Cardinals: Help Needed at QB, LB & OL

The Cardinals' coaching staff has been addressed and now the attention turns to improving the roster.

STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL

Ken Whisenhunt completed his first priority of the offseason: hiring a new defensive coordinator and completing his coaching staff.

Now, he will turn his attention to personnel. The Cardinals already have met about their options at quarterback for 2011.

The team is expected to express interest in veteran Marc Bulger, who spent last season with the Ravens. Trading for Denver's Kyle Orton or Philadelphia's Kevin Kolb is a source of much speculation, but the Cardinals aren't in a position to give up high draft picks for either. They need help on several fronts.

As with most teams, much will depend upon CBA negotiations. The Cardinals aren't enamored enough with the top-rated quarterbacks to take one with the fifth overall pick. Linebacker Von Miller of Texas A&M or cornerback Patrick Peterson of LSU are more likely candidates.

But if there is no CBA at draft time, drafting for need will become more important. And the Cardinals have no greater need than quarterback.

OFFSEASON STRATEGY

The Cardinals aren't likely to use the franchise or transition tags in the two-week period in February that started Feb. 10.

That doesn't mean they shouldn't target some players for re-signing. Center Lyle Sendlein, guard Deuce Lutui and receiver Steve Breaston have all proven to be reliable starters. And the Cardinals don't have much depth at any of those positions.

TEAM NEEDS

1. Quarterback: The Cardinals need a replacement for Derek Anderson and believe John Skelton, a rookie last year, is not quite ready. It's not likely they will use the fifth overall pick on a quarterback, however.

2. Outside linebacker: Starters Joey Porter and Clark Haggans will be 34 when next season starts, and there are few young players on the roster. Texas A&M's Von Miller would be hard to pass up at No. 5.

3. Offensive tackle: Levi Brown, the fifth overall pick in 2007, has been a disappointment and plays better on the right side than they left.

MEDICAL WATCH: CB Michael Adams, who plays in the nickel and on special teams, underwent successful shoulder surgery and should be ready for minicamps, whenever those might happen. OLB Will Davis should be fully recovered from a broken leg in time to participate in off-season work.


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