Chicago Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky 10 g

center_img 5 Comments   Share   Injuries on top of inconsistencies played a part in pushing Nkemdiche’s breakout NFL game back.He hardly played as a rookie and last year as a reserve recorded just 11 tackles without a sack. His first big play didn’t come until the home finale in 2017, when he forced a fumble and scored on a 21-yard touchdown during a shutout win over the New York Giants.The Cardinals let veteran tackle Frostee Rucker walk in the offseason, effectively handing Nkemdiche an opportunity to win a starting role.He’s battled foot and calf injuries, missing three games this year. Two weeks off led to better health, enough for his performance in a 45-10 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers.“For lack of a better term, he’s a violent player when he comes off the ball,” defensive coordinator Al Holcomb said. “He’s just so aggressive. When he’s playing fast like he did Sunday, that’s what you get. Now, we need him to be more consistent with his technique as he’s being aggressive coming off the ball.”Keim pointed toward gap integrity and playing the run game “a little more stout” as areas needing improvement for Nkemdiche.“But when you see his get-off, his twitch and his explosiveness … there’s not many guys with that kind of skillset,” the GM said. Veteran Gerald Hodges steps into Bynes’ leadership role. The concern is not limited to whether inexperienced replacements know the schemes. How Hodges communicates with the rest of the defense is a work-in-progress heading into the game against the Packers.“That’s always a concern,” Holcomb said. “Just a different-sounding voice, so the other 10 men in the huddle have to get used to that — the tempo that the call comes out. The guys were joking the other day Gerald speaks a little bit quicker than Josh.” “Robert’s a guy we drafted high, has not lived up to expectation to this date, point blank. That’s not a secret,” Cardinals general manager Steve Keim said on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s Doug & Wolf show Friday.Nkemdiche made a little of that anxiousness go away Sunday in what was without question his best game as a pro. The 6-foot-4, 296-pound lineman made seven tackles with 2.5 sacks and a stuff.To him, the numbers were a reminder to focus on the now. Maybe, it relieved him of the pressures of living up to his draft slot.“It’s good to understand the concept of process … and how to become better at your craft,” he said Friday. “Don’t let other people decide (expectations) for you. Kind of have you own pace of what you’re doing … but always know you’re working at a high rate of speed.Related LinksThe Patrick Peterson saga in Arizona isn’t overWeek 13 injury report: Arizona Cardinals at Green Bay PackersCardinals GM Steve Keim using rest of 2018 to evaluate youthLarry Fitzgerald recounts Cardinals’ OT playoff win vs. Packers, big playsCardinals’ task gets even tougher against Packers’ Aaron RodgersPeterson refutes Sanders’ belief CB wants out of Cardinals“That game was more of a testament for me and just clarity, solidification (to) just keep doing what you’re doing. Keep getting better, pay attention to the little things, be aggressive,” Nkemdiche added. “You go forth from there keep getting better and keep trying to bite the other peoples’ face mask off when you have a chance to do it.” Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and sellinglast_img read more

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