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Arizona Cardinals OTAs: Earl Watford shocking coaches with play at center

The versatile lineman has "shocked" his coaches with his play at center.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

After Bruce Arians said the Arizona Cardinals were "light years ahead" for the third year in a row during offseason work, I jokiingly tweeted a few stories I expected to hear over the next several weeks in OTAs and training camp. Here is one from a week ago.

All it took was a week and we have a new "Earl Watford is doing well" story.

If you recall, Watford has been praised for his ability to play multiple positions. However, the last we heard from years past was how center was not one of those positions.

That has changed.

According to ESPN's Josh Weinfuss, offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin has been "shocked" by how Watford has done at center.

"He's done well as far as ID'ing the front and making the calls and getting the ball up to Carson (Palmer). He's matured a whole bunch, too."

Goodwin didn't suggest Watford is yet in the mix to win a starting job at center, though there is open competition at that position and at right tackle, where D.J. Humphries is expected to start.

But having a guy like Watford is valuable.

"He's done well at all (the) positions. Right now, Earl's probably got a leg up just because he can do everything. He's played in the game at right tackle. He's played in the game at guard. He's never played in the game at left tackle but he's done really well at center."

If there is one thing head coach Bruce Arians likes from his offensive linemen, especially among the reserves, it is position flexibility.

Watford is showing his value, being able to fill in at guard, tackle and maybe even now at center.

It makes it highly likely he has a place on the roster. But once again, it sounds like he won't likely have a place as a starter.