Thu, Jan. 23

Arizona Cardinals Pro Football
New faces bring change and hope

The Arizona Cardinals are currently in the middle of their training camp schedule in Flagstaff and already this season looks far different than those in recent memory.

The biggest difference is new head coach, Ken Whisenhunt, who replaced Dennis Green after Green was unable to turn the team around with a disappointing 5-11 record last season.

Whisenhunt, who was the offensive coordinator in Pittsburgh since 2004, accepted the position as head coach and has not wasted any time changing things about the team, including the defense. Whisenhunt has chosen to orchestrate the Cardinals defense as a 3-4 alignment as opposed to a 4-3 front.

Some of the team's best defensive players have had to adjust to the new way of playing, namely Bertrand Berry and Chike Okeafor, playing at the outside linebacker positions instead of defensive end. Karlos Dansby moved from outside linebacker to inside linebacker and Darnell Dockett changed from being a tackle to an end.

Another big change to the team this year is the official passing of the torch from Kurt Warner to Matt Leinart as Leinart becomes the starting quarterback this season.

The 2007 draft added five players to the Cardinals roster: Levi Brown, OT out of Penn State; Alan Branch, DT out of Michigan; Buster Davis, ILB from Florida State; Steve Breaston, KR/PR from Michigan and Ben Patrick, TE from Delaware.

The new additions to the team on both the coaching and playing levels may give the Cardinals a different look and a better chance at doing well against their opponents. Cardinal standouts such as Anquan Boldin, Edgerrin James and Larry Fitzgerald will continue to lead the team with Cardinals experience.

The Cardinals face their first opponent of the preseason on August 11 when they travel to Oakland to take on the Raiders. The Cardinals will face the Texans, Chargers and Broncos during the preseason as well before they lace up to take on their first regular season opponent, the San Francisco 49ers in San Francisco, on Sept. 10.

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