ARIZONA CARDINALS

Cardinals’ Dennis Gardeck making most of reps, not changing sack dance

Dec 15, 2020, 1:39 PM | Updated: 6:49 pm
(AP Photo/Seth Wenig)...
(AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
(AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Arizona Cardinals linebacker Dennis Gardeck entered the NFL season ready for whatever the team needed from him.

Fourteen weeks later and the backup linebacker has been thrust into more playing time than anticipated defensively with key injuries plaguing the unit in 2020.

While the sample size hasn’t been as large as some of the others on the team, the impact Gardeck is having on the defense is large.

In 13 games played, Gardeck has accumulated 11 tackles, five of which for losses, 5.0 sacks, eight QB hits and a fumble recovery. Last Sunday against the New York Giants, the linebacker accounted for two of the team’s eight sacks on the day and one of Arizona’s three fumble recoveries.

His sack total is second on the team to only fellow linebacker Haason Reddick, who has 10 on the year after a five-sack outing in New York.

And oh yeah, Gardeck has also done it in just 69 defensive snaps, bringing up the question as to whether or not his playing time should increase.

“I’ll take whatever opportunity I can to get out on the field,” Gardeck said via Zoom on Tuesday. “I think the packages I am in fit my skillset very well. [Defensive coordinator] Vance [Joseph] talked about being a star in your role, that’s something we’ve talked about together a couple times.

“Whatever your role is, do it to the best of your ability. I’m not worried about how else they can use me. That’s their job. My job is to be the best in the way they are using me.”

Gardeck’s performance in the win helped the Cardinals become the first team since 1998 Tampa Bay Buccaneers to register at least 8.0 sacks and five forced fumbles.

And while the jury may still be out on if the Cardinals up his reps to finish off the regular season, there was one area of focus cleared up on Tuesday’s Zoom call: Hitting the strobe never stops.

The linebacker’s patented “Hit the Strobe” sack dance isn’t going away anytime soon.

“I think if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” Gardeck said. “I think hitting the strobe is working for me so I’m going to continue with that.

“[Chandler Jones] doesn’t ever switch the guitar celebration and he’s getting like four sacks a game sometimes. I think I can stick with hitting the strobe.”

Can’t argue with that airtight logic.

Arizona Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals linebacker Isaiah Simmons #9 during the NFL game between the Arizona Cardinals an...
Nikash Nath

PFF’s Renner: Cardinals’ Isaiah Simmons a breakout candidate in Year 3

Cardinals' inside linebacker Isaiah Simmons was named a potential year three breakout candidate by PFF's Michael Renner.
13 hours ago
Rodney Hudson #61 of the Arizona Cardinals in the huddle during the game against the Tennessee Tita...
Wills Rice

Former Cardinals C A.Q. Shipley thinks offense needs to find identity

"For (Kyler) the next step is just grabbing everyone around him, whether he just needs one play and everyone will look to him," Shipley said.
2 days ago
General Manager Steve Keim of the Arizona Cardinals looks on prior to the game against the Baltimor...
Tyler Drake

Important NFL dates to remember and how they impact Arizona Cardinals

A look at the important league dates to circle on your calendar and how they relate to the Arizona Cardinals' roster decisions.
2 days ago
Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury takes notes as he watches players taking part in drill...
Tyler Drake

Looming questions for the Arizona Cardinals ahead of training camp

There are quite a few questions marks surrounding the Arizona Cardinals ahead of training camp this offseason.
2 days ago
(Twitter photo/New England Patriots)...
Wills Rice

New England Patriots bring back red uniforms in Back to the Future spoof

The New England Patriots announced the team is bringing back their old-school red uniform and helmet combo for the 2022 season.
3 days ago
Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, left, talks with Cardinals offensive lineman Kelvi...
Jake Anderson

Cardinals WR DeAndre Hopkins reveals what led to PED suspension

DeAndre Hopkins on Wednesday revealed what was in his system that resulted in his six-game suspension for violating the NFL's PED policy.
4 days ago
Cardinals’ Dennis Gardeck making most of reps, not changing sack dance