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Cardinals Defense Preparing to be Ahead of the Curve

Arizona Cardinals head coach Jonathan Gannon says the team won't box themselves into a defensive alignment.

PHOENIX -- Arizona Cardinals head coach Jonathan Gannon has had to answer plenty of questions throughout the offseason, and those didn't stop at the NFL's annual meeting this week.

Questions on Kyler Murray, DeAndre Hopkins, free agency and the 2023 NFL Draft came and went during Gannon's 30 minute session with reporters. Those will eventually be settled, though fans are still waiting to see what exactly Arizona's defense will look like in 2023. 

Gannon has preached adaptability and versatility on the defensive side of the ball since the very first moment he was introduced as the Cardinals' head coach. 

"We don't fit the players into the scheme, we fit the scheme around the player," he said. 

Much of the discussion surrounding Arizona was the future of their defense after parting ways with defensive coordinator Vance Joseph. Will the Cardinals operate out of a 3-4 or 4-3? 

"I don't box ourselves into an alignment. We're going to try to play defense where we make sure we don't get the ball thrown over our head and keep the points down and take the ball away. Those are kind of the main stats that I'm concerned with," Gannon said. 

"But everyone plays a hybrid of something or another, but I think you need versatility and scheme week to week to be able to take away their best players and that's how we'll do things."

Gannon said he walked into a defensive meeting with new coordinator Nick Rallis  (who coached under Gannon as a LB coach with the Philadelphia Eagles before being brought over as the youngest coordinator in the league) and was impressed with the development of the defense, which involved three different calls for the team to make after learning from mistakes last year. 

"Nick and his staff have done a great job. I did not want a copy and paste job from Philly because there's things that I want to see done better and things that you need in 2023 that we didn't need in 2021-22," said Gannon. 

"So the game's ever evolving, ever changing. And you have to continue to adapt and be ahead of the curve. You don't ever want to be reactionary. You kind of want to be proactive with some of those things."

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