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Evan Mathis won't be 'covering for' Evan Boehm if rookie is starter

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If the rookie starts, it's because he doesn't need covering for.

NFL: Combine Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Veteran guard Evan Mathis is getting a lot of questions about grooming and helping young offensive linemen next to him. When he was signed as a free agent this year, we know he was charged with helping D.J. Humphries mature.

There is the potential he could also start alongside another inexperienced player in Evan Boehm, a center whom the Cardinals drafted in the fourth round.

So Mathis could be playing next to two guys who have never played a snap in the NFL. You might think he would end up having to cover for some rookie mistakes.

Mathis disagrees.

Appearing on the Bickley and Marotta show on Arizona Sports 98.7, he explained "it's not really a lot of covering for" the player next to him.

If (Boehm) is going to be the guy, he's going to have to earn the job," he explained. "Its going to take him knowing this offense in and out. It's going to take him being able to communicate, being the vocal leader of the offensive line on the field to set us in the right place and the right position."

That isn't to say Mathis won't be a help. He spoke of the communication and if there are questions, they will "talk it out" and "figure it out."

Mathis doesn't think being the vocal leader on the line will necessarily be a huge deal for Boehm because he is "a career center" and "is used to pointing his line in the right direction." The thing he will have to overcome is "the overwhelming feel of the NFL."

Boehm might or might not be the starter at center this coming season. If he is, Mathis thinks he will be ready to go and won't need someone covering for him and his mistakes, because if he has to do that, he probably shouldn't be starting.