It’s been headed this way for a while, but Bruce Arians confirmed it: Deone Bucannon, drafted as a safety out of Washington State in 2014 only to move to “dollar” linebacker as a rookie, isn’t going back to safety.
“Right now, he is so good at what he is doing, we’ll leave him right there,” Arians said. “He is such a unique player at that position, to be able to play linebacker at his size, he just gives us such an advantage. We’re in nickel defense all the time and he gives us such a fast blitzer, fast player to the football, and he can cover tight ends. So yeah, we’ll probably leave him there.”
Bucannon led the Cardinals with 127 total tackles, adding three sacks, an interception (which he returned for a touchdown), four passes defensed, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. At a listed 208 pounds — I’m guessing he’s a little bigger than that these days — Bucannon isn’t quite linebacker-sized. But as Arians notes, in this day and age of sub-packages most of the time, Bucannon has held up most of the time. More and more teams are putting smaller, more rangy guys at linebacker.
When the Cardinals talk about adding players this offseason, safety is a position that has been brought up. Inside linebacker not as much, as the Cards develop Bucannon there.
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