Strong safety Adrian Wilson #24 of the Arizona Cardinals reacts after a sack against the Detroit Lions during the fourth quarter of the NFL game at the University of Phoenix Stadium on December 16, 2012.
Photographer: Getty Images
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With the hiring of Bruce Arians as head coach and the key pieces of his staff in place, the Cardinals and general manager, Steve Keim, have begun the rebuilding process here in AZ.
But after finishing 5-11 in 2012 there is still plenty of work to be done. Especially on an offense that finished dead last in the NFL in both points and yards.
Obviously, having a quarterback that can go out and win games is priority number one for any team in the NFL, and the Cardinals definitely need help there. But all successful teams know that while the quarterback is the most important position on the field, you build a championship team from the inside-out.
Simply put: no matter who is under center, you can't win consistently without a solid offensive line.
The Cardinals got encouraging signs from rookie tackles Nate Potter and Bobby Massie as the season wore on, and who knows, they may anchor the team's O-line for the next decade. But more needs to be done, and that starts with the upcoming NFL draft.
The Cards hold the seventh pick in the draft, and while most people want to see a quarterback selected with such a high pick, the Cardinals need to stay away from the sexy pick and go with "the belly," Chance Warmack, left guard out of Alabama.
Warmack will bring an instant toughness to the group, as well as provide some serious push up the middle for whoever is lined up in the backfield in 2013 (let's all hope the team cuts ties with Beanie Wells).
From there you take the best player available on your board in the remaining rounds and stock up as much talent as you can.
Free-agency is where Keim, Arians, and the rest of the Cardinals front office need to take the most caution.
Everyone wants the team to replace the current bunch at quarterback, but the problem is there aren't any guys in this free agent pool that are home runs at that position.
Over-spending for a Michael Vick or an Alex Smith will only continue to handcuff the team in the coming years.
Bring Kevin Kolb back at a more affordable rate, PROTECT HIM, and look for a viable candidate to replace him in 2014 and beyond.
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