Cardinals’ Devon Kennard: Arizona should have an edge after playoff loss
Arizona Cardinals linebacker Devon Kennard believes his team should have a chip on its shoulder after last season’s unraveling.
As Arizona moves forward this offseason, the veteran still feels the sting of last year’s 34-11 playoff loss against the Los Angeles Rams.
Kennard said the Cardinals are moving forward and that dwelling on the past will not help their win total in 2022, but mentioned that the team needs to learn what it can from it.
“We don’t talk about it much,” Kennard told Arizona Sports’ Wolf & Luke this week. “Obviously, it needs to. It needs to be addressed. But you got to kind of move on. Gotta have short memory in this league. ”
Kennard addressed that Arizona has a difficult schedule this season, one with the vaunted AFC West on the slate.
He hopes last year’s lessons and the tough road ahead push the Cardinals to another level.
Kennard has been in the league for nine years and, from that perspective, said talented teams win early. Teams that execute are successful late in the season. The 10-2 start for the Arizona proved to be futile.
“If you have a blend of both, those are the teams that ended up being really special,” Kennard said. “I think we have a lot of talent on this team. Right? Can we develop and build the foundation to where our execution is so spot on that we can carry it throughout the year?”
Kennard dove into the defense, specifically noting that no one player will replace edge rusher Chandler Jones but they have depth at the position. Arizona added three rookies to the position group, including third-round picks Cameron Thomas and Myjai Sanders.
Defensive coordinator Vance Joseph keeps a board up with milestones and performances from last year, Kennard said. It is a constant reminder of what improvements need to be made.
“From our perspective, we didn’t play well enough late in the season and in that playoff game to get some of the wins that we needed,” Kennard said. “I feel like (Joseph) came to us as a team defensively, he was like, ‘Let’s execute better and let’s build a foundation of where we’re further along than we were last year.'”