New Arizona Cardinals linebacker Sean Weatherspoon is familiar with Daryl Washington.
After all, the two played on the same Senior Bowl squad in 2010.
Now, technically, they’re together again in Arizona. Weatherspoon inked a one-year deal with the Cardinals earlier this week while Washington languishes on the Reserve/Suspended by Commissioner list, facing an uncertain future with the team.
The new Cardinal defender says one of the reasons he came to the desert is because of how Washington was used in defensive schemes. He wants to be used similarly.
“I would be grateful if I could be in that position where I could use what God has given me to be effective for the team,” Weatherspoon told Doug and Wolf Thursday on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. “I’m not opposed to coming off the edge and rushing, coming from depth, playing coverage, playing backs — all that.
“I really feel like, I know I’m a three-down linebacker in the NFL. And if you want to go for it on fourth down, I’ll be out there, too.”
Weatherspoon has been a very productive player in the NFL when healthy. The problem is, he has missed 25 of 32 games over the last two seasons due to injury. In 2013, he was slowed by a knee issue. Last season, a ruptured Achilles tendon kept him on the sideline.
He knows that the last two years are responsible for him having to accept a one-year contract in free agency.
“Everyone wanted me to prove it,” he said, speaking of his injury history. “I thought the best chance for me to prove it was to go to the best situation and I like the way they play defense, their attacking style, their multiple fronts.
“They’re an exciting defense to watch and obviously last season, if you watched the Cardinals, they were exciting to watch.”
When asked about the fact that he has proven himself in the past, with two seasons of 95-plus tackles, Weatherspoon says he has no problem doing it again.
“I think this is a place where I can re-establish and re-prove my worth and what I can bring to a team. When I was looking at teams, I just wanted to be in the best situation where I could maximize that opportunity and play on a one-year deal,” Weatherspoon said.
“I think it will be fun to show the NFL that I was out for some substantial time, but I still love football, I’m still passionate about the game and I just want my team to win, so that’s what I’m all about.”
In terms of his recovery, the former Atlanta Falcon says it’s coming along well.
“It feels great. I’m able to do everything that my previous trainers in Atlanta asked me to do and moving forward, I’ll be able to everything that the coaches and trainers will ask of me,” he said. “I’ve been working on that for seven-and-a-half or eight months now, so I’ve had some time to really work on it and reconstruct my leg basically.”