Anquan Boldin (Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty)
The depth that the Cardinals acquired and are building on has gotten buzz from around the league, but it’s the superstar tandem of Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin that makes opponents worried and envious. As the Cardinals look for their first 3-0 start since 1974, the Redskins plan their attack. Here’s what Washington had to say about Boldin, Fitzgerald, Kurt Warner, Darnell Dockett and more.
Heading into Sunday, the Washington Redskins are fully aware that the Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald duo is the best tandem that they will face all year. Redskins Defensive Coordinator Greg Blache’s take of the two is right on.
“Anquan Boldin is more of a possession receiver and is moved around a lot to try and get him the ball,” Blache said. “He is very tough to tackle and has great run after the catch ability. Larry Fitzgerald is more of an acrobatic type catcher, who can make some phenomenal leaping catches one-on-one with a corner.”
But it’s not the amount of yards that the Cardinals are posting that impresses Blache, but rather how many points.
“They have scored 20 or more points in their last 10 regular season games,” Blache said. “The points beat you, not the yards and we have to try and minimize that. They are one of the toughest teams to defend in the NFL right now.”
One of the strategies Blache is employing to attempt to stop the Cardinals in the air is playing rookie safety Chris Horton and Reed Doughty who has more experience on Horton (third year).
“Chris Horton did a great job last week (against the New Orleans Saints), however, there were something’s in the game that you guys probably won’t realize that needs to be tuned up,” Blache said. “He still needs a little more seasoning, but if he continues to play great and eliminate his mistakes, he will be a great football player.”
Another major issue for the Redskins is the man at the helms, Kurt Warner. As the third-highest rated signal caller in the league right now, he is playing his best game of his career.
Redskins middle linebacker London Fletcher’s plan of stopping Warner comes down to logistics.
“It’s an 11 man game out there, and I think that collectively as a defense, we have to work together,” Fletcher said. “We can’t allow Kurt Warner to get into a rhythm and make plays.”
The Cardinals are enjoying one of their most stacked roster in franchise history. Everyone has bought into what Ken Whisenhunt is selling and cohesiveness is at an all-time high.
“You can have great talent, but if you don’t work together your 50/50,” Redskins’ head coach Jim Zorn said. “They were 50/50 in the past but in the last three years, they have been painful to play. So they are a very difficult team and they have it going now that they are 2-0.”
Helping to keep tacking on games to the left hand side of the record is defensive tackle Darnell Dockett who the Redskins have watched closely.
“Darnell Dockett is so quick you can hardly get a double team on him,” Zorn said. “He slants, bursts, rushes, pulls and runs down the line relentless. I think he is going to have a great year.”
The Cardinals hope that success at an individual level will benefit the entire team.