Originally posted on Fox Sports Arizona  |  By CRAIG MORGAN  |  Last updated 9/13/13
TEMPE, Ariz. Rushing the passer is an adrenaline rush for Cardinals linebacker John Abraham. Its what I do, said Abraham, who has 122 career sacks. Im used to playing and being a big factor in the game. That opportunity wasnt available in the Cardinals season-opening loss in St. Louis, but coach Bruce Arians expects Abrahams snap count to rise from the 20 he got against the Rams to around 30 this week a number Arians would like to maintain throughout the season. Its good to hear that, because it definitely bothered me not to be out there contributing here and there, said Abraham, who signed a two-year, 4.6 million deal in the offseason. There will definitely be a little more pressure on me, but its something I welcome. Pressure will be a focal point for both the defense and the offense this week when the Lions come calling. The Cards clearly need to generate more than they did against the Rams, as they didnt post a sack of QB Sam Bradford. But theyll also need to shore up their own protection, which yielded four sacks, including three allowed by Levi Brown. The Lions pose a different sort of challenge from that of the Rams. The strength of the Rams defensive line came from its ends; the strength of the Lions line comes from the interior, where NFL outlaw Ndamukong Suh and fellow tackle Nick Fairley reside. The front four for these guys is what makes or breaks this defense. Theyre the movers and shakers, Cardinals guard Daryn Colledge said. But especially on the interior, you know youre going to have to bring your best effort against those tackles. You also have to be vigilant. Last week after an an interception, Suh turned back and took out the legs of Vikings center John Sullivan, who was nowhere near the play.The cheap shot cost Suh a 100,000 fine, but Colledge shrugged off the play and Suhs reputation as a dirty, reckless player. Beyond all the speculation off the field, the guys going to play from the snap of the whistle on every play and maybe a little bit after that, Colledge said. There are some guys in this league where you know have to survive three, four, five plays and youre going to be fine, but with Suh, youre going to play every play, every quarter, or hell embarrass you. The job of limiting Suh (22 sacks in three seasons) and Fairley will largely fall to Colledge, guard Paul Fanaika and center Lyle Sendlein, while the job of pressuring Lions QB Matthew Stafford will fall to numerous players on a defense sporting multiple new faces. Theres definitely a comfort level with our unit that has to be reached, Abraham said. Our defense is pretty much all new people other than a few pieces here and there. Our communication is getting better in practice, so it will start to show in games. No time like the present. Follow Craig Morgan on Twitter
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