Cardinals’ Haason Reddick is ‘definitely comfortable’ this season
For the first time since 2015, the Arizona Cardinals are 2-0.
Not many predicted that the Cardinals would be tied for the division lead through two weeks of the 2020 season, especially after having to open up the campaign with a trip to Santa Clara to visit the defending NFC Champion San Francisco 49ers.
But on Monday following Arizona’s 30-15 win over the Washington Football Team, Cardinals linebacker Haason Reddick told Arizona Sports’ Bickley & Marotta that he isn’t surprised about the team’s best start in half a decade.
“We had a great camp, everybody was locked in, focused and you can see it’s transferring to the season,” Reddick said. “Everybody is locked in, we’re committed. We have a goal in mind that we want to reach and as long as we stay focused throughout this whole thing, the sky is the limit.”
A big part of the Cardinals’ success through the first two weeks has been the fact that the defense is averaging only 17.5 points allowed per game. Reddick said he feels more comfortable playing at the outside linebacker position — something he did in college — after spending his first two seasons in Arizona playing inside linebacker.
“I’m definitely comfortable — made the definite move to outside linebacker, which has been great for me because it’s more natural and closer to what I was doing in college,” he said.
“And then on top of that, the second year in the same defense, I think that’s been an amazing help having Vance (Joseph) here for the second time in a row. It’s allowed me to be confident, go out there, play fast and put my natural talents on display.”
But you can’t win games unless you score points, and second-year quarterback Kyler Murray is leading the team in that department. The Cardinals have scored 54 points through two games this season, which puts Arizona’s average scoring output at 27 points per contest.
The 2019 Offensive Rookie of the Year is the first quarterback in the Super Bowl era to throw for 500 yards and rush for over 150 in the first two games of a season. Murray is also the first signal-caller to run for more than 150 yards and score three rushing touchdowns to start a campaign.
“Kyler is looking amazing. You already saw it last year even though we didn’t have the record or the outcome that we wanted last year,” Reddick said. “You saw what he could be, you saw what he could do and you saw how special he was.
“This year it seems like he’s more comfortable in his second year in the league and he just looks amazing. He’s doing it all — throwing, running. Hopefully he can keep that up but he looks amazing, he looks good and he looks like the quarterback we knew he could be. I’m so glad I don’t have to be out there chasing him around. Let him give other differences headaches.”
And although 14 games still remain on the regular-season schedule, being 2-0 and tied for first in the division with a win over the defending NFC West champs has made some already think ahead to how far the 2020 Cardinals can go.
But the fourth-year linebacker was adamant about following head coach Kliff Kingbury’s approach of taking things one game at a time.
“Right now we’re worrying about preparing one week at a time, taking it one game at a time,” Reddick said.
“As long as everybody stays locked in, stays focused and stays committed to the goal that we have at hand, then we go out there every Sunday and continue to play good football and try to dominate the opponent — if we can do that, I think we can hit home on that goal.”