Bruce Arians: John Abraham a freak of nature
With the demise of Daryl Washington stemming from a suspension of at least one year (according to Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com), and the loss of Karlos Dansby to Cleveland, it is safe to say this off-season has been that of turbulent for the Arizona Cardinals. However, the team is smart enough to know that the show must go on, as they search for ways to maintain the pulse of a defense that has been amongst the best in the league over the last few years.
The Cardinals are counting on others to step up in place of the afar mentioned Washington and Dansby, but one player in particular the team hopes will account for the loss is veteran outside linebacker John Abraham.
The 14-year linebacker is entering his second season with the Cards and despite his 11.5 sacks in only eight games last season, the Cardinals are counting on him to contribute even more in 2014. Abraham himself is hoping for an encore performance as a quarterback assassin as he has set a goal for himself to get 20 sacks in the upcoming season. Michael Strahan holds a record of 22.5 sacks for a single season.
At least head coach Bruce Arians has faith in the 36-year-old Abraham to repeat his performance as the Cardinals leading sack master.
“He did it last year and there’s no reason to think he’s going to slow down,” Arians said Monday, per The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “He’s one of those freaks of nature. He just keeps getting it done. We are looking forward to another big year out of him.” Quote according to Marc Sessler of NFL.com
There is good reason for coach Arians to remain optimistic about the linebacker’s chances of reprise from a season ago. After all, Abraham was not used as an every-down player from the start. In fact, 23 of his 31 tackles as well as all of his 11.5 sacks did not come until the final 10 games of last season. So it is logical to think what Abraham could do to caveat his second half 2013 performance going into the 2014 season straight out of the gate.
The only question is, can his freak of nature 36-year-old body be able to allow him to play in an entire season in order to accomplish his own goal (20 sacks), as well as what coach Arians and the rest of the Cardinals team expects out of him.
Phoenix Sports-Kings Co-Lead Columnist Jason Mulkey @_JayBird79