TEMPE, Ariz. — John Abraham joined the Arizona Cardinals with 122 quarterback sacks under his belt, tying him for 14th with former Card Simeon Rice on the all-time list.
Long regarded as one of the premier pass rushers in the NFL, the 35-year-old was expected to be a key cog in a very good defense. However, while the defense had been very good, Abraham struggled to find his way into the box score, having failed to record a sack in any of the team’s first six games.
Then came the seventh.
“John had an outstanding game,” Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said of the two sack, two forced fumbles effort last Thursday against the Seattle Seahawks. “He played his best game since he’s been here, run and pass.”
The Cardinals lost the game, but Abraham, who has been more than a pass-rushing specialist, finally got to make an impact. And in doing so, he proved he could still get the job done.
“I’m still doing it,” Abraham said Monday, noting that he’s not just on the field playing, but playing at a high level. “I’m just glad I got some sacks to show that I still can.”
Abraham, who has been forced into a larger role because of injuries to the team’s linebacker corps, said the extra responsibility is fine with him. Finally healthy after dealing with a shoulder injury the last few weeks, he is ready to be the player Arizona thought it was getting.
And, perhaps, show Arizona’s next opponent, the Atlanta Falcons, what they are missing?
“I don’t think so; I think I’ve proved myself in my career; 14 years and still playing, I don’t think I’ve got to prove nothing to them, they saw seven years of what I’ve got,” Abraham said when asked if he has something to prove to the Falcons, who released him in March. Plus, Abraham added, the only people he feels a need to impress are in Arizona.
“I’m trying to show Arizona I’ve got something,” he said. “I’m mad it took so long for me to show off.
“I wanted the first game — I wanted to have like three or four sacks, like ‘yay, John’s here,’ so hopefully it will ride out for the rest of the season.”