Search for a pass rusher

Posted by Darren Urban on January 28, 2016 – 9:54 am

Steve Keim was blunt when bringing up his number one priority of the offseason: “Create a pass rush.” It’s nothing new. This is something the Cardinals have been talking about every offseason for a decade pretty much. Yes, John Abraham had a nice 2013 but he wasn’t brought in until training camp and it was always known he’d be a short-term solution.

It’s not like the Cardinals didn’t look at it last offseason. They tried to trade up in the draft to get one of the “name” pass rushers in the first round. They still took Markus Golden and Shaq Riddick among their seven picks. Golden was solid as a rookie. Is he ever going to be the dynamic edge guy every team wants/needs? Maybe not, but he’ll be an important cog. We’ll see on Riddick, who never got on the field as a rookie, but they love his size and speed if he can learn the game.

Going forward, the Cards still need much more. Dwight Freeney helped, but he isn’t the answer at this point even if he comes back. I thought it was interesting that Bruce Arians, talking on Arizona Sports 98.7 said of the edge rusher sought “I doubt it would be a free agent.” Now, if Von Miller were to actually hit the open market and not get the inevitable franchise tag from the Broncos, that might change but still — it says something about the potential available pass rushers (or those who could be available but likely won’t by March.)

The next three months leading into the draft will be interesting in that regard. But it was clear there were too many times when the Cardinals didn’t pressure the quarterback enough, even when they blitzed. That’s a tough way to live in the rarified air of the upper echelon teams in the NFL.


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19 Responses to “Search for a pass rusher”

  1. By joe holst on Jan 28, 2016 | Reply

    They need their D-lineman to generate a rush too. Cambell, Frostee Rucker, Stinson, Gunter, Redding, were all getting stuck and not getting close to the quarterback. I want 2 DL with 2 of 3 picks.

  2. By clssylssy on Jan 28, 2016 | Reply

    LOL…Von Miller wants to be the highest paid defensive player in the league so it sounds like we’re in for more “projects” 😩

  3. By DTL on Jan 28, 2016 | Reply

    Maybe even w/o big time pass rush, Cards were better, imho, than some of them understood. As bad as that game was, so close to a pretty good start, so close to getting back in it … 2016 – stil climbing the mountain, but well equiped going into the next clmb higher. Go Cards.

    PS: Denver went out, drafted and bought the D they needed to reach SB. Cards that close, Keim/Bidwill will leave no stone unturned… BA mentioned again wanting a long, athletic Safety …wonder how Barkley will show with a full preseason oipportunity… my top 4 wants, in order: stud OLB, long S, stud C, stud DE …

  4. By David from San Antonio on Jan 28, 2016 | Reply

    Hey Darren! When does your offseason break start? Anyway, do you think the Cardinals would be interested in Mario Williams if Buffalo lets him go?

  5. By Darren Urban on Jan 28, 2016 | Reply

    David —

    RE: Mario Williams

    I don’t see it, but I guess I’d say never say never.

  6. By John The Draft Guy on Jan 28, 2016 | Reply

    Mario Williams
    This is someone I listed. At 292 pounds, he really isn’t an OLB although Peppers made the move with GB. Is he a classic 3-4 end? Not really. (although this is where he would play for the cards). Can he get a pass rush? yes. But he was really unhappy how he was being used in Buffalo. So, not watching many Bills games, I am not sure if he was force into the DE spot in a 3-4. If that is the case, then he won’t help the cards. But if he is up to playing that Dockett spot, he would be a pretty good force inside.

    But if it came down to Miller or Williams – Miller easy. If it came down to Wilkerson and Williams – Wilkerson easy.

  7. By Scott H on Jan 28, 2016 | Reply

    JTDG –

    Lord knows, you’ve been beating this drum for a few years now. Hope you get your wish for 2016!

    Can’t keep blitzing and not getting there.

  8. By All Day on Jan 28, 2016 | Reply

    Since we are talking pass rushers a few names come to mind. 1. Muhammed Wilkerson. To me he’s more of a D-Tackle then an end but he’s a good pass rusher and I think we could get him for the right price. The other one is Oliver Vernon from Miami. I think he’s better than anyone we have currently and we could also get him at the right price. Doesn’t sound like he is gonna stick around in Miami. Von Miller won’t happen. I don’t really love Mario Williams but I wouldn’t rule him out. Other pass rusher in free agency would be Bruce Irvin; but I’d bet he stays in Seattle. Tamba Hali; another aging pass rusher that we could sign for cheap. Nick Perry; I would guess he stays in Green Bay but you never know. And lastly Greg Hardy; there’s so much drama surrounding him that I think we would have to be desperate to even think about him but I would say if all those other guys play elsewhere Hardy will be too.
    Also a look at a few other free agents to watch is, Danny Trevathan MLB; sounds like him staying in Denver is less likely by the day given that Denver has more key players to resign. And we could use him badly he’s a tackling machine and a decent cover man I don’t think we should break the bank on him but I would rule it out. Sean Smith CB; We really need a decent sized corner opposite Peterson. Powers is a good player but we need someone with the size to compete with these bigger receivers. Smith isn’t huge but he is still a good sized corner.

  9. By D on Jan 28, 2016 | Reply

    My solution for this yearly dilemma for 2016, a player who should be available due to the Broncos spending $ on their other DE, Wolf and most likely franchising V. Miller, should equate for Malik Jackson to hit the free agency market. Broncos will have plenty of work to do with their roster, not to mention the QB position.

    He would provide great pressure from the DE spot opposite of C. Campbell. I like F. Rucker and J. Mauro, E. Stinson, but those players are role players, not the impact player like Mr. Jackson who can stop the run and pressure the QB.
    Probably looking at 8-9 million a year deal.

    Then, you add a OLB from the Draft on a player that has top 15 talent who will drop to the bottom of the first round because of his past, aka just like our Honey Badger, who by the way couldn’t be a better mentor to this kid:
    Noah Spence-6’3 260 OLB.

    Those two additions would improve the pass rush.

    Those two additions with Golden, Riddick and Okafor (although he appears to be on thin ice) should be a nice Pass Rush group.

    (Mr. Keim can also bring back a Freeney or a Vet like T. Hali later into free agency as insurance while the Rookie grows)

  10. By dan on Jan 28, 2016 | Reply

    I wanted Gino Atkins………nah……guess he sucked.

  11. By Scott H on Jan 29, 2016 | Reply

    Freeney helped and I was glad to have him. I feel like I would be glad to have him back next year, but…I say that realizing that what we got from Freeney was WITH the benefit of his resting for more than half the season before he brought him in. Can he hold up for a whole season at this point?

    For 2016, he could help ( at the right price ) but the answer has to go far beyond that.

  12. By clssylssy on Jan 29, 2016 | Reply

    Two of our most valuable assets turned out to be late additions who nobody else realized their worth or availability until they showed up making their presence known in Cardinal red–Chris Johnson and Dwight Freeney . I would like to see both these guys back as they provided the toughness and grit we seemed to have a shortage of in our younger players that can only come with experience in big games. We are picking 29th (or 30th?/ so there is a certain reality of what will be left as the QB class is reportedly one of the thinnest yet. BA/Keim always take a RB and WR CJ could free up that spot to help shore up the defense. Freeney would make a great coaching assistant if he decides not to play. We have seen that defense wins Championships and while we had the makings of an impressive secondary we need a bad-to-the-bone D-line.
    The offense is doable with minor tweaking; defense and special teams needs are greater.
    While they’re at it, Keim needs to get JB some help from a seasoned defensive mind because looking around at the top contender teams,we aren’t in the same class when it comes to knowledge and experience which showed up in post season when up against the heavy hitters.

  13. By dan on Jan 30, 2016 | Reply

    Tell you what, let me go on youtube right now and watch some players coming out this season and watch me pick the best 2 or at least top 2 sleepers or late rounders and see if they pan out………save this message.

  14. By Scott H on Feb 1, 2016 | Reply

    dan –

    You like GENO Atkins that you don’t even know how his name is spelled? C’mon, man.

  15. By CardinalChris on Feb 1, 2016 | Reply

    Not saying our defense is the pits, but the defense has not been the same without Dockett and D-Wash. I love Buc, but the D’s in our Defense are missing. Dockett was quick and able to get to the QB and often required double teams. D-Wash was an excellent blitzer. Buc is fast but somthing’s missing in our blitz schemes because we didn’t hit the QB enough when blitzing. Looking forward to the draft. OL, CB, DL lots of good DL available in the draft this year.

  16. By Darren Urban on Feb 1, 2016 | Reply

    CardinalChris —

    RE: Dockett/DWash

    Neither one of those guys has played a down for the Cardinals since 2013, and the Cards’ D — statistically — has been better in each of the the last two years.

  17. By Big Jim on Feb 9, 2016 | Reply

    I would like to know what’s up with Daryl Washington’s reinstatement. Haven’t heard enough on this issue. If your not going to reinstate then cut him , it would open up the salary count.

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

    Big Jim —

    RE: DWash

    Actually it wouldn’t. Cutting him would create more dead money on the cap than you already have.

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