November 29, 2012: Rex Ryan the lastest in a long line to speak highly of the defense
It started Week 1, and it's continued each week thereafter: NFL head coaches praising the Cardinals defense when speaking to the local media on the weekly conference call.
"They're really a problem," Seattle's Pete Carroll said.
"They're impressive," Miami's Joe Philbin said.
"They will hit you," Buffalo's Chan Gailey said.
"They create havoc," Minnesota's Leslie Frazier said.
Call it coachspeak if you want -- Bill Belichick rattled off nine different Cardinals defenders during his chat with reporters, but the message is always the same: praise and respect for one of the top defenses in the league.
"You see one of the best units in the National Football League is what you see (on film)," Andy Reid said before the Eagles visited University of Phoenix Stadium. "It's hard to find weaknesses in them."
The Cardinals defense has been one of the few bright spots in a season growing dim with each passing Sunday.
This week the unit was again a hot topic when Jets head coach Rex Ryan held his conference call:
"I look at the Arizona Cardinals, you look at that defense, and it's one of the best defenses in the National Football League and an extremely talented group," he said unsolicited. "To me, you have four or five Pro-Bowl players on that defense. There are two big guys up front with (Darnell) Dockett and (Calais) Campbell, and then you have Patrick Peterson, that might be one of the rarest athletes I think I've ever seen."
It's this kind of talk -- from his peers, that has defensive coordinator Ray Horton among the top names on the list of future head coach candidates.