Bucannon all-rookie at position he still must play

Posted by Darren Urban on January 13, 2015 – 1:28 pm

He was a safety even though he wasn’t a safety, and that’s how he was recognized.

The Pro Football Writers of America came out with it’s all-Rookie team for 2014, and Deone Bucannon was named — along with Green Bay’s Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix — as one of the safeties on the team. Bucannon had 75 tackles, a couple of sacks and a fumble recovery this season. Obviously, as has been well-documented, Bucannon played almost every defensive snap he had this season as a linebacker in the nickel defense.

He’ll be at safety sooner rather than later. That’s what he believes, and that’s the intent for the Cardinals. His role this season was a perfect example of what defensive coordinator Todd Bowles (soon-to-be-head-coach of the Jets, perhaps?) did to use the personnel he had at his disposal. The Cards did not have an obvious replacement for suspended linebacker Daryl Washington in that sub-package (Larry Foote took Karlos Dansby’s place) and with safeties like Rashad Johnson, Tony Jefferson and Tyrann Mathieu also available, Bucannon became the choice to be Washington’s 2014 stand-in. Because so many teams use multiple receiver sets, Bucannon was on the field more than he was not with the Cards often in their nickel look.

Once the Cardinals recalibrate their linebacker position, Bucannon should slide back to safety (and it’ll also be interesting, if Bowles leaves and there is a different defensive coordinator, how the new guy works his nickel defense anyway.) Regardless, General Manager Steve Keim looks like his draft day move to trade down seven spots worked out well, with the Cardinals still able to draft Bucannon (and passing on a chance at Clinton-Dix) and picking up the extra draft pick that turned into wide receiver John Brown.


Posted in Blog | 30 Comments »

30 Responses to “Bucannon all-rookie at position he still must play”

  1. By D on Jan 13, 2015 | Reply

    Darren- good chance BA goes internal at DC with Mike Caldwell?

  2. By Darren Urban on Jan 13, 2015 | Reply

    D —

    RE: Caldwell

    More and more it sounds like Bowles would take Caldwell with him.

  3. By John The Draft Guy on Jan 13, 2015 | Reply

    Jets ??? Todd Bowles will go down in flames. I mean Ryan is a very good defensive coach, that wasn’t their issue. The lack of a QB and talent around the QB was the issue. Don’t do it Todd. Go to Atlanta if you can.

  4. By John The Draft Guy on Jan 13, 2015 | Reply

    Of course LeBeau’s name is being thrown around. One thing I noticed, was he had two big hitting safeties this year in Pitt.

    Could you see both Bucannon and Jefferson as the starters?

    As for Bucannon playing safety, we haven’t seen it. It will be interesting to see how he transitions next year. I think he is done as an ILB if a new DC comes in.

    One thing I do know is, with the blunder we had with DWash and letting Dansby go and missing with Minter, ect, The kid was the saving grace for this defense, filling a role so needed.

  5. By LadyBird04 on Jan 13, 2015 | Reply

    Watching Bucannon all year has been a pleasure. I know they had some reservations about him having all kinds of penalties because of his hitting style in college but maybe playing linebacker this year was a good thing for him. He tackled hard and didn’t give up penalties all over the place like everyone was worried about.

    He still has room to grow and learn the pro game but he has shown that he will “run to the play/ball” and not give up on a play. I think he said playing linebacker has made him see the field differently and have to diagnose a play quicker – that can only help him WHEN he gets to play strong safety – hopefully next year. Very good start for a nice young man. Congrats to him on this honor.

  6. By John The Draft Guy on Jan 13, 2015 | Reply

    Coach K,

    I read your post a few blogs back saying remember the name, Sean Mannion.

    Honestly, I only watched about a half of game of Oregon St this year and wasn’t impressed with him.

    But, Last year he had a third round grade, but went back to school. So I pulled up some video of the guy. All I could find was 2013 and 2012.

    What I found was a strong kid in the pocket. He isn’t going to run like Hundley, but he does a nice job on boots and roll outs. his accuracy and down the field throwing was excellent. Looking at his stats, he was 66% comp and 37 TDs

    Then the other foot drops. What happened in 2014? Yards dropped from 4600 to 3100, TDs dropped from 37 to 15. I have no idea what happened.

    This kid actually reminds me of Phillip Rivers a lot. But now is being a 5th round projection.

    Why the drop off? Injury? Any idea?

  7. By D on Jan 13, 2015 | Reply

    Whom ever becomes the DC here, he has depth in the secondary

    Under Contract

    Docket, Campbell, Rucker, Stinson, Martin and Mauro
    Shaughnessy, Okafor, Minter, Carson, Demens, DWash

    I think they will bring back DWash and work out a pay cut with DD.

    TBD: D. Wiliams, Taamu, Kelly, Cro, Foote, Acho, Benard.

    Cro and Foote will be interesting to see how it shakes out.

    Even if DWash comes back, they still need at least 2 LBs, one ILB and at least one OLB.

    If Kelly and D. Williams move on, then they will also need a DT.

  8. By georgiebird on Jan 13, 2015 | Reply

    Todd Bowles will get “eaten” alive in New York. If there was ever a job that didn’t fit Bowles- it’s HC of the Jets.
    I don’t care if TB comes back to the Cards but TB seems to be a nice guy. The NY job with no QB (and the most angry fans in the league) will surely prove that the Peter Principle is alive and well in the NFL.

  9. By Big Ken on Jan 13, 2015 | Reply

    Sean Mannion had one feather in his cap this year when Oregon St. beat the ASU Sun Devils. Took the wind out of ASU’S sails. He was up and down all year.

  10. By georgiebird on Jan 13, 2015 | Reply

    Having Bucannon play the LB position in 2014 was good and bad. It was good in that it gave the Cards a speedy guy who could spy all over the field. It was bad in that it took a #1 draft choice and gave him a year to play out of position and retard his growth.
    The use of Bucannon at LB also points to the failure of this team to develop LBs like every other team in the NFL. DW’s loss was not a complete surprise- his suspension should have been covered by another plan.
    More than anything- I’m hoping the Cards go to a 4-3 in 2015.

  11. By georgiebird on Jan 13, 2015 | Reply

    You talk about depth at safety and cb and then proceed to list starters and backups. That’s the problem with the defense. Most of these guys are interchangeable- they are like a homogeneous group.
    These guys are all good players- valuable guys to have on the team- but where are the first string guys, where are the stars?

  12. By John The Draft Guy on Jan 13, 2015 | Reply


    I find it interesting how the Honeybadger fits in next year?

    Does Powers move back out to the #2 CB, and HB moves to slot?

    Do the cards resign Cro, keep Powers in the slot and HB starts at FS?

    Do the cards sign Cro and to save money, release Powers and play HB in the slot?

    Do the cards move Bucannon to FS and put Jefferson at SS and HB is a dime back?

    Personally, I want Cro back, but if I had to pick right now, I think Cro is gone, Powers and Bethel battle for Cro’s spot, HB moves into the slot and you see the cards try Bucannon at FS. with Johnson as a back up.

    Why FS? Lebeau moved the hard hitting Mike Mitchell (a SS) to FS this year and he made a lot of plays.

    I guess we will have to wait and see.

  13. By Perry Matherne on Jan 13, 2015 | Reply

    I like buchannon,he’s damn good

  14. By Dr. G. on Jan 14, 2015 | Reply

    LeBeau? ? …He may be good for his historical expertise, but the Cards need a younger guy who can relate to them…and LeBeau ((77)) can take on a Defensive role as the Offense has in Tom Moore. It takes tons of energy and tolerance to take on all these young players, many of whom are still not really weened into adults. PP needs his binky, huh SK?

    Mr. Todd Bowles, you are a class act…we wish you well…! You have a big job ahead of you, and so do the Cards now…. See you on the sidelines…

  15. By Dr. G. on Jan 14, 2015 | Reply

    Kudos Again Darren – – I checked the Jets site late Tuesday, still nothing on Bowles. There is still a list of about 7 candidates from the 12th. Many of the Cards Fans realize what we have in your work ethic…. Many THANKS…!!!

  16. By superbowlcards on Jan 14, 2015 | Reply

    Buccannon was a linebacker all through highschool and most of his college career, so that was his natural position, transitioning back to Safety may prove more difficult than him playing the hybrid linebacker.

    John the draft guy
    Quick question – you mentioned in a post above that the Cardinals “let Dansby go” (think that is how you put it) do you believe the Cardinals should have matched the Browns contract for Dansby (assuming they were even given the chance to match or beat it) or do you think the Browns severely overpaid and gave Los to much money and to many years??
    I think they made the right decision, just to much money and to many years, I think the Cards would have been justified to offer the same amount of money, but only 2 years, with a team option for a third year would have been reasonable, but I for one am very happy they didnt go overboard like the Browns did. (Of course I argued that PP’ s contract was way to much money, especially when they still had team control for at least 2 more years, and we could use the franchise tag before commiting all that cash just to have him kick back and relax while stuffing his pockets with cold hard cash!)

  17. By superbowlcards on Jan 14, 2015 | Reply

    John the draft guy
    I think Cro follows the NEW HEAD COACH back to the Jets. Bowles schemes resurrected Cro’s career, that and he was one of the few Cardinals able to remain healthy.
    I pray that the Cards resign Cromartie, (wish they would have locked him in prior to the end of the season, or at least before Bowles started interviewing, of course they may have tried and just weren’t close, or Cro wanted to wait and see the outcome of the Todd Bowles sweepstakes. The last place I wanted to see TB as HC was the NY JETS, that is a horrible job for any coach, let alone a rookie coach, the fans and the media are brutal and impatient, they will expect Bowles to turn it completely around next season! Thought Atlanta was a perfect fit, but when Fox was let go in Denver, I think he became the #1 candidate for the Falsons, it is his job if he wants it, at least that is my thought. I think Denver can afford to wait, and therefore will target Seattle’s D-coordinator, as their next HC, what do you think about Atlanta and Denver

    Do you think Bowles takes any coaches with him to the Jets?? Does he have to get permission to talk with them, or are their contracts due to expire this year? I know other teams have to get permission, and for a lateral move it usually isnt granted, but was wondering if it was any different giving that Bowles is leaving the Cardinals staff, if he wanted to talk to a position coach, say Caldwell about being the Jets D-coordinator, since its a promotion he could do that, right?

  18. By Darren Urban on Jan 14, 2015 | Reply

    superbowl —

    RE: Bowles coaches

    Yes, I think he takes one or two with him. If under contract, they’d have to get permission, regardless of whether it is a promotion or not. Teams can block any coaching move unless it is to be for a head coach.

  19. By cardcrazy on Jan 14, 2015 | Reply

    Mannion drop off: injured o-line and the loss in consecutive years of Wheaton and Cooks. Give him Floyd and Brown and a strong o-line he will get the ball down field.

  20. By red2616 on Jan 14, 2015 | Reply

    Bowles should have stayed one more year and gotten a ring. They would be sitting where the Seahawks are if not for injury. Jett’s is a 5 year project with a 4 year contract, not good for Bowles. I love Bowles but bad decision he made.

  21. By red2616 on Jan 14, 2015 | Reply

    TBD: D. Wiliams, Taamu, Kelly, Cro, Foote, Acho, Benard.
    Keep Williams, Kelly, CRO and Acho for sure. Would keep foote and Benard if pay stays the same. Washington comes back and should restructure deal since he screwed up. With incentive to earn it back.
    You have to Cut Fitzy. Sorry but you do. There are to many other WR that are years younger and play at the same level for less than the 8 million due. Not to mention the Cap hit. Also dump Ginn, Carlson and do NOT resign Housler. You have Fells and Nikalas.
    Needs: RT tackle, DE, ILB, OLB tow in Free Agency the rest in the draft. Get the I jured back and go get the Super Bowl trophy! It was the Cardinals this year.
    The Cardinals didn’t lose a single game this year to an opposing team, they only lost to injury. I have never sen a team so devistated by injury. I have never seen a team still win that devistated. This was the year but Seattle got very lucky. Imagine your last 5 games of the season against ailing or bad team, slip into a bye because one rivals Coach checked out & the 1st place team loses their 2nd QB, RB and others then your 1st game is against an under .500 team with a QB fresh off a broken back and car wreck. Now to the Champ game and their QB can hardly stand to throw the ball. Talk about sad luck. Their fans just bragging away about how great they not knowing that a healthy Cardinal team and Seattle might not have made the playoffs.

  22. By azdesertrat1953 on Jan 14, 2015 | Reply

    Deone Bucannon 36
    The kid did better in his Rookie season than Anyone thought possible.
    John “Smoke” Brown 12
    Totally unknown Rookie that amazed us All.
    Chandler Catanzaro 7 Two NFC special teams player of the week awards for the season.

    There are three of the 2014 Rookie Players that worked out Darn Good, Nothing more to say.

    Keep it going Steve Keim, I can not wait to see what you guys do this year in the Draft.

    GO CARDS!!!

  23. By Coach K on Jan 14, 2015 | Reply


    Mannion lost all his playmakers in 2013. O-line had losses and injuries. Mannion had to do it all himself. This is why his numbers dropped.

    On the upside, he is bigger and battle tested. Big arm and is accurate.

    By the time the scouting combine ends, Mannion will probably be rated second or third round talent. Bucky Brooks commented that he feels Mannion is a potential franchise QB.

    He fits a B.A. style offense perfectly. Size and a big arm. And unlike Logan, Sean Mannion is extremely accurate. After watching Lindley and Logan, I’ll take the big accurate quarterback before the guy who can run but cannot throw on target.

    Bottom line, Mannion is going to be a steal in he is on the board by round three.

  24. By superbowlcards on Jan 14, 2015 | Reply

    I agree 100% with you on Bowles, that was the one job that was not good for him or any other rookie head coach) I was truly hoping he would avoid the Jets, their fans are impatient and down right rude, the media is all over you day in and day out, and not just the local NY media, its the national media!! They give him a 4 year contract for a job that will take a minimum of 5-6 years to start seeing results, and success year in and year out! But then again, there are only 32 of the job that Todd Bowles was looking for, cant really afford to say no thanks, may never get another shot at being a head coach. I wish him all the best, and maybe BA taught TB how to handle the press, especially the NY press, as Arians does, he just needs to be direct and bold with them, scowl at them once in awhile, throw a curse word at them every now and then like BA does and he may bring the NY media to their knees!! HAHA!!

    Then just when I see a few of your comments that are not totally negative (I used to think you were a troll from another NFC West team! LOL!) and actually are of a positive natue and I find myself agreeing with you….

    You go and bring up the change to a 4-3 Defense!!! C’mon Georgiebird, who ya working for, Seahawks fan? Possibly a Rams fan?? You cant be a true Cardinal fan and actually believe that switching to a 4-3 would do anything other than cause chaos, and set our Cardinals back a good 5 seasons!! We are built for a 3-4 and are very very good at the 3-4, the defense has been at the top or near the top in the NFL for multiple years now, why change something that works so well?? You can’t be serious, you have to be planting the 4-3 idea just to rattle posters feathers, you must enjoy conflict, you have to be an undercover troll…time to come clean sir.
    And, I know your going to point to the last few games of 2014, which is a good thing for me because the drop in our defense was the massive amounts of injuries that they incured, everyone knows that, a team can only withstand so many injuries before the quality on the field starts to suffer, if the Cardinals were to switch you better have the patience to sit through a losing season at least next year, and probably for a year or two after that, we will not post a winning record until 2018, and that is best case scenario, assuming we can draft players for the 4-3 that will produce immediately, as well as being successful at bringing in veteran free agents to play in the 4-3 system, not all will be successful, and we just cant ignore the offense during this transition we would need to use some draft picks and free agent money on offensive players, so you can count on at least another season of losing!!! I dont know about you, but I enjoy the 10 and 11 win seasons, love talking about the playoffs, and actually watching my beloved Cardinals playing in a playoff game, I want to keep it that way!!! Mark my words, we stay in a 3-4 our defense will be top 10 next year if all players stay healthy, and we resign DD and TK , and find a pass rushing sack machine in free agency and a youngster in the draft to do the same, top 10 sir, and very, very good shot at the Lombardi Trophy, besides, Bowles played a lot of 4-3 or a hybrid of it, at least that is what it looked like to me, though I’m no expert at reading defenses like Palmer, Manning, or Brady are, but I would guess we fielded a 4-3 (or at least a hybrid of it) at least 30-35% of the time!! So please Gorgiebird, come clean…either you are a troll who keeps harping on something that makes no sense, or you are a true Cardinal fan, who like the rest of us enjoy’s winning, and will not mention a switch to something that will bring failure and pain for years to come!! Have mercy sir! LOL!

  25. By superbowlcards on Jan 14, 2015 | Reply

    Coach K
    Mannion may someday be a franchise QB (I dont see it right now, in fairness, I have seen flashes, but I honestly haven’t seen enough of him or Washington State games for that matter to form an opinion) thankfully it wont be with the Cardinals, we have our franchise QB waiting for some mentoring, Thomas isn’t going anywhere for at least 1 more year, possinly 2 years. I jave to admit, I’m perplexed, how do Cardinal fans justify keeping Lindley as the #3 QB for 2 years, but are so quick to kick Logan Thomas to the curb, especially when his upside is so much higher than Lindley, not to mention his arm strength, athleticism, as well as his physical measurables, and yes, his accuracy is better than Lindley’s, but yet quite a few Cardinal faithful have given up on him, well before anyone gave up on Lindley, I might add! I would like to point out a FACT, Thomas had questionable accuracy #’s in college because he had no WR’s that could catch, this has been pointed out before by some on this board, but people semm just to not want to hear it, yet Mannion’s #’s drop like a rock last year because he has no WR’s that can catch the ball, but thats excusable in Mannion’s case but not Thomas’ s?? VaTech has not had a 1000 yard receiver in forever, Im not even sure they have ever had a 1000 yard receiver! ! Logan was rated a top 10 QB across the board by all the experts, I saw as high as #4, but on average #6 in the entire draft, on top of that, he conducted multiple private workouts and as a result (positive results of course, and he quite a few eyebrows!) Thomas’ s stock was soaring, if BA wouldnt have pulled the trigger in the 4th he would have been gone! My take on him/this situation: Thomas deserves to have his shot at being Arizona’s franchise QB and he can only benefit from sitting on the bench this season, he is a bigger, stronger, faster Russell Wilson, I believe Logan Thomas has all the tools to be the Arizona Cardinals Franchise QB of the future, and I look forward to watching him both run and throw his way (and the team of course) to the promised land, but he deserves at least as much time as Lindley had, at the very least!! Now if Mannion us around in the late 6th or 7th round, then take a flier on him, gives Thomas some competition, and every once in a blue moon teams draft a Tom Brady, not very often, but not impossible either, but the Cardinals should not waste a pick before round 6, we need those picks to patch holes and build depth (which QB depth is the least of our needs right now) even better would be to catch lightning in a bottle by signing an undrafted rookie free agent QB and he turns out to be the next Brady!!
    Please dont take this wrong Coach K, normallyour posts are spot on, and I agree with almost all, but in this case we just disagree, unfortunately, it will be 3-5 years before either of us can clam victory…and there is always the possibility that some unknown from a DivIII or NAIA school will get picked up by the Cardinals and turn out to be the next Kurt Warner, of course I think we would both be completely elated with that, especially watching this “out of nowhere, no name, underdog” hoisting the Lombardi trophy wearing a Cardinal uniform!!! (as long as Thomas was his backup!! LOL…KIDDING, KIDDING!!)

  26. By Dr. G. on Jan 15, 2015 | Reply

    Coach K..superbowlcards…. Darren

    I trust you read my exchange with Darren some weeks ago regarding Logan Thomas. I expressed some frustration that Thomas was not getting the time and grooming that he needs to develop his potential. Darren reminded me that there was not the time to do this due to “practice time limitation” of the NFLPA//NFL agreement.

    Thomas deserves the proper preparation to morph into an NFL QB, perhaps of the highest level. Right now, we know that BA has not given him the opportunity to develop because “winning” has been a priority. 20-20 hind sight tells us that he should have played vs Lindley. But, as was suggested, BA seemed to throw up his hands immediately saying Logan just couldn’t get it done.

    Anyone knows that Logan knew BA’s frame of mind in lacking confidence…not very good to spur him on to action. Frankly, based upon what I know, I feel badly for BA, LT, and RL. That was just a mess ending the season. Bowles could not even get it done…

    Darren – –

    Does a player ((Logan, specifically) need permission to hire a QB coaching academy during the off season? It really bugs me that he gets limited training during the season. Perhaps “contract language” prohibits others from tinkering with him. No one knows how good he may become. Maybe Pre-season will help a bit…Thanks.

  27. By Darren Urban on Jan 15, 2015 | Reply

    Dr. G —

    RE: Coaching help

    1) He does not need permission to work with outside people, although you’d think he’d want to run it past someone.

    2) Thomas has long worked with QB guru George Whitfield (, and I would guess that would continue if he was still working with someone.

  28. By Richard S on Jan 15, 2015 | Reply

    While no one will be allowed to hit with the ferocity of the past due to all the rule changes, some of the hits DB made in college make me think a good nickname might be the Arizona Undertaker.

  29. By John The Draft Guy on Jan 15, 2015 | Reply


    Dansby ;
    “Let go” was probably the wrong term. At the time, I agreed not to pay him also.
    But if you are asking me today, would I have paid him more to keep him the answer would be yes. Having him this year, and for that matter, next year would have solved a huge issue.

    But again, at the time, I agree that signing Dansby for the Browns kind of money was too much

    Coach K, superbowlcards, Dr. G, and cardcrazy,

    Thanks for the info about Mannion. I have to say, his 2012 and 2013 tape looks very good. As I mentioned before, something about him has a Phillip Rivers vibe. If he is truly the guy I saw on the 2013 games, I am on board.

    I went in thinking I was going to watch “Mike Glennon”, but came away very surprised. Is he better than Bryce Petty? Not sure right now but we could have a couple of good ones to choose from.

    I just do not see it in Thomas. He has a big arm and is athletic, but he reminds me of the Bull Durham movie where Costner tells the pitcher to hit him with the ball from 15 ft away and he couldn’t.

    You can’t hope for 2017. This guy is a disaster right now. As for the, “giving Lindley a chance”. I don’t think I ever said he was a competent QB and would never want him on my team, but I did think he was better than Thomas.

    And for what it is worth, so did Arians.

  30. By Coach K on Jan 15, 2015 | Reply


    I think you have the wrong QB. Mannion played for Oregon state, not Washington State.

    The Wasu kid put up big numbers also, but he is not an NFL prospect. Mannion on the other hand is the real deal.

    Give Mannion this year the team he had the year previous and his numbers would have been off the charts.

    Remember Mannions name when the Combine begins at Indy and watch how he grades out when it all over. Don’t be surprised if Mannion becomes the talk of the combine.

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