Victor Dimukeje and the Cardinals defense embrace ‘inflict pain’ mentality

Sep 16, 2023, 5:30 PM

Arizona Cardinals force a fumble...

Antonio Gibson #24 of the Washington Commanders fumbles the ball while being tackled by Victor Dimukeje #52 of the Arizona Cardinals during the first half at FedExField on September 10, 2023 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

In Week 1 against the Washington Commanders, the Arizona Cardinals revealed their new defensive philosophy in the first quarter.

New LB Kyzir White absolutely leveled Commanders QB Sam Howell and sent referee Derick Bowers out of the game with an injured arm.

While Howell was out of bounds and White was assessed a penalty for a late hit, it set exactly the tone the Cardinals want opposing teams to have ringing in their ears.

“Inflict pain, of course not out of bounds. He didn’t mean to do that. But, you know, when you see a guy, you know, playing with that sort of energy, man, it’s contagious. It rubs off on everybody else,” LB Victor Dimukeje said on Arizona Sports’ Wolf & Luke.

While Dimukeje said players have to make the plays, he credited defensive coordinator Nick Rallis with putting them in good situations to have success in Week 1.

“It seems like he’s been in this position for like the last 20 years. You know, he’s a vet. It felt like he was a vet out there,” he said.

Although the Cardinals defense and Dimukeje were stout in Week 1 – he picked up his first sack – he knows there is much work to be done.

“Just keep working on my fundamentals,” he said. “Keep getting better each and every day, you know, you could have one good game, but you gotta keep stacking them up.”

This week, he knows another big challenge will present itself but that the Cardinals will be ready for the Giants and Saquon Barkley.

“It’s definitely gonna be a good battle and I’m excited for it,” he said.

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Victor Dimukeje and the Cardinals defense embrace ‘inflict pain’ mentality