Updated Oct 7, 2013 - 7:31 am
Daryl Washington's return keys dominant effort by Cardinals' defense
But Sunday's blank job over the final 30 minutes of play against the Carolina Panthers had a different feeling to it.
"The swag we had on defense," said Calais Campbell when asked what was the key to the Cardinals' defense in the second half of the 22-6 victory. "Everybody stayed together. So many guys made plays. If we play like that, man we can be scary."
Campbell certainly had his hand (two sacks, forced fumble and safety) in the defensive dominance, but even he had to admit that the 'scary' part had a lot to do with the return of inside linebacker Daryl Washington.
Washington, who missed the first four games of the season due to a league-imposed suspension, came back with a vengeance Sunday. The 2012 Pro Bowler had a team-high nine tackles, two sacks and a key red zone interception to start the fourth quarter.
"That guy is special," said Campbell. "I love playing with him, because there's nothing he can't do. He makes my job a lot easier, because people have to worry about him so much. They leave me alone sometimes. One hundred percent that guy is the best linebacker in the game right now."
Another member of the Cardinals' defense who also benefited from Washington's presence was fellow linebacker Karlos Dansby, who moved over to the 'Mike' position to make room for the former TCU standout.
Dansby recorded his first two-sack performance since Sept. 2007 and sealed the victory with an interception of Panthers quarter Cam Newton late in the fourth quarter.
"He's the truth. Hands down, he's the truth," Dansby said of Washington. "I love having the opportunity to play next to him and to see that kind of speed and the football savvy that he has. He played well, real well today.
Washington, though, was tad more low key when discussing his 2013 debut.
"I didn't even know what kind of game I had," Washington said. "I wanted to come out here and play the best football I could.
"I thought in the first half, individually, I started off slow. Once I got into my rhythm of playing the game and trusting the scheme, it made it a lot easier on me. I was able to perform well.
'Well' is probably a little bit of an understatement, considering the Cardinals recorded a season-high seven sacks and kept Newton from scoring a touchdown -- pass or run -- for the first time this season.
Regardless, the proof is in the pudding no matter what word is used to describe Sunday's performance. With Daryl Washington in the lineup, the Cardinals' defense is a force to be reckoned with.
Dave Dulberg, Web Content Editor - ArizonaSports.com
- Report: Cardinals LB John Abraham arrested, charged with DUI in Georgia in June
- Notes from the Nest: July 28, 2014
- Cardinals' Jonathan Cooper: 'I felt OK' after first practice with pads
- Cardinals WR Michael Floyd on 2014 training camp: 'Everything comes faster'
- Teddy Williams looking to make Arizona Cardinals as a cornerback
- Lorenzo Alexander- Cardinals linebacker - Monday July 28Lorenzo Alexander gives his take on replacing Daryl Washington and praises former teammate London Fl
- Darren Urban, Arizona Cardinals reporter - Monday July 28Cardinals reporter Darren Urban discusses team improvements and which player he thinks will have a b
- Antonio Cromartie, Cardinals defensive back - Monday July 28Antonio Cromartie talks about his expectations for this year's Arizona Cardinals.
- Bruce Arians, Cardinals head coach - Monday July 28Cardinals coach Bruce Arians talks about the first days of training camp and what he's seen from pl
- Dave Pasch, Voice of the Arizona Cardinals - Monday July 28The voice of the Cardinals Dave Pasch shares his first impressions of training camp.