Whisenhunt Happy With Progress in Year Two

There's nothing quite like attempting to evaluate unproven talent running around in shorts and T-shirts. But Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt is getting a good dose of rookies and assorted newcomers in a faux-football setting.

The real judgment, of course, will come in a fall-football setting, but Whisenhunt likes what he sees overall.

Even the veterans look better, Whisenhunt says.

"We're doing a lot of things this year we couldn't even think about doing last year -- the checks at the line, package plays where we call two plays at the huddle and run a certain one based on the defense," Whisenhunt said.

"Everything is so much better, including the communication with our defense -- blitz packages, moving around, hitting the holes on blitzes. We're so much farther along because we've been in the system for a year."

Whisenhunt acknowledges that some of the progress is the result of him and his staff having been on the job a year now. Coming in new in 2007, they were putting in a new offense and moving the defense from a base 4-3 to a 3-4.

It was a tough go, especially on the offensive side. Badly as he wanted to get most of the playbook in early, Whisenhunt found that he made greater strides teaching his system as he scaled it back.

"The one thing we did was when we did scale it back, we built off of that. I'm excited to see where we can go with it," Whisenhunt said.

STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL

FRANCHISE PLAYER: LB Karlos Dansby (signed tender April 17).
TRANSITION PLAYER: None.
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS
--DL Rodney Bailey has the ability to play inside and out adds to his value.
--P Mitch Berger didn't secure the job in the final weeks of '07.
--QB Tim Hasselbeck is probably out of the picture.
--S Bhawoh Jue could provide depth.
--DT Ross Kolodziej was banged up last year, and he probably won't return.
--QB Tim Rattay is a solid backup but is trying to seek a No. 2 job elsewhere.
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS (not tendered offers)
--TE Tim Euhus (not tendered as RFA) is average at best and could return.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: None.
EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS: None.
PLAYERS ACQUIRED
--CB Michael Adams: ERFA; terms unknown.
--LB Clark Haggans: UFA Steelers; $1.5M/1 yr, SB unknown.
--P Dirk Johnson: FA; 1 yr, terms unknown.
--DE Travis LaBoy: UFA Titans; $22M/5 yrs, $7.5M guaranteed.
--WR Jamaica Rector: ERFA; terms unknown.
--DL Bryan Robinson: UFA Bengals; 2 yrs, terms unknown.
--QB Brian St. Pierre: UFA Steelers; 1 yr, terms unknown.
--LB Matt Stewart: UFA Browns; 1 yr, terms unknown.
--TE Jerame Tuman: FA Steelers; 2 yrs, terms unknown.
PLAYERS RE-SIGNED
--TE Troy Bienemann: ERFA; terms unknown.
--OT Elton Brown: RFA; $927,000/1 yr.
--CB Ralph Brown: UFA; 1 yr, terms unknown.
--S Oliver Celestin: UFA; terms unknown.
--LB Karlos Dansby: Franchise FA; $8.065M/1yr.
--CB Eric Green: RFA; $2.017M/1 yr.
--LS Nathan Hodel: UFA; 4 yrs, terms unknown.
--WR Ahmad Merritt: Not tendered as RFA; 1 yr, terms unknown.
--WR Sean Morey: FA; had been released by Cardinals; terms unknown.
--DE Bo Schobel: Not tendered as ERFA; 1 yr, terms unknown.
--DE Antonio Smith: RFA; $2.017M/1 yr.
--DE Joe Tafoya: UFA; 2 yrs, terms unknown.
--WR Jerheme Urban: Not tendered as RFA; 2 yrs, terms unknown.
--S Matt Ware: UFA; 2 yrs, terms unknown.
PLAYERS LOST
--LB Darryl Blackstock: Not tendered as RFA/Bengals; $560,000/1 yr, $40,000 SB.
--DT Chris Cooper (released).
--S Terrence Holt (released).
--LB Brandon Johnson: Not tendered as ERFA/Bengals; 1 yr, terms unknown.
--WR Bryant Johnson: UFA 49ers; $2M/1 yr, SB unknown.
--OLB Calvin Pace: UFA Jets; $42M/6 yrs, $22M guaranteed.
--OT Oliver Ross (released).
--OG Keydrick Vincent: UFA Panthers; $2M/2 yrs, $400,000 SB.

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