The Cardinals continued to strengthen their defensive line Friday by signing former Oakland Raider defensive end Matt Shaughnessy.
Shaughnessy started all 16 games last season, recording 42 tackles and 3.5 sacks. He has 15.5 sacks and 134 tackles in his four seasons since being selected in the third round of the 2009 NFL Draft out of Wisconsin.
His Badgers’ teammate, Cardinals linebacker O’Brien Schofield, broke the news of
“Happy to see we signed my longtime friend and college teammate Matt shaugnessy (sic). Cards making moves #birdgang,” Schofield tweeted.
Shaughnessy’s reputation as one of the NFL’s top run defenders from the end position precedes him.
He recorded seven sacks in 2010 before a shoulder injury in Week 3 of the 2011 season hampered the Raiders’ run defense for the rest of the year. But with Shaughnessy back in the lineup in 2012, the Raiders made a marked improvement. They went from allowing 136 yards per game in 2011 to 118 and from allowing 5.07 yards per carry to 4.27.
The Cardinals are hoping that signing Shaughnessy yields a similar improvement.
Among the issues that plagued the Cardinals last season one was their inability to stop the run. They were ranked 28th in yards allowed per game, giving up an average of 137, and allowed 4.33 yards per carry, 22nd in the league.
“You better have your lunchbox ready when you go against this guy, cause he’s going full tilt every play, practice, games,” Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said. “Another very versatile defensive lineman that you can use in a number of spots.”