After acquiring DeAndre Hopkins, arguably one of the best wide receivers in the league, the hype surrounding the Cardinals grew exponentially. However, the Cardinals organization and its players believe in keeping their expectations low and working on a defense that lacked in the 2019 season. AllCardinals Editor Howard Balzer discusses how the Cardinals have revamped their defense, and what exactly the Cardinals are working with coming this season.
Read the full transcript below:
Madelyn Burke: The Arizona Cardinals had a splashy Off-Season headlined by the trade for wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins. But despite the overwhelming hype surrounding the squad, the Cards are doing their best to temper expectations. Joining me now is Howard Balzer of SI's AllCardinals and Howard, acquiring arguably the league's best wide receiver is a big move for this Cardinals team, yet how is this team navigating these expectations?
Howard Balzer: Well, the big thing is they're saying all the right things and they all have a lot of confidence so that this can be a good year for them. But they always then say, "The sky's the limit." But then they say, "But, of course, that's only on paper." They're concentrating on the things they have to do to come together as a team because of the confidence they have. One of the biggest aspects, as you mentioned Hopkins, of it is the improvements on defense because that's where this team had some struggles. Last year, they were better towards the end of the season and everyone believes that they can pick up where they left off and have the makings of a well-balanced team this season.
Madelyn Burke: And balance, obviously, the key. I mean, we've seen in past and in recent history, even with the Browns, with the addition of Odell Beckham Jr. and the hype that that team struggled to live up to. How key are some of these other moves outside of this DeAndre Hopkins trade?
Howard Balzer: Well, a lot of moves are very strong: of course, they got Kenyan Drake resigned on the transition tag and on defense, the moves that they made with Jordan Phillips and De'Vondre Campbell and Devon Kennard and then drafting Isaiah Simmons. One real key that is overlooked a little bit is that Robert Alford, who was supposed to be a starting cornerback last year, missed the entire season with an injury and Patrick Peterson missed the first six games because of a league suspension. So, they get those players back to go with everything else. Plus, being in the second year of Vance Joseph's system and that's where a lot of the confidence is building from on this team. As I mentioned, it's with that defense.
Madelyn Burke: "Defense wins championships" is the old adage, Howard Balzer, thank you so much for the insight.
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