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Whisenhunt will call ‘O’ plays for Cardinals

He takes back duty once delegated to Todd Haley

Arizona coach Ken Whisenhunt

Arizona coach Ken Whisenhunt

INDIANAPOLIS – The Arizona Cardinals don’t know yet if the player roster for this coming season will look anything like it did in 2008.

One thing is certain: The coaching staff will look much different.

Head coach Ken Whisenhunt spent most of the past two weeks restructuring his staff, which started to undergo changes days after the Cardinals lost to the Steelers in Super Bowl XLIII earlier this month.

“It’s been a pretty hectic two weeks,” said Whisenhunt, who announced the majority of his staffing changes Wednesday.

Bill Davis was promoted from linebackers coach to defensive coordinator, replacing Clancy Pendergast, who was fired after the Super Bowl.

Matt Raich, formerly defensive quality control assistant, will coach the linebackers.

Most of the changes are on the offensive side of the ball. Instead of having one coordinator, assistant head coach/offensive line Russ Grimm will coordinate the running game, and Mike Miller, formerly the receivers coach, has been promoted to passing game coordinator.

Whisenhunt will return to calling plays, which he did in most of his first season in Arizona before handing the duties over to offensive coordinator Todd Haley, who left to become the Chiefs head coach.

Under the new structure, Grimm will continue to coach the offensive line. Rutgers offensive coordinator John McNulty has been hired to coach receivers, and former NFL quarterback Chris Miller will coach quarterbacks, replacing Jeff Rutledge, who was fired.

Peppers hopes to leave

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Julius Peppers still wants out of Carolina, but he’ll only agree to be traded to four teams, further complicating the Panthers’ efforts to get compensation for the four-time Pro Bowl defensive end.

On the eve of the deadline to place the franchise tag on Peppers, a person close to the player said Wednesday that the impending free agent wants to play for Dallas or three other unnamed teams, two of them in the NFC.

Elsewhere

CHARGERS: San Diego placed the non-exclusive franchise tag on Darren Sproles, virtually assuring that the speedy little running back-returner will be back next season

RAIDERS: Pro Bowl punter Shane Lechler has agreed to a four-year contract to stay with Oakland.

RAVENS: Baltimore used the franchise tag on Pro Bowl outside linebacker and former Arizona State Sun Devil Terrell Suggs for the second consecutive year Wednesday, a transaction that costs the team $10.2 million against the 2009 salary cap.

TITANS: Defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth has decided to test the free agent market, according to various media reports.

The Associated Press

Whisenhunt

Whisenhunt

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