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Is the Arizona Cardinals Pass Rush Better with Offseason Moves?

MIAMI - SEPTEMBER 21:  Quarterback Peyton Manning #18 of the Indianapolis Colts is sacked by linebacker Joey Porter #55 of the Miami Dolphins at Land Shark Stadium on September 21, 2009 in Miami, Florida. The Colts defeated the Dolphins 27-23.  (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)
Doug Benc/Getty Images
Jack LondonCorrespondent IMarch 19, 2010

Let's make sure you focus on the right question here. 

It's not: "Did the Cardinals make another stupid move?" 

It's not: "Did Arizona pay too much money for an aging linebacker?"

We're going to focus on what the Cardinals have done to affect their ability to get to the quarterback. 

Let's look at who the Cardinals had as their main pass rushers last season: Darnell Dockett, Calais Campbell, Chike Okeafor, Betrand Berry, and Clark Haggans. 

They have all of those back but two: Okeafor, a free agent who they could still sign, but that seems unlikely now. And Berry, who retired. 

Now they've added a guy who, despite his age (33), has had 26 1/2 sacks his last two professional seasons. 

To compare to the Cardinals, Darnell Dockett has had 11 over the last two seasons. 

Arizona has had many people contribute to their sack totals. In fact, this last year, their sacks as a team increased from 31 to 43. 

And now they've just added a guy who could get 10 sacks in Porter. 

Do I agree with his large contract, considering he wasn't highly sought after? Absolutely not. 

But as I've said before, Rod Graves is a smart man. He knows what he's doing. Even though some think he made another dumb move, I believe he has done enough to earn our trust as fans. 

The Cardinals had a big need to address in getting pressure on the quarterback. A need that was only emphasized in the playoffs. 

I believe they have filled that need, at least in part. 

Worse-case scenario, Porter is a guy who comes in on third down for Arizona. But he should provide veteran leadership for a team that needs some on defense. Will Davis and Cody Brown can learn a lot from the former Pro Bowler. 

As well, according to Coach Whisenhunt, he shouldn't be a problem in the locker room. According to azcardinals.com, the coach was quoted as saying, "Other than the occasional comments to the media, which we all know Joey has a tendency to make...I have never heard of Joey spoken of anything but a great teammate."

Sounds like Porter, a thorn in the side of PR offices, shouldn't be a big problem. 

Another pickup that nobody has talked about for the Cards is Steve Baggs, who they acquired from the Canadian Football League. 

You may be asking yourself: "Why the heck would the Cardinals sign anybody from the CFL?"

Because he led the league in sacks (with 12).

If Baggs and Porter play halfway to their potential, the Cardinals have gotten a major upgrade to their pass rush. 

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