Cardinals DC Vance Joseph: 'This Team Feels Special'

Howard Balzer

Cardinals nose tackle Corey Peters hailed the leadership and lack of selfishness currently present on the team’s roster.

When told of Peters’ comment Friday, defensive coordinator Vance Joseph whole-heartedly agreed.

“This team, it feels special," Joseph said following the conclusion of Thursday's practice. "You've got great leaders, you've got guys that are so unselfish, especially on our side of the ball. We've got a lot of guys who can be starters.”

Joseph has a certain way of describing the attitude he expects from players. He revealed, “At our first meeting in training camp, we talked about playing agenda-free football, with every man being a star in his role. And every week it's been that way. If you play 10 snaps, if you play 50 snaps, just make sure you're starring in your role.

“We have (outside linebacker) Haason (Reddick), we have DK (outside linebacker Devon Kennard), we have (inside linebacker) Isaiah (Simmons), we've got DC (inside linebacker De’Vondre) Campbell, we've got (defensive tackle Jordan) Phillips up front, (defensive tackle) Angelo Blackson and we have a lot of guys who could be starters. (Outside linebacker) Kylie Fitts had a great camp; he could be a starter for us, but everyone can't start and it's been nice to see guys play five snaps, play 50, play 20 and not complain, but just be a star in their role and support their teammates.”

Along those lines, Joseph said he is pleased with the current state of defensive depth across the board. In the first two games, 22 players have had snaps on defense.

“Every game is different,” Joseph said. Some games are going to be passing games, some games are running games, but we have a lot of guys who can play for us. We have great depth right now in our defense and our front seven especially.”

Joseph also repeated what he preaches as a mantra, saying, “It's been nice to see guys take their role and not complain about it. Play five, play 15, play 20 snaps, play three maybe, but just be a star in your role. And all of us, from coaches to players, just play agenda-free football. And that works in this league. If we can continue to do that, it's going to be a fun season for us whatever happens at the end.”

Meanwhile, when outside linebacker Chandler Jones was told about Peters’ comments, he first said, “I feel like our leaders do a good job of leading by example” and then launched into praise for Peters.

Jones said, “And Corey Peters is one of them. It's funny when you say Corey Peters, you talk about game play, when we have our grades at the end of the games, I don't think Corey has ever had a negative grade in football. He's a guy that's always where he's supposed to be. And you have younger guys in his room (who) are watching him and looking after him. He's a guy that definitely leads by example and it's a pleasure to have him on our team.”

In the first two games, there have been 128 defensive snaps and three players have been on the field for all but one. Inside linebacker Jordan Hicks snapped his streak of playing every defensive down in Week 2 against Washington.

The following are the total snaps and percentages for the 22 players that have played any in Week 1 and/or Week 2.

Player Snaps Percentage

CB Patrick Peterson: 127, 99.2 percent

ILB De’Vondre Campbell: 127, 99.2 percent

S Budda Baker: 127, 99.2 percent

CB Byron Murphy Jr.: 125, 97.7 percent

ILB Jordan Hicks: 123, 96.1 percent

S Chris Banjo: 121, 94.5 percent

OLB Chandler Jones: 115, 89.8 percent

NT Corey Peters:  81, 63.2 percent

OLB Devon Kennard:  76, 59.4 percent

CB Dre Kirkpatrick:  72, 56.3 percent

DT Jordan Phillips:  64, 50.0 percent

OLB Haason Reddick:  59, 46.1 percent

DT Angelo Blackson:  55, 43.0 percent

DT Zach Allen:  45, 35.2 percent

NT Rashard Lawrence:  39, 30.4 percent

ILB Isaiah Simmons:  25, 19.5 percent

OLB Kylie Fitts:  12,  9.4 percent

ILB Tanner Vallejo:  5,  3.9 percent

DT Leki Fotu:  4,  3.1 percent

S Deionte Thompson:  2,  1.6 percent

S Charles Washington: 2, 1.6 percent

S Jalen Thompson:  2, 1.6 percent

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Comments (2)
No. 1-2
Howard Balzer
Howard Balzer

Editor

Thanks. And they all acknowledge that they have to play better.

Shravaka
Shravaka

This is a very cool and insightful article... The defense was the big question mark during preseason, and here is the result. Fully functioning! This could be an extremely special year for this team. Well done boys...


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