Cardinals' Schofield poised for big year

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By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

TEMPE, Ariz. -- As the Arizona Cardinals' organized team activities came to an end Thursday, it was difficult to argue anyone has benefited more during the offseason than third year linebacker O’Brien Schofield. 

“Its been a learning experience,” Schofield stated, “It’s my first OTAs even though I’m going into my third year. Just to come out here and get some reps and get the calls going with the guys and to pick up from last year is a good feeling.”

As a result of the NFL lockout last season, players were unable to participate in OTAs and minicamp, which only allowed the Cardinals their time in Flagstaff to learn an entirely new defensive system under newly hired Coordinator Ray Horton.   

“Definitely,” Schofield stated with conviction when asked if they are ahead of where they were last year.

“Guys are starting to put things together and starting to understand the scheme of the defense instead of trying to realize their responsibility.  So we are starting to clean things up and perfect our craft," Schofield added.

The Cardinals finished the season strong last year by winning seven of their last nine contests. A big part of their late season surge was Schofield. He finished his sophomore year with a career high 37 tackles and four sacks. With that, he knows his teammates are looking up to him to pick up where he left off.

“Its been what I came here for and what I have been waiting for.”  Schofield stated. “You know I’m trying to do everything right.  I’m looking at the veterans like Clark (Haggans, who resigned with the team Tuesday) and do the things they taught me to do and what not to do. I have just been taking that to heart and being a pro.”