals’ rookie Haason Reddick is no stranger to opposing quarterbacks. As a defensive end at Temple University in Philadelphia, the Cards’ inside linebacker recorded nine and a half sacks during his senior year. There’s a good chance that the 13th-overall pick of this season’s draft will be getting reacquainted with passers again real soon.

Last Sunday’s loss of outside linebacker Markus Golden to a torn ACL is a significant one. The third-year Cardinal was coming off of a huge 2016, when he led the squad with 12.5 sacks. Sacks that will be not easy to replace now that Golden has been placed on injured reserve.

There’s been talk this week about Reddick moving from his inside slot to the outside. The pass-rushing prowess that the Camden, New Jersey native showed during his last year in school makes one think he’ll have success. The 6’1″, 235 pounder got to signal-callers in his first three college campaigns as well, totalling eight sacks from 2013-15.

Reddick has done an admirable job at inside ‘backer through the first quarter of the current season. He has accumulated 18 tackles, showing superb tackling technique and quickness while doing so.

However, the return of starter Deone Bucannon from injury will obviously cut into the first-year player’s snaps. The other starter in the middle, Karlos Dansby, will most likely remain in his current role. The 35-year old is playing like he’s 25, having tallied 26 tackles through four contests.

These factors make Reddick sliding over into Golden’s spot even more logical. If he is moved, the presence of a great sack artist like Chandler Jones on the opposite side will make his transition smoother. The attention Jones garners should help Riddick put up sack stats in the same way Golden was able to.

Arizona defensive coordinator James Bettcher does have another option. Kareem Martin had an excellent preseason. The fourth-year Cardinal has been biding his time for an opportunity like this, and may also be given a chance to shine.

Golden’s replacement will be revealed on Sunday when the Cards meet the Philadelphia Eagles. Whoever can supply the most pressure from the edge will be on the field. Reddick the rookie has a solid shot of being that guy.

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Notes: Handful of Cardinals return home to Philly; Watford can step in if Boone not ready

Rookie linebacker Haason Reddick will try to get after the quarterback as an outside linebacker after Markus Golden‘s injury.
Yes, James Bettcher knows rookie Haason Reddick is smaller for a typical outside linebacker, weighing about 235 pounds.But the Cardinals defensive coordinator still has confidence Reddick will be fine in that regard. To that end, he talked Thursday about former Colts Pro Bowl defensive end Robert Mathis, whom Bettcher once coached when he was in Indianapolis.

“Robert Mathis, I had him on the scale one time,” Bettcher said. “He was like 212 pounds. He’d probably

wrestle with me if I told somebody that, but that’s what he really was – 212 on the scale. But no one could block him, and he could power and bull anyone.“(Size) doesn’t matter. When you have speed and you have power, you can rush on the edge. Learning how to use the speed and how to use the power will be the next thing for (Reddick.)”

No one is comparing Reddick to Mathis at this point. Reddick was just learning how to play inside linebacker when Markus Golden’s season-ending knee injury changed the plans. Now, Reddick will split time with Kareem Martin as Golden’s replacements.


Bettcher said Reddick’s role on the outside will be similar to what they did with him as an inside linebacker – certain packages at first, with an increasing role as time goes on. As for using him inside as well, Bettcher only said “there will be packages where you will see him doing different things.”

That’s fine with Reddick, who has maintained all week he is prepared for whatever happens.

“I was asked to help out there, which I am willing to do,” Reddick said. “How much I’m expected to play or how often I’m there, that I don’t know.”

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The regular season is upon us, and James Bettcher’s unit is ready to stake their claim as one of the NFL’s best defenses

The 2016 campaign for the Cardinals’ defense was one to remember, and it’s hard to imagine how much better it can be in 2017. Expectations are high in the desert, as once again “putting a ring” on their fingers will be the ultimate goal.

With key losses via free agency, doubt filled the desert air as the start of the new NFL year came crashing in. Steve Keim had his hands full as he tried to replace those that departed. The draft brought us two players — Hasson Reddick and Budda Baker — that have had a great off-season getting acclimated to the team.

The rookies join a squad that had some eye-popping numbers in 2016. The Cardinals led the NFL in sacks, with 48. They generated 28 takeaways, allowed 210.3 yards passing (4th) and 94.9 yards rushing (9th). Those numbers allowed them to finish 2nd overall in total defense (305.2 YPG).

One area that does need improvement, however, is points allowed. The Cardinals allowed 22.6 points per game (14th) — leaving them in the middle of the pack. Much too high for a team looking to bounce back from a losing season.

Bucannon out with a sprained ankle

Deone Bucannon was on schedule to fully return from off-season surgery; however, on Monday,  he sprained his ankle during practice and has “no chance” at playing this Sunday against the Lions. A major setback for a position that missed him severely during the preseason

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James Bettcher’s defense looking to clean up run game after being mauled by the Bears.

If you were looking to see a solid defensive performance from the Cardinals’ starters on Saturday, you probably were better off flipping the channel. What usually is an inept offensive unit, the Chicago Bears took advantage of a weak front seven when the starters were on the field.

Tarik Cohen was running with the football like he stole something and collected 77 yards on just 11 carries against the starters. Not quite a concern yet, as they played only into the early minutes of the second quarter.

What will be a concern, however, is the loss of Robert Nkemdiche for the remainder of the preseason. For now, he will be out 2-3 weeks after suffering a calf strain, just ahead of the most important preseason game in Atlanta. He will sport a protective boot for now and is officially listed as “day-to-day.”

Kareem Martin looking to contribute in dime packages

When it comes to the positions of the two outside linebackers, the Arizona Cardinals are in good shape. More times than not, you’ll see perhaps one of, if not the best, pass-rush combos in the NFL in Markus Golden and Chandler Jones. But fourth-year man Kareem Martin would like to cash in his ticket to the sack party in 2017.

Martin, 6-foot-6, 272 pounds out of North Carolina, knows his time to contribute is now. With Alex Okafor now gone, Martin would like to take over his role as a pass rusher in the defense’s dime looks.

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