Between the NFL's lockout and the hiring of new coordinator Ray Horton the argument could be made that the Arizona Cardinals' defense is behind the eight-ball. With just four weeks before the team's first regular season game and the fact that the defense struggled in 2010, there is a lot of work to do.
That doesn't seem to worry Cards defensive end Calais Campbell. He knows the defense is motivated to get it right this season.
"Our defense definitely played really inconsistent last year," Campbell told Sports 620 KTAR's Doug and Wolf Monday morning. "There were some games where we looked like we didn't belong in the NFL. We had some games that we played well and some signs of greatness. I really feel like a lot of the guys have that chip on his shoulder from last year and want to make a big difference."
Some of that difference may be made by the new defensive scheme Horton is installing at training camp. The unconventional formations will allow Campbell and his linemate Darnell Dockett to wreak havoc on opposing offenses.
"The defense allows us to really mess with the offensive coordinator's mind and the offensive lines' mind," Campbell said. "There are so many different plays where I can be lined up on the center, the guard or the tackle. When I'm standing up and moving around you really don't know where I'm lined up. It makes it hard for the guards and everybody else.
"Me and Dockett have a play where we drop back and cover a little bit. You can call it out of that same front. You don't even know where we're going. If we're dropping. If we're coming. If we're coming from the left or right. If we're moving around or coming straight ahead. It really will be a force to be reckoned with."
That's exactly what Horton and head coach Ken Whisenhunt hope for. Campbell was expected to have a breakout season in 2010 and, like the rest of the defense, fell short of expectations. He recorded just 60 tackles and 6 sacks. With the new scheme and new outlook, those number should go nothing but up in 2011.