The fourth outside linebacker is around

Posted by Darren Urban on September 7, 2017 – 11:11 am

The news Deone Bucannon won’t play Sunday — not a huge shock, even without the setback of an ankle sprain — puts on hold what the Cardinals will do with rookie Haason Reddick when Bucannon, Reddick and Karlos Dansby are all available. Reddick will be needed to play in Bucannon’s role, at least in certain packages.

But it also goes to that concern lingering as soon as the Cards cut to 53 and, at least outwardly, the team only kept three outside linebackers. What about depth? What about a fourth behind Markus Golden, Chandler Jones and Kareem Martin? Coach Bruce Arians mentioned that veteran Philip Wheeler, signed as an inside linebacker, worked in practice recently on the outside and can play both spots. Defensive lineman Josh Mauro has occasionally taken reps at OLB and could serve there in a pinch, especially on running downs. But then there is Reddick.

Reddick, who played defensive end in college, slowly has gotten some reps as an outside ‘backer to build on his work on the inside. And once Bucannon is back, Reddick makes the most sense as a dual-threat guy, someone who can play on the inside in certain packages, who can rush the passer in certain packages, and who can also serve as that fourth guy behind Golden, Jones and Martin.

Again, versatility has been one of the hallmarks of the players GM Steve Keim has sought, especially on the defense. The linemen can play anywhere. The linebackers, mostly, can switch around. The defensive backs are interchangeable. That is how the Cards will solve that fourth OLB issue.

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21 Responses to “The fourth outside linebacker is around”

  1. By JTDG on Sep 7, 2017 | Reply

    Funny picture. Looks like they aren’t buying what Chandler is saying.

  2. By mal on Sep 7, 2017 | Reply


    Those morning practices this week, have they all started at 10am AZ time (which will be game time Sunday)?

  3. By Darren Urban on Sep 7, 2017 | Reply

    Mal —

    RE: Practices

    More or less.

  4. By D on Sep 7, 2017 | Reply

    I wonder how long Mr. Keim keeps 10 OL on the roster…..guessing he may attempt to place Munyer on the PS next week and add another Veteran player…maybe a Ladarius Green or G. Barnidge for the 4th TE?

  5. By Big Ken on Sep 7, 2017 | Reply

    Darren any chance they bring in Calvin Pryor?

  6. By Darren Urban on Sep 7, 2017 | Reply

    Big Ken —

    RE: Pryor

    No. They are plenty deep at safety.

  7. By Scott H on Sep 7, 2017 | Reply

    D –

    Hey, the way your wishes have been getting granted….anything’s possible. But I do not see where this team needs a 4th TE. If the 3 guys we have are healthy, they are certainly more than adequate. I am really looking forward to seeing what we might get out of a healthy Troy Niklas.

  8. By JTDG on Sep 7, 2017 | Reply

    Scott H,

    This will drive you crazy.

    Niklas has a good year being finally healthy and guess what? He is a FA at the end of the year.

    So, you say just resign him, right?

    Not so fast .

    Remember, the cards just paid Gresham and he will make 7.25 mil in 2018 and 8.25 in 2019.
    Adding another high priced TE most likely won’t happen.

    Figured you would like that.

  9. By JTDG on Sep 7, 2017 | Reply


    I am not a big internet guy, so excuse the ignorance.

    But I read your article (very good by the way), and below, all I see are people posting what seem to be ads. It seems to be under every story.

    Can that be blocked? Are people just being paid to wait for football articles to be written and then post a hundred times under them with some ad?

  10. By Darren Urban on Sep 7, 2017 | Reply

    JTDG —

    RE: Spam on articles

    We are working as hard as we can. Right now, the only fix is me, and literally only me, going through each article multiple times a day and manually wiping them out.

    Facebook apparently can’t or won’t help. The league is working on the problem — it’s not just this team but all team sites with the FB comments.

    I will tell you, as I have tried to tell others who have complained, these aren’t real people. These are bots. Those writing nasty notes to whatever names pop up, no person is actually getting that message. It does no good.

  11. By Big Ken on Sep 7, 2017 | Reply

    RE: Niklas, yeah he’s healthy for the moment. He’s one of those make or break guys we have on the team this year. I thought they over paid Gresham. So goes the tight end position for the Cardinals.

  12. By Scott H on Sep 7, 2017 | Reply

    JTDG –

    Ah, you know me too well, my friend.

    Some thoughts about that…..with what Niklas’ injury history has been, I don’t know that I would trust him, anyway. How could you, really?

    Next, until I see this team using the TE as more of a weapon than they have for the last…..oh, say 20-25 years, is it really worth worrying about??

    And, finally, if Palmer walks away after this year…..I don’t think Niklas is gonna save us.

  13. By JTDG on Sep 8, 2017 | Reply

    Wow, did the Chiefs look good.

    I think Alex Smith will hold off that rookie for a long while. Who knew he could throw further than 10 yards.
    But you have to say, it all started up front. The chiefs oline dominated all day. Smith could go deep, and the RB went off.

    Here’s to hoping the Cards offense has similar success vs Detroit. John Brown going deep, RB going off. Fitz making big plays underneath. We just need the oline to dominate. Frankly, that is the key to the game.

  14. By Scott H on Sep 8, 2017 | Reply

    JTDG –

    RE: Chiefs looking good

    And conversely, the Patriots looked pretty…..un-patriotic, shall we say? Man, how important is Edelman to that offense?? But I don’t worry about – or feel sorry for – the Patriots. Any reports of their death always seem pre-mature. As long as Brady plays, they’ll be just fine.

    As much as I actually admire and appreciate the Patriots for their on-going greatness, it was kinda good to see them beat down last night. Because that pre-game Patriot love fest was absolutely sickening and completely un-necessary. Did you see that? Good lord. I turned it off when I couldn’t stand to listen to it anymore.

    Just my humble opinion but except for the actual games themselves, I am finding more and more that I find just about anything else related to the NFL un-watchable. Or un-listenable. I mean, I have the NFL Network and don’t think I’ve even TRIED to put that channel on in months. It is just AWFUL, most of it. It’s like watching a never-ending NFL version of The View. Yeah – it’s THAT bad.

    Anyone else have the NFL Network and feel utterly amazed by how horrible it is?

  15. By Don on Sep 8, 2017 | Reply

    JTDG That is the key to the season.

  16. By JTDG on Sep 8, 2017 | Reply

    Scott H,

    NFL Shows ;

    You mean you don’t like hearing about the Patriots and Cowboys 24/7 ?
    Yeah they will sprinkle in the Giants and Raiders, but then quickly get back to Dak or Tom.

    But, Of course there is a Patriots love fest. They are the reigning champs and have 9 appearances and 5 wins with Brady and Billicheck
    You see, many people get value from the team they root for. Like they have a better job and better family and better car if their team wins. So they pick who is winning and that is their team. I remember a few years back seeing a guy in Phoenix wearing his laker jersey and Yankee hat. You see the Bulls jersey and the Tiger Woods hats, with a steeler sticker on the car. It is what it is.

    I will say, I find ESPN unwatchable other than football games. I can’t watch their pre game stuff or really anything coming from that network.

    I think NFL Network is a huge step above, but when they forget there are more than 4-5 teams, it becomes tough to watch

  17. By mitchaz on Sep 8, 2017 | Reply

    Scooby Wright elevated to 53 man roster, Phillip Wheeler released. Good move for the STs, which should be a priority.

  18. By sean on Sep 8, 2017 | Reply


  19. By Darren Urban on Sep 8, 2017 | Reply

    Sean —

    RE: Wheeler

    I’m not concerned this changes things. Let’s see what the roster looks like Wednesday.

  20. By JTDG on Sep 8, 2017 | Reply


    I agree. The Oline is the story for 2017.

    Not sure who gave you a thumbs down except the guy/girl who gives everything I say a thumbs down and anyone who responds to me a thumbs down.

    Sometimes I just post to see how quick he/she will give it to me.

  21. By Scott H on Sep 8, 2017 | Reply

    JTDG –

    Hey, didn’t you just recently scold me for paying too much attention to the thumbs up / down ratings??? You need to follow your own advice!

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