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Bruce Arians: Cards have 'few holes to fill' next season

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The Arizona Cardinals suffered an embarrassing defeat in the NFC Championship Game. Despite the excruciating end to the season, the Cards are built for more than just a one-year run.

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"Oh, God. Looking at the team that's coming back versus where we were this time last year, very few holes to fill," coach Bruce Arians said, via the team's official website. "(General manager) Steve (Keim) is already off starting to do it and this offseason already has begun."

The Cardinals are stocked on offense. Larry Fitzgerald is coming off a 109-catch season. Michael Floyd is flourishing into a go-to target. John Brown is one step from passing T.Y. Hilton as the best pure deep threat in the NFL. David Johnson could challenge Le'Veon Bell for best dual-threat running back in the NFL. The offensive line is a solid unit, but includes several soon-to-be free agents.

Carson Palmer's mentality might be the biggest question mark on offense. He had an MVP-type season, but playoff performances like the six-turnover nightmare he experienced Sunday can give players the yips.

On defense, the Cards hope Tyrann Mathieu will fully recover from his torn ACL at some point next season. Starting corner Jerraud Powers and safety Rashad Johnson are unrestricted free agents, while Tony Jefferson is a restricted free agent.

Keim acknowledged the team's biggest need is at pass rusher, where an imported Dwight Freeney led the team with eight sacks -- and he didn't play until Week 6. The Cardinals couldn't put any pressure on Cam Newton on Sunday, allowing the soon-to-be MVP to pick apart the secondary.

Fortunately for Keim, plugging the pass rusher hole is one of the few must-do tasks in prepping his squad to make another run in 2016.

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