At running back, Beanie Wells and Tim Hightower continue to split carries out of the backfield. While Hightower has proved to be a major weapon both running and receiving, Wells has game-breaking abilities that few other runners in the league possess. Look for the Cardinals to continue Wells' transition to the feature back while Hightower moves into more of a closer role ala Dallas Cowboys RB Marion Barber earlier in his career. The value of having both Wells and Hightower can't be overstated given the short lifespan of NFL running backs and the probability that injuries occur.
The Cardinals' secondary is somewhat uncertain at this point but the team's conglomerate of pass rushers should help. LB Joey Porter offers dominate individual pass-rushing abilities while second-year LB Cody Brown returns from a season-long injury a year ago. Will Davis is another up and coming pass-rushing specialist and veteran Clark Haggans remains an option.
Reports from minicamp have CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie practicing at 65 percent and his health will be vital to the team's success this year. Rodgers-Cromartie enters 2010 after a solid but unspectacular sophomore campaign. DRC continues to show flashes of brilliance but was also exploited at times, particularly deep in coverage. His importance became even great after Bryant McFadden was traded back to the Pittsburgh Steelers during the draft. McFadden's departure bumps up second-year CB Greg Toler into the starting lineup.
Along with replacing future Hall of Fame QB Kurt Warner, an improving running game and the development of the Arizona's secondary will be the main areas to watch during OTA's and training camp. If all of those current question marks are answered by the regular season opener, look for the Cardinals to continue their winning ways of the past two seasons.
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