The Arizona Cardinals have lost several key pieces to their defense from last season -- most recently, defensive end Darnell Dockett to an ACL tear during Monday's practice.
But linebacker and 13-year NFL veteran Larry Foote, who signed with the Cardinals in May, said this year's defensive unit remains a formidable one.
Specifically, Foote said the Cardinals' much-hyped secondary has been as good as advertised during training camp, and it will allow the defense to compensate for Dockett's loss.
"I like what we've got. We've got a lot of guys who can cover, and when you have that, you can be flexible with the play-calling," said Foote, who spent 11 of his first 12 NFL seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
"(Rookie safety Deone) Bucannon is playing next to me a lot on third down. That's the type of rookie you want -- somebody who likes violence, likes contact… He's going to be a player in this league."
Foote said the defense is "still confident" minus Dockett, but there's no doubt that his loss is a major blow.
"There's not one man that can fill his shoes, especially as a leadership role, but everybody picks their game up when you lose a guy like that. Corners have got to pick it up, safeties -- everybody on the team -- and we've got enough talent to fill in the gap."