Minter supplied 94 tackles (72 solo), one forced fumble, and a half sack in 16 games last season. Minter was one of just three Cardinals linebackers (also, Deone Bucannon and Alex Okafor) to log more than 50 percent of the defensive snaps, but earning 89 percent of them didn't translate to impressive stat lines. Outside of a 10-tackle effort in Week 11 against the Bengals, Minter didn't reach double digits in any other contest, which is generally the base line for elite IDP status for LBs. Nonetheless, the third-year pro has established himself as one of the mainstay inside linebackers in Arizona.
Minter notched seven tackles (five solo) and a half sack in Sunday's win in San Francisco. With the effort, Minter sidled into third on the Cardinals with 68 tackles, ensuring that LSU products occupy two of the top three spots (also, Tyrann Mathieu). Considering he's logged 93 percent of the defensive snaps this season, Minter should continue to gather stops with regularity, though his production elsewhere (one forced fumble and the half sack) don't lend itself to IDP ownership.
Minter amassed a career-high 10 tackles during Sunday's win versus the Bengals. Under the direction of defensive coordinator James Bettcher, the unit has mined its depth to ensure that the first two levels were fresh, save for its two inside linebackers: the do-it-all Deone Bucannon and Minter. A 2013 second-round pick, Minter bided his time before earning a regular role this season, accounting for 92 percent of the defensive snaps (612 of 667, to be exact). The workload has equated to the second-most tackles (61) on the Cardinals behind Bucannon's 71, but with nary a contribution otherwise (just a forced fumble), Minter must provide more outbursts like Sunday's to approach the outer tier of IDP contributors.
Minter racked up a career-best nine tackles (seven solo), including two tackles for loss, and one pass defended in Sunday's win in Detroit. Entering the contest, Minter was one of two Cardinal linebackers to earn 50 percent of the defensive snaps, gathering up 87 percent. The other (Alex Okafor) strained his calf Sunday and is expected to miss a month of action, and while he's unlikely to earn much more work with Okafor out of commission, Minter could be presented with a few more tackle opportunities per game. Nonetheless, Minter's 96-tackle pace after five outings is off the IDP radar, as he's displayed no pass-rushing acumen nor a nose for turnovers in his two-plus years as a pro.
Cardinals general manager Steve Keim said Wedneday that the team "needs to address" the linebacker position in this year's draft, adding that 2013 second-round pick Kevin Minter has to elevate his game, The Times-Picayune reports. "We drafted Kevin Minter in the second round a few years back and we have high expectations for Kevin," Keim said Wednesday. "But he's got to step up his game. There are two types of linebackers. There are the mike linebackers, the heavy-legged guys, the more downhill thumper types. Then you have the more athletic, will linebacker types who can run and cover and may not be as physical at the point of attack. Those are two necessary positions for us that we need to address." Minter recorded 45 tackles in 2014 while making five starts in his 16 appearances. Coach Bruce Arians also addressed the linebacker Thursday, saying that the team needs to "continue to develop Kevin Minter into a better player."
|1||09/12||New England Patriots||7|
|2||09/18||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||6|
|4||10/02||Los Angeles Rams||30|
|5||10/07||@San Francisco 49ers||15|
|6||10/18||New York Jets||14|
|10||11/13||San Francisco 49ers||15|
|15||12/18||New Orleans Saints||22|
|17||01/01||@Los Angeles Rams||30|