Much is expected of the Arizona Cardinals defense, especially with the way the group finished the 2011 campaign.
Unfortunately the defense has more closely resembled Swiss cheese than a brick wall, leading many to wonder if complacency has become an issue.
O’Brien Schofield, one of the young players expected to have a key role in the defense this year, says that’s not the case.
“I think there’s been an urgency from the beginning but with limited play from the first two games there’s only so much we could do,” he said after practice Monday. “We didn’t start off well, and I think leaving us in there until coach feels comfortable is going to really, really benefit us.”
Schofield is referring to head coach Ken Whisenhunt’s proclamation that the team’s starters will play as long as they need to Friday until they get it right.
“I think all the coaches are upset,” Schofield said about the defense’s performance thus far in the preseason. “From Coach Whiz down, it’s just been a lot of changes from the standpoint of just walk-throughs and making sure guys are paying attention because we were messing up on the small and little things.
“Things that we were doing good last year, we haven’t done well yet.”
The hope is the defense will show improvement Friday against the Raiders, and if not then for sure on September 9 when the games start to count.
“Our biggest focus this week is just to play our game,” Schofield said. “You know, really focus on the small details.”
Arizona Sports’ Kyndra de St. Aubin contributed to this report