Countdown to Camp: Veterans

The Arizona Cardinals feature 13 players with eight-plus years of experience in the NFL. Some of these salty vets head into camp with a starting role secured, while others will have to outplay athletes more than 10 years their junior. Who will take the young players to school and who will get schooled? AZRedReport.com dishes out a veteran rundown.

NT Bryan Robinson — 14

One of the main tasks for the Cardinals this offseason was to add some youth to the defensive front seven. They addressed these concerns in rounds one (Dan Williams), two (Daryl Washington) and four (O'Brien Schofield).

All three players are expected to push veterans in camp, especially first-rounder Williams. Coach Ken Whisenhunt will have to decide between rookie Williams and the most-veteran player on his roster (Robinson). Gabe Watson is also in the mix, but Robinson appears to be the Cardinals main man in 2011. Robinson will also be expected to bring Williams along to eventually replace him. Whisenhunt likes to rotate his defensive line to avoid too much wear and tear on one player, which will give Williams ample time to display his fortitude.

G Alan Faneca — 13

With more than a dozen years under his cleats, Faneca was one of the Cardinals most-prized free agent pickups. He reunites with Whisenhunt and Russ Grimm and is expected to help solidify the Cardinals into a run-more team. His role at guard is secure, although the Cardinals O-line shouldn't get too possessive of sides, as the Cardinals will figure out what works best during camp.

Joey Porter — 12

This 12-year vet ran, or rather drove, into some trouble this offseason with an arrest, but insisted his innocence, "I did nothing wrong. I was trying to order something from Taco Bell. That's why it was all erased." Many closest to him believe the villaneous portrayal is far from the truth, count Whisenhunt among them. The Cardinals will benefit from his pass rush and edgier attitude.

TE Anthony Becht — 11

Becht started in 10 games last season and appeared in all 16. The Cardinals have more tight ends than spots, but Becht should hang on to one of the three final spots, but be behind Ben Patrick in the rotation.

OLB Clark Haggans — 11

There are plenty of backups who will try to knock Haggans out of a starting role, but the Cardinals will continue to utilize this hard worker.

LS Mike Leach — 11

The Cardinals special teams will benefit from having a more senior player in the group. He's solid and coverage and still has speed to burn.

ILB Monty Beisel — 10

With Gerald Hayes set to miss the start of camp and probably beyond, this versatile linebacker has a chance to make an impression in camp. Although he's not Hayes' immediate replacement, Beisel's versatility and special teams contributions will have him high in the rotation this season.

K Jay Feely — 10

The Cardinals said adios to Neil Rackers and welcomed Feely who they hope will be a consistent, clutch kicker. He parted with the New York Jets after scoring 122 points in 2009, the third highest total in franchise history.

S Adrian Wilson — 10

This fear-inducing safety will show his teammates "what's up" all summer long. Hopefully for the offense, practicing against the best of the best will pay dividends come September.

ILB Paris Lenon — 9

Lenon is used to working in backup roles, with the exception of a three-year starting stint with the Detroit Lions, but he's penciled in as a starter for the Cardinals in 2010 over Beisel and rookie Daryl Washington. With Hayes out of the mix for the start of camp, the Cardinals are thin at inside linebacker. Arizona will need Lenon to be starter ready.

T Jeremy Bridges — 8

Bridges will compete against a much younger Brandon Keith for the No. 1 right tackle role. Bridges made a name for himself in Arizona last season when he played well for the injured and sense gone Mike Gandy, shutting down Jared Allen in his first go. Things weren't as rosy after that, but the Cardinals will get their money's worth.

ILB Gerald Hayes — 8

This veteran's ears must be ringing, as his name is mentioned several times above. He will enter camp on the Physically Unable to Perform list, and his recovery is vital for the Cardinals defense. Hayes' return will be a game of wait and see.

G Reggie Wells — 8

And our last, but not least veteran is somewhat of an odd-man out heading into camp. The Faneca addition displaces Wells and places him against Deuce Lutui for the right guard role. Wells' versatility on the line could be his saving grace that or the questioned condition and commitment of Lutui.


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