ARIZONA CARDINALS

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

Aug 14, 2014, 4:20 AM | Updated: 6:38 pm

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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.

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Receiver Robby Toma makes a catch in the corner of the end zone during Arizona Cardinals training camp Tuesday, Aug. 13 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale. (Adam Green/Arizona Sports) Receiver Andre Roberts turns and runs during Arizona Cardinals training camp Tuesday, Aug. 13 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale. (Adam Green/Arizona Sports) Quarterbacks Drew Stanton, Ryan Lindley and Carson Palmer wait during Arizona Cardinals training camp Tuesday, Aug. 13 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale. (Adam Green/Arizona Sports) Quarterback Carson Palmer throws a pass during Arizona Cardinals training camp Tuesday, Aug. 13 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale. (Adam Green/Arizona Sports) Running back Alfonso Smith is wrapped up by linebacker Kevin Minter during Arizona Cardinals training camp Tuesday, Aug. 13 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale. (Adam Green/Arizona Sports) Defensive back Patrick Peterson watches quarterback Carson Palmer drop back to pass during Arizona Cardinals training camp Tuesday, Aug. 13 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale. (Adam Green/Arizona Sports) The offense starts a play during Arizona Cardinals training camp Tuesday, Aug. 13 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale. (Adam Green/Arizona Sports) Defensive back Tyrann Mathieu during Arizona Cardinals training camp Tuesday, Aug. 13 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale. (Adam Green/Arizona Sports) Running back Stepfan Taylor during Arizona Cardinals training camp Tuesday, Aug. 13 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale. (Adam Green/Arizona Sports) Defensive back Patrick Peterson chats with receiver Larry Fitzgerald during Arizona Cardinals training camp Tuesday, Aug. 13 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale. (Adam Green/Arizona Sports) Receiver Robby Toma makes a catch during Arizona Cardinals training camp Tuesday, Aug. 13 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale. (Adam Green/Arizona Sports) Receiver Kerry Taylor waits for the ball to arrive during Arizona Cardinals training camp Tuesday, Aug. 13 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale. (Adam Green/Arizona Sports) Quarterback Carson Palmer talks with receiver Michael Floyd during Arizona Cardinals training camp Tuesday, Aug. 13 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale. (Adam Green/Arizona Sports) Running back Rashard Mendenhall runs with the ball during Arizona Cardinals training camp Tuesday, Aug. 13 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale. (Adam Green/Arizona Sports) Defensive back Tyrann Mathieu watches during Arizona Cardinals training camp Tuesday, Aug. 13 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale. (Adam Green/Arizona Sports) The offense huddles up during Arizona Cardinals training camp Tuesday, Aug. 13 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale. (Adam Green/Arizona Sports) Offensive linemen Bobby Massie and Paul Fanaika get set during Arizona Cardinals training camp Tuesday, Aug. 13 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale. (Adam Green/Arizona Sports) Quarterback Ryan Lindley drops back to pass during Arizona Cardinals training camp Tuesday, Aug. 13 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale. (Adam Green/Arizona Sports) Defensive back Tyrann Mathieu picks off a pass during Arizona Cardinals training camp Tuesday, Aug. 13 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale. (Adam Green/Arizona Sports) Receiver Larry Fitzgerald receives instruction from head coach Bruce Arians during Arizona Cardinals training camp Tuesday, Aug. 13 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale. (Adam Green/Arizona Sports) Receiver Robert Gill runs by defensive back Tyrann Mathieu during Arizona Cardinals training camp Tuesday, Aug. 13 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale. (Adam Green/Arizona Sports) Receiver Michael Floyd tries to keep his balance during Arizona Cardinals training camp Tuesday, Aug. 13 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale. (Adam Green/Arizona Sports) Receiver Larry Fitzgerald runs by Patrick Peterson after making a catch during Arizona Cardinals training camp Tuesday, Aug. 13 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale. (Adam Green/Arizona Sports) Running back Andre Ellington begins to run a route during Arizona Cardinals training camp Tuesday, Aug. 13 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale. (Adam Green/Arizona Sports) Defensive backs in between drills during Arizona Cardinals training camp Tuesday, Aug. 13 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale. (Adam Green/Arizona Sports) Receiver Michael Floyd tries to get open against defensive back Patrick Peterson during Arizona Cardinals training camp Tuesday, Aug. 13 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale. (Adam Green/Arizona Sports) Defensive back Antoine Cason falls on receiver Kerry Taylor during Arizona Cardinals training camp Tuesday, Aug. 13 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale. (Adam Green/Arizona Sports) Receiver Michael Floyd makes a catch in the corner of the end zone during Arizona Cardinals training camp Tuesday, Aug. 13 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale. (Adam Green/Arizona Sports) Receiver Jaron Brown tries to make a catch during Arizona Cardinals training camp Tuesday, Aug. 13 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale. (Adam Green/Arizona Sports) Head coach Bruce Arians chats with defensive back Tyrann Mathieu during Arizona Cardinals training camp Tuesday, Aug. 13 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale. (Adam Green/Arizona Sports) Linebacker Sam Acho tries to pressure QB Carson Palmer as tackle Eric Winston blocks during Arizona Cardinals training camp Tuesday, Aug. 13 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale. (Adam Green/Arizona Sports)

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