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Cardinals $LB Bucannon plays comforting role for Reddick

(AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
LISTEN: Haason Reddick, Cardinals rookie linebacker

Preparing a rookie to make an immediate impact in the NFL is a two-way street.

There’s how hard that rookie works and how much help he receives from a team’s support system.

For Arizona Cardinals rookie linebacker Haason Reddick, the pressure is already there considering he was the No. 13 overall pick in the draft.

Adding to it, the Temple product is expected to challenge for playing time and will be even more relied upon if starting $LB Deone Bucannon isn’t off the PUP list by the beginning of the season. But while Bucannon is sidelined, he’s provided a Reddick with a unique perspective.

Reddick, who is running in Bucannon’s spot with the first team, is transitioning to inside linebacker from the defensive end position he played at Temple.

The learning curve, then, is a bit different. But it’s one Bucannon understands after he moved to his $LB hybrid position after playing safety at Washington State.

“Buc has been a great help,” Reddick said Thursday on 98.7 FM, Arizona Sports Station’s Bickley and Marotta show. “He understands what I’m going through. He’s been through the process as far as a position change and having to learn things and the mistakes that’s gonna be made — how the game looks differently between levels.

“He was telling me, ‘don’t get frustrated’ and take my time and continue to learn. Don’t stress myself out,” Reddick added. “Unlike (ILB coach Larry) Foote and ‘Los (LB Karlos Dansby), he understands what I’m going through. He’s been in that position. Hearing that when he comes off the sideline, it helps me ease my mind a little more and lets me know things are going to be alright.”

The support system goes beyond Bucannon.

While the Cardinals have prepared the rookies with lessons of off-the-field mistakes to avoid, they have also surrounded Reddick with a variety of voices to teach him the game of football.

“I got (ILB coach) Larry Foote, I got (veteran LB) Karlos Dansby: I couldn’t think of two better guys to learn from coming in,” Reddick said. “I’m not worried about the expectations that other people have for me, I’m just worried about doing what I can do, doing my best and coming in and making an impact wherever the team needs me to be.”

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