After upsetting the New England Patriots on the road last week, the Arizona Cardinals wanted to prove to the world that their defense was worthy of what their record shows. Somehow, I don’t think anyone is doubting the Cardinals now after a 27-6 thrashing of the Philadelphia Eagles. Arizona came to play from the first snap of the contest and never let down, even on an Eagles scoring drive late in the first half.Kerry Rhodes made a touchdown-saving tackle late in the first half, then turned out the lights when he laid the hammer down on a Michael Vick three-step drop. Rhodes big hit forced a fumble that led to a James Sanders 93-yard touchdown as time expired in the first half. The Cards are undefeated and looking to keep it that way against Miami at home this weekend.
Kerry Rhodes joined KTAR in Phoenix with Doug and Wolf to discuss the Arizona Cardinals opening up 3-0 on the season, the Cardinals locker room not being surprised with the 3-0 start, sacking Michael Vick at the end of the first half and forcing the fumble, stepping up his game this season and the Cardinals defense not being great just yet.
How does it feel to be 3-0 on the season?
“Oh man it feels great. We have been working so hard as a team throughout the offseason and it is paying off early. Getting some wins early has paid off for us.”
What’s the mood in the locker room? Are you guys surprised by this?
“The mood from us? It’s very workman like. Everybody … this is what we expected. Like I said, we worked to get to this point — not only as a defense, but as a whole team. We’ve worked to get to this point. It’s been hard work and it does show that hard work pays off. We’ve been putting the time in and putting in the hours. You see guys in on Monday [today] in the cold tubs and in the hot tubs, getting their bodies right and hydrated. It’s just every little detail and thing that you can do to get better as an individual and as a player and as a team you see those guys buying in and doing it. It’s been fun to see.”
Take us through sacking Michael Vick at the end of the first half and forcing the fumble?
“As a player, you get lined up and make sure you are in the right position, make sure you have the call right and then you just react. Your instincts take over from there. For me on that play, on third down, it was just a good call by coach [Ray Horton]. He likes to dial it up down there and he didn’t disappoint. He sent me and I was able to get there. I beat the protection and got there and, like I said, it was a clear shot. Just tried to make sure I didn’t ‘miss the layup’ so to speak and made the play. It was a good play for us.”
What has gotten into you lately in your play? You were laying the lumber huh?
“I was joking earlier in the week saying we have so many good players on the defense that I didn’t want to fall behind. I have to come out this game and make a couple of statements and let everybody know I am still here as well, and I am a bona fide player as well on the defense. I just wanted to come and do my part. Everybody else is playing well and I just wanted to come out and make a couple of plays to help our team out as well.”
Are you willing to call this a great defense?
“No. Not yet. We are not great yet. We still have some things to work out. We still had some mistakes in the game this weekend, but I know that I don’t think there are many teams or defenses that are going to play as hard as we do and as physical as we do. I will go out on a limb and say that. As far as being great? We are not there yet. We still got a lot of stuff to do and we know that. Everybody knows that as a unit, so we won’t be resting on our ourselves and won’t be too big-headed going into the next game because we know we still got work to do.”