Bethel looks special on teams

Posted by Darren Urban on August 7, 2012 – 8:27 am

Justin Bethel understood the goal. “Going in I knew I needed to play well on special teams,” he said.

The rookie sixth-round draft pick knows he’d have a tough time making the team just as a safety. But he was a special-teams demon in college and showed it Sunday against the Saints. He whiffed on one of his early attempts but made an impressive tackle as a punt gunner — blowing past two blockers to bring down the return man just as he caught the ball — and the came off the edge, a la Patrick Peterson, to get a hand on a 54-yard field-goal attempt. At one point, he even told special teams coach Kevin Spencer he would block a punt too, if he had been given the chance.

On the blocked field goal, Bethel wasn’t on the outside and tried to get a teammate to switch. He was turned down, but a timeout was called and Spencer made the move anyway. “I was like, ‘I’ve got to go get it now,’ ” Bethel said. “I just wish I could have gotten it a little more so I could have tried to pick it up, but a block is a block.”

Bethel’s abilities create a lot of options for the Cards. Would his work mean it was less likely to keep special teams ace Michael Adams at cornerback, or might the Cards keep both and punch up what analyst Ron Wolfley likes to call the “transition game.” It’s Bethel’s only option to the active roster, because it’s hard to see him breaking into the safety rotation soon.

“I wanted to show up on special teams,” Bethel said. “We have great safeties. Kerry (Rhodes), Adrian (Wilson), Rashad Johnson and James (Sanders). I know if I can make the team on special teams it will give me time to mature and learn, where they can trust me not only on special teams but defense, making the right calls and making the right plays.”


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Posted in Blog | 16 Comments »

16 Responses to “Bethel looks special on teams”

  1. By Brent on Aug 7, 2012 | Reply

    Nice to see Bethel is a special teams gamer. He also looked better as a safety than I was expecting.

  2. By Rugbymuffin on Aug 7, 2012 | Reply

    I don’t know what Rashad Johnson has done to warrant his skill to be irreplacable. I have seen more out of Bethel in one game than I have seen since Rashad Johnson has been in AZ.


    It would be a mistake to not keep Bethel on the 53.

  3. By LadyCard04 on Aug 7, 2012 | Reply

    I love the spirit Bethel shows (reminds me of another late round draft pick – LSH anyone?) and he backed it up on Sunday with his play on special teams. Hope we can find a place for him. Personally, I believe in the ones who have that drive and are willing to start on special teams and learn as they grow into pro athletes. Would hate to lose Mike Adams, he is another specail player for the Cards.

    Other rookies looked good in the game as well.

  4. By DontTakeLoses on Aug 7, 2012 | Reply

    Playmakers make Whiz’ squad.

  5. By Kurt on Aug 7, 2012 | Reply

    Kudos to the scouts – Bethel looks like a keeper

  6. By dstock21 on Aug 7, 2012 | Reply

    He looks to be a potential menace!!! Great job by the young guys!! On a Kolb note: Let all the yapping cease at least until after the Raider game. Come on at least by then he’s had a significant chance to show SOMETHING “we hope” or at least make some sort of improvements. Injury prone is a huge concern for this fan base I agree that it seems like one thing after another……….

  7. By levi corrales on Aug 7, 2012 | Reply

    this guy was a beast!!!showed alot of hustle and determination to make a play , i hope he makes the roster cause he would make a big impact on special team!

  8. By Peter in Canada on Aug 7, 2012 | Reply

    From his statements in this piece, Bethel certainly seems to have a wise head on his shoulders. A low draft pick is not going to get enough opportunities to beat out an established vet. Special teams is the diference between the 53 man squad and the practice squad. It also gives him the oppotunity to grow and escape being overtaken by future draft picks. Best of luck to you Justin.

  9. By Andy M on Aug 7, 2012 | Reply

    Bethel shows ambition and drive while saying all the right things in the right way. Time will tell for all rookies, but how can you not “pull” for this guy?

  10. By CodyZarr on Aug 7, 2012 | Reply


    Just because you’ve not seen something incredible doesn’t mean he’s not a solid player. He has good instincts and is adequate in measurables.

    He’s been in the system for a long time. He’s established and that also counts for something.

    I agree that Bethel needs to make the 53, but not at the expense of a veteran safety.

  11. By CodyZarr on Aug 7, 2012 | Reply

    Wow.. That was a lot of negatives in one sentence. >.<

  12. By joe holst on Aug 7, 2012 | Reply

    can they keep 10 or 11 dbs, possibly with only 6 defensive lineman… maybe trade one of those corners,much like they did with hightower last year.. i think money mike adams is in trouble.. go cards

  13. By CreditCard on Aug 7, 2012 | Reply

    The Cards have demonstrated better than most if not all other NFL teams in picking up talent from small schools. (Tolar,Skelton, Bethal, S Williams) Good scouting

  14. By Rio on Aug 7, 2012 | Reply


  15. By theuglitruth on Aug 8, 2012 | Reply

    Move Bethel up the depth chart because he won’t clear waivers. It’s early, but he seems to be an impact player. I watched the game a second time last night….Quentin Groves was high on my radar against some scrub players. I’d like to see what he can do against the KC #1’s. Sturdivant clearly on the outside looking in…he continues to “drag tackle” rather than drive guys back. He did a lot of that in college. Quan needs a mean streak to surface sooner rahter than later.

  16. By jim Kennedy, PC 88 on Aug 8, 2012 | Reply

    Great attitude Justin…make the team, learn, grow support those in charge…give 100% and execute violently!!!


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