If Whisenhunt lost another top assistant

Russ Grimm's name keeps surfacing in connection to the Carolina Panthers' expected coaching vacancy. That make sense because Grimm played for the Washington Redskins when Panthers general manager Marty Hurney covered the team as a reporter.

Grimm ranks as the Arizona Cardinals' most prominent assistant coach, overseeing the offensive line and coordinating the running game. He is also assistant head coach.

Losing Grimm after losing offensive coordinator Todd Haley to the Kansas City Chiefs would further weaken Ken Whisenhunt's staff in Arizona.

We can debate to what degree Haley ran the offense or whether the offensive line has played to expectations under Grimm's leadership. We do know Haley and Grimm have strong leadership qualities. We know Whisenhunt trusted and valued Haley. We knew he trusts and values Grimm.

Whisenhunt's staff has already undergone significant changes. The team fired former defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast after the 2008 season. Another defensive assistant, Teryl Austin, left to become defensive coordinator at Florida after last season.

The current defensive staff could change again this coming offseason even though personnel issues are also to blame for the defense's problems this season.