The Cardinals’ defense hasn’t been playing as well of late as it started, but they have had a pair of players who have done well all season: defensive end Calais Campbell and inside linebacker Daryl Washington. It makes sense then that both were recognized on profootballfocus.com’s top 51 players of the first half of the season. Campbell came in at No. 36, while Washington was No. 17 — interestingly, tucked right between both 49ers inside linebackers, NaVorro Bowman at No. 18 and Patrick Willis at No. 16.
Here’s what the site had to say on both:
17. Daryl Washington, ILB, ARZ
Washington continues to make plays for the Cardinals even if his reckless abandon style has seen him miss 11 tackles already this year. At times has struggled in coverage but his inside linebacker leading 62 tackles and eight sacks show just how much of a playmaker he is.
Key Stat: Has picked up 17 quarterback disruptions on 86 blitzes.
36. Calais Campbell, DE, ARZ
Last year Justin Smith upstaged him and this year it’s J.J. Watt, but Calais Campbell is damn fine player. Incredibly productive on every down, he’s gone from a guy who generated a lot of pressure, to a player who can (and does) do it all. Regularly commands a lot of attention from offenses, but has still managed to make 24 defensive stops and bat four passes.
Key Stat: Has made a stop on 8.8% of all running plays he has been in on.
It doesn’t hurt that both players were wisely signed to long-term extensions by the team recently, Campbell this summer and Washington right before the season. That’s turned out to be a very smart move. Again, this list is about every player, not just rankings at each position.
— Speaking of Campbell, he wasn’t out at the beginning of practice today, Kent Somers notes. (Campbell was around Tuesday, if I recall correctly.) The bye week means there are no injury reports right now, although the Cards did just sign defensive end Ronald Talley. Won’t know until next week if there is any connection, although Mike Jurecki is reporting it is a calf issue. There won’t be any more player or coach availability until the team returns Monday.
Tags: Calais Campbell, Daryl Washington
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