It didn’t take long for John Abraham to make an impact with his new team.
Wearing an Arizona Cardinals uniform for the first time last Friday night, Abraham sacked Green Bay quarterback Graham Harrell and caused a fumble which was recovered by Sam Acho.
The Cardinals scored eight plays later to extend their lead to 14-0. They went on to win their preseason opener 17-0 over the Packers at Lambeau Field.
But that’s what the 14th-year veteran does — he sacks quarterbacks and forces fumbles. Abraham is the NFL’s active sack leader with 122 and has forced 44 fumbles during his storied career.
Abraham, who signed with the Cardinals right before the start of training camp after spending the last seven season with the Atlanta Falcons, can’t wait to bring that pressure to a regular season Cardinals’ win.
“Yeah, I like to open (things) up for my teammates,” Abraham told Burns and Gambo on Arizona Sports 620 Monday. “A lot of times, I get doubled, here and there. I think this year, it’s going to be the same because we’re in a 3-4 and I’ll have a lot more matchups on backs and tight ends.
“Having (Darnell) Dockett and Calais (Campbell) and a lot of young outside linebackers that can get to the quarterback, so I think it’s going to be a totally different scheme for me.”
Abraham racked up a franchise-record 68.5 sacks during his Falcons career. In March of 2012, the former South Carolina Gamecock signed a three-year extension to stay in Atlanta — a signing he thought would ensure he’d end his career with the Falcons.
“That was my gut instinct, but it didn’t work out at all,” Abraham said. “It was a hurtful thing — probably one of the hardest things in my life I’ve ever had to deal with, I mean, there’s been personal things outside of football that definitely hurt, but me signing that contract last year, I thought that was going to be my last rendezvous.
“Being 34 at the time and knowing that I’d pretty much made a home in Atlanta for the last seven years, you know, I thought that was it. But I’m happy where I am right now.”
Despite the fact that Abraham was hurt by Atlanta’s decision to move on and sign former New York Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora, he’s focused on his new team and new home.
“I don’t care if they made a mistake or not, it’s over. I’m worried about the Cardinals,” he said.
It should be noted that the Falcons visit University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale October 27.