STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
The club replaced cornerback Richard Marshall with former Steelers cornerback William Gay. Gay should be able to fill Marshall's role as a part-time starter, nickel contributor and special teams player.
Gay knows the Cardinals system, because it's basically the Steelers defense. He played for Cardinals defensive coordinator Ray Horton in Pittsburgh.
The Cardinals weren't particularly active in free agency and concentrated on re-signing many of their own players. Recent re-signings are: kicker Jay Feely, long snapper Mike Leach, receiver Early Doucet, linebacker Reggie Walker and offensive lineman D'Anthony Batiste.
1. Offensive tackle: This could become less of a priority should the Cardinals sign a free agent or two. The starters from last year, Levi Brown and Brandon Keith, are free agents. And even if they return, the team needs to look for an upgrade. With the 13th overall selection, they should be able to fill this need if they so choose.
2. Guard: Maybe Adam Snyder, signed as a free agent, can start on the right side. Or maybe the Cardinals move him to right tackle and draft a guard. They will have a shot at the draft's best guard, Stanford's David DeCastro, in the first round. He would be hard to pass up.
3. Defensive end/outside linebacker: The starters are young and talented but depth is a concern. The Cardinals have had trouble acquiring and developing outside linebackers and they need to flood the position. The team also needs to start bringing along a young defensive end.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "Over the last half of our season this past year, when we needed it the most, Levi played probably his best football. It was consistent. It was something that was important to our team, and hopefully that was a point where he was starting to get it from that standpoint." -- Coach Ken Whisenhunt on left tackle Levi Brown.
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