The preseason finale sounds like it will be very, very important for left tackle D’Anthony Batiste and, on a slightly lesser level, right tackle Bobby Massie.
They will get the start, as coach Ken Whisenhunt said yesterday. Today, Whiz said he expected them to play “a little bit.” Most importantly when it comes to Batiste and left tackle, when asked if this game the Cards are looking to affirm their belief that Batiste can be the left tackle, Whisenhunt said “I would say that was fair.”
“We felt very strongly about D’Anthony because of his work in the offseason and what he did last year,” Whisenhunt said. “Our hopes were he was going to take the right tackle position … and be a backup for left tackle. We just want to see him do it again this week.”
We’ll see what that means going forward. If Batiste plays well, the Cards may hold off on looking for veteran help, toward the Alex Barrons or Chad Cliftons of the world. No way to know how the Cards’ scouts, at this point, rate such guys. It’s safe to say Batiste will be around one way or the other. The key, actually, is Jeremy Bridges. The veteran can swing between tackle and guard, but it’s possible he could lose a spot if the Cards choose to bring someone in off the market.
Whisenhunt reiterated Bridges was a “known quantity” at tackle, so the Cards don’t need to test drive him out there in the preseason. But asked if Bridges was best suited to be the swing backup rather than potential Levi Brown replacement, Whisenhunt was blunt. “Make no mistake, I’m not uncomfortable with Jeremy at tackle.”
Massie has been improving, Whiz said, but that was expected. He clearly is better now than he was in the Hall of Fame game. “At times has looked very good as a right tackle,” Whisenhunt said. “At times he has looked very bad. It’s up to him if he wants to grab that (job) and hold on to it.”
The next 10 days will be interesting, especially for the line. The Cards could end up signing someone or grabbing someone off waivers this weekend (and I expect them to look at the waiver wire very carefully, not just on the offensive line but everywhere). Or they could wait until after the first regular-season game — veteran salaries aren’t guaranteed if they sign after Week 1, so a handful of vets will likely come to terms before Week 2 — to pick someone up.
Tags: Bobby Massie, D'Anthony Batiste, Jeremy Bridges, Ken Whisenhunt
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