Kyzir White is five years into his professional football career. Dante Stills’ pro journey is still in its infant stages.
Both former Mountaineers have received praise in recent days from Arizona Cardinals first-year defensive coordinator Nick Rallis.
“He’s got some tools to work with, no doubt. Explosive,” Rallis said when talking about Stills last week.
The Fairmont, West Virginia, native was selected in the sixth round of this year’s NFL Draft by the Cardinals.
According to Rallis, Arizona has used Stills more on the interior of the defensive line so far in training camp. The Fairmont Senior High School product has impressed Cardinals coaches, and has displayed good get-off at the line of scrimmage. Rallis believes Stills will be able to add “some juice” to Arizona’s pass rush this season.
Stills’ physicality could also make him an asset to Arizona’s defense in stopping plays on the ground.
“[Stills is] very athletic. And, he’s hard to reach, hard to scoop on run plays, because he’s fast. You know, he’s fast for a defensive lineman. And he’s strong at the point of attack,” said Rallis. “He’s got some great traits.”
With all that said, the rookie defensive lineman is still learning the ropes of playing the game at the highest level.
“[He] still has, again, you talk about checking boxes, every aspect of his game he can keep elevating. But I’m very pleased with the tools, the guy in the meeting,” Rallis said of Stills. “Great football character. I’m excited where he’s headed.”
Meanwhile, Rallis is in his second season with White. The duo worked together with the Philadelphia Eagles, helping lead them to a runner-up finish in the Super Bowl.
Asked on Tuesday whose personality has been shining through on the defense, White was the first player to be mentioned.
“He’s such a great teammate, and he’s got a really bright personality,” said Rallis. “I love how he’s got a lot of respect for other people’s games. You know, he likes to talk about guys on the team, guys around the league.”
White finished with 110 total tackles and 1.5 sacks with Rallis as his linebackers coach last season in Philadelphia. White has registered at least 110 tackles each of the last two years.
White was drafted out of West Virginia in the fourth round of the 2018 NFL Draft by the Los Angeles Chargers. This is the first season the two former Mountaineers will be on the same team.
Arizona opens its preseason schedule against the Denver Broncos Friday night at 10 p.m. ET. The Cardinals kick off the regular season on the road against the Washington Commanders on Sept. 10 at 1 p.m. ET.