New defensive coordinator tinkers with Cardinals' defense

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TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) -- The once-shoddy Arizona Cardinals defense looked like a different unit in the playoffs.

The Cardinals tinkered with the alignment of their front seven, which had been vulnerable to the run.

In the postseason, the defense became a turnover machine, intercepting nine passes and forcing four fumbles in four games.

Suddenly, a defense that had given up the fifth-most points in the regular season was asserting itself.

New defensive coordinator Bill Davis wants to carry that attitude into next season, when the Cardinals will mount their first defense of a championship since 1948.

The 43-year-old Davis is the son of a former NFL assistant coach.

He was promoted from linebackers coach when Ken Whisenhunt fired defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast after the season.

The Cardinals allowed 426 points during the regular season -- most among playoff teams and only one fewer than their high-powered offense produced.

Instead of hiring a defensive coordinator, Whisenhunt turned to Davis, who had helped Arizona's linebackers improve in two seasons since Whisenhunt arrived.