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Stephens-Howling hopes to benefit from revamped running game

The 2012 Arizona Cardinals certainly could be defined by their running game more than ever before, as long as their talented backs can stay healthy. In fact, the feeling early in camp is the team’s offense will rely heavily on the production from Beanie Wells, Ryan Williams and the extremely versatile LaRod Stephens-Howling.

“We know we need to establish our running game to make everything else better and easier and then the runners and passers are going to complement each other,” Stephens-Howling told Arizona Sports 620’s Doug and Wolf Show Monday. “We know that’s a big thing that we struggled on is the running game, so why not do it right now [in camp] and focus on it right now before the season?”

Entering his fourth season with the Cardinals, “The Hyphen” has assumed more of a veteran role in offensive coordinator Mike Miller’s offense. He has shown great value to the Cardinals as a change-of-pace player, who not only can pose as a threat as a receiver out of the backfield, but can also be explosive as the team’s kick returner.

“I see more opportunity,” Stephens-Howling said of his role with the Cardinals this season. “Mike Miller is always coming to me and saying we need to do more things, and I just need to study and get the receiving routes and everything down better, and I’ll get more opportunities to be on the field.”

The former University of Pittsburgh product yearns for just that — more time of the football field, and while he’s willing to take on any role that will produce more playing time, he does prefer to participate in the running game.