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Mining For New Corners

Notebook: Practice squad takes shape; Bradley changes number


New Cardinals cornerback Crezdon Butler (40) returns an interception during the preseason in 2010 when he was playing for the Steelers.

When the Cardinals pared down their "final" roster, one of the most glaring decisions was the move to have just eight defensive backs, especially when cornerback Michael Adams and safety Adrian Wilson have been coming back from injuries.

The Cardinals have also, under coach Ken Whisenhunt, historically carried nine defensive backs on the roster.

The numbers changed over the weekend, when the Cards claimed a pair of cornerbacks off waivers: Crezdon Butler, who played with Pittsburgh last season, and Korey Lindsey, who was a seventh-round pick of Cincinnati this year.

Both players had caught the Cardinals' eye during the draft process the past two years, and the team was looking for developmental players at the position.

"We had good grades on both of them," Whisenhunt said. "It was an area that we wanted to certainly continue to look at, so we put claims in and fortunately got both of them."

Butler got into four games for the Steelers last season. Both players are practice-squad eligible if they don't hold on to a spot on the 53-man roster.

The additions were part of a handful of weekend moves that were finally all announced Monday. The Cards added Butler, Lindsey and running back Chester Taylor, and released defensive end Ronald Talley, linebacker Quan Sturdivant and tight end Stephen Spach.

Both Sturdivant and Talley are eligible for the practice squad. They cannot be brought back until they clear waivers. The Cards still have two spots left on the practice squad to fill.

The Cardinals do have six players on the practice squad right now, including two that spent time on the squad last season – cornerback Marshay Green and receiver Isaiah Williams – and two of their own undrafted free agents – tackle D.J. Young and nose tackle Ricky Lumpkin.

The Cards added a pair of undrafted players as well. Center Ryan Bartholomew, a Syracuse product and three-year college starter, spent training camp with Baltimore. Wide receiver Brandyn Harvey, who played in college at Villanova, spent two weeks on Atlanta's practice squad last season and was cut by the Falcons after 2011 camp ended.

The Cards normally will have 61 players at practice – 53 plus eight on the practice squad – but had just 54 Monday, thanks to the paperwork the new players had to get through and only half the practice squad available. It's a far cry from the 80 they had at practice last week.

"Your reps, that's what you really recognize, is (catching) your breath," wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald said. "You need to get in great football shape. You are used to taking three reps and getting six off. Now it's cut drastically. You really have to get in game shape, and that'll be good come Sunday."

Whisenhunt said the first Monday practice after final cuts always takes some getting used to after a long preseason.

"It's a different feel," Whisenhunt said. "But the focus is on a regular season game and that's exciting. It was a good day."

New linebacker Stewart Bradley, who had worn the No. 97 all through training camp and the preseason, switched to 52 Monday. It was long overdue, since Bradley was uncomfortable wearing the defensive line-ish numeral from the start.

"I wanted to change ASAP, but they told me I just had to be patient," Bradley said with a smile.

Bradley wore 55 when in Philadelphia, but that is taken by Joey Porter. Cyril Obiozor, who was released Friday, had been wearing 52.

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