Cardinals Draft Central: Inside the War Room

The Cardinals have swung and missed too often in recent drafts and must do better this year. Go inside the war room here.

INSIDE THE WAR ROOM

The Cardinals last picked this high in 2007 when they took offensive tackle Levi Brown with the fifth overall pick. They based the pick on need and passed on running back Adrian Peterson. That's proven to be a mistake, so the club should take the best possible player. It just happens that could also fill a need. Texas A&M's Von Miller should be there.

STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL

Ken Whisenhunt spent the first six weeks of the offseason revamping his coaching staff, a direct result of his first losing season in Arizona.

Ray Horton, an assistant with the Steelers, replaced Bill Davis at defensive coordinator and promised to bring with him a pressure scheme.

Whisenhunt fired his two defensive backs coaches, too: Donnie Henderson and Rick Courtright. Replacing them are Louie Cioffi from the Bengals and former Steelers cornerback Deshea Townsend.

The Cardinals' offense wasn't any better than its defense in 2010. But the coaching changes on that side of the ball are minimal.

Whisenhunt promoted Mike Miller from passing game coordinator to offensive coordinator. It's unknown yet if Miller will call all the plays, but that is the eventual plan.

The next step in the offseason is to find a quarterback. Derek Anderson, the only veteran on the team last year, likely will be released.

The Cardinals will look for another veteran in free agency or via trade, and the Broncos Kyle Orton, the Bengals Carson Palmer and the Eagles Kevin Kolb are possibilities.

MEDICAL WATCH: SS Adrian Wilson underwent surgery to repair a torn abductor muscle, which he says he played with all last season. The rehabilitation time is three to seven weeks.

--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 offseason work.

TEAM NEEDS

1. Outside linebacker: Last year's starters, Joey Porter and Clark Haggans, will both be 34 when the season starts. The Cardinals have failed to replenish the position and need an impact pass rusher. Von Miller makes a lot of sense. If O'Brien Schofield, a fourth-round pick last season, comes through, the two could be a potent combination for years to come.

2. Guard: Left guard Alan Faneca is considering retirement, and right guard Deuce Lutui is not under contract for 2011. The Cardinals are hopeful both will return, but there are no guarantees. The backups, Jeremy Bridges and Rex Hadnot, are solid veterans, but the club has few young players at the position. It needs to start developing some.

3. Inside linebacker: The club needs a physical Mike linebacker in the 3-4. Gerald Hayes likely will be released, and Paris Lenon and Daryl Washington are on the small side. The Cardinals' runs defense was suspect last season, partly because their linebackers could not hold up physically in taking on blocks and shedding them.


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