Five To Watch: Cardinals @ San Francisco

The Cardinals refined roster is ready to take the field against the San Francisco 49ers for an attempt at their first win on Sunday. With the quarterback decision settled and starters for the most part in place, Cardinals' coaches will have their eyes on some key players to see if they have made the right decision. Here are the five players to watch as they take the field in San Francisco.

1. Kurt Warner

The 37-year old veteran quarterbackis in the spotlight of the media after sending Matt Leinart to the bench for now. Warner enters his 11th season and his experience has the potential to bring Arizona to the playoffs. Warner's appearance in last week's final preseason game consisted of 4-of-4 passing while gaining 48 yards before Leinart came in towards the end of the first quarter.

Warner's short appearance proved he doesn't need much playing time to make great plays. In the season opener, Warner needs to continue to show that his skills have not diminished with old age. Now that the quarterback decision has been made, Warner is an important player to watch on the field against San Francisco as he'll attempt to prove that head coach Ken Whisenhunt made the right choice.

Warner certainly thinks the Cardinals have made the correct decision. He knew that the Cardinals wanted Leinart to be the face of the franchise but Arizona also told Warner that the organization wanted him to finish his career in the desert. This year will determine whether that ending is further or closer than some might think.

2.) Jerheme Urban

With the battle for the third wide receiver still ongoing, Urban is competing every practice and every game. Urban proved to be a powerful asset to the Cardinals passing game. WhileSteve Breaston still possesses superior speed, Urban's appearance in the preseason game against Denver has shown that he's improved his hands and running skills in traffic. Though the decision isn't final, Urban could be the player to take the third wide receiver spot as the season progresses.

Warner has expressed his belief that Urban, Breaston and Early Doucet will all see time in the slot, but the one who earns the role on the depth chart will be the player who separates himself from the competition.

3.) Tim Hightower

Hightower came to the Cardinals as an unsuspecting fifth-round pick. He has since made a name for himself in training camp and in the preseason. Hightower has landed a position on the Cardinals' active roster as Edgerrin James' top backup.

Through the preseason, Hightower has shown his explosive burst on goal-line runs, which are a strong addition to Arizona's running game. Strong cuts and quick speed make Hightower an efficient tool in certain situations where James may not be the best choice. Though James still holds the starting role, Hightower will be picking up the slack and may stop James from another 300-plus carries season.

4.) Adrian Wilson

With eight years of experience in the NFL, strong safety Adrian Wilson has continued to show his strength throughout the preseason. He was continuously staying on top of the plays, shutting down passes and making key tackles on plays that reached the secondary. With the safety being an important part of the defense, he is a player to watch as his hard hits and pass deflections begin to roll in through the 2008 season.

Wilson is returning from an injury this year. While his presence downfield will make opponents cringe, the Cardinals are certainly rejoicing to have him back.

5.) Tight End Leonard Pope

As a junior, Leonard Pope is a hot shot in the red zone due to his massive 6-8 frame and steady hands. Last year he gathered five touchdowns before a painful ankle injury. This preseason he has already picked up a pair of touchdown celebrations. Though the ankle injury is still lingering, he is active on the field and doesn't allow it to affect his play. A dependable player for putting points on the board, Pope is in store for another good season as long as the injury doesn't flair.

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