On the offensive line, the right guard and right tackle positions are very much in the air. At right guard, Paul Fanaika and Earl Watford are competing for the starting job, while Bradley Sowell and Bobby Massie do the same for the starting right tackle position.
As of right now, "it's way too early to tell" who has the edge, according to head coach Bruce Arians, but he is giving them equal reps. The team has had six practices. Each player has had three days and equal reps with the first team.
Don't look for a decision, though, on the positions because Arians said that no one will win the job in OTAs or mini-camp. Without pads on, Arians likes to say that they are "playing soccer" and you can't know who is better for the job.
If Cardinals fans have their way, it will be Bobby Massie and Earl Watford that win the jobs. What do they need to do?
Arians noted that Massie needs to get rid of mental errors, which plagued him in training camp last year. "Don't turn the blitzer loose that he's responsible for off the edge," explained Arians. "Making the proper calls, just like I do with Bradley (Sowell)."
As for Watford, he will have to show he is clearly better than Fanaika. Arians said that Fanaika "has the benefit of the doubt because he's got 16 games of film." Arians believes that Fanaika "played pretty solid."
Watford has the same things to focus on as Massie -- eliminate mental errors and be consistent. Since it is OTAs and the players are not wearing pads, "you can't play physical, but you can not make mental errors," sais Arians. "You see gaps and blitzes and stunts. It's where your eyes are supposed to be all the time and making no mental errors and staying off that (busted assignment/accountability) sheet."
Both of these positions will be fun to watch in mini-camp when pads go on and then in training camp. Hopefully someone at each position stands out and excels, giving the offensive line stability and performance on both sides.
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