Arizona Cardinals: Top-Five Secret Weapons

Kurt Warner wasn't even the starter heading into training camp last season, but he ended up leading Arizona all the way to the Super Bowl. Tim Hightower contributed after being a fifth round pick. Steve Breaston had to fight to gain a spot as the No.3 receiver yet finished with a 1,000-yard season. All had one thing in common: nobody saw it coming. Here is the next batch of "secret weapons".

5. Anthony Becht TE: The Cardinals are in desperate need of solid tight end play. Signing Becht could be just what is required to address that issue.

Becht comes over from St. Louis where he played sparingly. His best season was 2003 when he had 40 catches. In the Cardinals pass happy offense, he has a good chance of duplicating his '03 effort with the right amount of playing time.

Becht is known for his blocking capabilities and should be comparable to an upgraded version of Jerame Tuman. The key for Becht is going to be his ability to out play both Leonard Pope and Ben Patrick. Coach Ken Whisenhunt is undoubtedly disappointed with the tight end's performance and will be looking to make a few changes.

4. Jason Wright RB: This recent acquisition could step in and play a crucial role in the resuscitation of the Cardinals flat lining running attack.

Edgerrin James is on his way out and Tim Hightower may not be ready to assume to full work load. Wright could finally get his chance to play heavy minutes here in Arizona. In his only season with a decent amount of carries, Wright average 4.6 ypc. That would be a drastic improvement over the measly 3.9 and 2.8 contributed by James and Hightower respectively. While it may be a stretch to see Wright as a feature back, changes in scenery have been known to work wonders in the football world.

3. Ali Highsmith LB: The loss of Monty Beisel to the Kansas City Chiefs creates a competitive opportunity for Highsmith. The Cardinals were stacked at the LB position in 2008 and consistent playing time never really developed for the rookie. He saw action in only six games and recorded four tackles. If Highsmith can impress in camp he could unseat a few veterans and make his way into the playing rotation. The talent in certainly there, it now is just a matter of his adjustment to the pro level.

2. Calais Campbell DE: Antonio Smith's departure to the Houston Texans creates a similar situation for Calais Campbell. At 6'7 and with decent speed, Campbell could prove to be a force on the line for the Cardinals. It will not be an easy road as Kenny Iwebema will also be gunning for a job on the front line. Ultimately, Campbell's size and athleticism should allow him to prevail over his fellow sophomore. Antonio Smith improved leaps and bounds in 2008 and it would be no surprise to see Campbell follow in his footsteps.

1. Matt Leinart QB: Many Cardinal fans have already written off the young quarterback and are hoping for the Cardinals to look in a different direction for their next franchise QB.

However, Kurt Warner's history does not bode well for another injury free season. In all likely-hood Leinart will have to step up at some point and prove that the Cardinals did not make a mistake in drafting him.

Leinart rode the bench in all of 2008, but hopefully he will have learned from the experience. If Warner cannot make it through the season, Leinart will likely have one last chance to make his case as a NFL starter. Don't be shocked when you start seeing No. 7 jerseys flooding the Valley of the Sun once again.


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