Cardinals’ Myjai Sanders uses late sister’s influence as rookie motivation

May 14, 2022, 10:00 AM | Updated: 10:28 am
Arizona Cardinals' Trey McBride, left, and Myjai Sanders run drills at the NFL football team's rook...

Arizona Cardinals' Trey McBride, left, and Myjai Sanders run drills at the NFL football team's rookie minicamp, Friday, May 13, 2022, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)

(AP Photo/Matt York)

The Arizona Cardinals nabbed a position of need in edge rusher Myjai Sanders in the third round of the 2022 NFL Draft.

With the departure of Chandler Jones in free agency there are high expectations for Sanders early on in his career. He totaled 41 tackles with 2.5 sacks and six passes defended this past season to follow a seven-sack season in 2020.

The rookie from the Cincinnati Bearcats told reporters his late sister heavily influences his life and playing style.

She passed away in 2016 but is the reason he plays with such an edge and is in the NFL.

“Me and my sister were close, we were real tight,” Sanders told reporters on Friday. “The funny thing is she actually taught me how to play all the sports I know how to play. She played flag football and was a receiver, so she definitely taught me how to play football, basketball and baseball.”

“She taught me a lot in life and I always want to thank her for that.”

Sanders’ sister was six years older than him when she was hit on a motorcycle by a drunk driver that ran a red light.

Outside of playing sports, his sister has played a major influence off the field on his character as well. The two had goals they wanted to accomplish together, such as making a better life for each other.

“Keep going no matter what happens in life, no matter how down you are, no matter how up you are, keep going,” Sanders said.

“Her biggest thing for me was to stay myself. No matter who I became, stay myself. Don’t let a lot of stuff push me away from what my ultimate goal was.”

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