He might be overshadowed by fellow wideouts Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin, but second-year pro Steve Breaston, 25, became a big part of the offense during 2008. The former Michigan standout finished with 77 catches for 1,006 yards — giving the Cardinals three receivers with more than 1,000 yards (Fitzgerald, 1,431; Boldin, 1,038). Although his role has diminished in the playoffs, Breaston remains key to the game plan.
Things you might not know:
He was born three years after his mother, Charlene, had tubal ligation surgery to prevent further pregnancies after bearing three children.
Doctors found no flaws in the surgery, dubbing him a "miracle baby," or as Arizona Republic columnist Dan Bickley puts it, "a kid who was finding seams in the defense from the very start."
He writes poetry in his spare time.
He was a high school star in Pittsburgh.
Offensive coordinator Todd Haley, below, an assistant under Bill Parcells with the Cowboys and Jets , has roots in Pittsburgh and is a graduate of North Florida in Jacksonville. His father, Dick, graduated from the University of Pittsburgh and played for the Steelers in the mid 1960s. "I grew up in Pittsburgh as a ball boy for the Steelers in the '70s, and I remember when that team, which had been terrible for 50 years — and my dad played on some of those teams — finally won the Super Bowl," Haley, 41, told Yahoo.com. "Now you can't talk about that town without talking about the Steelers, and we have a chance to make that happen here. It's such an exciting time." Haley's creative play-calling was instrumental in keeping the Eagles' daunting defense off-balance in the NFC Championship Game. He inserted S Antrel Rolle into the backfield in a rouse that helped spring RB Edgerrin James for a 16-yard run. There was a flea-flicker and crafty formations to allow veteran QB Kurt Warner to read the Philadelphia blitz and have viable options. "When his time comes to be a head coach, he'll be a tremendous head coach, whether it be this year, next year or the year after," said former Bucs WR Keyshawn Johnson, who played for Haley in New York and Dallas. "The one thing that Todd has is his passion for winning, passion for competing." Haley has been linked to the still vacant Kansas City job.
Q&A | WR Larry Fitzgerald
Can any defensive back-stop you one on one?
They have a lot of good players in this league, and I just try to go out there and make sure I'm accountable for my team and my coaching staff. That's pretty much my mind-set.
Do the Cardinals play the disrespect card?
No, I don't think we really play that card much. We know we have a good football game and if we go out there and execute our assignments, we'll have some success.
Myths and mysteries: Sean Morey's working understanding of the left wing lock
The wide receiver's wife, Cara, surrendered an opportunity to play for the Canadian Olympic women's ice hockey team to support his career. She played for the Brampton Thunder in the Canadian National Women's Hockey League and in men's leagues in the Phoenix area. Her game is on ice temporarily awaiting the birth of her third daughter Feb. 3. They live in Toronto.
Did you know?
That assistant coach Chuck Drulis is credited with introducing the safety blitz with Hall of Famer Larry Wilson in the mid 1960s?
Number of the day
110 Age of the Cardinals franchise, which has played in Chicago, St. Louis and, now, Glendale, Ariz., and was a charter member of the NFL.
Neither the organization nor many of its players — the notable exception being QB Kurt Warner, left — have any idea how to handle the mental mayhem of preparing for and playing in a Super Bowl. But coach Ken Whisenhunt had a fine run-through as an offensive assistant for the champion Steelers in 2005. "I think that knowing what it's going to be like, knowing the schedules, knowing what you have to do to prepare will certainly help us," he said. "So as far as being able to give the players a heads-up on what the week is going to be like, what you have to look forward to, what you have to be careful about, how you have to keep your focus — that's the big thing."
"Why would I have any hard feelings? I don't see why you wouldn't want an NFL job. I had a great opportunity here. There were a lot of things that I thought were in place that would help us have an opportunity to win. I think we have shown that, and I am excited about that."
Coach Ken Whisenhunt, on any residual animosity toward the Steelers, who hired Mike Tomlin as coach in 2007. Whisenhunt was a Steelers assistant and interviewed for the job before going to Arizona.