Arizona Cardinals Training Camp Profile: Antoine Cason
Antoine Cason’s five years with the San Diego Chargers didn’t feature any eye-popping statistics or highlight reel plays, but there is something to be said for consistency. Cason learned from one of the best in Quentin Jammer during his half-decade with the Bolts, and those experiences have clearly had an impact on the way he plays the game. The one-year deal he inked with the Arizona Cardinals in free agency suggests that the team wants him to prove himself during the 2013 season.
If there is such a thing as a crowded cornerback position in today’s NFL, the Cardinals have it. Patrick Peterson is clearly the standout of the group with all of the necessary playmaking skills to be a shutdown corner. The group doesn’t end there with the addition of Cason being just one of many the club made during the offseason to improve its already fifth ranked pass defense.
Along with signing Cason, the Cards added former Indianapolis Colts corner Jerraud Powers into the mix as well. As if those additions weren’t enough, the team went on to select the troubled but talented Tyrann Mathieu in the 2013 NFL Draft upon Peterson’s request. This quartet figures to give Arizona one of the best secondaries in the league for the upcoming season.
It will also bring quite a fierce competition to the table for starting jobs in training camp. At the moment, reports indicate that Powers has the leg up for the other starting gig opposite Peterson with Cason currently relegated to nickel packages. Powers’ familiarity with new head coach Bruce Arians gives him the inside track at earning a starting gig, but Cason’s experience could prove to win out during battles in training camp for the Cards.
Mathieu was drafted with the idea in mind that he would be a nickel corner with the ability to make game-changing plays in a flash as well as be a huge help on special teams. That appears to be the thinking for the team at the moment, but training camp will be where all of this ultimately gets sorted out.
There really is no risk for the Cards adding a player that has yet to miss a game in his five NFL seasons. Cason is as durable as they come with consistent numbers to back it up during his tenure in San Diego. If he can bring some of that reliability to a franchise in Arizona that has been pretty much the antithesis of that in recent seasons, things are definitely looking up for the Cards in 2013.