Arizona Cardinals giving new LB Mack Wilson Sr. the chance ‘to flourish’

Mar 15, 2024, 8:40 AM | Updated: 10:03 am

Arizona Cardinals linebacker Mack Wilson Sr. repeatedly mentioned a “special feeling” when asked during his introductory press conference on why he signed a three-year deal with Arizona this offseason.

“It just seems like things are headed in the right direction,” Wilson Sr. told reporters on Thursday. “Everybody’s happy. The energy’s great, so I just had this great feeling in here in this building that something special is brewing.”

The 2019 fifth-round pick out of Alabama said he had the opportunity to return to the Patriots but opted for Arizona instead.

“I chose Arizona because it’s an opportunity for me to come out here and be a part of something special that’s brewing,” Wilson Sr. told Arizona Sports’ Wolf & Luke on Thursday. “I feel like coach (Jonathan Gannon) coming off his first year, obviously, he didn’t have the season that he would want, but this year I feel like he kind of got a feel of what he would want his team to look like. I feel like he’s been doing a great job with the additions he’s been doing this offseason.”

In addition to Wilson Sr., the Cardinals also signed offensive lineman Jonah Williams, defensive linemen Bilal Nichols and Justin Jones, linebacker Mack Wilson Sr., cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting and running back DeeJay Dallas in free agency. They also nabbed backup quarterback Desmond Ridder in a trade that shipped off wide receiver Rondale Moore to the Atlanta Falcons.

“It’s an opportunity for me to flourish,” Wilson Sr. told Wolf & Luke. “I feel like I didn’t want to miss this opportunity. I didn’t want to pass up on this opportunity. I had a chance to go back to the Patriots, but I feel like this is where God wants me to be.”

The former Patriot told reporters the special feeling he’s got in Arizona starts from the top down.

“When you got your owner tied in, when you got the GM tied in, the head coach tied in and they all just trickle on down from them, that energy trickling down from them to the players is contagious,” Wilson Sr. said. “I just feel like it’s fresh air, man. I feel something special here.”

Wilson recorded 37 tackles with 3.5 sacks, four quarterback hits and two forced fumbles last season in New England. But the former Patriot played only 27% of the available defensive snaps last year.

Nevertheless, he was still able to learn a lot despite the snap count.

“With not playing as much I was able to really figure out who I was as a person,” Wilson Sr. said. “Because it could have been easy for me to tuck my tail and just not quit, but like, just not care either.

“So, I feel like me just really staying focused and dedicated to myself and staying dedicated to the team allowed me to be successful late in the year last year when it was time.”

Wilson said he’s not sure where the Cardinals will deploy him yet, but he can play whatever position they want him to play.

“I feel I can do kind of whatever I put my mind to,” Wilson Sr. said. “I can cover, I can rush, I can tackle, I can play downhill. Whatever I need to do, I feel like I can get done. And I’m confident enough that I can get it done.”

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