Arizona Cardinals nose tackle Corey Peters acknowledged that his unit disappointed last season.
The defense allowed the most total yards in the NFL in 2019, which in turn led to the offense finishing 31st in time of possession.
But, in a new year and with a crop of new additions, Peters believes that the talent is sufficient. If the pieces fit and stay healthy, he feels that the defense has what it takes to be much improved.
“I think the defense won't be talent deficient this year,” Peters said Tuesday. “We're trying to figure out how we fit together, how we can play off one another and really build that chemistry so that when we get out there together in San Francisco (Week 1), it looks better and everybody's rolling.”
In Peters’ department up front, he expects big second seasons from Zach Allen and Michael Dogbe, as both have added strength this offseason. He acknowledged that rookies Leki Fotu and Rashard Lawrence are open-minded hard workers whose games could grow very nicely. The behemoth 6-foot-6, 325-pound Jordan Phillips adds a powerful tackle who had 9.5 sacks last year. On the edge, Arizona added solid veteran Devon Kennard to pair with 2019 All-Pro Chandler Jones.
That is a lot of new pieces for a team that gets no preseason, but every organization has to deal with the complexities of the upcoming fall. Peters stressed that training camp is when the team needs to build that chemistry, and the defense is doing a solid job of correcting its missteps.
“Our offense is doing a great job of providing different challenges for us and when we make mistakes, what I like is seeing us go in and look at the tape and then getting those mistakes cleared up for the next day,” Peters said. “So when they run those same plays, we're in better positions. I think that's a great sign of a good defense.”
Consistency is a key for Peters. The Cardinals got burned by big plays last season, and Peters said slip-ups cost the team wins. If the defense can stay locked in and unified, it should get off the field more effectively.