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Talented receivers line up behind Cardinals' big three

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. -- The Arizona Cardinals have an abundance of receiver talent, and that's not counting Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin and Steve Breaston.

With Jerheme Urban leading the way, the rest of the Cardinals' receivers have been catching passes all over the place in training camp.

Lance Long has improved his chances of making some team, if not this one, and roster longshot Onrea Jones made several big plays in the Cardinals' practice under the lights on Tuesday night.

Then there's Early Doucet, a second-year pro who has been slowed by a sprained shoulder, the result of a spectacular diving catch early in camp.

On The Fringe is following five players "On The Fringe" of the NFL -- including Lance Long -- sharing their stories, their progress and their setbacks throughout camp. **More ...**

Sean Morey, who made the Pro Bowl as a special teams player last season but also plays wide receiver, acknowledges the talent around him.

"I'll be honest with you, I look at these guys and I think 'Wow, these guys can play,"' he said. "There's a lot of talent at the position, and not only talent, but the guys are working extremely hard."

At the top of the list is Urban, who has cemented his position as the team's No. 4 receiver.

Coach Ken Whisenhunt said Urban has had "as good a camp as anybody" on the team.

Kurt Warner agrees.

"He's had a great camp, really, really, really looked good," Warner said. "He just continues to grow and I think he just gains more and more confidence. He gives us as quarterbacks and the staff more confidence in him and as he makes plays, I think he's starting to realize his potential."

Urban, claimed off waivers from Dallas at the start of the 2007 season, played in all 20 games for Arizona last season, catching 34 passes for 448 yards and four touchdowns in the regular season, and another six for 48 yards and a score in the postseason.

An undrafted free agent out of Trinity, Urban was slowed by a foot injury early in a pro career that saw him splitting time between the practice squad and active roster of Seattle. He spent the entire 2006 season on the Dallas practice squad.

His first season in Arizona he was learning the offense and battling for playing time. Last year, he said, "I developed some chemistry with Kurt."

After a full summer of minicamp and voluntary workouts, Urban arrived comfortable for probably the first time in his NFL career.

"This has been a great training camp," he said. "I'm just feeling comfortable out there, letting the plays come to me. Fortunately, the quarterbacks have given me some opportunities to make some plays."

Urban has seen a lot of time as the No. 3 receiver because Breaston has been sidelined with a sore knee. With Doucet nursing the sore shoulder, Long has had plenty of chances, too, and has made the most of them.

The Cardinals signed Long in 2007 as an undrafted free agent following his unspectacular career at Mississippi State. Long caught just 14 passes as a senior and had just one touchdown in three years at the school.

A year ago, he was a surprise in camp and spent last season on the Arizona practice squad.

That probably won't be the case this year. If Long doesn't make the active roster, he could well sign with another team. A top candidate would be Kansas City, where new coach Todd Haley, the former Cardinals offensive coordinator, knows all about Long's ability.

Morey, Doucet and Long could well be competing for two Arizona roster spots. Whisenhunt and Morey go way back, and it would be hard for the coach to let the special teams ace go. It also could be far too early to give up on Doucet, a third-round pick a year ago out of LSU.

That could leave Long the odd man out. He isn't thinking about that, though.

"Right now I'm an Arizona Cardinal," he said, "and I truly believe that I have a really good chance of making this team. If things don't work out, then I'll think about other options I have but hopefully it works out here because I want to stay an Arizona Cardinal."

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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