Justin Bethel on special teams ‘I love when I can block a kick’

Aug 6, 2015, 7:12 AM

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LISTEN: Justin Bethel, Cardinals corner back

Offense makes the highlight shows while defense wins championships.

So where does that leave special teams?

Probably somewhere in the middle. A team would have major hurdles to clear with a poor special teams unit, and who doesn’t like to watch a kick return for a touchdown or a blocked kick on the highlight shows?

That’s especially true if that blocked kick involves Cardinals special team ace Justin Bethel.

The two-time special teams Pro Bowler was on the Burns & Gambo show on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM on Wednesday and talked about his role on the team.

“Anything I am doing to help the team win I am fine with,” Bethel said. “Of course I would love to see my role expand to some defense, but if playing special teams is what gets us a Super Bowl, I will gladly play it.”

Bethel led the team with 18 special teams tackles in 2014 and was named NFC Special Teams Player of the Month in December after posting a NFL-best eight special teams tackles and a forced fumble. He also earned NFC Player of the Week honors for Week 9 after coming up with his favorite play of the 2014 season.

“The blocked kick against Dallas, I love when I can block a kick,” Bethel said about the play. “It is definitely a game-changer and takes away three points with the possibility of us getting six when I got (Peterson) out there and he can take it. Any time I can get those are a highlight for me.”

Bethel has blocked three field goals over the last two season, both ending in Pro Bowl appearances.

The three-year veteran is confused at times about how he can block a kick with ease, but notes that the team has a strong field goal block unit, and a kicker has to worry about players flying in from all angles.

“The thing is, even if they come after me we have guys coming off the ball hard who have a chance of getting there,” he said. “That Dallas block, I think (Rashad Johnson) would have come through on the inside and got it.

“They have to watch the inside guys, it’s supposed to be harder for me than for the inside guys.”



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