Cardinals’ Jones, Reddick paced top-10 pass rush in 2017
Despite changes made to the coaching staff, one facet of the Arizona Cardinals that will not need much adjustment is their pass rush.
In a ranking based on the number of pressures a team generated during the 2017 season, Matt Harmon of NFL.com listed the Cardinals as the eighth-best pass-rushing team after creating 237 total pressures.
Chandler Jones accounted for 27.8 percent of Arizona’s pressures last season as his 66 led the league. The next closest player was Aaron Donald of the Los Angeles Rams with 65. Donald won Defensive Player of the Year despite Jones leading the league with a career-high 17 sacks.
According to Harmon, Arizona’s record didn’t help Jones’ case.
With so many guys offering seasons worthy of Defensive Player of the Year consideration and the Cardinals being such an underwhelming team, Jones’ elite campaign didn’t quite get the recognition it deserved nationally.
Jones produced at a highly efficient level while playing more than 98 percent of the team’s snaps. Flying under the radar was rookie linebacker Haason Reddick.
The team’s first-round pick was second in pressures a season ago with 25. What stands out with Reddick is that the Temple product played just 42 percent of snaps in his first season.
By comparison, Pittsburgh Steelers rookie T.J. Watt had 33 pressures but was on the field for 76 percent of snaps.
With Karlos Dansby set to be an unrestricted free agent, a larger role for Reddick in 2018 could be present at inside linebacker. After forcing a pair of fumbles and recording 2.5 sacks in a small snap count, his flashes as well as the expected return of linebacker Markus Golden are promising as the Cardinals continue to look to complement Jones.