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Arizona Cardinals want defensive backs to have ball skills

Bruce Arians believes that the group that the Cardinals now have fit the bill.

Christian Petersen

One part of the team that some consider to have downgraded is the defensive backfield. Three of the four 2012 starters (William Gay, Adrian Wilson, Kerry Rhodes) are no longer with the team.

From the way that head coach Bruce Arians talks, he doesn't sound concerned, as the team brought back safety Rashad Johnson, and signed Yeremiah Bell, Jerraud Powers and Antoine Cason. They also added Tyrann Mathieu in the NFL Draft.

What was the team looking for in their makeover for the defensive backs?

"We want to create turnovers, so everybody in the back end we want to have good ball skills and when the ball is in the air, we can catch it , as well as receivers," said Arians in an interview with Darren Urban that is featured on the Cardinals' team site. They don't want the stereotypical defensive backs that are DBs because they couldn't catch the ball.

He singled out Rashad Johnson in particular, who had a pair of interceptions last season. We know that Patrick Peterson does his part, mabbing seven picks in 2012. Jerraud Powers, though, has six career picks in four seasons. Antoine Cason has had as many as four picks in a season. Yeremiah Bell has six career picks. Rookie Tyrann Mathieu, though, has crazy ball skills, based on his play in college.

The team wants ballhawks, but does their personnel match that desire?

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