This year's second round draft choice (45th overall) had a fine pro debut with three tackles in Arizona's 17-0 win over Green Bay last week and has impressed head coach Bruce Arians with his play so far in training camp.
“He’s doing extremely well,” Arians told azcentral.com. “He played very well in the ballgame (last Friday in Green Bay) and played sideline to sideline better than even I anticipated.”
Arians knows what a hard-hitter Minter is – he's seen it up close and personal many times already.
“That’s what he did in college. He’s a thumper,” a smiling Arians explained to azcentral.com. “And that’s exactly what we’re looking for in a middle linebacker.”
Minter's teammates have seen how aggressively Minter plays his position. It's something to behold.
"Yeah, when we first put on the pads I had to go up against him in the one-on-one drills in pass blocking and it was brutal, man,” running back Alfonso Smith said of Minter via azcentral.com. “I mean, he brings it. He was pushing my neck back and coming at me and doing all kinds of things to me. I had him, but he was doing everything he could to win. That’s the type of guy he is. I tell ya, he plays with some type of aggression.”
That style of play fits perfectly with the Red Birds' aggressive young defensive unit, an underrated group last season. Being known as a hard-hitting LB is just fine with Minter.
“Well, it’s always been my reputation,” he said. “Hopefully, I can keep that reputation up. It’s all about hustling to the ball and trying to make every play you can make. That’s how the big hits come, when they don’t expect you to be there and all of a sudden you show up.”
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