On the Arizona Cardinals offensive line, one player is doing something he hasn't done. Levi Brown, Jonathan Cooper (the rookie is now running with the first team), Lyle Sendlein and Bobby Massie all are playing a position they played before, and the positon they were at last season.
Colledge is not. He is slated to start at right guard for the Cardinals after having spent his entire career playing on the left side of the line. In fact, he hasn't been on the right side of the line at all in the last three or four seasons. He told the media after practice on Monday that there was one game he played right tackle for the Green Bay Packers because of injury.
Colledge is taking the change in stride.
He joked about how the supposed conversation went about changing positions. "It was a conversation," he explained. "Went kind of like, 'Hey, Daryn, you've got to play the right side. The new rookie's coming in to play left."
It has been a challenge, but one that Colledge is welcoming, and not just because he still has work, which he did recognize. "This is a league built on young guys," he said. "If they're asking me as a vet to be the guy they trust to make that move, then I think that's good for me."
There are other positives to the position change.
"It's a chance for me to be hungry and say I've got something to focus on every day," he explained. "I get to work on my fundamentals over and over." He also said, "it's good to know you're going to go out and be challenged every day."
Right guard is not the only position change he is going to be asked to make. Head coach Bruce Arians said that Colledge will "play some center a bunch in training camp."
He downplayed the challenge of playing different positions, making it seem like a regular expectation. "Whether you're going from left guard to center to right guard, that interior you've got to play all those positions, especially a veteran of his stature," said Arians. "You've got to be able to play all three in a game without flinching...He's one of those guys that's got to be position flexible for us."
That change isn't going to be a problem for Colledge either. "If they want me to punt, I would work my butt off and punt," he said. "It's part of being a team."
Can we read anything into the moves? Some could say that this is a precursor to his moving to center in place of starter Lyle Sendlein so that a young player like rookie Earl Watford or Senio Kelemete can come in and take over at right guard. Some could say that Arians is teaching Colledge about lasting on the league, or that he is on'y going be able to stick on the roster this season if be is worth more through flexibility.
While it might be any of those things, I think it has more to do with the fact that the coaching staff might not be too trusting of the centers behind Sendlein, so they would prefer that Colledge can play it than go with Scott Wedige, who was supplanted as Sendlein's replacement center by Adam Snyder, who previously had never played the position, or Mike Gibson, who was the second team center on Monday.
If he can play center better than the other guys, it will allow them to not be forced to carry a dedicated center and permit them another guy they want to keep.
If you think that it is one step closer to his being cut, I don't see it like that based on what Arians said about Colledge. "He's a good leader," he said about the veteran. "He's a hard worker. I don't know what else you could ask of him, other than be able to play three spots."
Colledge knows what he has to do.
"The coaches felt that it was the best opportunity for Coop (first round pick Jonathan Cooper) to come in and help us right away was if he's at his own position, and they felt that I had long enough to learn the right," he said. "I'm flattered the coaches think I can do it. I've got to go out and prove them right."
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