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Cardinals defense improving with better trust

PHOENIX – The Arizona Cardinals defense looked lost to start the system as the players struggled to adapt and learn a new system.

Things have changed during the season.

Back in playoff contention after winning five of their last six games led by a defense that has turned from the team’s weakness into its strength.

Defensive coordinator Ray Horton believes it was just a matter of the players buying into the system.

“They’re just comfortable with what we’re doing and it’s probably a trust thing. They trust me now and I trust them.”

“It’s a good balance of understanding and them being in the right place at the right time,” said Horton on the Arizona Sports 620’s Doug and Wolf show Tuesday.

Horton said the biggest challenge was convincing the veterans to buy into what he was selling.

“You have to win over the veterans. They’ve been in the league for awhile. This is a prove it to me league. I have to prove it to them,” said Horton.

The hardest player to convince buying into Horton’s system was defensive tackle Darnell Dockett.

“Darnell was probably the hardest guy to win over because he’s used to doing things his way. He’s a strong willed man that wants to do it his way but he understands one of us wasn’t going to win and I’m the guy with the hammer so he bought into it,” said Horton.

The Cardinals defensive coordinator believes it took Dockett to witness others like Calais Campbell having success to completely buy into the system.

“Sometimes that’s all it takes is to see success,” said Horton.

If the Cardinals defense can keep making strides and improving, this unit will be a formidable one to face the rest of the season and into the future.