Well, that was fast.
When Paul Fanaika signed with the Cardinals this spring, he was a guy who at first was just considered a guy, a backup tackle who was going to have an uphill climb to make the roster. But he impressed the new coaching staff. He was much better at a new position, working at guard, than expected. He caught a break — literally — when Daryn Colledge fractured his leg early in camp, sidelining Colledge for enough time that Fanaika convinced coach Bruce Arians he could be a starter if need be. Then he caught another break — puns abound! — when Jonathan Cooper snapped his fibula, forcing Colledge to move back to left guard and pushing Fanaika into the starting lineup at right guard.
Fanaika — a 2009 seventh-round draft Eagles pick who had bounced around to the Redskins, Browns and Seahawks before coming to Arizona — was on a one-year contract paying just $630,000. He is now signed through 2014, and he’s one of the guys that made the most sense to get an extension at some point this season.
“It’s been a whirlwind, especially now that everything is kicking into full gear,” Fanaika said. “I just try to not let that distract me from going out here and being my best and being the best I can be. I am just trying to improve every week, be a solid football player. It is kind of a trip sometimes when I sit back and think about it, but then I catch myself and think, ‘I need to focus.’
“There is always room for improvement. Even Pro Bowl guys work to improve. I’m a long way from where I want to be.”
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