PHOENIX -- When Karlos Dansby was re-re-introduced as an Arizona Cardinals linebacker earlier this month, he waxed poetic -- as only Dansby can -- about how last season in Cincinnati was “educational” and how it changed his perspective.
He has Marvin Lewis to thank for that.
When Lewis, the Cincinnati Bengals’ longtime coach, pursued Dansby for a second time as a free agent last offseason, he made a commitment to the aging veteran. Lewis would help Dansby improve. That he did. And now the Cardinals will benefit, having signed him for his third stint with the franchise.
“It was our second go-round with Karlos and the first time we did not sign him, but this time [we did] and I told him I thought I could help him become a better player,” Lewis said during the AFC coaches breakfast at the NFL’s annual meetings on Tuesday. “I thought he was really open to that and I thought he did a great job of understanding those things and had a very productive season for us.”
By all definitions, he “did a great job” for the Bengals, Lewis said. The coach also said he focused on improving Dansby’s techniques in “some areas,” which resulted in Dansby playing in all 16 games, starting seven, and finishing with 114 tackles, the fourth-most of his career.
Yet, Lewis danced around a question about whether the 35-year-old Dansby can still be a 16-game starter in Arizona, a role that has yet to be determined by the Cardinals, while praising Dansby’s ability to take care of himself.
“Karlos did a great job for us,” Lewis said. “He takes care of his body and everything, and he said he’s coming back home again.
“He does a great job taking care of his body. He’s a good mentor for young players, a lot of good things about Karlos.”