TE Jerame Tuman (Michael Fabus/Getty)
The Cardinals plugged in gapping holes and created a lot more depth this offseason. AZRedReport.com analyzed 49 players with a shot at making the active roster and ranked all of them. At the bottom of the list are a couple of familiar faces that Ken Whisenhunt brought in, but how do these new guys stack up against the old ones? Discover spots 49-43 in the first installment of this series.
49.) FB Tim Castille (5’11, 234) enters his second season in the league after coming to terms with the Cardinals as a rookie free agent in May 2007. Castille sat inactive behind Terrelle Smith in his first season. Smith has seven years of experience on Castille and a resume that includes blocking for six 1,000-yard rushers, but the two have different attributes. Smith is a premier blocker, while Castille can receive and rush to provide some variety in the playbook.
48.) TE Jerame Tuman (6’4”, 253) spent nine seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers, three of which were under the direction of then, offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt. Tuman signed a two-year contract in March of 2008 and will provide veteran experience for the young tight end corps.
47.) ILB Matt Stewart (6’3”, 239) came to the Cardinals this offseason by way of the Cleveland Browns, where he spent two seasons after four years with the Atlanta Falcons. Stewart was an easy answer to provide depth inside. Stewart has never appeared in less than 14 games in his seven-year career. He has a career high of 77 tackles and three sacks.
46.) ILB Monty Beisel (6’3”, 240) will continue to be a depth-player in his eighth season, third with Arizona. In 2007, Beisel appeared in all 16 games with two starts and registered 42 tackles.
45.) FS Oliver Celestin (6’0”, 207) will be part of the new and improved defensive back unit. Adrian Wilson will be back in full-swing, and the Cardinals are crossing their fingers that Antrel Rolle’s transition to the safety group will be effortless. Celestin will sit behind Rolle. Celestin saw action in 15 games last season, with four starts. He registered 12 tackles.
44.) QB Brian St. Pierre (6’3”, 230) will compete for the No. 3 quarterback role, alongside undrafted rookie Anthony Morelli out of Penn State. St. Pierre has familiarity working on his side, as Whisenhunt spent a couple seasons with him in Pittsburgh. St. Pierre is entering his sixth season and has appeared in just one game. He signed a one-year deal with the Cardinals on March 31, 2008.
43.) RT Brandon Keith (6’5”, 343) was selected by Arizona in the seventh round of the 2008 NFL Draft, 225th overall. Keith is ready to absorb the Xs and Os and has a good chance of being active behind Levi Brown.
Click here for an exclusive interview with Brandon Keith.
Click here for Northern Iowa offensive line coach Rick Nelson’s take on his former player.
Amberly Richardson is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and a correspondent for Scout.com. She has contributed to the official Web sites of several NFL players for Sixthman Communications. Her analysis has been published by the NFL Network, Fox Sports and MySpace Sports.