Cardinals defensive coordinator Bowles: Bucannon’s a ‘hitter,’ but ‘he has to be smart’

Aug 14, 2014, 4:20 AM | Updated: 6:38 pm
LISTEN: Todd Bowles- Cardinals defensive coordinator

When the Arizona Cardinals made the surprising draft selection of Washington State safety Deone Bucannon late in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft, they knew what they were getting: a physical, intimidating presence on defense.

And months later, defensive coordinator Todd Bowles has assessed his player as just that — adding to an already deep Cardinals defense.

A guest of Bickley and Marotta on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Wednesday, Bowles spoke highly of the Cougars product, allowing some excitement for the player’s development to be heard in his vocal inflections.

When asked which of the defensive unit’s younger players has been most impressive so far in training camp, the coordinator didn’t hesitate.

“Obviously Bucannon,” he began, “because he’s learning quite a few spots right now and I think he’s handling it quite well. I still don’t think we’ve seen the finished product quite yet, as we shouldn’t at this point in the year.”

One part of the game Bowles hoped he’d see develop mentally was actually the physicality Bucannon brings.

“If he’s hitting the right person, it helps the defense a great deal, but he has to learn a lot first,” he said. “Deone’s a hitter, but he has to be smart about who he’s hitting. Coming in, there’s a little hesitancy, because all rookies have to learn and that slows their game down a little bit.”

But once the learning sinks in and the knowledge cramming of camp is no more, Bucannon’s coordinator believes he’ll be firing on all cylinders.

“As he gets more confident and as he gets the system down a little more, I think his play and the things he does will start to show a little more,” Bowles said.

Life Changer Loans

Arizona Cardinals

Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers runs with the ball against Byron Murphy Jr. #7 of the Arizon...
Sam Graveline

Cardinals rank No. 30 on Football Outsiders’ under-25 talent list

The Cardinals head into the 2022 season lacking talent under the age of 25, coming in at No. 30 in Scott Spratt's rankings.
18 hours ago
(L-R) Owner Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys talks with owner Michael Bidwell of the Arizona Cardi...
Arizona Sports

Sportico ranks Cardinals No. 28 on list of most valuable NFL teams

The Arizona Cardinals ranked No. 28 in Sportico's franchise valuations at $3.165 billion, an 18% increase from 2021.
3 days ago
Arizona Cardinals WR Rondale Moore warms up ahead of practice Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022, in Tempe. (T...
Nikash Nath

Pro Football Focus: Rondale Moore is Cardinals’ most intriguing player

PFF's Ari Meirov went through all 32 NFL teams' rosters and selected one player from each team as their most "intriguing player."
2 days ago
Arizona Cardinals' Greg Dortch runs drills during the NFL football team's training camp at State Fa...
Tyler Drake

Cardinals notebook: Greg Dortch among Red & White practice standouts

Greg Dortch continues to impress over the course of training camp, with his most recent showing coming during the Red & White practice.
18 hours ago
Arizona Cardinals DL Kingsley Keke looks on during OTAs on Monday, June 6, 2022, in Tempe. (Tyler D...
Arizona Sports

Arizona Cardinals DT Kingsley Keke placed in COVID-19 protocols

Arizona Cardinals defensive lineman Kingsley Keke has been placed in COVID-19 protocols, head coach Kliff Kingbury said at practice Saturday.
2 days ago
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray runs sprints during the NFL football team's training cam...
Tyler Drake

Cardinals’ Kyler Murray back from COVID-19 stint for Red & White practice

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray was back on the practice field ahead of Saturday's Red & White practice.
2 days ago
Cardinals defensive coordinator Bowles: Bucannon’s a ‘hitter,’ but ‘he has to be smart’