Bruce Arians more 'detailed,' O'Brien Schofield says


Arizona Cardinals linebacker O'Brien Schofield spent his first three NFL seasons under former coach Ken Whisenhunt. His fourth season, under Bruce Arians, is shaping up as a different beast.

"(Arians is) very precise about what he wants, and he's very direct, very detailed," Schofield recently told KSAZ-TV, via SB Nation, "and that's something we've lacked in the past."

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Schofield didn't mention Whisenhunt or former defensive coordinator Ray Horton by name, but he didn't need to. Last month, defensive end Darnell Dockett was less vague, saying he wasn't sorry to see Horton leave for the Cleveland Browns. Horton built a stingy defense on the Cardinals, but Dockett -- saying it was nothing personal -- admitted he "hated that scheme."

Schofield also cited the difference between his former position coach, Matt Raich, whose playing career ended at Westminster College, and his new tutor, Mike Caldwell, who enjoyed an 11-year NFL run, saying: "It feels good to have a new coaching staff and a new linebacker coach that has played. He's very detailed. I love it, just to get the chance to learn to play the position."

New regimes always get the benefit of the doubt in June, but Arians has ushered in a new approach. That was long overdue in the desert, but the Cardinals also want to see something new from Schofield, who graded out at the NFL's 26th-ranked 3-4 outside linebacker and struggled mightily against the run last season.

We'll find out soon enough if coaching was the difference.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.