When the Arizona Cardinals started the 2012 NFL season on a four-game winning streak, the hype in Arizona began to swell. However, the team was nothing but a disappointment last year with a last place finish and a 5-11 record.
Although the Cardinals have plenty of problems on the offensive side of the ball, the Cards have lucked out with Daryl Washington on defense. Obviously, one player cannot define the entire squad, but Washington deserves plenty of praise for the way he can fly around the field. The Cardinals are going to need players alongside him to step up, however they have found their future in Washington.
The Cardinals drafted him in the second-round of the 2010 NFL draft and the ex-TCU Horned Frog has done nothing but impress since entering the league. For example, Washington was just one sack away from becoming the only player in Cardinals history to record 10 sacks and 100 plus tackles in the same season. At inside linebacker, this is a feat that Washington could definitely surpass in 2013. In addition, Arizona has Washington under contract for six more seasons at a rather cheap price.
Washington has been a staple of consistency for the Cards missing just one game since being drafted and he has also started in all but six of those 47 games. Bruce Arians’ coaching staff has the daunting task of turning around this Arizona defense, but with Washington on board and the advantageous Patrick Peterson in the secondary, it can be done.
Unfortunately this team plays in the same division as the San Francisco 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks who have both improved this offseason. One thing is for certain, Washington belongs in the Pro Bowl next season as he has been nothing but excellent with an average of over 104 tackles in three seasons.