What Whisenhunt likes in a running back

March, 26, 2009
3/26/09
3:26
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Cardsfan71181 wanted to know what Ken Whisenhunt likes in a running back. I picked up the question he left in the comments section here and decided to ask Whisenhunt for an answer over breakfast Wednesday. That's right, I eat breakfast with NFL coaches every morning. Well, every Tuesday and Wednesday morning at the NFL owners' meeting.

Whisenhunt: I think a back that understands the blocking scheme and what we're trying to get done in the run game, and that has the ability to minimize negative plays. To me, I think it's important that if you have a physical runner, that he is always falling forward, always moving his feet.

But I think to me it's also about having more than one back. I think you gotta have two backs with a little bit of difference. One that is maybe an inside pounder that can get you those positive yards and another that can do some things in space for you, and your ability to mix those up. Because I don't know if there is one back that can carry the entire load game in and game out for you.

Who in the draft might fit that profile for the Cardinals? Based on what the Cardinals already have in Tim Hightower, and assuming Edgerrin James will not return because he basically offers similar things at a higher price, the Cardinals would presumably want an elusive runner with home run capabilities, not just a slugger.

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