Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 9/19/12

Since 2008, the Cardinals have blocked 15 kicks, more than any other team in the NFL. They've blocked so many, in fact, that they almost expect to make a big play every game.

"It's a little bit like blood in the water for sharks," kicker Jay Feely said. "You get a little taste and you want more."

There are a handful of reasons for the Cardinals success.

First, coach Ken Whisenhunt puts a heavy emphasis on it. He learned under former Steelers coach Bill Cowher to gauge his team's competitiveness by watching the block teams.

Many players often give up on those plays, usually because they are tired and discouraged from giving up yardage.

"Sometimes guys are tired," special teams coach Kevin Spencer said. "It could be the end of a 10-play drive. They are disappointed and sometimes guys go through the motion. We don't tolerate that here. It's a football play."

Second, the Cardinals have Calais Campbell, a 6-foot-8 defensive end. He rushes up the middle and causes a huge problem for kicking teams. Campbell blocked three kicks in 2011 and blocked a field goal in the first game this season.

Campbell gives the players around him credit for creating a surge up the middle. "People don't see the push or the guys inside," Campbell said. "I kind of just ride the stream and jump up and balance myself. I think everybody tries to block it; it just helps that I'm 6-8."

It helps, too, having speed off the edge. Defensive backs Patrick Peterson and Justin Bethel rush from there, and kickers know they have to be flawless in their approach.

"You get in those situations and guys speed up, they change their technique," Feely said. "You worry about getting it blocked instead of focusing on the fundamentals that are going to help you make the kick."

And, third, the Cardinals are confident because they have success. It's not a play that the players just blow off. Spencer said players talk on the sideline, discussing what changes they might make on the next rush, where the opponent's weakness might be.

The Cardinals weren't confident when Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowksi was lining up for the potential game winner last. But neither were they surprised when the 42-yard attempt went wide left.

"I thought, 'If I have to be in this situation, this is a heck group to be in it with,' "Spencer said.

Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Cavs active in NBA trade market, covet Jared Dudley

Roger Goodell expectedly dodges Patriots-related questions at Super Bowl

Baltimore Orioles acquire starting pitcher Odrisamer Despaigne

USC athletic director Pat Haden to retire in June

Report: Browns owner ‘frustrated, emotional’ about Johnny Manziel

Raiders and Texans to play MNF game in Mexico City in 2016


Goodell wants to keep Raiders, Chargers in home markets

Deadly shooting breaks out at Dublin boxing weigh-in

Mike Shula vs. Wade Phillips: The best story of Super Bowl 50

LeBron: ‘I don’t really see a problem’ with Hack-a-Shaq

Report: Asking price 'too steep' for Howard trade to Celtics

Ex-teammate: 'Fair to assume' Lynch done with Seahawks

NFL considering moving Pro Bowl to Australia

Joe Montana warns NFL players about potential long-term damage after retirement

Report: Two people fired for leaking Jason Pierre-Paul information

USMNT are big favorites against Canada

‘Crying Jordan’ photographer had no idea it existed until this week

NHL nightmare: No Canadian teams in the NHL playoff hunt

Seven unheralded players set to make major impacts in SB 50

‘Actor’ Todd Gurley wants to make ‘billions’

The 14 biggest plays in Super Bowl history

David Price donates $300K to build field for special needs kids

J.R. Smith pulls a Marshawn on 3-point contest slight

Tom Brady has clock counting down to Super Bowl LI

QUIZ: Name the winning starting quarterback from every Super Bowl

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 14 biggest plays in Super Bowl history

Manziel's father fears for QB's life

Johnny Manziel dropped by agent

Michael Irvin: Cowboys should save Manziel

QUIZ: Name the Super Bowl halftime performers since 1991

The merits of trading Blake Griffin to the Hornets

X-factors in Super Bowl 50

Could the Marlins contend in 2016?

Report: Browns to cut Manziel in March

Browns rip Manziel in statement

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker