In an early September trade the Arizona Cardinals may have acquired the cornerback they’ve been searching all offseason for
The Arizona Cardinals looked high and low. An offseason priority for the club was to find a capable cornerback to start opposite Patrick Peterson. The results were not looking favorable.
And then, in early September, general manager Steve Keim pulled off a trade with the Kansas City Chiefs. It was not a headline maker, as corner Marcus Cooper arrived for a conditional seventh-round pick in 2018.
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Heading into his fourth season, Cooper’s play had trailed off after an impressive rookie season. The hope was, as with many other traded players, was that a fresh start would bring about better results.
After sitting out the opener, Cooper made his Arizona debut in week two against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. What a debut it was.
The former seventh-round pick tallied two interceptions ( one being a pick-six ), seven tackles and three passes defensed. An exceptional performance, especially considering it was Cooper’s first game with his new team.
Cooper exudes confidence when he’s on the field, there’s a certain swagger to his play. He’s feisty, at one point in the game he could be seen jawing with Bucs’ quarterback Jameis Winston.
Keim appears to have possibly made a brilliant move. Good cover corners are not easy to come by in the NFL. Especially if you can get a 26-year old with size for a late round draft pick.
Already you could see the impact having two corners with coverage skills can have on a defense. The defense was getting off the field on third downs more, the pass rushers were able to provide more pressure.
If the position is truly shored up then this defense could be on the cusp of greatness. The secondary was already strong at the safety position, stellar cornerback play will make Arizona very difficult to score on.
Of course, one game does not make a player. But the Cardinals have to be thrilled with the initial effort of their new addition. He certainly appears to have earned the right to start for the team going forward.
After a long search, here’s hoping they struck gold.