The only constant in Haason Reddick’s NFL career has been change.
The Cardinals’ 2017 first-round pick is on his third defensive coordinator in as many years, and has vacillated between edge rusher and off-ball linebacker in his first two seasons.
It would have been natural for Reddick to feel hesitant as he learns Vance Joseph’s 3-4 scheme, but that wasn’t the vibe he gave off after an OTA on Wednesday.
“I just feel good,” the inside linebacker said. “I feel good about myself. I feel good about the things that I know. I’m always confident in my abilities, and the experience now is catching up to my ability. With that being said, it’s time for me to go out there and be who I’m meant to be. Go out there and do what I’m supposed to do, what they brought me here to do.”
It's a critical year for Reddick, who hopes to become an impact player worthy of his draft position. He has gotten favorable reviews from coach Kliff Kingsbury, who can’t help but notice him in 11-on-11 work.
“He really moves well to the football,” Kingsbury said. “He’s getting a better feel off the ball, and not always rushing like he did in college. That’s been good to see his development. I think having a guy like Jordan Hicks, too, a veteran player next to him, is really going to go a long way for him.”
Reddick lights up when talking about the rapport he is rapidly developing with Hicks, his fellow inside linebacker.
“Our communication right now is crazy,” Reddick said. “You would have thought we were in the system for two, three years. We talk about things. We make sure we know our task and we definitely play off each other. I think we’re going to have a good tandem between the two of us.”
The athleticism has never been a question with Reddick. The worry was that another new defense would stall his mental progress.
“It’s just like chess, trying to be a step ahead or seeing something different before the man on the other side of you can act on it,” Reddick said. “… I like the fact that when I see certain things, I know what’s about to happen.”
Images of the Cardinals taking part in their 2019 offseason practices