New Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians has been impressed by his team’s defense thus far in training camp.
The group, which was already thought to be pretty solid, seems to have taken to defensive coordinator Todd Bowles’ scheme.
“They’re having fun attacking right now, and we want to maintain that,” Arians said Wednesday. “They’re doing a great job of creating turnovers.”
Last season, the Cardinals’ defense produced 33 takeaways, which was good enough for third in the NFC and fourth in the entire NFL.
With so many new faces to go along with the new coaches, though, there was some question to whether the unit’s success could be repeated.
But Arians has been pleased with his defensive line’s ability to get its hands on passes, and sees his secondary as one that has depth and a knack for making plays.
“It’s a unique situation,” new Cardinals corner Jerraud Powers told Arizona Sports 620’s Bickley with Marotta Wednesday. “Usually, when you start training camp you’ll have your top one, two, three guys, and everybody else will be young, inexperienced, trying to find that role where you’ve got a lot of guys who are going to back up a lot of guys.
“But with this situation we have, we have a lot of guys who have played a lot of ball.”
It has shown through a couple weeks of camp, but Arians knows that what happens in practice does not mean much if it cannot be transferred into games, which is why Friday’s matchup with the Green Bay Packers is important.
“That will show your practice habits showing up in ball games, and they normally do,” he said.
Arians has said he does not expect his starters to play more than 15 snaps in the game, which is a reasonable number for the first preseason contest of the year.
“We’ve got too many young guys to evaluate,” he said of the reasoning. “The goal is to win, get the starters starting against some other players, and then evaluate the young guys.”