There’s a former Cincinnati Bengal hyped up to play his old team this weekend in Glendale, and we’re not talking about the guy you’re thinking of.
Arizona Cardinals defensive end and veteran leader Frostee Rucker was drafted by the Bengals in 2006 and played in the orange and black until 2011.
“I think anytime you get to match up versus some of your friends and old teammates, there’s the will to want to do better,” Rucker said on the Doug and Wolf show on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. “My feelings aren’t the same as Carson [Palmer]’s – I left on a different note, I left in free agency. It’s a lot different feel but obviously, we want to win and I share that same feeling with Carson.”
Rucker’s five seasons in Cincinnati left him with a good idea of what to expect. And what he’s expecting is a tough battle.
“They’re coached well, great receivers, great quarterback, great running back, solid O-line,” Rucker said. “They’ve got the kind of thunder and lightning with [Jeremy] Hill and [Giovani] Bernard back there at running back and Andy [Dalton] isn’t shy to throw it down the field. We know we have our hands filled across the board. It’s a lot of matchups that look good and it’s going to be a great game Sunday night.”
All in all, there’s a plethora of threats from the Bengals for a defensive end like Rucker to deal with — like those vintage rushes of the Bengals’ conference.
“That’s just true AFC North football,” Rucker said. “The Pittsbughs, Baltimores, that’s what they do. They got big O-linemen and they try to cover up the D-linemen and get mush yards — which basically putting bodies on bodies — and just laying all their weight on people and letting the running backs fall forward.”
Rucker knows about the Bengals’ strange shifts as well, but thinks those can be stopped with research this week.
“They do give us a lot of funky formations and whatnot but you’ve got to study it,” he said. “Teams will come up with a play here or there that they came up with during the week but then other than that, they’re going to play their base stuff so as long as we can weather the storm of all their shifts and motions, we’ll be alright.”
- The 5: Father-son sports duos and their ties to Arizona
- Cardinals’ Chase Edmonds plans to pay off sister’s student loans
- Cardinals sign WR Greg Little, release Cobi Hamilton
- Rosenthal’s NFL division power rankings: NFC West third-best
- Arizona Cardinals head coach Steve Wilks: We got better this offseason