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Receiver depth standing out for Cardinals

The Cardinals entered their 2012 training camp with 12
wide receivers, and based on last year’s depth chart that
number will shrink down to seven when cuts must be made
for the 53-man roster.

While proven players Larry Fitzgerald, Early Doucet and
Andre Roberts are expected to remain on the team and
first-round pick Michael Floyd can be assumed safe from
getting cut, head coach Ken Whisenhunt has a decision to
make about the talent at wideout.

After a week of practice and Saturday’s Red and White
scrimmage, some players are standing out.

“DeMarco [Sampson] has shown some flashes,” said
Whisenhunt on Monday. “Stephen Williams has done some
things for us in camp, LaRon Byrd looks good as a young
player, and Isaiah [Williams] has looked good. Big guys
that can run.”

This is all during structured practices, mind you. But
with Sunday’s Hall of Fame preseason game against New
Orleans on the horizon, Whisenhunt will have a better
understanding of how these players can fit the mold of his
football team.

“They’re going to get their time in preseason games.
Hopefully we’ll be able to throw the football a little bit
and get an opportunity to see these guys play.”

Of the above receivers, only Sampson and Stephen Williams
have NFL-game experience, playing in 12 and 11 career
games, respectively. However, both were non-factors in the
Cardinals’ game plan, as Sampson caught three balls for 36
yards last year and Williams totaled nine catches for 101
yards in the 2010 season.

Isaiah Williams has spent the past three seasons
circulating through NFL teams, including Baltimore,
Pittsburg and Seattle. He was signed to Arizona’s practice
squad in 2010 and caught a game-winning touchdown in the
Cardinals’ 2011 preseason opener against Oakland.

Byrd signed with the Cardinals on April 30th after not
being selected in the 2012 NFL Draft. He spent four years
at the University of Miami accumulating 106 receptions,
1,254 yards and seven touchdowns.

While all have size and speed they can bring to the table,
Whisenhunt understands the reality of subtracting athletes
from his team.

“We’ve got some talented players there; you’re going to
have decisions when it comes down to the final cut.”

Arizona Sports’ Kyndra de St. Aubin contributed to this

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