Arizona Cardinals’ Deone Bucannon supplies the highlight of Tuesday’s practice

Jul 30, 2014, 12:46 AM | Updated: 4:34 am
Follow @Vincemarotta...

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Oh, the highs and lows of being a rookie in the National Football League.

Tuesday morning, Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians made an example of safety Deone Bucannon for a questionable hit in Monday’s practice.

“He was trying to show off a little bit,” Arians said. “He tried to show that he’s a tough guy and we know he’s a tough guy.

“He’d have gotten flagged and penalized and they’d have the ball first and goal on the 1-yard line, so it’s stupid. But he learned from it.”

A few hours later, Bucannon, obviously unfazed by his coach’s criticism, pulled off the highlight of the Tuesday afternoon practice at University of Phoenix Stadium.

Bucannon stepped in front of a Carson Palmer pass, made a one-handed interception and took it to the end zone for a touchdown. The Washington State product has been playing a hybrid safety-linebacker position in Arizona’s dime package.

“They just let me get down there in the dollar position and act like I’m blitzing,” Bucannon said. “You know, just get out and try to trick the quarterback and maybe get in the window and help out the DBs behind me. Thankfully, I was there to be able to get my hands on the ball.”

Bucannon certainly has a knack for that — 15 interceptions in a four-year collegiate career serve as proof. The Cardinals are hoping the hard-hitting safety can bring that nose for the football to the next level.

“I’m just out there trying to make as many plays as possible,” he said. “That’s just thanks to the people who are out there on the field with me — D-linemen getting pressure to get the quarterback a little more excited than usual and give me a chance to intercept the ball.”

The step up in competition level from the college ranks to the NFL is a steep one, but Bucannon feels he’s starting to grasp the changes even though he’s got just four full training camp practices under his belt.

“A little bit, but everybody out there, they’re great players,” Bucannon said. “It’s going to take a little bit more than four days for anybody — you’ve got to get out there and get adjusted. But it definitely is slowing down for me, but at the same time, I’ve got to stay in my playbook and I’ve got to study and keep on getting better.”

Despite being the 27th overall pick and third safety selected in May’s NFL Draft, Bucannon knows he’s just like every other rookie in his first training camp.

“I want to earn the respect of my teammates. I want to show them that I can get out here and play with them and that I can be a positive influence on this team,” he said. “I’ve always said it doesn’t matter where you got picked, it doesn’t matter how you got here, I want to come here with the same mindset each and every day.

“I’m on the bottom of the totem pole. I’m trying to work my way up and show the vets — and we’ve got some great players, some of the best players out here — I want to show them what I can do.”

Arizona Cardinals

James Conner #6 and Byron Murphy #7 of the Arizona Cardinals celebrate as they run off the field af...
Arizona Sports

NFL Network’s Rosenthal projects Arizona Cardinals’ 2022 starters

With OTAs next week, NFL Network's Gregg Rosenthal projected the 2022 starters for the Arizona Cardinals with notes about every position.
13 hours ago
A.J. Green #18 of the Arizona Cardinals runs after his catch from David Long #22 of the Los Angeles...
Arizona Sports

The Athletic’s Jones: Cardinals-Rams in Week 3 a must-watch game in 2022

Of the Cardinals' 2022 slate, The Athletic's Lindsay Jones believes the Week 3 matchup against the Rams stands out above the rest.
13 hours ago
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) in action during the first half of the National Foot...
Arizona Sports

Arizona Cardinals 2022 preseason schedule finalized

Specific dates and times for the Arizona Cardinals to face the Cincinnati Bengals and Tennessee Titans in the preseason were not yet set.
2 days ago
(AP Photo/Ron Schwane)...
Arizona Sports

Cardinals’ Vance Joseph, Quentin Harris participating in NFL Accelerator program

Cardinals DC Vance Joseph and VP of player personnel Quentin Harris are taking part in the NFL Coach and Front Office Accelerator program.
2 days ago
Head coach Kliff Kingsbury of the Arizona Cardinals on the field before the game against the Seattl...
Tyler Drake

The 5: Familiar faces Arizona Cardinals’ Kliff Kingsbury will see in 2022

Not only will Cardinals HC Kliff Kingsbury take on his former head coach in 2022, he'll also face former players, teammates and colleagues.
2 days ago
Cincinnati DL Myjai Sanders (21) during a college football game between the Tulsa Golden Hurricane ...
Arizona Sports

Arizona Cardinals sign rookie OLB Myjai Sanders to a 4-year deal

The Arizona Cardinals signed rookie outside linebacker Myjai Sanders to a four-year deal on Wednesday morning.
3 days ago
Arizona Cardinals’ Deone Bucannon supplies the highlight of Tuesday’s practice