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New Cardinals defense to allow Baker, others to make plays

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)

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.”

Bickley & Marotta

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