New Cardinals defense to allow Baker, others to make plays

Jun 4, 2019, 4:26 PM
Arizona Cardinals' Budda Baker (32) shows Patrick Peterson (21) a drill during an NFL football orga...
Arizona Cardinals' Budda Baker (32) shows Patrick Peterson (21) a drill during an NFL football organized team activity, Monday, June 3, 2019, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)
(AP Photo/Matt York)

Budda Baker’s first two NFL seasons have not been the smoothest sailing for a newcomer.

That is, when it comes to everything that doesn’t have to do with his play.

In Baker’s two seasons as a Cardinal, the former Washington Husky has made an All-Rookie Team, an All-Pro team and a Pro Bowl appearance and has racked up 123 solo tackles and three forced fumbles.

He’s also had two different defenses and is currently learning his third as Vance Joseph has taken over the gig from former head coach Steve Wilks and defensive coordinator Al Holcomb.

“It boosts my confidence level,” said Baker Tuesday on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s Bickley & Marotta of having to learn and adjust.

Baker said there are positives and negatives to the constant change, but as a safety, it helps him know his and other’s positions.

“Learning and seeing the ups and downs of a 4-3 defense and a 3-4 defense, as a safety, I got to know where everybody is on the field so that helps me a lot,” he said.

Joseph’s defense brings a change of position and role into the fold.

“[At] free safety, hopefully I get to get my hand on some more footballs,” Baker said of the position change. “The last two years I’ve been in the box a lot, and that’s definitely fun, like blitzing and all that type of stuff, but just being the last line of defense is one of my favorite things to do.”

Baker’s accustomed to the position, which he played in college.

“You know where you’re coming from,” he said.

The new defense isn’t just allowing Baker to adjust his role though.

“It gives play-makers time to make plays,” Baker said. “Chandler Jones, all them type of dudes, they’re going after the quarterback, doing a lot of man type of stuff. We have DBs who can play man … I’m just very excited for this defense.”

Arizona Cardinals

Matt Prater #5 of the Arizona Cardinals celebrates a field goal with teammates during the second qu...
Arizona Sports

Cardinals K Matt Prater’s game vs. Browns leads to player of the week nod

Matt Prater's 13 points were a season-high for the Cardinals on Sunday and in a 37-14 win bumped his season total to 56, most in the NFC.
8 hours ago
Arizona Cardinals assistant receivers coach Spencer Whipple on a Zoom press conference on Tuesday, ...
Kevin Zimmerman

Interim play-caller Spencer Whipple comforted by support from Cardinals’ staff

Spencer Whipple did let it rip. His play-sheet didn't as the interim play-caller helped the Arizona Cardinals to a win against the Browns.
1 day ago
Arizona Cardinals' Josh Mauro (97) runs defensive linemen drills during an NFL football training ca...
Arizona Sports

Arizona Cardinals sign DL Josh Mauro to practice squad

The Arizona Cardinals have signed a familiar face to the practice squad in defensive lineman Josh Mauro, the team announced.
1 day ago
CLEVELAND, OHIO - OCTOBER 17: Zach Ertz of the Arizona Cardinals looks on prior to the game against...
Wills Rice

New Cardinals TE Zach Ertz bids farewell to Philadelphia in letter to fans

After playing eight years and winning a Super Bowl for the Eagles, the newest Cardinals TE Zach Ertz said an emotional goodbye to Philly.
1 day ago
Follow @AZSports...
Arizona Sports

Trivia Tuesday: Cardinals players with 800+ receiving yards in a season

Can you name every Cardinals player (since 1988) to have 800 or more receiving yards in a single season? Good luck, it's Trivia Tuesday!
2 days ago
Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury applauds his players during NFL football training camp...
Arizona Sports

SI’s Breer: Kliff Kingsbury was on to Houston as Cardinals closed out Browns

Kliff Kingsbury handed off his duties as Cardinals coach and proceded to plan for the Houston Texans as his team played the Cleveland Browns.
2 days ago
New Cardinals defense to allow Baker, others to make plays