Injuries shake up Arizona's secondary
Here's a rundown of how injuries to Antrel Rolle in Arizona, Roland Williams in St. Louis, Paul Grasmanis in Philadelphia, Kevin Faulk in New England and Rich Braham and Larry Moore in Cincinnati will affect their teams' depth charts and ability to play the type of schemes they want to play.
Arizona's first-round pick became an immediate starter and the No. 1 corner on the roster, but his overall play has been just average. Rolle loves to use his size and aggressiveness in press coverage by harassing the opponents' top receiver at the line of scrimmage. Defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast recognized Rolle's strengths and utilized a lot of blitzes behind his press coverage, a good fit for the style of Arizona's players.
David Macklin, who normally would step in as Rolle's replacement, is incapable of playing the same type of press coverage and does not match up physically against big receivers. Now, with injuries to Macklin and Raymond Walls -- both are listed as questionable -- the Cardinals likely will go with rookies Eric Green or Lamont Reid. All of these corners are being asked to elevate their game higher than they are capable of playing.
The Cardinals likely will be forced to play more man-off and zone coverages, schemes Rolle didn't like to play. These coverages will eliminate big plays but will compromise the team's ability to blitz and will make an aggressive defense more vanilla.
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