Cardinals defensive coordinator Al Holcomb inherits star-studded unit

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Al Holcomb could have done worse for himself.

When Holcomb was hired by new Arizona Cardinals head coach Steve Wilks to be the team's defensive coordinator, Holcomb inherited a star-studded unit. At outside linebacker, he has the NFL sack leader, Chandler Jones. On the defensive line, he has former first-round pick Robert Nkemdiche. At cornerback, he has seven-time Pro Bowler Patrick Peterson. And at safety, he has the Honey Badger, Tyrann Mathieu. That’s in addition to last year’s first-round pick Haason Reddick and second-round pick Budda Baker, inside linebacker Deone Bucannon and outside linebacker Markus Golden, who led the Cardinals in sacks in 2016.

Holcomb talked about working with three of those stars during his introductory press conference.

Nkemdiche: “In the little bit of film that I’ve observed and watched, he obviously, at times, jumps off the tape. He’s got some ability and that’s something that as we get into phase one and phase two, we’re going to sit down and discuss some things and try to find out exactly what makes him tick. As a coaching staff, we have to try to do the best thing that we can to get the most out of him and continue to develop his talent and get him on the field. That’s why we’re here."

Peterson: “That’s special. That’s really special. To know that you have a cornerback on the edge of the defense that can cover and, as you mentioned, take away some of the better receivers in this league is pretty special. You feel good about that but at the same time, it’s 10 other guys out there on the field and everybody’s got to do their part. Everyone’s got to do their part and it’s all got to work together. I’m looking forward to it though. Looking forward to working with him.”

Mathieu: “I’m looking forward to it. I just have seen him from afar, so I don’t know a whole lot about him. I remember him coming out of college and obviously, over the last few years just seeing him and the effect that he’s had on the defense. But definitely looking forward to meeting him and working with him.”