Cassius Marsh among new twists to old Cardinals-Seahawks rivalry

Sep 27, 2019, 3:42 PM
Linebacker Cassius Marsh #54 of the Arizona Cardinals takes the field for the NFL game against the ...
Linebacker Cassius Marsh #54 of the Arizona Cardinals takes the field for the NFL game against the Carolina Panthers at State Farm Stadium on September 22, 2019 in Glendale, Arizona. The Carolina Panthers won 38-20. (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)

TEMPE, Ariz. — These are the usual Seattle Seahawks, capable of putting the Arizona Cardinals through the ringer or teaming with their opponents to toss together the ugliest tie imaginable.

There are old faces back, including Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, head coach Pete Carroll and linebacker Bobby Wagner.

Arizona’s side has fewer key members who have lived through the last several years of winning on one another’s field more often than not, Larry Fitzgerald included. But the Cardinals, who host their NFC West rivals on Sunday, also bring a rookie quarterback and first-year head coach into the fold.

“I don’t think until you go through it you know what it’s about,” Kliff Kingsbury said of the rivalry.

The most intriguing new piece to the evolving relationship between bird-named teams in the desert and the Pacific Northwest might be outside linebacker Cassius Marsh, who was released from Seattle just before the regular season and signed by Arizona.

“I know some things about the Seahawks but to be honest with you, I’m not going to say much,” Marsh said Friday. “I’m going to hold my tongue ’cause I got some not-so-great feelings about them, so I’m just going to keep it at a minimum with what I say.”

Marsh, however, was subjected to interrogation about the rivalry before the Week 4 matchup because he’d expressed hate for the Seahawks — and the San Francisco 49ers — upon landing with the Cardinals on Sept. 1.

It probably has to do with Marsh going through free agency this past offseason and concluding that process by signing a deal with Seattle.

That marked a return home for the 2014 fourth-round pick by the Seahawks, who spent his first three NFL seasons with the team before playing with New England and San Francisco. But before Marsh played a game for Seattle this year, the team traded for pass-rusher Jadeveon Clowney, making Marsh and his contract expendable.

“I think it’s public knowledge what’s going on with me and the Seahawks,” said Marsh, whose snaps per game have increased in each of the last two weeks. “I don’t think it was a great thing that they did, but it’s business. I had this game circled and I’m excited to play the Seahawks.”

Guard J.R. Sweezy likewise has two separate pro stints with the Seahawks before he inked a deal to become Arizona’s starting right guard before this year.

Of course, old feelings will blend into this rivalry.

Fitzgerald called a 58-0 loss to the Seahawks in 2012 the most embarrassing of his career.

A 17-10 win the next season in which quarterback Carson Palmer threw four interceptions and Arizona held possession for 37 minutes thanks to 43 rushing attempts was one of the most satisfying.

“They want a messy, grimy game like that,” Fitzgerald said. “To be able to beat them in that fashion in ’13 was definitely probably the victory that stood out to me in my career.”

Palmer’s Ring of Honor induction by the Cardinals at halftime adds a little extra something to Sunday, as does his connection to Carroll, his college head coach at USC.

And for the Cardinals who don’t have relationships or opinions or feelings about the Seahawks, there will at least be this: Arizona is 0-2-1, and the rest of the NFC West is 8-1.

“I think anytime it’s a divisional game it’s a big deal,” Kingsbury said, “and then also us not having a win yet, I mean, guys are hungry to try to get over that hump.”

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