The Arizona Cardinals coaching staff appears to be confident in their defense’s ability as they kick off the season against the Seattle Seahawks.
Defensive coordinator Ray Horton feels that the extra preseason game and the last week of practice helped the defense focus on the task ahead.
“We could correct some things that were wrong and this was really probably one of our best weeks of practice.” Horton said.
The biggest question mark on the Cardinals defense has to be the cornerback position. Patrick Peterson, in his second season, is starting alongside rookie Jamell Fleming.
“I know we are better than we were last year, depth wise,” Horton said. “We have to go out there and do it, but I am totally comfortable with what we have.”
Covering Seahawks 6-foot-4 wide receiver Sidney Rice will be a tall task for Cards cornerbacks this week, but head coach Ken Whisenhunt doesn’t feel that Rice’s size will be a major factor.
Whisenhunt explained that facing tall receivers is something his cornerbacks are used to because they do it in practice.
“Hopefully some of the work that they have gotten against Fitz, Michael Floyd, LeRon (Byrd) and those guys that are tall will help pay off in playing these guys on Sunday,” Whisenhunt said.
Along with Fleming and Peterson, the Cardinals might have another rising star in the secondary in Justin Bethel.
Horton says he likes what he sees out of Bethel athletically and feels the team will be okay if they need him to play this season.
“You see what he does on special teams and for me, that’s probably the biggest indicator of what kind of football player you’re going to have later in his career, because the kid can play,” Horton said.