Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Keim brought in many new players to help a defense that struggled to stop the run a year ago. Despite the unit faring well in many categories, it was among the worst teams in the league in opposing rushing yards per attempt (4.33, ranked 22nd).
Added to the front seven via free agency were Lorenzo Alexander, Karlos Dansby, Matt Shaughnessy and Jasper Brinkley.
All have a history of being above-average run defenders and most are pushing for starting spots.
John Abraham was added late to help with the pass rush and his 122 career sacks lead all active players.
At the draft, Arizona added Kevin Minter to the front seven. Because of the four-game suspension to Daryl Washington, Minter could see a lot of early playing time, and possibly a start or two—his range in coverage gives him an edge over Brinkley and should be the reason he starts in Washington’s absence.
The secondary also received a notable upgrade in safety/cornerback Tyrann Mathieu. It didn’t look like an obvious upgrade at the time of the draft, but Mathieu has been the best young defender on the team this offseason.
From making plays at practice to helping create turnovers during preseason games, the third-rounder has proven to be a great addition so far.
Corners Antoine Cason, Jerraud Powers and Javier Arenas all are new, as is starting strong safety Yeremiah Bell.
While Bell replaces a probable Hall of Famer in Adrian Wilson and is a drop-off talent-wise, he brings his 10 years of NFL knowledge to a young secondary trying to improve on what the last group of players built—a stingy defense that allows chunks of yards at times but shores up in the red zone.