|Donald Thomas on Cardinals pass rush: Their ‘speed will kill you’||09.13.12 at 10:46 pm ET|
FOXBORO — For a 14-point favorite, the Patriots are giving a lot of respect to the Arizona Cardinals this week.
And for good reason.
Between defensive tackle Darnell Dockett, nose tackle Dan Williams and defensive end Calais Campbell, the Cardinals have plenty to be concerned with.
“Across the board, all of them have some talent, very good actually,” Thomas said Thursday. “We just have to do a great job with our technique and being able to handle their pass rush. They get after the running backs too in the run game. They move very well. We have to be able to control them and let the rest of the guys make some plays.”
Last week, the Cardinals held Russell Wilson to 18-of-34 passing for 139 yards while sacking the rookie three times.
“If your technique isn’t right and your hands aren’t right, speed will kill you,” Thomas said. “That’s the hardest thing for us. You can have those real quick, fast guys and you can try to cover them up but if you don’t use good footwork and hand placement, you’ll never get them.”
Then there’s his own situation. Thomas said he hasn’t been told anything about where he might be playing this week, or even if he might be starting. Last week, he was forced into duty when Dan Connolly came out with a head injury. On Thursday, Connolly returned to full pads practice, a good indication he’ll be ready to go – barring any late setbacks – for Sunday at right guard. So, all Thomas can do is be prepared for whatever.
“They haven’t told me anything yet, just be ready and be able to fill in when I can and when my number’s called be ready to go,” Thomas said. “With my situation, I can play center and get used to that and be able to fill in where I can on the interior line. You never know what can happen week to week and you have to be ready to go. I think we all understand that and we all know we can play multiple positions so we have to be ready to go.”
Thomas did admit one thing on Thursday. He enjoyed watching and blocking for Stevan Ridley, who finished with 125 yards on 21 carries.
“You always like to get after guys in the run game,” he said. “It felt good to get some rushing yards on the ground. You’re happy with any performance, whether it’s protecting the quarterback or running the ball.”
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