The second-year pro out of Texas got the start Sunday against the Washington Redskins in place of the injured Matt Shaughnessy, and he responded by collecting four tackles, two sacks and two QB hits in Arizona's 30-20 victory.
"That's the type of player we thought we had all along, and I was really happy to see it," Arians said. "We'll watch the film, but he stood out because of the sacks, but he got close a couple more times. He started commanding chips, and it's good to see a young guy do that."
With Shaughnessy on the injured reserve/designated to return list, he's going to be out for a while. That means Okafor, if he can stay healthy, should continue to get opportunities to establish himself in the NFL.
"No, I didn't like it," Rucker said of the Christmas season. "Kids were the worst ones with the teasing. They used to get under my skin with the 'Frosty the Snowman' all the time."
Frostee grew -- he is now 6-foot-3, 280 -- and the taunting became muted. He is known as the Snowman in the Cardinals' locker room, and he embraces the nickname.
The Cardinals also know him as someone else -- Frostee the Sackman.
At age 31, Rucker is having what could be considered his best NFL season as an integral part of a defensive line that ranks No. 6 in the league against the run and has more sacks than teams such as Green Bay, San Francisco and Houston.
One of the Cardinals' original "next men up" this season, Rucker has a career-high five sacks, all in the second half of the season and three in the last two games. A preseason injury to defensive tackle Darnell Dockett helped create more playing time, and while Rucker has started only seven games, only Calais Campbell and Tommy Kelly have taken more snaps than Rucker among Cardinals' defensive linemen.
"Frostee has always been kind of the 'dirty' player for us," Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Bowles said. "Calais and Dockett and Dan (Williams) get all the credit, but Frostee does a lot of things in there. He does all the right things. He is not a flashy player, but he's tough. He's gritty. He makes plays."