The Arizona Cardinals made serious waves improving their pass rush this offseason by trading for Chandler Jones and drafting Robert Nkemdiche 29th overall.NFC West foes will feel the ripples of those moves. They’ll have to find a way to stop the much-improved defensive front.ESPN’s NFL Nation reporter Nick Wagoner, who covers the Los Angeles Rams, writes that the pass rush should benefit the entirety of the Cardinals’ defense. 0 Comments Share The Cardinals tied for 20th in sacks in 2015 with 36, though in fairness they were third in the NFL in creating pressure at 31.9 percent. But here’s where Jones and Nkemdiche should be able to help the most: Arizona again blitzed more than any team in the league at 45.1 percent. One would think the Cardinals’ addition of Jones and Nkemdiche was intended to allow them to generate pressure without having to dial up a blitz nearly half the time.Given the Cardinals’ talent in the secondary, a pass rush that doesn’t have to lean so heavily on the blitz would also allow them to get more creative in coverage and potentially lead to more big plays.Yes, Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu, the No. 2 cornerback-safety tandem in the league, are grinning from ear-to-ear.An NFC West unit that isn’t so happy about Arizona’s upgrades is the San Francisco 49ers offensive line. 49ers reporter Michael Wagaman believes San Francisco’s offseason planning will have much to do with how it can stop the Cardinals’ front-seven.The 49ers have major concerns along their offensive line, so any additional pass-rushers coming into the division isn’t good news for the team.Having quarterbacks get rid of the ball more quickly is a part of 49ers coach Chip Kelly’s offense. It was a big emphasis during offseason workouts, and Jones and Nkemdiche are a big reason for that.Although having not taken the field for his first game yet, Nkemdiche is already receiving praise from his divisional opponents. Sheil Kapadia, a Seattle Seahawks reporter, views the first-round pick as a force to be reckoned with. Arizona Cardinals first round draft pick Robert Nkemdiche (90) runs drills during an NFL football mini camp, Tuesday, June 7, 2016, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York) Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Top Stories Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires The Cardinals clearly felt like they needed to upgrade their pass rush, and Jones is someone who’s posted 30 sacks in his past 41 games. Nkemdiche is the X factor. If the Cardinals’ coaching staff can get him to reach his potential, the Seahawks will face an enormous challenge when the two teams meet.The Cardinals and Seahawks are the favorites to battle for the NFC West title, and the matchup between the Cardinals’ pass rush and the Seahawks’ offensive line will receive plenty of attention before the two teams square off in 2016.
ShareVideo Player is loading.Play VideoPauseMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 13:30Loaded: 1.22%00:00Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -13:30 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenRipple CEO Brad Garlinghouse is adamant that Facebook’s unveiling of its Libra cryptocurrency will lead to big business for his banking software and cryptocurrency startup.“This is going to be a record week for Ripple,” Garlinghouse gushed Thursday during Fortune’s Brainstorm Finance conference in Montauk, N.Y.Garlinghouse said it was a “fact” that Facebook’s Libra announcement has caused more banks to seriously consider using the company’s xCurrent banking payment software and associated XRP cryptocurrency to assist with transferring money across borders.“[It] has absolutely catalyzed contract activity,” Garlinghouse said. “This has been a call to action.”Facebook’s plans to eventually debut a cryptocurrency for its billions of users—for use in making payments on its various online networks such as Messenger and WhatsApp—is akin to the social networking giant saying “we don’t need Western Union anymore,” the Ripple executive explained.Now big banks are likely to consider switching from the traditional SWIFT software used for cross-border payments in favor of newer alternatives, he said.“I will send a case of champagne to David Marcus the guy who runs Libra,” Garlinghouse said of Facebook’s blockchain chief.The executive also discussed Ripple’s big partnership with MoneyGram that involves Ripple purchasing an 8%-to-10% stake in the money transfer firm. Although the deal caused MoneyGram’s shares to skyrocket 168%, it had little effect on the XRP cryptocurrency, of which Ripple maintains a vast horde.Garlinghouse attributed the lack of movement in XRP’s value to a lot of “bullshit” and “a lot of noise” in the cryptocurrency and related blockchain category.“I think it’s really hard for people in these economies to say what is real and what is noise.” He said “it was a big deal for Ripple,” and overtime, people will believe it was “bigger deal for the cryptocurrency markets overall.”Many unspecified companies use the term blockchain “as frankly catnip for investors, for marketing.” Ripple, on the hand, is focused on very specific use case, he contends.“It is around transaction banking and liquidity management,” he said.More must-read stories from Fortune Brainstorm Finance:—Brainstorm Finance 2019: Watch the livestream of the inaugural conference—Bank of America CEO: “We want a cashless society”—Tala CEO: How Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency can help companies scale—Charles Schwab CEO: Actually, we’re killing it with millennials—Listen to our new audio briefing, Fortune 500 DailySign up for The Ledger, a weekly newsletter on the intersection of technology and finance.You May Like Sponsored Content The Future of Smart Homes by Qingdao Haier HealthFormer GE CEO Jeff Immelt: To Combat Costs, CEOs Should Run Health Care Like a BusinessHealthFor Edie Falco, an ‘Attitude of Gratitude’ After Surviving Breast CancerLeadershipGhosn Back, Tesla Drop, Boeing Report: CEO Daily for April 4, 2019AutosElon Musk’s Plan to Boost Tesla Sales Is Dealt a SetbackMPWJoe Biden, Netflix Pregnancy Lawsuit, Lesley McSpadden: Broadsheet April 4