The Arizona Cardinals may have gone just 5-10-1 this past season, but there are some rather high expectations for the team heading into 2020.
While no one is going to confuse the Cardinals for Super Bowl contenders, they are expected to make a jump, as they have had a busy offseason headlined by the acquisition of star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins.
The problem is, Arizona had the worst defense in the NFL in 2019, so even if Kyler Murray and Hopkins light it up next season, it won't matter if the Cards can't stop anyone.
As a result, second-year defensive coordinator Vance Joseph is feeling the heat:
“It’s always pressure,” Joseph said, according to Bob McManaman of The Arizona Republic. “And it’s pressure from me. I want to be the best, obviously, and I want us to play top 10 defense. The pressure is always there. But the pressure is always solved with having four draft picks here, having your two corners starting out Week 1 for you. Everyone feels pressure in this business, but that’s part of it.”
The Cardinals made numerous signings in free agency to bolster their defensive unit, and they also took Clemson linebacker Isaiah Simmons with the eighth overall pick of the NFL Draft last week.
For that reason, Arizona should be better on the defensive side of the ball, and Joseph has no issue being tasked with that responsibility:
“Nothing’s guaranteed, but the pressure is always there,” he said. “I have no problem with pressure.”
Prior to joining the Cardinals' coaching staff in 2019, Joseph spent two years as the Denver Broncos' head coach, going 11-21.