Hightower did manage to breathe life into the Cardinals' group of running backs, racking up 10 touchdowns during his rookie season. However, he managed only one regular season game over 37 yards and was held to just 2.8 yards per carry. James faired slightly better but was demoted to backup duties midseason. In total, James compiled 514 rushing yards while averaging 3.9 yards per attempt.
Arizona should benefit from stability along the offensive line as the entire starting lineup remains intact from last year. In addition, Russ Grimm was promoted to co-offensive coordinator and should bring a hard-nosed approach to the offense. Grimm and head coach Ken Whisenhunt have always valued a power running game and have made it no secret they intend to bring that mentality to the Cardinals.
The Cardinals don't need one of the best rushing attacks in the NFL but they must do a better job of obtaining balance on offense. Along with wideouts Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald, QB Kurt Warner should take the majority of focus off the running game. However, if Arizona is unable to capitalize on their weapons through the air, the team's ground game will struggle mightily for the second consecutive season.
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