The 9-5 Arizona Cardinals are one of the surprise teams in the NFL this year (and could really surprise if they topple the Seahawks in Seattle this weekend). A big part of that is their defensive performance and a big part of their defensive performance has been linebacker Karlos Dansby.
Released by the Dolphins this past offseason, Dansby's been vocal about the fact that he feels disrespected by Miami cutting him. He spoke with Jim Rome on CBS Sports Network's ROME Tuesday and explained that the disrespect comes from Miami not handling his release appropriately.
"I think it's the way they handled it. They could've handled it much better," Dansby said. "I'm a man, I can take one on the chin. It's all about how you bounce back and it shows your character. And I bounce back pretty well I think."
Dansby sure does bounce back. He's got 6.5 sacks, three picks, 17 (!) pass deflections and 105 tackles in just 14 games. It's probably his career season, a notion Dansby wouldn't disagree with.
"Without a doubt, without a doubt," Dansby said. "And all the credit goes to the guys around me."
Dansby wasn't the only one who thought he peaked in 2012 -- he says Miami believed it was all downhill from last year as well.
"Definitely, man, because they thought I was old," Dansby said. "They thought I was old and they didn't know where I was going to go from here. From 134 tackles with a lot of pass breakups, a couple sacks, a pick. I thought that was my best season. I'm shining right now. It's a beautiful thing."
So naturally the linebacker's motivated by that release. He said that there's "definitely a chip" on his shoulder and that Miami "has a lot to do" with his motivation.
But he also said he's motivated by getting back to the Super Bowl. Part of the Cardinals team that lost to the Steelers in Super Bowl XLIII, Dansby claims he thinks about it "every day since." It's hard to blame him -- that loss was particularly brutal for Arizona.
"I've been thinking about it every day, every day since. 1:34 from living a childhood dream," Dansby said. "Can't really put it in words. Can't really explain the feeling I had within a minute and 34 seconds. Man. I gotta get back."
The big question, then, is can he and the Cardinals get back. They're currently not in the playoffs, if the season ended today, but they're the next team up. If the Panthers, 49ers or Saints stumble, Arizona's lying in wait.
They're a team, too, that Dansby believes can make it back there.
"I think we have what it takes. I think we have more than what it takes, honestly. We've got to apply and put it together. And it's all about putting it together at the right time. And right now going into Seattle we're going to need everyone hitting on all cylinders."