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Cardinals Have Familiar Faces -- And a New Look, Too

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Take a look at the Arizona Cardinals sideline. Recognize those faces?

There's Ken Whisenhunt, the head coach. Played tight end and H-back for the Redskins in 1989-90.

Who's the guy he leans on? Hall of Famer Russ Grimm. Recently enshrined in Canton, Grimm serves as the Cardinals assistant head coach, with responsibilities as running game coordinator and offensive line coach.

Grimm, one of the original Hogs, played 11 seasons with the Redskins at guard and center and helped the club to four Super Bowls, three of them resulting in championships.

So much for the familiar visages over there.

The Cardinals team the Redskins play Thursday night in the preseason finale underwent a heavy makeover in the offseason.

Quarterback Kurt Warner retired, as did pass-rusher Bertrand Berry. Safety Antrel Rolle and linebacker Karlos Dansby exited via free agency, receiver Anquan Boldin in a trade.

Whisenhunt has made no official statement but every action indicates that free-agent Derek Anderson figures as the starting quarterback, ahead of an unhappy Matt Leinart.

"There are a lot of things that will be taken into account in making this decision," Whisenhunt said.

As this is the last preseason game, it's more likely he'll take a long look at rookies Max Hall and John Skelton and concern himself with which, if either, is No. 3. He might like to see somebody jump-start the offense, which has yet to score in the first quarter.

The Redskins and Cardinals once competed together in the NFC East, an arrangement that ended when the Cardinals moved to the NFC West in 2002.

The teams have not played against each other in the preseason since 1971 and the Redskins own a 3-0 mark against the Cardinals, who were based in St. Louis the last time these two played a preseason game.

The Redskins have won the last six regular-season games.

The Cardinals hope to continue the run of success that began with Whisenhunt's hiring in '07. They've won consecutive division titles for the first time since 1974-75 and made their first Super Bowl appearance following the '08 season, losing to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the final minute.


Larry Weisman, an award-winning journalist during 25 years with USA TODAY, writes for Redskins.com and appears nightly on Redskins Nation on Comcast SportsNet. Read his Redskinsblitz blog at *Redskinsrule.com and follow him on Twitter.com/LarryWeisman.*

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