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Arizona Cardinals positional battle update: Where do they stand?

The Cardinals are holding several positional battles this year. How do they stand after the team's first preseason game?

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

When a team holds a positional battle in an offseason or during training camp, it does two things for you: It weeds out the team's weak links, and it helps strengthen players -- both physically and mentally. The Arizona Cardinals are no exception, as they are holding several positional battles. Perhaps the big three are kicker, right tackle and strong safety. So after Saturday's demolition of the Houston Texans, who has pulled ahead of whom?


Bruce Arians said the kickers will alternate weekly. Saturday was undrafted rookie Chandler Catanzaro's night to kick, and he did very well. Catanzaro was 3-of-3 on his field-goal attempts with a long of 32 yards and 3-of-3 on his extra points.

His kickoffs were excellent as well. He kicked the ball off seven times, and all seven wound up in the end zone -- two of them would become touchbacks as he booted them through the back of the end zone. After several rough practices, Catanzaro really showed up on Saturday. Of the five kicks the opposition returned, they managed only 109 yards, an average of 21.8 yards per kick returned, showing his hang time on the kicks allowed the coverage team to get downfield.

Right Tackle

This is no longer a battle, but Bobby Massie showed up on Saturday. He was on the field only for the offense's first possession, but in a handful of plays, he kept defenders off his teammates and had no mental errors -- something that plagued him all of 2013.

Strong Safety

Who will start: rookie Deone Bucannon or second-year player Tony Jefferson? Jefferson still has his grips on the starting role and refuses to let it go. Bucannon, a first-round pick this year, figures to find his way into the conversation sooner rather than later, but not needing him to start this year could prove beneficial to the team and to him, as he is still raw in several aspects of his play.

Which of the three positions intrigues you the most? Obviously right tackle is no longer a key battle -- or a close one -- but there's still plenty of time for Max Starks to outshine Massie, which is a low possibility but is still on the table.