The Arizona Cardinals are experiencing just what made former Washington State All-American Deone Bucannon so great in college football, but it might take a few months to translate onto the NFL field and while not impatient they are telling him to “just play”.
Running with the second unit for now, “Buc” is making that transition from college to The League. It’s a process that is coming slowly (though we are only a couple weeks removed from the NFL Draft) because Deone is working on his craft. ArizonaSports.com is keeping close tabs on WSU’s former patrol-man and had this quote from him:
"“A big mental jump, I feel like, is the biggest thing from college to the NFL,” Bucannon admitted. “But at the same time, if you put in that work and you use the resources that you have you can continue to get better and better each day. I’m not there yet, but I’m going to get there.”“"
Bucannon is a true perfectionist, a kid who cannot stand being wrong, or even slightly-off… ever. He has always made it a point to always do things the right way and maybe it has slowed him down initially at every level, but the payoff is huge with him. Still, Cardinals’ coach Bruce Arians would like to see a faster player:
"“Deone’s only got one problem, he’s so much of a perfectionist; he’s paralysis by analysis right now because he wants to do everything absolutely perfect.”"
Asked what the vets were teaching him in the early going, Bucannon said “Honestly, just the mental stuff. The mental aspect of the game, and focusing on the little things, that’s what they’ve gotten across to me. The little things are the big things, and that’s what matters.” He also said he thinks that the combination of Patrick Peterson, Tyrann Mathieu and Antonio Cromartie makes the Cardinals’ defensive backfield one of the best in the NFL and of course didn’t name a fourth DB, because he knows he’s the fourth.
Let’s remember that he is also making a transition in defenses, where the Cougars used more of a hybrid 3-4/4-3 look, his new team incorporates more of a traditional 3-4 look with some 5-2 fits. Different responsibilities may be playing a role in slowing the learning curve.
Regardless, the Cards aren’t going anywhere and neither is Bucannon. He may be shadowing a veteran safety and running with the second unit for now, but a few months down the road of patience from the team and getting things right for the rookie and Arizona will begin to see everything they bargained for when they made their 27th overall selection.