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Arizona Cardinals

Updated Sep 20, 2011 - 4:39 pm

Cardinals suffering under new defensive system

Washington Redskins tight end Fred Davis (83) scores a touchdown in front of Arizona Cardinals defensive back Hamza Abdullah in the first half of an NFL football game in Landover, Md., Sunday, Sept. 18, 2011. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

PHOENIX - NFL teams didn't have the benefit of mini-camps and OTA's this offseason due to the lockout leaving teams scrambling to pick up new systems when training camps opened in September.

The Arizona Cardinals are struggling mightily on defense adjusting to Ray Horton's new system.

After two games, Arizona's defense is ranked 29th in the league giving up an average of 466 yards of total yardage a game.

The team looks like it will try making some adjustments this week to make the transition easier on the players.

"I talked to coach earlier and we'll probably scale some stuff back. It's a tough system to learn," said safety Kerry Rhodes on Monday.

The Pittsburgh Steelers have run the same defense for years to great success, but it seems the Cardinals' players are having a tough time adapting to it.

"It's complicated, but we got to be pros and figure it out. You can throw it off on it being complicated, but at the end of the day, we got to run it," said Rhodes.

The pressure is on for the team to find a defensive system that works as the Cardinals are on their third defensive coordinator in coach Whisenhunt's tenure with the organization.

If the team doesn't begin showing improvement on defense, it might be time to start evaluating whether the Cardinals have the right kind of players for this system.

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