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Bucannon will stay at linebacker

Posted by Darren Urban on February 25, 2016 – 7:57 am

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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Posted in Blog | 18 Comments »


18 Responses to “Bucannon will stay at linebacker”

  1. By texascard on Feb 25, 2016 | Reply

    You mean to tell me we aren’t going to a 4-3. Seahawk fans hate 31

  2. By Patrick Stark on Feb 25, 2016 | Reply

    Gotta love DBuc at the $backer!!!

  3. By DTL on Feb 25, 2016 | Reply

    Agree, DBuc is a man’s man, heart of a lion.

  4. By robert on Feb 25, 2016 | Reply

    I don’t agree—we got physically beat against seattle and Carolina…we need bigger faster LBs Heck Newton was bigger than 3/4 of our defense

  5. By John The Draft Guy on Feb 25, 2016 | Reply

    Good to know where they finally stand. It has been long thought of, that he would be a LB. But with FAs and injuries to safeties, it might have been easy to move him and Jefferson back there and draft/sign a LB.
    So we can put that to rest.

    I liked a couple articles that were written on this website.

    First the one about QB’s. It is good to know everyone is thinking we need one. I, for one, think it is time to depart from Stanton 5+ million dollar year salary, but I know I am in the minority. We need to draft one. But love your line,

    “There are other times when Keim said he has found himself trying too hard to like a quarterback just because he realized the need, to the point where it was getting too easy to overlook flaws. That, Keim said, can’t happen.”

    Want to know why GMs miss on QBs. Keim just gave you the answer. He was good in college, he looks the part but he isn’t accurate or doesn’t study or something else that is over looked just because you have to have a QB to compete. Great quote.

    The other article regarding DJ Foster. Loved this kid at ASU. If (and I don’t know) but If Ellington no longer fits and Chris Johnson is resigned, what a perfect rookie to come in, do special teams, learn his role under CJ, and take over as the #2 back/receiver in 2017 with David Johnson. Love to hear on day 2 or 3, the cards call DJ Foster as a pick. Tough kid.

  6. By joe holst on Feb 25, 2016 | Reply

    They need to draft more hybrid players like him, that is the way the lead is trending. So with the their 1st rounder I want a Cornerback/Safety. A guy who is a cornerback 1st but can slide into the safety spot if needed. Then a DT/DE, a guy who can be a force on the inside and crush the pocket then slide the the DE position and get after the QB and demand Double team. Somewhere in the draft they are going to have to find a player with closing speed and hit the QB.

  7. By Scott H on Feb 25, 2016 | Reply

    Not so sure I’m thrilled with this. I mean, the numbers are there to prove he was a productive player, but….My simple thinking says let him continue to do what he does from the safety position ( ala Adrian Wilson ) and let’s be bigger at LB. Just because he might be playing safety doesn’t mean he can’t move around and be versatile.

    He just doesn’t have a LB’s size. And as someone pointed out, when you are going to be going up against some QB’s with the size of a Cam Newton….bigger is better when trying to bring him down.

    I’m into cars, especially old American muscle cars. And there is a saying among car guys that has never ceased to be true – there’s no substitute for cubic inches. You can do all sorts of things to maximize the performance of a smaller engine. But when ya get right down to it, there is just no substitute for what a bigger V-8 can do!

    Thinking along those lines, if I may, I just would rather have more cubic inches at the LB position. Someone who can do everything Bucannon does, only in a bigger body.

    And who’s to say Bucannon wouldn’t actually be better for this team as a safety??

    Not an issue I’m going to raise a fuss over. Just sayin.

  8. By NJAzCardsFan on Feb 25, 2016 | Reply

    Darren- When are you going to sit down for the Q & A session with SK and BA?
    Thanks!

  9. By Darren Urban on Feb 25, 2016 | Reply

    NJAZ —

    RE: Chats

    Already did. Keim posted today http://www.azcardinals.com/videos/videos/Combine-Chat-2016—Steve-Keim-/2fea90d7-d3bf-478f-9fd0-c86b2b839e4d

    B.A. goes up Friday.

  10. By Big Ken on Feb 25, 2016 | Reply

    I like Kenneth Dixon as a sleeper pick at RB. Enjoy everyone’s ideas this time of the year.

  11. By Sundex on Feb 25, 2016 | Reply

    I am surprised Arians is as strongly committed to keeping Bucannon at ILB as he implies. Perhaps he was a bit misunderstood. What if, in the early rounds, the best player available was an ILB. Or perhaps the Cards get a really good opportunity to get a terrific ILB via free agency or a trade? Do you pass on this opportunity? No you don’t. If the new guy can start, you start him and move Bucannon to back to safety. Particularly in the case of being able to defend against the better tight ends in the NFL. As a safety, Bucannon would still get plenty of opportunities at the line of scrimmage, in addition to being called on to take the ILB spot on certain plays.

  12. By CreditCard on Feb 25, 2016 | Reply

    Trade down this year.

    My opinion, this year’s draft does not have that many true first round picks. If the Cards find another team that is willing to part ways with two mid third round picks, they should run with it, for their 29th draft spot selection.

    My opinion, the Cards could select Cravens from SC easily with one of their multiple third round picks (if they get the chance to trade down).

    Cravens is like a Buchannan, a morphed safety / linebacker type player.

    Again, my opinion, not much separation between the pegged 1st rounders and the pegged third rounders.

  13. By Robert Fritts on Feb 25, 2016 | Reply

    DB wasn’t the problem with the Cardinals linebackers last year. Kevin Minter maybe the slowest starting Linebacker in the NFL. His lack of speed was hidden with The Honeybadger covering TEs and generally flying to the ball on crossing routes and swings out of the backfield.
    The minute Tyrann Mathieu was gone, Minter’s lack of speed was exposed, especially by the Seahawks and the Panthers.
    Making a lot of tackles is good. Making a lot of tackles 6-8 yards down field isn’t.

  14. By Scott H on Feb 26, 2016 | Reply

    Robert –

    Yeah…it seemed like EVERYONE was better when the Honey Badger was on the field, didn’t it?

  15. By clssylssy on Feb 26, 2016 | Reply

    It’s obvious the Cards are an offense focused team with the lions share of our resources every year going to the offensive side of the ball; this not only applies to acquiring players but extends to the coaching staff. We have a wealth of experts with hundreds of years experience & knowledge schooling our offense and zip for resources running our defense. We have offensive minds determining our defensive needs and how our talented will be used, which may work some of the time but is a vulnerability that becomes exposed come playoff time. If we expect to be a SB contender we are going to need to pour more resources into our defense and bring it up to being it to the level with Denver, Carolina,Seattle, LA. Bucannon did a great job, all things considered, but as with the rest of our defense, couldn’t hold up against real championship defenses. We started with a number 5 defense that dropped like a bolder when the Badger went down and it really counted against the big boys. In this league size really does matter and while offenses win games, defenses win championships; we need to reassess our priorities and find physical players with some size & perhaps use Bucannon as a hybrid.

  16. By sbrown on Feb 26, 2016 | Reply

    I’m Ok with Bucannon playing the $ / hybrid LB position. They do a lot with him in the defense.
    But why not take a look at FA’s Laurinaitis or Trevathan ?
    If they could come in to help our LB room, why not ?

  17. By Dr. G. on Feb 28, 2016 | Reply

    Scott- – Me too on the cars thing…you can produce similar horses in a smaller engine with a blower (turbo), but the torque is less and it wears down faster. Bucannon must “”overextend”” on every play with his excellent talent to compete.

    JTDG – – agreed on Foster; he just might be the hybrid RB//WR the Cards can deploy to create mismatches. At 5’10”, 195, he plays thick…could be a good logical mid//late round pick for a local boy.

    FWIW – – Definitely upgrade LB crew and get a proven pass rusher…Keim is already on it. But, for those who like Noah Spence, I think his negatives outweigh taking a flier…not just the off-field things. As high as he rated by some, when logical comparisons to the better guys in the league as is fair, even his tangibles pale in contrast. ((ie., vertical, broad jump, bench, 40, etc.)) There are better choices… His college success may not translate as well to the bigger, faster game.

    Big Ken – – you so funny Joe! For me, I’ll have a pour of Cabernet and a side of broccoli with hearts and brains.!

  18. By Joel on Feb 29, 2016 | Reply

    instead of looking to draft a safety why not move your #1 pick from 2014 to his natural position. He played great but get an actual linebacker geeze. I would love to see deone at safety.

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