Arizona Cardinals OTAs: Justin Bethel growing in confidence defensively

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

He could be in the mix for being in the defensive rotation.

As of right now, it would appear that the cornerback rotation is pretty set. Between Patrick Peterson, Antonio Cromartie, Jerraud Powers and Tyrann Mathieu when he is healthy, there won't likely be a lot of snaps to play. 

But Pro Bowl special teams player Justin Bethel is going to try and crack that rotation. 

This past week after a practice, Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians was asked about Bethel and his transition to playing more defense, to which Arians responded, "really well."

To be clear, Bethel has played defense, He saw a lt of reps last offseason in OTAs. But Arians is hoping he can make another jump. He is doing well. 

"He's starting to get his hands on balls," Arians told reporters. "He’s playing a lot more confidently and you can see it in the way he walks around the locker room.  I think having gone to the Pro Bowl added some swagger to him, which he needed desperately.”

If he can channel that confidence into playmaking skills, he can be looked  at as valuable depth this season and maybe a starter in 2015 after Cromartie likely leaves via free agency. 

Will Bethel have what it takes to be more than a standout special teams player? Does it matter? He already impacts games. Even if he turns out to be not quite good enough at cornerback, there will always be a need for game changing players in any phase of the game. 

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