Different strokes for Cardinals at inside linebacker

Posted Aug. 24, 2011 @ 10:16 a.m.
Posted By Dan Arkush

It appears the inside story on the Cardinals' inside-linebacker lineup has become a study in contrast. At left inside linebacker, word is second-year pro Daryl Washington, who was drafted in the second round last year in the hopes of becoming the next Karlos Dansby, has a pretty secure grip on the starting job.

"(New Cardinals defensive coordinator Ray) Horton has big plans for him," one team insider said of Washington, who has speed to burn. "He thinks he could be a really good player, if not an outright star. He has put on some weight and looks like a lock."

But it's a different story at right inside linebacker, where the verdict remains out between incumbent Paris Lenon, who registered a team-high 125 tackles last season, and free-agent addition Stewart Bradley, who signed a five-year deal after making a strong rebound with the Eagles last season after missing the '09 campaign with a knee injury.

"They may get a rotation going," the insider said. "Lenon has done a good job in Arizona, but Bradley is more athletic. He can also play outside on occasion. I see Bradley in different roles. He's good in pass coverage. Down the road, I can see the edge probably going to Bradley.

"No matter what, though, the depth inside is pretty good, compared to last year."


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