Surging Cardinals defense to add another piece

Dec 16, 2011, 9:26 PM | Updated: 9:47 pm

The Arizona Cardinals defense has been getting plenty of
accolades recently — and rightfully so — as they’ve been
key to the team turning its season around.

The funny thing is, though, they’ve done so all without
the
services of starting safety Kerry Rhodes, who has been out
since October 9th after breaking his foot. The veteran has
missed the team’s last eight games — five of which were
wins — and is excited to get back on the field Sunday
against the Browns.

“It looks fun seeing those guys flying around making
plays,” Rhodes said Friday. “Me, just seeing where I’ll
fit in to make plays…plays a lot of guys can’t make, I
can.”

Rhodes is in his second season with the Cardinals, and was
hoping to follow up his great debut season with another.
However, he had just 24 tackles in the team’s first five
games, with two sacks and no interceptions or forced
fumbles.

But he showed a penchant for making plays the season
before, and while the team’s defense has become more stout
the last few weeks, they haven’t exactly been forcing
turnovers. Getting Rhodes back in the lineup could, like
he said, help in that department.

Of course, it will take some time. You really can’t just
jump back into the lineup and be ready to go, according to
defensive coordinator Ray Horton.

“I think for him the main thing will be the butterflies,
because he hasn’t played in a long time, and probably just
the speed of the game,” Horton said. “That’s why we just
want to just ease him back into it, let him get
comfortable.”

Rhodes admitted that actually being in a game will be far
different from practice, but says he’ll be up to the task.
That said, he is glad to no longer be a glorified
cheerleader on Sundays.

“It’s been hard because you see the guys having fun, and
they were playing well, and I’m on the sideline,” he said.
“Those guys have been playing well and I just want to get
back out there and do what I can to help as well.”

Arizona Sports’ Kyndra de St. Aubin contributed to this
report

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Surging Cardinals defense to add another piece