The 5 Takeaways from the Coyotes introduction of

first_img The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo It’s been a big season for the former first-round pick, who has been a mainstay along the Cardinals’ defensive line since being taken 26th overall out of Tennessee in 2010, but rarely shown up as an impact player in the box score. Primarily used as a defensive tackle, he usually occupies blockers while his teammates make plays.But Sunday, as his coach said, he showed he can do more than just be a space filler.“I’ve been feeling that way since I’ve been here,” Williams said. “When I got drafted out of Tennessee I got to play defense where I was a three-technique also, it just wasn’t the nose, but I had to play the nose just because we didn’t have too many other guys there. But me, I’m just a team guy and whatever the defensive coordinator wants me to play, I’m more than ready to do it.”Williams played 30 of the team’s 64 defensive snaps Sunday, with much of his time coming as part of a four-man defensive front. It was a different kind of look for the Cardinals, who normally run a 3-4 defense, but one that proved to be effective while allowing Williams to make some plays.“I got to show a little bit more of my skills that I do have,” he said. “But in the end, it just goes to show that, especially having new coaches in — and [Brentson Buckner] has been pushing me a lot more since he’s been here, and I think I have improved a lot just from coaching.” TEMPE, Ariz. — Dan Williams had himself quite a game Sunday in Dallas.The fifth-year defensive lineman tallied a season-high and team-best seven tackles, including two tackles for loss, one sack and a QB hit in Arizona’s 28-17 win.“He had a fantastic game, maybe his best game as a Cardinal since I’ve been here, for sure, and we needed it,” Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said. “He’s turned into more than just a nose guard now. He’s lost that weight and is playing defensive end. He got a sack and got another hurry, so it was a big game for him.” Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact 0 Comments   Share   center_img – / 55 Top Stories Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Williams has been a major cog in a defense that has withstood defections and injuries to once again be one of the stoutest in the NFL. After finishing first against the run last season, Arizona currently ranks third in the same category. The 19.5 points they are allowing per game is fifth-best in the NFL.And in Sunday’s win, they became the first defense this season to hold Dallas’ DeMarco Murray under 100 yards, a feat that extended their own streak of not allowing an opponent to reach the century mark on the ground to 18 straight games.“It just shows our communication skills,” Williams said. “We studied all week; we kind of had a few reads and keys on them to where they would run the ball, and when they had motions the safeties and linebackers were communicating with the D-line, telling where they thought the ball was going to head, and everybody made their checks and everybody was in line. “When the ball was snapped we all ran to the ball. We had a lot of red jerseys around every time he got a handoff. So I think the pursuit that we had yesterday and just everybody wrapping up and gang-tackling him really helped us out yesterday.”last_img read more