Not forgetting Paris

Posted by Darren Urban on December 31, 2010 – 10:32 am

Quietly — because he pretty much operates that way — linebacker Paris Lenon is finishing up a pretty solid season. He’s started every game, had at least eight tackles in 10 (including the last five) and has moved back and forth between the Sam and Mike positions on the inside depending on whether the Cards wanted veteran Gerald Hayes or rookie Daryl Washington next to him.

When Lenon signed as a free agent, the thought process was that he was a piece to plug in ahead of what turned out to be Washington, until Washington was ready. He’s been better than that.

“I think if you look at my production and what I’ve done, I think it speaks for itself,” Lenon said. “I don’t have to say too much about it. That’s pretty much me.”

Lenon has a team-leading 121 tackles, a couple of sacks and two interceptions. No one is stumping for him for Pro Bowl status, but in a year where the Cards’ defense had too many parts underachieve, having one that may have overachieved was important, as was having a steadying influence on a defense that was too often unsteady.

“You do everything in your power to put your team and your defense in the best situation,” Lenon said. “You can only do your job, every day, every week.”

Even in this disappointing season, Lenon has still already been able to enjoy many more victories (five) than he had the previous two seasons (when he had just one playing for 0-16 Detroit and 1-15 St. Louis).

Coach Ken Whisenhunt hasn’t been a fan of giving an overall assessment of the level of individual’s play, and that includes Lenon. But he will be part of the transitioning defense going forward, a necessary part with all the Cards’ young linebackers.

“He is able to do a lot of things for us and he’s another of those guys, as a veteran player and veteran leader, you like to have on your football team,” coach Ken Whisenhunt said. “I am very happy he is with us.”

Posted in Blog | 22 Comments »

22 Responses to “Not forgetting Paris”

  1. By LadyCard04 on Dec 31, 2010 | Reply

    Lenon and Rhodes have been great pick ups for us this year on defense. They have been the most consistent on the defense and I personally have enjoyed seeing them “run all over” the field. One or the other seems to be involved in every play. Thanks guys! Hope they are both back next year.

  2. By D on Dec 31, 2010 | Reply

    He has done more than the team expected, but most of his tackles are 5 yards from the scrimmage, I don’t see him being the run stuffer MLB that this defense needs.He has had a nice season, but I think they need to add another inside LB this offseason.

  3. By Phoenixraven1 on Dec 31, 2010 | Reply

    Lenon was a great pick up for us to bad our other main cogs all had down years. Maybe with a new defense coordinator we can get all these prices on the same page.

  4. By KyCardsfan on Dec 31, 2010 | Reply

    Lenon has done an excellent job this season…how old is he? What’s his contract look

  5. By Darren Urban on Dec 31, 2010 | Reply

    KyCards —

    RE: Lenon

    He is signed through 2012.

  6. By Nationof1 on Dec 31, 2010 | Reply

    Paris is the definition of a professional: show up, keep your mouth shut, do your job, and lead by example. I was a bit skeptical when we picked him up, but he sure changed my mind quickly. I agree with LadyCard04 that he and Rhodes have been great pick-ups.

  7. By bobF on Dec 31, 2010 | Reply


  8. By Eric on Dec 31, 2010 | Reply

    Darren, I totally agree. I believe Rhodes had a better overall season than Rolle did. Rhodes is WAY BETTER in coverage, and turned out to be quite the ball hawk as well. While I hesitate to say Lenon replaced Dansby, he did make it easier to bear and has other intangables Dansby didn’t, including a better attitude. I hope he is here next year. Would you agree that had our talent on defense been utilized differently, ie schemes, it would have been a much different year on defense? Brian Stewart, DB coach in Philly, had a great year in 09 as the Dallas DC, unfortunately he wasn’t one of “Jerrys Boys”, and was unjustly fired. I believe he could really bring some better scheming and intensity to this truely talented group. How about a good word for him to Whiz?

  9. By Kent on Dec 31, 2010 | Reply

    I think Lenon’s ability had been overshadowed by his stat sheet. Especially early in the year, you could see he was afraid to play downhill and take on blockers. That led to guards hitting our other LB’s on the 2nd level and opposition teams being able to run all over us.

    G-Hayes in his pirme, attacked the LOS and played downhill football with the best of them. He was the catalyst for our running game 9 times out of 10 playing very well. Sad to see his back really seems to have hampered his ability to play fast and reckless attacking the LOS.

    Honestly if we want to get a top defense in here we need to upgrade the MLB position with a big downhill guy, someone like a Mike Mohammed from Cal could be a good late round pick (Maybe even with a Pendergast tick of approval) or a Mario Harvey from Marshall.

    Lenon needs to stay next season but past then, unless he develops more a of reckless side, and attacks the LOS and takes on blockers more he is not a player who can be a part of a quality defense.

  10. By georgiebird on Dec 31, 2010 | Reply


    Since negativity is not in vogue on this blog-all I will say is the linebacker group needs a tremendous upgrade going into next year.

    Happy and healthy New Year to you and your loved ones and a Happy New Year to all the Cards’ fans that make this an interesting place to visit.

  11. By greg on Dec 31, 2010 | Reply

    Darren ive heard alot about the head offices not being in too big of a hurry to resign breaston and if they do let him move on to free agency who do you see picking him up and who will the team go after for the #2 wide out position i personlythink they should resign him but after all im just a fan of his

  12. By Darren Urban on Dec 31, 2010 | Reply

    Greg —

    RE: Breaston

    Let’s see if he reaches free agency first before we start handicapping his destinations.

  13. By Glenn on Dec 31, 2010 | Reply

    Lenon can be a nice rotation guy if they add a big MLB like Kent suggested. Must have it if you want to stop the run. Washington is fast and can chase down plays but a big MLB is needed to face the up the middle run game. That and a QB!!!

  14. By greg on Dec 31, 2010 | Reply

    ok thank you im just concerned ive seen him devlope into a great player and hes very capable. it would be a shame to see him go because of one bad year

  15. By NJAzCardsFan on Dec 31, 2010 | Reply

    Any ideas on what defensive positions the Cards will be drafting for?

    A Happy New Year to all the Cards fans!!!

  16. By Darren Urban on Dec 31, 2010 | Reply

    NJAz —

    RE: Draft

    I’ll get to draft specifics after the season.

  17. By TucsonTim on Dec 31, 2010 | Reply

    “Coach Ken Whisenhunt hasn’t been a fan of giving an overall assessment of the level of individual’s play…” but he is quick to blame a loss on the players failure to execute.

    How about coaches? 2008 Cards defense #19, 2009 drop to #20, 2010 drop to #28 with a road game left to challenge Houston, Seattle, Denver or Washington for dead last. With Rhodes playing better than Rolle, Paris is almost as good as Dansby and Toler probably would have replaced McFaddin anyway (although in Pittsburg McFaddin is playing great…go figure)how can you not replace Davis. Why hasn’t it happen sooner?

  18. By Andrew Luck Fan on Dec 31, 2010 | Reply

    I think Lenon should have been considered for the Pro Bowl, he had very simular numbers to both Ray Lewis and Patrick Willis, but the fact the cards struggled on run defense as a whole makes hard to to guys like him and Linebacker Paul Poslusnzy who has 139 tackles for the Bills.

  19. By darrel on Dec 31, 2010 | Reply

    I stewar bradelyt would be great for ur 6″4.255 he just gets hurt too much when healthy above average linebacker

  20. By AndyStandsUp on Dec 31, 2010 | Reply

    Is his 121 tackles second in team history(though tackles have only been an official stat since the 80’s)?
    I could only find Tim McDonald’s 155 wrap-ups in 1989 as being higher.

  21. By Darren Urban on Jan 1, 2011 | Reply

    AndyStands —

    RE: Tackles

    Well, since teams keep track of tackles differently than the league, it’s probably a moot point. Each staff grades tackles differently.

  22. By Drew on Jan 3, 2011 | Reply

    To the negative people: Lenon has proven to be better than Dansby! He is ranked #11 in the NFL for tackles…Dansby, not even close! I don’t know what you people see, but this kid is very reckless and has no problem going head-on every down! He has a great attitude and leadership. I agree that he should have been considered for the Pro bowl, but as we all know, that is a popularity contest and has nothing to do with how a players’ season went. There are way too many other positions that need attention rather than doubt Mr. Lenon.

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