Rookie-only minicamp, OTAs and the two-a-day-practice
minicamp are all officially over for the Arizona
While most of the focus for the Cardinals this off-season
has been on the quarterback battle between Kevin Kolb and
John Skelton, third-year linebacker Daryl Washington knows
just how crucial it was for the defense to get its first
full off-season completed under second-year Defensive
Coordinator Ray Horton.
“His scheme works, we all trust it and we’re ready to go,”
Washington said regarding Horton.
Horton was hired in February of 2011, but because of the
lockout was not given much time to implement his defensive
scheme going into last season.
“I’m a lot more confident with the defense. I think a lot
of guys are more confident with the defense,” Washington
told media after the final practice of the offseason. “Now
we can just play rather than think so much.”
The team will now go their separate ways until late July
when they regroup in Flagstaff for the start of training
“It’s still a progression, obviously. I think OTAs and
minicamp gave us a little help in getting to that point of
training camp,” Washington said. “I think when training
camp comes we’ll be a lot more confident.”
Washington plans to visit with family during the break and
let his body rest before training camp and another taxing
After a strong finish to last season the defensive unit
hopes to build on that momentum going into training camp,
but Washington knows it won’t come without struggles.
“It’s going to be a challenging year for us with the
outside linebackers and a lot of new guys but I think
they’ll pick it up as we go along with training camp,”
said Washington. “Having this time off will definitely
help rest the body, so we’ll be fine.”