While the Arizona Cardinals have yet to to put on pads, we know at least a little bit about the competition at right tackle.
On Thursday, the team's final practice of OTAs, there was one thing that was different -- Nate Potter was getting first team reps, which was the only time, I believe, that this was the case.
Previously, head coach Bruce Arians had Bobby Massie and Bradley Sowell splitting reps. While Potter had not been talked about at all previously, he has not been forgotten.
"Nate always stays in the mix because he's so smart," Arians told reporters on Thursday.
As for the competition, the team will "keep throwing all three guys in there and see who comes out on top."
As for how things stand, Massie "has done very well." Arians said that Sowell "is inconsistent" and that Potter "is probably the smartest of the three."
The issue with Potter? "It's an issue of physically holding up," said Arians. What is important to note is that ever since he was drafted in 2012, that has been the knock -- he has needed to get stronger.
But it would appear that Potter will be a lock to make the roster, probably as a backup. That is because of his versatility on the line. "He played guad for us last year," said Arians. "He played left tackle, right tackle. He's a valuable guy when it comes to Sundays because he can get you out of the game in a number of spots."
Naturally, it is too early to say one guy has taken a clear lead in the competion, as "you wait for pads to go on for all that stuff."
In OTAs, it is about how the players "learn (their) assignments" and then, especially on offense, adjusting to the blitz. For the offensive line, "it's as much (picking up the blitz), seeing the stunts, moving their feet as it is physically blocking people."
Cardinals fans will likely be most pleased about hearing that Massie is doing well. In terms of looking at an NFL offensive line, if you have a left tackle like Jared Veldheer and a right tackle in Massie, they just look like NFL tackles. It is normally agreed upon that Massie has the most talent of the three players competing for the starting job.
But next week the team will put on pads for a few days before the final break before training camp. We will see what happens with the line once "the volume goes up," as Arians likes to say about when the pads go on and the players hit each other.
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