Health starting CBs ‘critical’ to Cardinals’ defensive success, says DC Vance Joseph

Jess Root
·1 min read

The Arizona Cardinals had the league’s worst pass defense in 2019. Of course, they started the season with Tramaine Brock, rookie Byron Murphy and an undrafted second-year player in Chris Jones playing all their snaps at cornerback. Patrick Peterson was suspended for six games and Robert Alford broke his leg in training camp and would miss the entire season.

Things are different this year. Peterson will start the season on the field. Alford is healthy.

It gives a completely different look for the defense.

“It’s nice to have our two starting corners,” said defensive coordinator Vance Joseph after practice on Thursday in training camp. “A couple of months ago, I watched every practice from training camp and it was Pat P. and Alford, and it’s a different defense when you’ve got two mature corners that can win their one-on-ones.”

Joseph’s defensive scheme works when he has guys who can cover on the outside.

“That makes a 3-4 defense go,” he said. “If you can play man coverage, it makes calling games easier, it makes gameplans a lot easier.”

They don’t have proven depth, which could be an issue. They need their starters to stay on the field.

“You need three or four corners to play well for you,” he said. “We’ve got three guys in my mind that are proven. (We’re) trying to find a four and a five. Having those corners healthy Week 1 is critical for our success.”

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