Former Cardinals LB Karlos Dansby: Moment was too big for them
There are very few plays in Arizona Cardinals history more memorable than their overtime win over the Green Bay Packers in the 2009 Wild Card round of the playoffs.
Linebacker Karlos Dansby returned defensive back Michael Adams’ strip sack of quarterback Aaron Rodgers for a touchdown in overtime to send the Cardinals to the Divisional round.
That was just one of many big plays Dansby made in bright moments with the Cardinals, as he had seven tackles for loss and two forced fumbles in six career playoff games in Arizona. He intercepted a pass in Super Bowl XLIII.
His former team, though, did not step up in the playoffs on Monday, as it fell 34-11 against the Los Angeles Rams in the Wild Card round.
Dansby went on Arizona Sports’ Bickley & Marotta on Friday to discuss the Cardinals’ loss, and how the moment looked too big for them.
“It hurt watching that,” Dansby said. “It was just one of those games when nothing goes right.”
The former Cardinal (2004-2009, 2013, 2017) said it looked like Arizona was not able to slow the game down when it started to slip.
The Cardinals fell behind 21-0 in the first half against the Rams, as three-and-outs and turnovers quickly mounted on them.
Dansby said when offenses look as rattled as Arizona’s did, defenders start licking their chops.
“We’re in the huddle saying, ‘who’s going to get there first?'” Dansby said. “We knew they’re going to throw the ball, we’ve got them behind. (Los Angeles) has got prolific guys like Von Miller and Aaron Donald … there are only so many snaps that you’re going to be able to block these guys.”
Arizona threw the ball 34 times to 18 runs. It trailed for most of the game, but only one of the Cardinals’ first six plays when the score was 0-0 was a handoff.
Dansby pointed out that the Cardinals failed to make the game easier for quarterback Kyler Murray, and having no balance offensively was not going to work.
Another glaring item from the loss was the lack of snaps for first-round linebackers Isaiah Simmons and Zaven Collins, neither of whom played as much as Tanner Vallejo.
“Those guys have the talent,” Dansby said. “Those guys have the attributes, they have the size, the range, the speed, the IQ of the game. Do they have the experience? It’s the only thing missing … It’s tough to make that transition and be on top of your game so early in your career.”
His advice to them is that this past year doesn’t matter anymore, it’s about what they do going forward and they have to work on their games.
Dansby left with one final note: he’s waiting to be inducted into the Cardinals’ Ring of Honor.
“Holler at me Steve (Keim), Michael (Bidwill),” Dansby said. “I’m here.”