Cardinals' D breaks down new left tackle

October, 5, 2013
10/05/13
10:00
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TEMPE, Ariz. – Who else besides the men who face him in practice every day could give an all-encompassing scouting report on the Arizona Cardinals’ new left tackle, Bradley Sowell?

Being on the left, he didn’t see a variety of faces during practice, but Sowell spent most of his snaps fending off John Abraham and Calais Campbell.

Sowell
They both agreed on what is Sowell’s best attribute.

“He’s aggressive with his hands,” Campbell said. “But he still has enough patience where he’s not overly aggressive, so that makes him a pretty good tackle. I think that he’s still young so he’s going to have to really have to work on being more under control, but he’s really aggressive and he’s going to go and put people on the ground and throw people around, and you need that, somebody who’s going to stay with his guy and make sure he’s not the one who makes the play.”

Abraham, who worked his speed rush against Sowell, thought the second-year tackle was smart for his experience level. And Abraham, too, was impressed with how Sowell worked his hands.

“He punches very well,” Abraham said. “Me, being a speed rusher, I think he can work well with it just because he has good hand placement. He knows when to punch and when to slow people down. I think that’ll work for him a lot.”

Campbell saw patience in Sowell he doesn’t normally see in second-year players. But he also sees a fire. Sowell doesn’t look like to lose, Campbell noticed. And he’s passionate about it.

But Campbell pointed out that one thing Sowell needs to work on – as does every young player, Campbell emphasized – is controlling his aggression.

“Most of the good young players are going to be overly aggressive at a young age,” Campbell said. “They need to work on their patience on when to be aggressive.”

At times during practice this week Sowell showed the perfect mix of aggressiveness, bravado, tenacity, patience and skill. It resulted in stopping – check that, slowing – the NFL’s active sacks leader.

“Everybody gets somebody here and there,” Abraham said with a chuckle. “I can’t say he didn’t. We had our battles back and forth.”

Josh Weinfuss

ESPN Arizona Cardinals reporter

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