Defensive back Justin Bethel was played both at cornerback and at safety during his rookie campaign for the Arizona Cardinals. His role was more for special teams, but he was drafted as a project in the defensive backfield. The team listed him on their roster as a safety, but his first playing time on defense during the season was at corner, although he did play a little as a safety as well.
Former defensive coordinator Ray Horton believed in getting players work at multiple positions. Bethel worked at corner and safety. Reggie Walker and Stew Bradley both saw practice reps at inside and outside linebacker. David Carter saw time at end and tackle.
This call for versatility perhaps is changing, at least for Bethel. Head coach Bruce Arians told the media the other day (as written by Kent Somers for AZ Central) that because Bethel is raw, the team will determine which position he will play and stick with it so he can learn the position. As of right now, the team "isn't sure" which way he will go.
At a glance of the roster, it would make more sense to put him at safety, unless they believe keeping him off the field for now is best. He would be the fifth cornerback on the depth chart behind Patrick Peterson, Jerraud Powers, Antoine Cason and Jamell Fleming. At safety, he would be the third one on the depth chart. Only Yeremiah Bell and Rashad Johnson are on the roster at safety.
As OTAs, minicamp and training camp roll around, this will be one of the developing stories to watch. We already know that he is a special teams threat to block kicks and punts. What is left to determine is where he will play on the field defensively.
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